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March 27, 2018

Brittany Lincicome

Rancho Mirage, California

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to our final press conference of the day. I'm happy to be joined by two-time ANA Champion, and World No. 32, Brittany Lincicome. Welcome to lovely Rancho Mirage. I'm going to get it out of the way, you sound kind of stuffy. I know you've been struggling with something. How are you feeling right now?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: What do you mean? This is my sexy voice.

Q. Nice husky tones.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, that's what I was going for. Feeling the same. I got some different medicine yesterday, so hopefully something's got to work eventually. Luckily this golf course is flatter than last week, so I feel pretty confident I'll be all right.

Q. All right. We like to hear that. Don't want to pick you up out on the golf course. Of course earlier this year you won the season opening, Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, you tied for 10th last week at the hilly Kia Classic. As you come into this week's major, which, of course, you've won twice, what is the state of your game? How are you doing right now?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Feeling really confident. Been playing really well, driving it well, putting really well. So there is no reason why I can't keep that going. I said earlier in the year I just wanted to be more consistent. Wasn't quite sure how I was going to make that happen, but so far, so good. Last week I basically played a two-day tournament while everybody else played a four-day tournament. So I feel like I did pretty well, especially on that golf course. It's so hilly, and those Po annua greens are so difficult to read.

So my caddie and I went into it, it was going to be a patience week. If we missed short putts, then we took it for what it was. It was just kind of building, getting ready for this week. So I felt like I kept my emotions in check, which is what you need to do out here, especially this week.

This is a long hitter's golf course, which is great, but I need to keep it on the fairway obviously. The greens are firm and fast, which is awesome. The course is in great shape which it always is. Just driving in with the snow on the mountains and how beautiful the flowers are and everything, this week just puts a smile on my face.

Q. It truly is one of my favorite views we see every year. Talk to us some about the tradition of the ANA Inspiration going back to the Kraft days and the Dinah days, and the tradition in the field that the players get of this being our championship.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, this is such a cool event. I mean, when it was on the fritz there a couple years ago, I think all the players would have chipped in money to make this tournament happen just because we love coming here so much. It's so cool that ANA picked it up and is turning it into this beautiful event, which is what it deserves. It's such a wonderful event.

We had the Past Champions Dinner last night. Just to be around some of those women, they're such clowns and so much fun. Juli was throwing bread at me at dinner. I mean, that doesn't happen most weeks. So just little things like that.

They're making this event topnotch. It's just so cool to be back here. I'm so glad this tournament is continuing.

Q. Long hitter, have to keep it straight, that seems to have been a theme today. Lexi was talking about that, and Brooke was talking about that as well. Is it just you hit the ball farther and you have that big of an advantage on the golf course?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think so. Even if you hit it in the rough, to be honest, I'm still hitting a shorter iron than most girls, so I have a huge advantage when it comes to that. I feel like today the fairways looked even more narrow than normal. I'm not sure why.

But, yeah, I think if you can drive it fairly straight you have a good chance to win. Because you have a shorter iron on the greens. I only played nine holes today, but they seemed really firm. They seemed to release quite a bit with most of my iron shots, even short and mid irons. So I think if you can get a short iron into the green, that's really going to help.

Q. You've won here twice. It had only been three players that ever won three times.

Q. Oh.

Q. I was going to say, Amy, Betsy, and Annika. Do you allow yourself to think about, oh, my gosh? Apparently you didn't even know that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, I'm going to oblivious. I didn't even know when she said my world ranking, I was like, oh, that's not good. But I don't pay attention to that. Everyone's always like, Where did you finish last week? And I'm like, I don't know.

I just try to play good golf each week and try to do my best each week. Wherever that puts me at the end of the year, that's kind of where I sit, I guess. But to win this event twice, I mean, it's pretty incredible. So to win it three times, holy cow, that would be insane. That would be awesome though.

It's the greatest tradition jumping in Poppie's Pond. I feel like we do try harder this week than most just because the tradition is so cool.

