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June 28, 2017

Stacy Lewis

Olympia Fields, Illinois

CHRISTINA LANCE: Welcome back to the media center. Happy to be joined by world No. 17 Stacy Lewis, proud KPMG ambassador. She's got 11 LPGA victories, including the 2013 Ricoh Women's British Open and the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship, which you now know as the ANA Inspiration. This year in 13 events, Stacy has made 13 cuts with four top-10 finishes. Welcome to Olympia Fields.

STACY LEWIS: Thank you.

CHRISTINA LANCE: You said your first time here was media day. You've now got 36 holes under your belt. What are your thoughts on the North Course?

STACY LEWIS: I think it's an unbelievable golf course. I love walking on a property like this and driving in you just -- it feels big. It feels like a major. When I played a month ago, it was unbelievable, and it's still unbelievable. The condition, you know, the best thing about these type of golf courses is whether you play it during a tournament or whether you play it six months from now, it's going to be in the same condition. It's just -- they just do an unbelievable job of taking care of the golf course, and it's hard, it's going to be a great test, and I'm excited. I'm excited for the Tour and everybody to be here.

CHRISTINA LANCE: We're in the third year of the development of the KPMG Women's PGA, and I've heard several times this week without Stacy we wouldn't have this tournament. No pressure on you, but how involved really were you and are you in the work with KPMG and the development of programs like this?

STACY LEWIS: I would say I was definitely part of the idea of all this. I've always kind of pushed a lot of my sponsors to get involved with the Tour and sponsor events, and that's why you can look at me and pick out title sponsors, and I'm just proud of that. I'm proud of getting my sponsors involved with the Tour. This event, the idea to host a tournament kind of just came from a day with KPMG that I just kind of started talking about empowering women and developing role models and things like that, and John Veihmeyer kind of took off with the idea from there. So I'm proud of my involvement. I'm proud that I brought them to the table, and they've just continued to raise the bar with this event. It's just -- all the little things going on and all the events, it's unbelievable what they're doing for the Tour and for just women in general.

CHRISTINA LANCE: I know you're a student of LPGA history, very proud to look back at where we came from, involved with the founders film. How do you feel like the LPGA has gone on to fulfill the vision of the founders?

STACY LEWIS: Well, I think initially probably a lot of our founders and past players were upset that we were losing the LPGA championship and losing that name, but I think we've done a good job of keeping the history of it. They have a past champions dinner tonight, inviting former champions back, and keeping the TNP teaching division, keeping those members, those spots for them to be able to play, I think they kept a lot of traditions in the history of this tournament alive, and then just added to it. I think that was very important to this championship and to all of our founders and the past members, as well.

Q. I'm curious as to whether you think this course favors any particular player, either ball flight, left or right, right or left, long or short? Is there a favorite out here?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think a long hitter has an advantage on any golf course. But I do think this golf course is opened up to a lot of different types of players because it's going to be about kind of who can think their way around the best, who can leave it in the right spots. It's really going to be kind of a thinker's course and plotting your way around because there's quite a few holes that I don't need driver on, so Ariya never hits driver, but someone like Lexi's length there's holes where driver is taken out of play, but then there's opportunities for her to hit driver and go over bunkers. I really think it opens the door for a lot of different types of players, which is good. I think sometimes we get stuck on bomber's golf courses, so I think it's good.

Q. Yesterday Mike Whan said that if he accomplishes nothing else as commissioner, this might be his greatest accomplishment. Sort of where do you put your involvement in the creation of this tournament in terms of your career achievements?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, I don't know, as a player I always think about playing accomplishments, but I think the fact that we're now signed on this event through 2023, that's probably what I'm more proud of is we now have -- we now have this major is locked in through 2023. I mean, that's the best thing I could ever ask for because what I want to do, when I became a player here, is I wanted to make sure that these girls that are watching us have a place to play, and now for the next six, seven years, these girls coming out have this major championship to play in. The purse is continuing to go up, and that's what I'm most proud of is that we've created kind of -- I don't even know the word for it. I can't think of the word for it right now. But we've created a traditional that they're going to come and be able to play in this event. You know, I would say -- I don't know if it's one of my most proud moments if I compare it to on the golf course, but I'm pretty proud of what we've been able to do.

