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June 27, 2017

Ariya Jutanugarn

Olympia Fields, Illinois

CHRISTINA LANCE: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Very glad to be with you today. My name is Christina Lance. I'm with the LPGA media department, and I'm very honored to be joined by world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand. Ariya earlier this year won the Manulife LPGA Classic with a 25-foot birdie on the first playoff hole with In Gee Chun and Lexi Thompson that sent her to world No. 1, where she sat for two weeks.

She has six career LPGA victories, including the 2016 Ricoh Women's British Open, and Ariya has a nice distinction this week, I think she's the only player in the field who already has a win here at Olympia Fields. This is where she took the 2011 U.S. Girls Junior title over on the South Course. Welcome back to Olympia Fields area. Any good memories of this place for you?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Yeah, I have really good memories here. I know it's a different course, but when I got here, I feel like, oh, I'm here before, like with my caddie, when my sister caddied for me, and we had so much fun.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Looking to this year, you haven't missed a cut this year in your 14 events. You've got nine top 10s, a couple of runner-up finishes to go with that win. What has been the key to your success this year do you think?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I think this year my goal, I mean, I just feel like I want to go out and have fun and really want to enjoy my game because it's going to be a lot of expectations from other people, and I just really want to go out there and have fun, and of course I try to improve my game, like my short game, my half swing short.

CHRISTINA LANCE: You talk about having fun; I'm guessing some of that has to do with your work with Vision54. Talk about how that has really impacted the way you play the game.

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I've been working with them since late last year in Phoenix, so they have helped me like one year. They helped me a lot, like sometimes how to have fun, how to be happy on the course, and they help me to focus on the things in my control, so don't think about the outcome too much.

CHRISTINA LANCE: You had a nice week off last week a little rest and relaxation, said you did a lot of nothing, but how do you feel coming into Olympia Fields this week?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Really excited. I'm really looking forward for the week, because like second major of the year, and you know, the course pretty hard and I have played 18 already and I know it's going to be so hard, so tough in like the tournament.

Q. When you won, by your own admission, you didn't hit it as well as you thought you could. But you won; do you feel you're at the point now where you don't have to be perfect in order to win?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I mean, my golf game, I'm never looking for perfect golf, you know, I always just like feel like if I can hit the ball and even if I can have a good commitment, that's good for me.

Q. How much of a comfort factor is it to come back to a place where you've not only played well but won, even if it's on a different course, and second, as complete as you thought your game was in 2011, how much further have you advanced since then?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I feel comfortable to come back here, but I mean, I don't have a great memory, but it's a different course than when I played here as a junior. Right now I'm professional, and everything is different, but I feel comfortable to come back here.

My game has grown up a lot. I can't believe when I come here I'm going to hit at the range, and I remind me like six years ago when I hit at the range here, it's a lot different.

Q. Your sister has had a nice run, contended, almost won, the last few weeks. How much are you rooting for her to join you as an LPGA winner?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I've been waiting for that for like three years already, and I'm pretty sure she's going to reach her goal really soon because she works hard and she deserves -- she keeps playing so good the last few weeks.

Q. Your win at Manulife earlier this month made you world No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings. Obviously So Yeon has won, she's No. 1 in the world. There's a lot of top players right now on the LPGA, and it looks like it might bounce around. How much does it mean to you to be world No. 1?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I mean, it means a lot to me, but I think the most important thing is not about the ranking. It's more like how I'm going to play golf. Like I really want to be happy on the course and how I'm going to handle all the pressure and how I'm going to have fun. I think the ranking is just like, if I get there, I get there. If not, so what, I'm just going to go out and have fun and do the same thing I've been working on since late last year.

Q. I know, you, Lydia, So Yeon have bounced around World No. 1, In Gee and Lexi are all very close. What's it like playing out on Tour with so many strong players out there?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: I think I have so much fun because like I know they're great, they're amazing golfers, they can win in any tournament, and they can become No. 1 in any week, we never know, and that made me feel easier because I don't have to worry about the ranking because I know they're great and they can win any tournament.

Q. Do you think that takes some of the pressure off you?

Q. Any specific memory of besides winning here six years ago, anything specific, any memories come to mind?

CHRISTINA LANCE: Talking to me?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Yeah, talking to you. You know, I fight with my sister a lot, I remember, and like it's match play, so last three days I played 36 holes, and I know like final round I can't walk anymore because I'm so tired, but my sister carried the bag and walked like 100 yards past me, and that's my memory, and we fight a lot. I want to do this, she don't want me to do this. I want to go like par-5, I want to go to the green, she don't want me to go, and that's kind of my memory.

CHRISTINA LANCE: She was injured that week, correct?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Yeah, she's supposed to play, but she injured her knee or her wrist, I'm not sure, and she caddied for me.

Q. Was that the only time she's ever caddied for you?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: No, she has caddied for me like a few times, and every time we fight. But I always beat her.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Do you still fight?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Yeah, we do. Every day we can fight with everything. Everything.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Who normally wins?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Of course me. Look how big I am.

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