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June 6, 2017

Caroline Masson

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

THE MODERATOR: It is my pleasure to welcome Caroline Masson into the media center, defending ManuLife LPGA Classic champion.

First off, how does it feel to be back?

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it's obviously a great feeling. I mean, I was back here a couple weeks ago for the media day and I was really excited for that, just to get back here.

Yeah, obviously this week is really special to me. It's my first time defending, and, yeah, I'm just trying to soak it all in and trying to bring back those memories and those feeling that I had last year winning.

Yeah, just really trying to enjoy the week.

THE MODERATOR: So talking about some of those memories, take me back to when you became a Rolex first-time winner last September right here.

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, you know, it was just a fun day. I was kind of up there, but I remember the field being really packed so there was a bunch of players that had a chance to win.

Yeah, started off my round with a double bogey on the 1st. That's obviously a little disappointing. Then, yeah, just had a great round from then on. Made a bunch of birdies.

Came down the stretch not being in the last group. Kind of didn't feel too much pressure. I knew I was up there, but at the same time, I didn't really watch what other players were doing. Yeah, just had a really good round after the 1st hole.

Yeah, obviously I've been on this tour for -- this is my fifth year, so for four years last year. The goal is always to win. I felt for a long time that I was good enough do it. At the same time, a lot of things have to come together that week to really pull it off.

Yeah, just really great feeling to finally get that first win I think against a really good field with a lot of top players up there. Just great memories for me. I'll definitely remember that forever.

THE MODERATOR: You've never finished outside of top 10 year. What is it about this course, maybe the atmosphere that really gets you going?

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, first of all, I love Canada. I don't know why. I always feel like I love coming here. Reminds me a little bit of home with just how everything looks and how green it is.

You know, it's always important that you feel comfortable where you play. The course just sets up pretty good for me. It fits my eye I guess. You can't force that. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it didn't.

Yeah, just feel really comfortable. Feel like it's a fun course. You can make a lot birdies, but it's still challenging with the wind usually being up.

Yeah, it's just a feeling of a little bit of coming home in a way and feeling comfortable. Yeah, just always having a good time in Canada with the crowds being really supportive, too. Always fun.

THE MODERATOR: What's your goal? Anything you're working on this week to set up a successful title defense?

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, you know, I've been working hard. I've changed coaches in the winter and changed couple things about my golf swing. Really trying to maintain that.

I started off pretty well this year, and obviously the old mistakes kind of creep in again. For me, I had a couple lessons last week. I was off and home in Orlando practicing. So work on that stuff, and then once I go out on the golf course just really not thinking about technique and all that stuff. Just trying to get that positive feeling again and have fun and make a bunch of birdies.


Q. How important is the Solheim Cup to you? Is that on your radar this time of year to try to earn a couple more points to get on that team?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it's always on my mind. It's the biggest week for all of us. It's a fun tournament. I was lucky enough to play it twice already.

It is in the back of my mind. I've been to the team practice just a few weeks ago in Iowa. We played the course, which was fun just have to an idea of what to expect.

At the same time, I've learned a little bit from my mistakes, that last one being in Germany. I really wanted to be on that team and maybe put a little too much pressure on myself to really make it.

I mean, Solheim Cup is great, but it's a little bit of a result of how you play for two years basically, so you can't have it on your mind while playing another tournament. I'm just pretty relaxed about it, to be honest. Just try to play well every week and not focus on it too much.

Obviously, yeah, huge goal of mine. I'm pretty confident that I can pull off a few good results to make sure I'm on the team.

Q. Yeah, when you were here for media day you were saying the biggest thrill would you be when you get announced as defending champion. Now that you're here for tournament week, are you getting that defending-champion feeling and soaking it in?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I think so. Couple people came up to me, volunteers and fans and said, Hey, welcome back, defending champion, cool, all that stuff. Yeah, I'm feeling very positive about the week. Just having a good time. Like I said, just really trying to enjoy that feeling because it doesn't come very often.

Obviously, like I said, I think it's a pretty cool moment hopefully to be introduced as the defending champion. After that, it's just another golf tournament. I have to focus on my golf and get that mindset that obviously I want to win this week, like I want to every week.

There is no reason to relax or whatever just because I won last year. Really for the next couple days preparing. I'll really enjoy the atmosphere for me and try to bring back those memories. But then once the tournament starts, just have to get back to business, I guess.

Q. And you said during the off season you made some changes. You made eight of ten cuts this year. Do you feel that win gave you that confidence, that first tournament win, that now you know you can do it when you're going into these tournaments?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, I figured I was going to be good enough to win, but at the same time, you have to pull it off one time. I know I can win now.

Obviously the quality of players is huge. It's getting better every year. You really have to have a great week and a lot of things have to go your way to win.

It's a good feeling to know that I can do it. You know, it's really important to have that mindset I think going into every week. Maybe there are some weeks where, whatever, your swing doesn't feel good or you're not hitting it great, but still believing that you can really win any week.

You know, it gave me a huge confidence boost, I think. Yeah, gave me the time to maybe make some changes that I wanted to do for a while and not having to obviously worry about where I am in the rankings or my tour card or anything like that.

I think it puts you on a new level for definitely confidence.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions?

I have one. We're in the midst of this massive 12-week tournament stretch. You took last week off. What's your strategy for dealing with so much golf over a 12-week period?

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I mean, that's been another good thing about the win. I feel like I can really take some weeks off if I feel like I have to and work on my game, go home.

You know, I think every player is different. Some players want to play ten weeks in a row if possible; others can do a max of maybe three.

I think it's important as a player to figure out what works best for you. I feel like if I play that many weeks in a row I kind of get burned out a little bit. For me, it was nice to take last week off after two tournaments before that, and, like I said, work on my swing, which was really a good move, and be fresh and ready for that stretch.

Now I'm planning on playing six in a row, which is a lot. It's just important to take your days off and not overdo it with practice and burn yourself out.

I think it's a process. I've been a professional for eight years now, and I kind of slowly am figuring out what's best for me. I think that's a huge part of being a professional. It's not just about playing great golf, but it's about scheduling and knowing what works best for you.

Yeah, it's going to be really busy and I am really looking forward to it. Three majors in that stretch and great golf courses coming up and great tournaments.

Yeah, I'm extremely excited, and hopefully I can peak at the right time.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? Final one from me: We were just chatting before and you said your mom is here this week with you and she doesn't always get the opportunity to come out. What's it going to mean to have her following you around this week?

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it's just fun to have her out. We had a great week last week in Orlando. You know, like you said, my parents don't get to come out that often, so makes it even more special. And obviously this week, which is a special week for me, I just wanted her to be here with me and kind of see -- because last year I was all by myself.

My boyfriend is a caddie, right? Most of the time we're out here together. Last year he was in Korea with his player and I got my first win and nobody was there.

I'm like, Okay, you got to come and at least see the place and get an idea what it was like. Yeah, it's fun to have her out here and spend some time with her, which doesn't happen very often.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us so much. Best of luck this week.


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