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August 2, 2017

Lexi Thompson

Fife, Scotland

Q. Good morning again. We have Lexi Thompson with us this morning. Thank you very much for coming, world No. 2. You've had a chance to see the course in a number of conditions now. What are your thoughts about it?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, I haven't really played the course in any rain yet. It was a bit windier the last few days, and actually today is perfect. Not really much wind, and the sun was out the whole time. But I did tee off at 7:15 so the greens are a bit softer due to the rain yesterday, but the course is in great shape for us. It's definitely one of my favourite layouts. That's for sure.

Q. If the weather were to stay reasonable this week, the conditions are probably relatively easier with softer greens and fast-running fairways; would that be the case?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, the conditions will definitely be a little easier just due to the rains yesterday, and putting some of the greens. The greens are a little bit more receptive. Sometimes you have a few ledges and it stops pretty quickly. The greens are a little bit slow just because with the big slopes on them they can't get too fast, but like I said, the course is in great shape for us this week.

Q. What was your reaction to moving to No. 2 in the world this week, your highest ranking so far?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I actually don't follow rankings at all. My dad actually told me because he watches that a little bit more. You know, it's not really something I focus on. I just go out, tee it up, and try to do my best any time I play in a tournament, and wherever my ranking goes, it goes.

Q. Statistically you've pretty much improved across the board this year. In what areas do you think your game has improved? And your bunker play has gone from like 100 to 1; did you make a big focus on that this year?
LEXI THOMPSON: I actually had somebody come up to me and tell me that and why the reasoning is. I think it's just because I worked on my short game a good amount in this off-season, and my putting. The putting changes that I made, I was making a lot more of the putts from the bunkers that I was hitting into, so I think that's why the change is so dramatic. But yeah, I just really worked hard in the off season on my short game, my chipping and my putting, because I knew that's what I needed to work on, and just playing more consistent golf has helped me out a lot this year.

Q. How do you feel you're going to get on here at Kingsbarns this week?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I feel good. I love the golf course. It's a great layout. I get to hit a good amount of drivers, which is nice. I'll put the 3-iron in the bag this week, just in case it does get windy out there, and yeah, I hit a lot of drivers and 3-woods. It's really all about picking the targets out there and committing to it, and obviously it depends on the conditions. If it gets super windy, it's all about just trusting your lines and seeing where it goes.

Q. Last night you said you had a bit of a problem with your teeth? Is that bothering you?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I have bad TMJ problems and it's been keeping me up the last few weeks. I maybe got two hours of sleep last night. It's been a little bit of a pain but something I've dealt with for a few years now. It just comes and goes.

Q. You're world No. 2; 10 of the top 20 in the world are from South Korea. Can you talk about what you think the secret of the success of South Korean women's golf is?
LEXI THOMPSON: You know, just amazing players. This Tour is so global. You get so many players from so many different countries, and it's not a matter of where you're from, it's a matter of the talent that you bring to each and every tournament, and they're amazing talents, and it shows in how they perform out there.

Q. It's all just down to their talent?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, they're hard workers. You know, they're always practising and working on their games, so it's well-deserved talent and the work that they get.

Q. Your teeth, what did you call it?
LEXI THOMPSON: TMJ. It's just from grinding your teeth. Yeah, just like severe pain in your teeth.

Q. What kind of input, if any, do you still get from your brothers about your golf?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, when we're all together, still, when we're not together, always giving each other advice, always there for each other, saying good luck and how are you doing. You know, they're always there for me. I think that's what's made me such a great player today. They're always there to help me with my golf swing if I'm ever struggling, and when we get together and are able to play matches it's always a good time. I'm very competitive.

Q. Do they take advice off you ever?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, they do, but I mean, I usually don't give them advice because I don't know the technical side of golf, so I can't be of much help. I'm there to support. I'm a great supporter.

Q. What do you remember from the first time you played links golf, and how do you think you've progressed in having a better handle on it?
LEXI THOMPSON: I remember the first time I played links golf it was down at Royal Birkdale, I believe, and it was the worst conditions I've ever played golf in. It was windy, cold, raining, and I was like, okay, I'm getting the full effects of the links-style golf and weather. But it was different. I know I hit a lot of low shots, low running shots, and being from Florida, it's so different because Florida, you're like, okay, what's the number to the pin, I'm landing it there. But it's a challenging style of golf, which is good. There's so many different shots you can hit to the green or chip shots, putt. There's a lot more thought in the shots, I think, in links style golf.

Q. You had a top-20 finish at Turnberry. The weather was pretty bad there, as well. It is something you've got used to?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, over the years it's definitely -- every British Open has given me that experience, and I've learned different shots and learned how not to play certain holes and just stay away from bunkers. But yeah, it's all been a learning experience over here and that's what you have to do.

Q. I'm assuming you'll be leaning quite heavily on Kevin this week; any wisdom he's given you for Kingsbarns?
LEXI THOMPSON: Basically everything. Yeah, having him caddie out here for four to five months has been a huge help. Stepping foot out here the first time on Monday, I was like, I have no idea. I mean, there could be a bunker over that hill, I don't know. So he was just telling me every line and what every green does hitting the shots into them, so it's been a huge help. He knows the greens very well.

Q. What's he brought to you over the last few months? How has your relationship developed? You've done pretty well since he took over on your bag.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it's great. Kevin is like my best friend. He's always there to hear me out and hear me vent on the golf course, and we laugh so much on the golf course. I've never been so relaxed out there, and he's definitely been a good change. He knows my game very well. He's a player, too, so it's good to have him on the bag. I'm very grateful.

Q. Would you explain how you play the 14th hole?
LEXI THOMPSON: The par-3? Oh, yeah, okay. That's a great hole. There's a lot of great holes, but that's a very challenging hole because they actually have us back pretty far. The pin is a little bit front today, and I still had 170 to that pin, so it's going to be between 7-iron and 5-iron, wind depending, and then pin placement. If they put that pin way back, it's just kind of hit it to the middle of the green and take your putt. But the prevailing wind has been left to right, so basically aim left center of the green, take it to the middle and take your putt. It's a par hole. You don't want to get too crazy with it.

Q. The men's tour obviously play the Scottish Open before the British Open. Do you think having these events the week before the major is a big help to the likes of yourself coming across and becoming accustomed to more links golf?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I actually do think it's a good idea. I know I didn't play last week just because I wanted to be home with my family, but yeah, I do think it's a good idea. It's a great warmup. I think it could be good and bad just weather condition wise because it is very tiring to play in the kind of weather with the rain, the wind. It's mentally draining. But I definitely think it is a good warmup to get that style of golf in play coming into a major.

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