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March 28, 2017

Brittany Lincicome

Rancho Mirage, California

CHRISTINA LANCE: We're back in the media center at the ANA Inspiration. Happy to have with us Brittany Lincicome, two-time champion, 2009, 2015 and this her 11th time here at the ANA.

You got off to a great start this year winning. How is your game heading into the first major of the year?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's great. Been doing everything right so far, which is great. You know, actually putting, I feel like putting all last year was just a little bit off.

And sort of just starting the year in the Bahamas and to start putting right away really, really good, it's a great start to the year obviously. Builds a lot of confidence and played well again last week. So good momentum going into this week. Obviously lots of good memories here.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Is there anything you worked on in the off-season, or what's turned around for you?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: I feel like it's a little in the off-season. I think it's just more a confidence thing. You know, just going up there and tricking yourself into thinking your the best putter in the world and telling yourself you're the best putter, and that you know you can make that 5-footer. It's not a big deal and you've done it a million times there before. I think kind of being more confident in my goals.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Nothing wrong with being confident. You've had an opportunity to see the golf course. Tell us how it was out there.

BRITTANY LINCICOME: It looks fantastic. The rough is thick like usual. The greens I think are a little bit firmer this year than the past couple years. I know a couple years ago they were pretty firm, but this year, they are already firm; and they are only on Tuesday, so I can't wait to see what they will be like on Sunday.

It's good. It's a major. It should be tough, and the harder, the better. It just means you're going to have to pay more attention, land it shorter and play the release a little bit.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Do you feel you are one that thrives on that challenge?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: I do. Like the tournament last week, I only got to hit three drivers the whole week, and I love hitting my driver. It's my favorite club. So out here I can hit a fewer drives, which is fun. I think the longer, the better for me personally fits into my game better. It's obviously narrow this week, so you need to drive it well, and obviously my distance will give me shorter clubs into the tough greens.

Q. With What has happened this year -- are you happier winning at 26-under or 9- or 10-under?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That's a lot of really good questions. I'm not sure what makes the scores lower this year. I mean, obviously the talent on the LPGA is pretty phenomenal, so obviously that has a lot to do with it. I feel like the courses are set up the same way that they have always been set up.

But I personally would like to see the tournaments at like 9- or 10-under, would be my optimal, you know, scoring average, 26-under, 27-under, I didn't think was possible until I won in the Bahamas.

So obviously it is possible. But I think the harder the golf course, for me personally, I tend to do better than the courses where you can birdie every single hole out there.

But I feel like the course setups, they have all been pretty much the same, I feel like, from year-to-year. So I'm not sure exactly why the scores have been lower. Maybe the girls are just that good.

Q. How much do you think the power game has changed out here?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think the power game is very important. They talk about hitting fairways and being consistent, but I've always felt, even if I hit driver and I hit it in the rough, so what. I have a pitching wedge from the rough when some other girls obviously that hit it shorter have 7-iron from the fairway.

So not driving it straight but driving it further has always been something I thought has been a help for me. Obviously having shorter clubs into the greens I think is a lot easier than hitting the longer clubs, for sure.

Q. Do you feel like there's more players hitting the ball --
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, there's definitely more. I feel like the start of my career, I was always in the top three. Never really thought about it. And then the last couple years, it's obviously been more of a struggle to kind of stay up there. Obviously I paid more attention when Kia was giving the cars away, so I knew kind of where the leaderboard stood and who was hitting it far. But prior to that, I never really checked.

Yeah, I think there's a lot of girls that are hitting the ball a lot further. I think it's great. Hit it far, go find it and hit it again and you have a shorter club.

Q. Have you ever hit a 2-iron -- Ariya's 2-iron -- could you imagine playing this course without a driver?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You can play it. I mean, she hits a 3-wood plenty far enough. There are a couple holes where it would be nice to have that shorter club I think into the green. So I couldn't imagine not hitting driver, especially the par 5s.

I know if she hits her 3-wood far enough, she hits it further than most people, even probably myself with a 3-wood that it doesn't really matter. But definitely the par 5s, I would not want to sacrifice giving up my driver for. But to hit the 2-iron, no, it's way too small, way too narrow, way too little.

But she does it perfect. I played with her last week and it was incredible. It was amazing to watch, and more power to her. But I don't think I could hit the 2-iron.

