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August 11, 2017

Lilia Vu

San Diego, California

Q. What's it like to go through an entire match with the lead?
LILIA VU: With the lead? I really didn't think about it. I tried to play my best today. My game wasn't really good today, so I was just trying to like hit it close and trying to make birdies, but I didn't make any.

Q. You said you didn't have your best game. What kind of confidence does it give you to not have your best game and still get this far?
LILIA VU: I still have a lot to work on. I just know that I need to putt better.

Q. What's your level of excitement getting it to this point? You'll be in the final four here.
LILIA VU: I really am excited. I'm trying not to think about it too much. I don't want to get nervous or anything.

Q. What's this experience been like for you this week?
LILIA VU: It's been really, really amazing because I haven't been able to come back and play the U.S. Women's Am since I was 13. This is my second time playing it and my first time in match play.

Q. You haven't been here since you were 12.

Q. Based on when your birthday was because your birthday is in October.
LILIA VU: That is wild.

Q. At the time did you think it was that special when you were 12 and in the U.S. Women's Amateur?
LILIA VU: I knew it was really special because I came there and I saw all these really great players. I was on the chipping green, and me and my dad were just watching people chip because I couldn't do the same flop shot out of the thick rough, and we were just like, why can't you do it, and that's basically -- I remember I stood there for like two hours watching everybody, like a girl from Texas A & M. I don't remember her name but I remember it was a girl from Texas A & M. I just remember I was watching her like cut it and chop it out of the rough.

Q. Have you tried to qualify every year since then?

Q. Do you feel like a role model now to some of these younger girls that are out here? They're like, oh, that girl from UCLA, checking out her swing?
LILIA VU: I hope so. I don't know, it's kind of weird like somebody looking up to me right now. Like maybe if I'm on Tour later then maybe I'll accept it.

Q. Your success this last year, how has that kind of brought you to this point?
LILIA VU: I think I'm more well-rounded as a player. I know I have like better course strategy. I'm not as risky as I am. I know where to like -- where's okay to miss, where it's not, so I always take that into account. I think I just play smarter, not so much better at everything like ball-striking, but I just know where to place myself for a good chance.

Q. What about confidence-wise? With the wins this year and college, was your confidence built back up in some way?
LILIA VU: Well, I think when I was younger like maybe when I started winning Junior Worlds, I think I had confidence, but throughout my high school career, I didn't win like one single invitational for AJGA, and that kind of brought me down because all of my friends were winning them and I was getting like third or top 5. I was never like the winner. I had no confidence basically in high school.

And then I went to college, and my teammate Bronte, she's very competitive, and I think she brought out like a really competitive side out of me, and I just like followed in her footsteps and learned from her. She taught me a lot. I'm really thankful for her. I think she brought like the sass out of me.

Q. You needed your sass?
LILIA VU: Yeah, she's really sassy.

Q. This tournament is such a grind --
LILIA VU: Mm-hmm, it is a ground.

Q. Just talk about the entire match play experience and then what's next.
LILIA VU: Well, I came into this tournament with no expectations being like, I'm back again since I was 12. I came in with no expectations. I just wanted to try my best, and I guess I'm happy with where I am now. Hopefully I can make it to Sunday.

Q. Even with the wins did you think you were under the radar in some sense?
LILIA VU: Under the radar? Yeah, I feel like a lot of other players get like a lot of spotlight. But it doesn't bother me because I don't really like it, the interviewing.

Q. You don't like the spotlight?
LILIA VU: Yeah, I don't like the cameras. I'm like a deer in headlights.

Q. And going into this match with Lucy Li, this girl who's already become sort of a star in some ways, was there any extra like --
LILIA VU: Well, I knew it was going to be a grind today. I told my mom before we started, today is going to be a grind, because she challenged my teammates that much. But I didn't think about it too much. I've heard of her, and I talked to her on the putting green. I didn't let it get to my head like oh, she's so good. I just wanted to play golf and do me.

Q. They were commenting on TV that Juli Inkster said, ultimately it's the five years' difference between you guys that showed up today, that you were calmer, more consistent. Do you feel like -- when you look back at when you were 14, do you feel like you're a much different golfer now?
LILIA VU: Yes, yes. I'd probably get angry after every shot if it didn't turn out the way I wanted. But right now, I kind of like accept it, and I'm like, okay, next shot, work from there, and that's how I kind of think. It's too much energy to get angry. It just takes too much mental energy when I could like use that energy to think about the next shot, like what I'm doing there.

Q. Did you do that today? Do you have an example of when you did that today?
LILIA VU: Yes, hole No. 10. I hit my -- I had like 140, and I hit my 9-iron. I like flew the green. I took a lower club. And I had like a really tough, downhill, right-to-left chip, and I tried to flop it and land soft, but it was so downhill that it went past the hole by like 15 feet, and I was pretty angry. I was like, why did I do that. And then I picked myself up, and I was like, okay, it's just an uphill left-to-right putt, and I made it. So I calmed myself down. That hole was pretty interesting, too, because she made a really long par putt and so did I. It was like about the same, like a 15-footer. So it was really cool.

Q. Six rounds on the same course; what's the most important thing you've learned about it?
LILIA VU: Oh, hitting the fairway for sure. The first round I think I shot 3-over. I didn't see the fairway a lot. And it's really important to be in the fairway because the greens are really soft here, and whoever is doing the pins are like tucking it behind places. Like you would see like three yards from the fringe, and I'm like, I've never played a course where every day it's like three yards from the fringe, so it's like, okay, I guess we're aiming middle of the left. There's no way I'm going left and having a chip of three yards to work with.

Q. Your score today, I don't think there was a birdie --
LILIA VU: There wasn't a birdie.

Q. You killed it off the tee, though.
LILIA VU: Yeah, that was the good thing today.

Q. Just your irons weren't quite dialed?
LILIA VU: It was like the irons, I didn't put it where I wanted it to be, so I like hit it long today, and I had a lot of downhill putts, and those are really challenging. Sometimes it ends up in three-putts. So I didn't leave like four to five-footers uphill like I usually want to. Yeah, that was pretty much it.

Q. What do you think your teammates are going to tell you tonight? Do you think you'll get a lot of calls and texts?
LILIA VU: Yeah, I think they'll be like, good redemption for us. Thank you.

Q. Do you think Coach Forsyth will have any words of advice?
LILIA VU: Yeah, she believed in me. She said I could do it and that I was like the match play monster.

Q. You and Robynn are pretty close?
LILIA VU: Yeah, we're pretty close.

Q. As tough as that would have been in some respects, were you kind of hoping to see Robynn?
LILIA VU: Yeah, I always like playing with her. It's really fun. She's a fun girl.

Q. So Valenzuela, what's your experience with her?
LILIA VU: I think I played with her twice at my first win in college, San Luis Obispo. I think we played 36 -- oh, we played three rounds together.

Q. Really?

Q. And you won the tournament?
LILIA VU: Yeah. But I don't really remember that tournament that well. I just remember it being a grind because it was 36 the first day. Then I had to finish the rest of the 36 the next morning and then play 18 again.

Q. You were talking about your back is a little sore?
LILIA VU: Mm-hmm, my back started hurting on like the ninth hole.

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