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January 10, 2018
THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the Media Center at the Diamond Resorts Invitational. We're here with the four LPGA stars. Starting all the way down, Brittany Lang, Brittany Lincicome, Gerina Piller, and Brooke Henderson. A few of you guys have played in this event before. Gerina, this is your first time as well.
I'll just start with you Brooke. What's it like being here this week?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's really exciting being invited back again this year. It's the best in sports, best in entertainment. You're surrounded by greatness on the range, on putting green, out while you're playing. It's such an amazing feeling and just to kind of learn from the other athletes and talk to them a little bit is a great experience for me.
Also knowing that money is being raised to go to Florida Hospital for Children is really important to me. I love to see kids when they have smiles on their faces, and to know that money is going to a good place to hopefully put a smile on their face is really exciting for me.
THE MODERATOR: Gerina, what's it been like for you so far your first time here?
GERINA PILLER: It's been great. I've obviously never played in it, but I'm a huge baseball fan. So to see the baseball guys out there is really neat. I haven't been playing much golf, so it's been fun getting back in the swing of things. Yeah, I'm really excited to be here and really honored they asked me to come play although I don't know many people would want a pregnant woman playing with them, but here I am.
THE MODERATOR: I saw several people out there saying they did want to play with you in particular.
GERINA PILLER: That's very nice of them. Must have paid them.
THE MODERATOR: Brittany, there's great video on LPGA.com yesterday of your visit to the Florida Hospital for Children. Tell me what that experience was like.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's pretty incredible. We're very blessed to do what we do for a living and to go to the Florida Hospital for Children and give back our time for a couple of hours and try to put a smile on those kids' faces. We met one little child that was 18 months that has never been outside the hospital. It puts it into perspective. It gives me cold chills like what we do for a living, even if you have a bad day, it doesn't matter for what those children are going through. Hopefully -- we did some putt-putting and gave some footballs and baseballs away. Hopefully, it just made their day a little bit. Obviously, they don't get any visitors. Hopefully, we made their day just a little bit better for one day.
THE MODERATOR: Brittany Lang, who are you most interested in playing with or seeing out here this week other than Brittany Lincicome?
BRITTANY LANG: I'm not sure. We just played with Ray Allen, which we've gotten to know him from last year, and he's just a stand-up guy, just a classy guy, and had a blast. It would be cool to play with him in the real tournament. He's a great player as well, and we've gotten to know his caddie Orrin as well. So it would be cool to play with them in the tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Any tips on like your jump shot from him?
BRITTANY LANG: No, we just took his money. That was all.
Q. This is for Gerina. If you can talk about playing pregnant, and have you had to change your swing at all? Have you had to change your daily routine?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Give us some advice.
BRITTANY LANG: We'd like to know.
GERINA PILLER: I don't hit it as far at all like I used to. We were considering it a success when I made it to the fairway, which I've never had that problem. It's definitely different in that you don't realize how much core you use in your golf swing. I don't have quite the torque and rotation that I used to have. So it's just -- I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and take the distance. I'll take accuracy and very solid shots over distance right now.
But I feel great. I will be up for questions like walking the golf course. I mean, it's really long. But other than that, it's been good.
Q. What's your due date?
GERINA PILLER: May 3rd.
Q. Also, if you guys can talk about how this tournament prepares you for the LPGA season.
BROOKE HENDERSON: For sure. Bahamas starts in two weeks, I guess, and that's a big event to kick off our LPGA Tour season. But to have this kind of gets us in game mode, gets us focused on things that maybe we need to fix before we tee it up in the Bahamas, and also just to experience what it's like to go and compete when we've had almost two months of a break. So I think it's a great way to start the season.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: (To Gerina) You're not playing, so I'll go.
Yeah, agreed. Like Brooke said, we take so much time off between Naples and Bahamas. So this event, even though it's fun, you still can work on a few things and feel like your game's kind of getting back on track. Luckily, it's only three days. So it's not as long as a four-day event. You can have fun with it too, which is nice, maybe hit some shots that you might not hit normally. You can work on a few things, which is nice. All in all, it's just really fun, and we're going to have a good time.
BRITTANY LANG: Yesterday was my second round since November 20th, so it was quite eye opening. For me, it's mostly just swinging in one layer because it's been so cold in Dallas. Getting out in this warm weather has been really nice. Good practice.
THE MODERATOR: Do you play differently with the different type of format, the Stableford format this week?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yes.
THE MODERATOR: Does it change a lot in your game?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yes. I felt like I was trying to play safe maybe and make a lot of pars, but pars don't make you enough points to win or do anything. This year definitely going to be more aggressive, and you literally have to birdie every hole to make enough points. So my strategy is to be more aggressive. We're going to go for everything and not lay up. I might shoot 80, but I'm going to go for it.
GERINA PILLER: Where are you not laying up? I feel like I'm laying up on par 4s.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Well, if the pin is in the back, I'm going to hit some more club to get it back.
Q. This is such a unique format and different than the typical week with the Champions Tour guys and the celebrities. Who are you guys looking forward to seeing or hoping to play with this week?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I was already super excited to see Larry the Cable Guy. He went to the hospital with us, and my stomach was hurting just laughing at his jokes and him reenacting the Cars scenes. He's probably one of my favorite people to see at this event just because he's so funny.
BRITTANY LANG: I would like to play with Jake Owen. I love all the country guys, but he's super cute.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Don't tell her husband.
GERINA PILLER: I don't have anyone in particular. Obviously, I love baseball, so baseball players. I'm lucky enough tomorrow to play with Mark Mulder and Jon Lester. Growing up playing baseball, I feel like I'm really envious of them, which I think it might be mutual because I think they might be envious of me because I play golf for a living. So that's pretty cool.
