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July 11, 2017

Lexi Thompson

Bedminster, New Jersey

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Welcome to the 2017 U.S. Women's Open Championship. Very happy to introduce this afternoon Lexi Thompson who is a USGA champion, won the 2008 U.S. Girl's Championship up in Connecticut.

A year later she came back and was defending champion at the girl's championship here. One of the players in this field this week who obviously played in the championship before.

Lexi, do you have any memories of the golf course that week and anything that you bring into the Women's Open this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: I don't remember anything. I don't have the best memory. That's good and bad with golf. I do remember the clubhouse and just like the scenery and everything, I remember it was a beautiful golf course and week here. But that's it. But I've gotten to play it yesterday, 18 holes, and 9 holes today. It's in perfect shape.

THE MODERATOR: The conditions, can you talk a little bit about the conditions and what you found out there and what you expect this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: It's really in perfect shape for us. Greens are rolling super quick which we expect from a U.S. Women's Open. It is a bit softer due to the rain the last few weeks and a few days but it's playing long.

So, you know, long course and softer greens kind of actually works hand-in-hand with just the little longer clubs coming into the green. U.S. Women's Open golf course.

THE MODERATOR: You're playing extremely well. Seven Top-10 finishes this season, a victory. Can you talk about your play?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. Definitely been a good start to the year. I worked extremely hard in the off-season and working very hard on my short game, trying to improve that the most.

I did a lot of putting practice and short game practice and it's definitely shown but I just came into the year wanting to play consistent golf and I think that's showing and I'm just continuing to work hard on my off weeks and going to that next tournament with a positive attitude.

THE MODERATOR: Excellent. Thank very much.

Q. Lexi, different courses for different horses.
Is this a good course for you and, if so, why?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. I think it is a good golf course for my game. It is playing long and I get to hit a lot drivers out here, if it's not a 3-wood.

Just a little bit more placement on a few of holes. It's definitely a longer golf course. I like -- you would like shorter clubs coming into these greens with the runoffs and the slopes of them being there.

Q. Lexi, two questions. Is your mom here, first of all, and how is she doing?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, my mom is here, she's doing very well.

Q. In the back.
LEXI THOMPSON: She had her last radiation treatment last Wednesday. She's here supporting me. Happy to have her here.

Q. I was curious if you saw the Jon Rahm ruling at the Irish Open and maybe your thought on how the new standard of reasonable judgment was applied there.
LEXI THOMPSON: I heard about it but I didn't actually even see it. I don't watch golf really, you know. I have so much of golf, I'm more of a movie watcher.

I had heard about it but, honestly, I didn't watch it. I couldn't even tell you what happened but I know he won and won by I think six. So, it's pretty spectacular.

Q. Because we are here at Trump National, we've been asking some questions about the President and as you probably know Brittany Lincicome said to the Chicago Tribune she would prefer that the President not show up here just to take away from the -- from the play of all you guys and maybe draw attention away from all of you.
Do you agree with Brittany on that?

LEXI THOMPSON: You know, like I just said, I have just heard about her comment. I didn't know what she had said exactly but you know, this is our U.S. Women's Open, this is our championship and I'm just super honored to be here.

Like I was telling her, it's an amazing golf course and great tract for this championship and I'm just going to focus on my play this week.

Q. First, you're playing well this season and I'm just wonder winning the U.S. Open was huge and as you said like every element -- every element is very important but what's the key element, what's the most key element you think winning the U.S. Open?
LEXI THOMPSON: Winning the U.S. Women's Open, I would say the key element is really patience mentally. It is a very mentally draining week so just to be patient out on the golf course. But, talent-wise for this golf course, I think to hit fairways just because it is a longer course and you want a shot from the fairway into these greens because they are super-undulated and have runoffs so you want a shot with the most spin that you can coming into them.

Q. The other question is, about Ai Miyazato. She announced retirement. Do you have any memory to share with her or do you have any story with her?
LEXI THOMPSON: I wouldn't say I have a memory about her. I've gotten to play with Ai quite a bit and I think she is the most likeable person out here. Everybody absolutely loves her.

She's got a great personal personality and obviously a great game with the amount of wins and what she's done for the game. You know, it's good for her. I think she's done what she's needed to with the game and she's been one of my good friends out here. Always smiling. It's just great to be around her.