Q. In the vein of the contract extension here, earlier this month it was announced that golf has been green lighted for the 2024 Games. As someone who played in Rio, how much does that mean for women's golf, that golf will be around for at least two more Olympics?
STACY LEWIS: I think it's great. I thought the Olympics was an unbelievable opportunity. I would go back and do it again in a second. I don't care what country it's in, I'd probably go back and do it. I think you look at now, eight years from now, so kids that are 12, 14 years old can say I want to play in the 2024 Olympics, and that's pretty cool. You give kids something to look forward to, something to look forward to playing in that's not just three or four years from now that's down the road. I think that's a big deal. I think it's a big deal for golf to be involved, and I think you look at our Tour, it's just going to become more global. I don't know how it can be, but I think it's going to be.

Q. It's going to be in Paris, so --
STACY LEWIS: No, Paris wouldn't be too bad, either.

Q. Stacy, you look pretty set for the Solheim Cup, but just how much interest do you have in seeing what's going to happen in the next six weeks with three double points, and some potentially new faces. Can you just kind of give us your overview on what's happening with the Solheim Cup race and what you think of it?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it's interesting to say the least. You know, Michelle has made quite the push over the last few weeks, which you kind of expect. She's a competitor. She wants to be there. But then you have some veterans that have been there the last probably five or six Solheims that have struggled lately. As much as you want those veterans there, I think the new talent is a good thing. I think at some point, these younger players coming up are going to -- they're going to have to play their first Solheim at some point, so I'm not too worried about the team. I'm paying attention. I'm kind of watching because I know I'm going to get a phone call that Juli is going to want my opinion, so I'm having to do a little bit of homework and pay attention.

But I really think the next six weeks or so, it's going to play itself out. The people that are playing the best are going to be on the team, and there may be one spot that's up in the air, but I think 10 or 11 are going to be pretty solid. You know, I like the way the team is shaping up. I like the way people are playing, and my partner is going to be there, so I'm looking forward to that, too.

Q. We've talked a lot about the depth of the Tour over the years. There's a bit of a shuffle going on at the top right now, changing a lot. Is that good for the Tour, and do you think that even more people will be getting in that mix, or what do you see with three majors coming up?
STACY LEWIS: I don't know if it's good for the Tour or not. I mean, we've had the dominant players in the past. You've had with myself and Inbee going back and forth. I don't know if it's good or not. I mean, is it hard to win out here? Absolutely. Is it harder to dominate now than it was say five or six years ago? Absolutely. I think the level of play is as good as I've ever seen it, so I just don't think you're going to see a player be a dominant No. 1 just because everybody hits it far, everybody hits the greens, everybody putts it good. There's really -- with technology right now, there's not a whole lot separating players other than kind of what's up here, what's in the mind, what makes somebody just a little bit better. I think there's just going to continue to be that shuffle. I just -- I think everybody is good. Everybody is just that good.

But I think it's -- personally, I think it's a good thing. I like -- as a player I think you like to see it that way versus just a dominant No. 1.

Q. Can I just get a quick comment on the current No. 1? What impresses you the most about So Yeon?
STACY LEWIS: She's so unassuming. I was reading an article after she won Arkansas, I didn't realize how many -- from October last year until May of this year that she didn't finish outside the top 10. That's crazy impressive, and nobody really knows it. But she's a great player. I mean, great competitors. Probably the perfect person to have won with Lexi's deal at ANA. She's somebody that could have handled that situation with grace. But it's not a fluke that she won, either, because that's how good she's been playing over the last year. It's not a surprise to see her be No. 1. I think it was just a matter of time.

Q. This may be sort of the same, but your scoring average this year is actually lower than it was when you won the Vare Trophy. Is that an indication of how much -- how deep the talent pool is out here now?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it is. I think that's a good one. I personally think a lot of it is the setup of the golf courses lately. They've gotten a lot softer for some reason, and so in general scores have been lower across the board, not just mine. So you know, whether that's the Tour just wanting to see more birdies and wanting to make better TV, whatever it is, I don't know, I just think golf courses have gotten a little bit easier over the last year or so, and I would personally like to see it be a little bit tougher, but who knows.

Q. Given your scoring average and coming off a T4 last week in Arkansas, what's the key for you, if there is one, with how the course is set up here at Olympia Fields to be in contention come the weekend?
STACY LEWIS: I think when I talked about just missing it in the right places. I think that's the key to the golf course. I think you can miss it off the tee in the wrong places and really be in trouble, and I think you can miss it around greens and be struggling to make bogeys. I think missing it in the right places and getting enough sleep at night and being rested after these last couple weeks. I'm kind of running on fumes, so that's my most important thing for the next few days.

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