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August 10, 2017

Lauren Stephenson

San Diego, California

Q. So you're in the US Women's Amateur quarterfinals. Tell me your initial feelings about that.
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I'm really excited. This is the farthest I've made it. Just to be here is a great opportunity to test my game against the best, especially in match play. It's such a fun format. I'm really excited.

Q. Do you think playing in this as many times previously as you have has prepared you?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, I think the more experience you have, the better off you are. I've had four years of experience, so I'm not really too nervous out there, just kind of taking it in as it comes, and enjoying the moment.

Q. You got off to a big start in this past match. How much do you think -- how big of an advantage is that knowing that you put so much pressure on your opponent early?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I think just for me, I've been hitting the ball really well and just playing solid golf, so it definitely makes it harder on an opponent when you're keeping it in the short grass and putting it on the greens. It's hard to kind of match up with that. You're having to make birdies to win the holes instead of sometimes you're making pars.

Q. I think you went 5-up pretty early in this. Any specific shots, holes that stand out, birdies that were made? Any memorable highlights from that early stretch?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I got in a little bit of trouble on 2 after I lost the first hole, and I hit my drive left and had to punch out. But I hit a really good third shot to about six feet and ended up winning that hole, so I think that's where it kind of turned it around.

Q. Now what's your mindset going into tomorrow? TV is here; how does that affect you? Does the pressure get ramped up or do you find it easier the farther you go?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I think just my experience playing in the U.S. Open and playing in this a lot of times, the TV isn't really like a huge deal. I think most of the people out here are pretty used to it. I think this is the farthest I've made it, so there's no reason to be nervous or have any expectations, just play as good as I can, and if I win, that's great, and if I don't, I've had a great time out here.

Q. You have a late start tomorrow; do you like that? Do you like to sleep in or would you rather just get out here and start playing?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I think after all the golf today, it's good to have a little rest and get back out here tomorrow.

Q. Got any fun plans? You have a little bit of extra time in the morning to go somewhere.
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I don't know. I'm probably going to eat In-n-Out for dinner, and who knows about tomorrow.

Q. So you're one of those people coming to San Diego and have to get In-n-Out?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Of course. I don't get to have it on the East Coast, so I have to have it as much as possible.

Q. What have you done this week that's been special or that you feel like has contributed to where you are in this tournament?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I think this week I'm really hitting the ball probably the best I have in a while, and then my putting has improved a lot over the past couple months. I've really gained a lot of confidence in my putting, and I think that's really the key for match play because you can have five- or six-footers just to halve holes, and if you're making those putts, you're staying in the game, and I think that's really helped me a lot.

Q. Also a key here, too, right?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, it is. You never know what you're going to get out here.

Q. I see the Augusta National hat; have you gone to the Masters a few times?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I have. I've gone to the Masters a couple times, and I got to play there a couple years ago. Kind of a big thing.

Q. When did you go or when did you play?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I played my freshman year. I was at Clemson, and we got to play there.

Q. Was it as cool as you thought it might be?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: It was incredible. It was a great experience for sure. It was really tough. Long.

Q. Did you play from the members' tees?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yes, and it was still long. I can't imagine playing from the back tee.

Q. I haven't had a chance to look at the bracket; do you know who you're playing tomorrow?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I have no idea who I'm playing yet. I don't think they're finished.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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