Q. I know you said you're honored to be here but given some of the comments that the President has made or directed towards women in the last year, two years, did you have any reservations about playing this event since it is on a Trump property or have you heard any of your peers express those kinds of reservations?
LEXI THOMPSON: No, I haven't heard really any reservations about it. You know, I'm not into politics at all. I'm really just all golf. That's all I focus on and I'm just going to focus on my play this week. That's all I'm here for. Everything else everybody else can focus us. I'm here to golf.

Q. Lexi, can you talk about the density of the rough out here? It seems to be very uniform so that there's really not much of a chance.
I saw your shot on 17 when you came out of the left rough which was a phenomenal shot given the lie.

Could you talk about that and then can you also talk about the nature of how difficult it is to get near the pin on 16 especially where the back pin was today?

Your ball ran off to the side. Just talk about those two ingredients, density of the rough and how challenging 16 will play for the duration of the week.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. The rough is pretty thick. On some holes it is definitely thicker than others. There's like a first cut and a second cut that's even thicker. Then around the greens, it's tough. It's more of like a bunker shot you have to hit from around the greens because it buries.

But, yeah, you can get lucky and get a good lie like I did on 17 but it still came out with a lot of overspin. It's tough to judge but that's what U.S. Women's Open always has, usually deep rough.

16 is definitely a tough green to get it close to. I hit my shot, landed pin high but the green rolls off to the back. That's why it ran through. Yeah, just all in picking a number and committing to that on that green.

Q. Lexi, you mentioned your mom is here, finished up radiation last week. What has it been like for you both on and off the golf course trying to focus on your game yet having thoughts of her and her battle of getting better?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. It's definitely been tough. We've known kind of since Kingsmill and definitely been a hard hit. Just finding out that news and trying to play golf at the same time -- and my mom and I are so close, we're best friends, we always tell each other everything, we're always hanging out every time I go home and the few events that she does get to come to it's always the best, and, yeah, to hear that was definitely difficult. I was trying to focus as much as I could on the golf course but it was tough inside. It was hard not to show that.

Q. How inspiring is it to see her out here this week that might help you in a Major championship?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. It really is. She's the strongest woman I know and I always say I want to be half the woman that she is when I grow up and she's been a role model of mine and, like I said, she's my best friend and great to have her out here supporting me.

Q. Lexi, it seems if you look at the history of women's golf you have years where there are dominant players like Annika or Karrie Webb or Nancy Lopez and Lorena.
What has happened to women's golf where it's now kind of anybody can win any given day?

LEXI THOMPSON: I think it just shows the amount of talent that's out here. It's getting better and better. Each and every year we get a group of rookies that come out. This Tour is so global.

Doesn't matter where you come from. Everybody is coming from everywhere now and they have such a amazing tenant. You never know who is going to win. I think we had a different winner every tournament this year.

Yeah, like I said, it's just the amount of talent that these girls bring to the table. That's why you're seeing all the different winners.

THE MODERATOR: Lexi, we actually had a dinner last night for the USGA, for all the amateur players who are in the field. Julie Inskter spoke and some of the players talked about their inspiration.

This is your 11th Women's Open. Some of them list you as someone who they really look up to and inspire to play and be like.

What does that mean to you, can you believe that this is your 11th Women's Open already and what does it mean to you to hear that you are now an inspiration for these younger up and coming players?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. It's pretty crazy to think this is my 11th U.S. Women's Open. It's been amazing ever since I've got to play when I was 12 years old. Quite the experience.

I knew ever since I teed it up there that this is what I wanted to do, play on this Tour. But I've actually gotten to play with amateurs my first few practice rounds and they're great players and they're fun to play with but to hear them say that I'm an inspiration to them, it's a huge honor to me, means the world that I have girls looking up to me that aren't that much younger than me and, you know, that's what I want to be, I want to show them I'm following my dreams and doing something I love and that I'm working hard for it and that's what you have to do and I want to show them that.

THE MODERATOR: That's great. Lexi, thank you so much for being here. Look forward to watching you this week. Always a pleasure to welcome you here and great to see your family. Thanks for being here.

LEXI THOMPSON: Thank you so much.

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