Q. I'm going to ask you about jumping in the pond. You've been able to do it twice. Did you have any thoughts about how you were going to jump in or what was that plan of attack?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Well, I feel like it's bad luck to think about it beforehand. You walk by the pond and you're like, wow, you know. Your brain starts thinking, well, if I did a cannonball or a belly -- no. You don't want to jinx yourself.

So twice when I've done it I think my thought has been don't mess up your make-up. I don't want the mascara running down my face. But thankfully the pond is not very deep. So literally twice now my feet have hit the bottom so my head doesn't even go under.

So, yeah, it's kind of been a blessing to do it twice now and I haven't gotten my face wet, which is great, and no messy make-up.

Q. If you have to mess up your make-up, I think it would be a pretty good reason.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Exactly. As long as one of the girls help me after to do the press conference and stuff.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take care of you. Don't worry.

Q. There will be a lot of attention on Lexi this week, her return here. What did you make of the way she came back from that last year?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think it's so far out of her mind. I think. Maybe she told you guys different, but I'm not sure. But I think it's so far. It was such an unfortunate situation that I don't think she loses sleep over it at night, and I think it's out of her mind. I mean, she was so close to winning, and I feel like that just gives her more motivation going into this year to try to win. I literally don't think she's losing any sleep about it. I think it's out of sight, out of mind and she's moving on.

Q. Your thoughts on how she came back to win twice after that and gave herself a lot of chances?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, I think it's her game plan. We both came out and my dad caddied for me my first couple years, and it was like we'll hit driver everywhere. We're hitting driver on every hole. There is no reason not to. Now her course management is so much better than what it used to be. Just the last couple times I've played with her, she hits a lot more 3-woods and hybrids off the tee. Doesn't necessarily always hit the driver. Just keeping it more in play, which is great. I think that's really helped her course management and become a better player just playing that way instead of hitting driver off every hole.

Q. Not to belabor the point about Lexi, but just as a player, she's still -- she found out about that last year, 12, and then she still had a bunch of golf to play. How hard is that as a player? I mean, you could completely collapse. Walk us through, I mean, how does she do that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, that's a great question. I luckily have never been in that situation to know, but I can't even imagine something as ridiculous as that, how you would finish those last couple holes without crying or being mad. There's probably a lot of emotions.

Thank God we have caddies who kind of talk us down. I'm sure her caddie was like let's take a deep breath, we'll have some water, we'll calm down a little bit. You just try to go to the next couple holes and make up the birdies that you just loss on a silly mistake, and you just kind of go on. But unfortunately, I've never really been in the situation to know for sure. But luckily for my caddie, Missy would have to talk me off the ledge.

Q. Are you glad that call-in rule is gone?

Q. Have you thought about that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yes. And the zooming in of the camera, right, or no? I don't know. I feel like if you know a player is cheating on purpose, that's a problem. Like if you see somebody drop a ball out of their pocket.

But, she could have hit that putt with her eyes closed. So I feel like if you're not intentionally trying to cheat, if it's something as silly as that, it's pretty silly. So, yeah, I'm happy.

Q. Do you remember the first time you ever saw Michelle Wie on a golf course, the circumstances?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I feel like she was like 12.

Q. Okay, so that would have meant you were only 16.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I feel like we're getting closer in age somehow, because I feel like she used to be a lot younger and now we're like getting closer. I remember when she came out, she was amazing. She played against the guys, obviously. But I don't remember too much more.

Q. When you remember her as that phenom, and you now see her as someone who has persisted through a lot, what do you make of that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Kind of the same as Lexi. I've played with Michelle some time just recently. This is going to come out weird. In the past you would wait until the explosion happened or she would hit it out of play or do something really bad and make a really big number. But this last time that I played with her, every shot was down the middle. She was in play every time. She never hit it off line like super far like she used to. So it's kind of a course management thing again.

She's using shorter clubs, not always hitting the driver. Hitting these knock down shots to keep it out of the wind maybe. Really keeping it in play better. And her putting is fantastic. I told her when we played a couple weeks ago I wanted her as my Solheim partner, because she literally from 20, 15 feet, 20 feet was making every single thing. I was like I'll drive it, you putt it, and we'll win.

But again, like Lexi, her course management is so much better, and she's keeping it in play, which is obviously key.

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