Q. The two years you won here, do you feel like the conditions were firm and fast or just happened to be conditions that worked for you that year, or did it matter because you were playing so well?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I feel like 2015 wasn't as firm but I feel like 2009 was firm. I remember the wind in 2009, I think was stronger, as well, than 2015, so I feel like there's going to be a little bit of wind this week. I feel like both years were different greens. I feel like 2015 the greens were softer and you can kind of attack the pins more, but obviously I've played well in both conditions.

So just got to pay attention to them. Especially in the afternoon rounds, you definitely are going to have to lay up the ball up short and let it release, as opposed to myself, normally I can just fly it at the pin and get some backspin on it.

Q. Monday I walked out just as you were walking onto 18 green and you were talking to whoever you were playing with about the lake, jumping. Were you giving them tips on how to jump in?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Well, I didn't notice before, there's a little -- I think it's an ANA banner or something that's kind of around the edge of it and. I was just saying, if you weren't paying attention and you didn't happen to jump par enough, your foot would trip, and then you would kind of just go tumbling into the pond which would be very embarrassing.

So we said if either one of us won, we would have to make sure that we picked up our feet quickly so we that could clear that little ledge and not trip. But yeah, it was Kim Kaufman. We had a fun birdie game and it was fun.

Q. With so many different instructors these days, have too much of an emphasis on perfect technique --
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, probably. I think, like I said earlier, it's more accuracy. Like let's make sure we hit it in the fairway every time. But you know, I've done just fine. Laura Davies has done just fine. Obviously Ariya is doing just fine.

It doesn't matter if you hit it in the rough. The rough is normally not that penalizing, anyway. Most courses; this week obviously is a different story. But I feel like if you have a wedge in your hand, as opposed to a long iron or mid-iron, I'll take the wedge out of the rough all day, than having to hit like a 7-iron.

So I like it that players are being more aggressive and going after the clubs. That's how my dad taught me when I was growing up: We grip it and rip it and go find it.

CHRISTINA LANCE: We are shaping up for a pretty windy week, pretty windy out there. How does that factor for you?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: Wind is never fun. Obviously a little golf ball is only so big, so it gets affected quite a bit. It's better if it's kind of predominant. Like last week, I felt like it swirled a lot. So we never knew if it was into the wind or downwind.

This week, obviously it's blowing pretty strong, so you're going to be pretty confident on which way it's coming. But the last two days I've played in the morning before the wind. Wishful thinking that maybe the tournament days won't be too windy, but tomorrow I'm late in the afternoon so we'll play in it tomorrow.

The wind just kind of keeps you on your toes a little bit. It makes me think a little bit harder than what I probably normally would do. So it's probably a good thing for me if it is a little bit windier because then I have to concentrate a little bit more. But I don't personally like playing in the wind.

Q. Given you've won this event twice, any superstitions, or is there anything that you have to do or a place that you have to eat?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No. It's not normally something normally before the round. Although I have noticed when I go to the physio, like the trailer to get work done, whoever works on me on Thursday, if I play well Thursday, has to work on me the whole week, which is silly.

But no, there's no -- I don't have to stay in the same place or anything like that. Maybe I should. Maybe I'd do better.

THE MODERATOR: So two years ago, you made the jump -- where are those now?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, the one from 2015 is still just hanging in my closet kind of closed, and the one from Kraft in 2009, my dad had framed into a little shadowbox. We still have one out I can wear I guess but one is locked away.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Changing gears a bit, Solheim Cup this year and you are going to qualify for your fifth team. How much of a goal was that coming into 2017?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yes, that was my goal going into the season obviously winning in the Bahamas really helped get a few more points. Like you said, I've been on five teams already. To not be on another team and to not be on Juli's team, I mean, that would be devastating.

So my focus all year is going to be making the team and even when I feel like I'm already on the team, I'm still going to try to play harder to even move up further. Because like I said, I never would not want to be on a team. Just to come together as a team one time every two years and wear the red, white and blue colors and represent your country, I mean, there's nothing like it.

Obviously we have the Olympics now but prior to that, we didn't, and Solheim was kind of our Olympics. So to be on another team would be a dream come true.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Thank you are very much. Good luck this weekend and we'll see you out there on the golf course.

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