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March 29, 2017

Lexi Thompson

Rancho Mirage, California

CHRISTINA LANCE: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to the media center here at the ANA Inspiration. We are joined by world No. 9 Lexi Thompson. She's the highest-ranked American in the Rolex Rankings, and also our 2014 ANA champion and has finished in the top seven the last three years.

Lexi, thanks for being here today.

LEXI THOMPSON: Thanks for having me.

CHRISTINA LANCE: I'll take you back to yesterday when you participated in the ANA Inspiring Women in Sports Conference. Had a great panel with Aly Raisman from the USA Women's Gymnastic Team, and you were talking about the marketing and social media of young athletes.

What was that experience like, and what do you hope people took away from your chat with Aly?

LEXI THOMPSON: It was incredible. Just to meet Aly and just to be up there and just to hear her speak about it, as well. We both have mutual feelings about it all, and really, similar lifestyles with how much we've trained. I'm sure she's trained a lot harder than me, that's for sure.

It was just an honor to meet her. I know what she's accomplished, and I also got to meet Maria there. It was just a true honor. I heard -- I went to the Pro-Am party last night, and so many people just enjoyed the talk we had, and it just looked like we enjoyed ourselves, which we did, and that's what we wanted to show.

CHRISTINA LANCE: One of your quotes that I saw coming out of that was, "strong is beautiful," which is a great thing to say, especially to the next generation and you talk about your athleticism. And I love that you use social media to be able to share your fitness regime and practice routine with young girls.

Tell me about what goes into that and how you've really embraced that opportunity to reach out to the next generation.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, I do believe strong is beautiful. A lot of people say muscles are not attractive and lifting weights makes women bulky, but I believe it's the total opposite. Strong is beautiful now and I want that to show.

A lot of people that follow me on Instagram want to see my personal life and what do I do to train, practice or what do I do off the golf course, just to enjoy life. I'm happy to be able to show them; give a little insight on the real Lexi Thompson, not just the pro golfer.

CHRISTINA LANCE: You were also out taking a swing last night in your Pro-Am gear.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, you know, I was just looking at a few swing videos earlier that day when I played and just saw a little something that I needed to work on. I was just doing drills on the front lawn before I was going to my Pro-Am party. It's just like the little things. I can't stop thinking about golf. It's hard to turn off.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Well, let's take it to golf then. I know you are playing this afternoon, but you were out yesterday. How is the golf course looking out there as we get ready for Thursday?

LEXI THOMPSON: The course is in amazing shape. Probably the best I've seen it. The greens are firm. You know, it's all wind depending. I know it's supposed to be windy here and there the next few days, so we'll see how that turns out. But the course can't be any better. The greens are rolling just spectacular and I'm really looking forward to the week once again.

Q. You mentioned the wind, so I'll mention the wind. You've played enough to where you've played in some windy conditions. Tomorrow might be kind of bad. How much does the wind affect your game, because you've kind of got that power, long-hitting game. Is that worse for you than it would be for old me?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I can't answer that, but how it affects me, it's really all on just more controlled shots. The greens are a little firmer, so if they do tuck some pins; if it gets windy out, it's more just playing to the center of the greens and giving yourself a putt. Some holes are going to be just get a par and get off the hole.

But yeah, it's really on taking more club and just swinging easier, that way you make better contact and the ball doesn't get spinny up in the air.

Q. Given there won't be any wind Friday, Saturday and Sunday, do you consider this a long-hitter's golf course? Some people think it is, because of you and Brittany's success, and some people obviously don't think it is.
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I think it kind of favors. I do hit a lot of drivers out on this golf course, but it's really all in just keeping it in the fairways because they always grow the rough up pretty deep, and you don't want to be hitting out of the rough to these firm greens this week.

So it's all a matter of precise hitting, hitting in the fairway and going from there.

CHRISTINA LANCE: I like that you were talking about social media. What's kind of your approach during tournament weeks, and especially this being a major? Do you kind of dial back your activity on social, or how do you approach social media on the weekend?

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, it's about the same. I would say leading up to it, it's about the same. I interact on social media with pictures, with how I'm prepping for the major.

But usually once the tournament starts, I kind of tone it down and don't really look at any comments because then people are involved with your scores and everything. I try to stay off it, just focus on being around my family and enjoying the week.

CHRISTINA LANCE: You started your elite golf career at such a young age and you're already playing your eighth time here at Mission Hills. You had such success and what do you hope young girls, maybe some of the amateurs that are here this week, can take away from your journey starting so young and working your way up?

LEXI THOMPSON: First of all, I think it's a great opportunity for these amateurs to be playing in the field, not only as a learning experience, but I think they will just truly enjoy just being around some of the players that they look up to and hope to aspire to be. I just wanted to show them that I'm out here following my dreams and I'm doing something I love, and that's what I want to show to them and hopefully they do the same.

CHRISTINA LANCE: What's your favorite aspect of this golf course? What makes it special for you?

LEXI THOMPSON: What makes it special? Just this whole week in general, I would say is my favorite week. Both my parents come here. We rent a house and my mom cooks, so it kind of feels like I'm at home. And it's just beautiful here and the course is in amazing shape. It doesn't get any better than this, and the fans, too. The fans are always very supportive of me here. Even if I'm not playing well, they are always there cheering me up. So it's the best.

Q. Obviously you're a winner here. When you come back here, you getting to go to the champion's dinner and you get to, what does it feel like when you come back here? Does it feel like back when you won it, or is it just like, okay, it's a big tournament, but one that you happen to have won?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, this is a very special tournament to me because it was the first major that I've ever won. Just to be able to go to that champion's dinner, being around all those women that I've won this tournament, and role models that I looked up to; it's a huge honor to go to that dinner.

Just this whole week in general, it's very special to me. Obviously it's a very big tournament but just the history behind it and the tradition, it's just overall very special.

Q. I know that you worked real hard in the off-season on your putting. Can you update us on kind of how you feel about your putting and have you made any recent changes, or have you stuck to what you committed to in the off-season?
LEXI THOMPSON: I haven't made any other changes besides the few that I told you about, which was changing to the Bettinardi Queen B and moving a lot closer, getting my eye over the ball, taking it straighter back and opening my eyes.

Besides those changes, I've just stuck with those and just trying to keep the confidence up. You know, I have my bad days, I have my good days, but that's all in putting. Putting is so precise, so it be just a matter of half a ball off and a read, and you miss the putt. It's just all about confidence and that's what I'm sticking with.

CHRISTINA LANCE: One last question for you. I'm going to look ahead maybe a little bit. It's a Solheim Cup year, a lot of fun and you're working toward qualifying. For those who have not attended a Solheim Cup or been able to see that event, what's that like and how special -- I know you are particularly tied in with the military and very proud of your country; to represent the USA at the Solheim Cup.

LEXI THOMPSON: Of course. Words can't even describe how special that event is to me. Any time I can represent my country, it's my No. 1 goal to be on that team. There's nothing like waking up, putting on my country's colors and going out and teeing it up for my country.

Golf is such an individual sport, so the opportunity to play as a team, and you know, just represent your country, there's nothing like it. And then that first tee shot I always say is usually the most nervous I'll ever be on the golf course but it's the best. That's what I play golf for, to feel like that, and just to hear the crowds cheer USA, it's the best feeling; and to make putts under pressure, to pull off shots, it's great.

If anybody has the opportunity to go watch it, I definitely recommend it.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Thanks so much for that. I hope the crowds are cheering for you this week. Enjoy your time out there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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