But, yeah, I think just being a part of a tournament where you play alongside them, I think it's pretty special, as well as the Champions Tour. And we're playing from the same tee. So we're getting no mercy here, which I think I'm going to protest. I want the little golf cart with the little flag that I can --
BRITTANY LANG: Well, you're pregnant.
GERINA PILLER: -- drive up on the green.
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think I'll agree with Brit. I saw Lee Brice this morning on the putting green. I know he's performing in a couple days. So I'm really excited to listen to some country music and watch him and just talk to him over the next couple of days.
THE MODERATOR: A few of you were out at Morgan's event earlier in the week. That's so awesome. Second year in a row it's raised over $1 million. The ones that were there, I think Brooke and Gerina and Brittany, can you tell me, just being a part of that event, what that was like as well.
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's amazing. To see what she does in that community of St. Andrews is so incredible. It means so much to her and for us to be a part of it is really special. Growing up, Morgan was a huge role model for me. So to be invited to her event, Morgan and Friends, is an amazing experience for me and just to see where the money goes and how it has benefited so many people, even Lexi and Judy Thompson. Seeing that over the summer and seeing that that was all because of what Morgan does and how much she really puts into it every single day. Fortunately, they've been able to raise, I think, over $1 million the last three years, I believe. So it's really an amazing experience.
THE MODERATOR: She covered all the bases there?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think she covered it. I think she's raised $6 million total.
GERINA PILLER: I think just being a part -- having a friend, I can't imagine going through what she's had to go through with her mom passing away and not just sitting back and doing nothing about it. She's been very proactive with the MammoVan and not just what she's done, but the support that she has is pretty incredible for a community to support her in this journey of -- like she has to live with this for the rest of her life, and the impact that she's having, I think it's really cool. You can see the charity at work and where it goes.
Unfortunately, Lexi's mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer, but they were able to help her, and now she's cancer free, which is amazing. So it's always fun to support your friends, but especially in a cause like this that you -- it's affecting people that are on your Tour and your close friends, and you can see the benefit of what you're doing.
THE MODERATOR: Brittany, you've got your charity event coming up February 1st?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: February 1st, yeah. For The First Tee of St. Petersburg. We were all junior golfers one day. I know how hard it is to get the funds and to be able to put your child through junior golf. So we just try to help out as much as we can, and it's all for the kids.
Q. Gerina, just a followup, with the pregnancy, what are your schedule plans, and what are your expectations leading up to the due date?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: She's out.
GERINA PILLER: Usually, the schedule is when's my next meal and when's the next one after that. But this year, as far as golf goes, I'm just going to plan on taking the entire year off. The LPGA has a great maternity leave that allows you to take a year off. Going to watch my husband play on the PGA Tour, which I don't get to do very often. So I'm really looking forward to do that.
And when they tell me to stay home and not fly anymore, then I'll just be a mom and enjoy that special time and be ready to come back in 2019.
Q. So you will not play at all?
GERINA PILLER: No, I will not. I could probably play Bahamas -- that's still out of the country. But after that, we golf Thailand and Singapore, and it's probably not safe to be traveling that late in the pregnancy that far. When I have the baby, I come back, say three months, it's already August and September, and we're starting to travel back to Asia. I definitely wouldn't take my baby to Asia, and I don't know if I could be away from him that long.
Q. For the whole panel, just for perspective's sake, what is the greatest pregnancy golf story in LPGA history? Do you guys know? Has anybody won at seven months pregnant?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Go ahead. You probably know better.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: She just mentioned Catriona Matthews. Didn't she win the British?
BRITTANY LANG: It was like 14 weeks after she gave birth. She won the British Open, Catriona Matthews.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I remember -- golly. I'm totally drawing a blank. Who was pregnant with twins until they were like --
BRITTANY LANG: Scranton. Nancy Scranton.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I thought she played until six or seven months, which was crazy. Her belly was so big because it was twins.
BRITTANY LANG: They were born early too. She was tiny.
GERINA PILLER: Wish I could stay that tiny.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Next question, please.
Q. For Brittany Lincicome, last year after here, you and Lexi did well in the Bahamas. Playing with the men, how much did that help?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think that's great. I think the whole tournament before the Bahamas really gets us ready, obviously, for the Bahamas because we've not been playing competitive golf for a while. I think it's a great tune-up to get ready for the Bahamas, and then playing with athletes that are really good and the Champions Tour guys -- I think all of our goals is to always beat the guys.
So I think it's just you want to prove to them that you are good and want to bring your best. So to compete against the guys really makes us step up our game and definitely helps get us ready for the Bahamas for sure.
Q. The odds here, anybody who wants to take them on, Brooke Henderson 9-5, Brittany Lincicome 11-5, Gerina --
GERINA PILLER: A million to one.
Q. 12-5, and Brittany Lang 9-2. Any funny thoughts on those?
GERINA PILLER: I feel like that's generous to me.
Q. William Hill, which is the home of betting, according to their marketing.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's all you.
GERINA PILLER: I don't know anything.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I don't know what that means. We don't bet a lot, obviously.
BRITTANY LANG: I mean, we're women.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I know 4-1 is better. Woody Austin was 4-1. He has a better chance of winning than 12 to -- whatever ours is, right? But winning two years in a row is hard to do. So I don't think that's going to happen. It's going to be one of us.
BRITTANY LANG: Anyways, we don't have any thoughts on that.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, sorry. Next question, please.
Q. I tried.
THE MODERATOR: I hope it is one of you that comes away this year.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: We're bringing it this time. We're all going to be aggressive, and we're bringing it.
BRITTANY LANG: Gerina wants the cart and the flag.
GERINA PILLER: I want the cart, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: We'll keep you up to date if Gerina gets her golf cart.
GERINA PILLER: My caddie would appreciate it too.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports