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June 26, 2018

Lexi Thompson

Kildeer, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back here to the media center at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Here with world No. 3 Lexi Thompson, a nine-time LPGA winner, including the 2014 ANA Inspiration. She's competing in her eighth KPMG Women's PGA Championship. She tied for seventh in 2017, closing with three straight 69s, has a best finish of third in 2015. So far in 2018, she has competed in 12 LPGA events, made every single cut, great consistency. Best finish so far, tied for second in Thailand and tied for third last week in Arkansas.

Lexi, we talk about consistency; you're second on Tour in greens in regulation this year, 77 percent, right where you were last year when you led the Tour in greens in regulation. What have you been working on so much that has improved your accuracy there in and around the greens?

LEXI THOMPSON: I think it's just all what I worked on in my off-season. I really just wanted to come into this year playing consistent golf, working on things that needed to improve on in the off-season that I needed to work on coming into 2018.

But yeah, I think it's all just a matter of committing to my targets out there, making sure I do my full routine, making sure I'm just fully relaxed over my shots, and working on like a few little things, basically in my pre-shot that have helped my swing tremendously. I've been hitting it a lot better, a lot more consistent, and giving myself the opportunities on the greens.

THE MODERATOR: Certainly we all know what we're good at we're still working on what we need to improve on. What's the next step in your game that you're working to improve perhaps?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, of course with this crazy game you can never perfect it, so there's always something that you can work on. For me, it just comes down to usually chipping and putting around the greens. With hitting a lot more greens, you're giving yourself a lot more opportunities for birdies on the greens, and it's definitely something I need to work on. But I would say it's probably the only thing I really work on in my game. I put in hours on the greens, and it will all fall together for me.

THE MODERATOR: You said you're fresh in off being in the CVS Charity Classic yesterday, brand new area out here for you. What that like coming in someplace where you haven't seen it yet?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it's been a crazy last day and a half, right from Wal-Mart, we took a private jet, the girls and I, over to the CVS Charity Classic. Amazing event I've played in about six, seven times now, raises a lot of money for the charities in Rhode Island, and then we just flew in late last night to here, got in around 10:30, and now I have my pro-am today. I've never seen the golf course, but I'll play in the pro-am today and probably 18 holes tomorrow. But I feel good about my game, it's all just a matter of getting to know the golf course. It looks like it's in great shape for us, and it's well put together, so I'm just looking forward to the week. This tournament is one of the best.

THE MODERATOR: And I think this would be the perfect situation of relying on a caddie to help you out with that?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yes, definitely. I sent him here from Wal-Mart, so he walked the course yesterday and got a look at it today. All the numbers are in his hands and everything, so I'm trusting all his lines. I trust him.

Q. How would you sum up your first two majors this year, and was 2017 ANA at all still part of what happened this year at ANA, distractions and all that?
LEXI THOMPSON: You know, that tournament is one of my favorites. It's never changed even with what happened. I love that event just overall in general, and it was a tough week, but I played really well. Just didn't have the finish that I really wanted to. But I played really well in the U.S. Women's Open this year. Tried to win, but I think I got fifth, I believe.

Like I told her, I've been playing some great golf, very consistent, so it's all a matter of everything just falling together for me.

Q. Lexi, I was looking at the LPGA updated stats this morning, and usually when a player is having trouble hitting fairways, their greens in regulation stat usually isn't that good, either, because it's hard to hit greens when you're hitting it from behind a tree. Your stats defy all logic this year. You rank 118th in driving accuracy but second in greens in regulation. How do you explain that?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I guess I'm not hitting it behind the trees. I guess I'm just in the rough. I couldn't really answer that question. I mean, I think it's a matter that I'm just missing the fairways and I'm just in the rough, not having like trick shots or anything. But I'm hitting a lot of fairways, as well. Maybe the stat is just wrong.

Q. This morning Ariya said that she would be hesitant to hit driver off of most of the holes. Has your caddie given you any forewarning what holes you might not hit driver off of?
LEXI THOMPSON: No, he hasn't really told me much. He said the course sets up well for my game, but Ariya hits her 3-wood -- I've never even seen her hit a driver. She hits her 3-wood past my driver usually. But I'm pretty comfortable with my driver and confident with it off the tee, so wherever I can hit it, I'm going to hit it.

Q. After coming off of playing with the men yesterday, what do you learn from playing alongside PGA TOUR players who aren't related to you, or what have you learned?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it was a great event. I got to play with Xander Schauffele and Joe Durant, and Joe Durant, he hit every fairway. It was unbelievable. Like just on a string. I'm like, okay. I'm like, I know where you're going to be hitting it all day. Just an amazing player. And Xander just bombs it. Just the height that they have on their shots and how they work it into pins or work it against the wind, it's very impressive. You know me, I'm just aiming it out wherever the wind is and just letting it go back. It's a whole different game. They hit it a lot higher, obviously, a lot softer shots into the greens. It's very impressive. I learned a lot. I grew up with two older brothers that played, so I learned everything off them. But it was a fun event. It was great to see their games.

Q. Lexi, I know you said you haven't seen the course, but what have you heard about it? And would it mean a lot to be the only player besides Payne Stewart to win a PGA Championship here at Kemper Lakes?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, I've heard nothing about great things about it. First off, that it's in great shape and just an amazing layout. My caddie did say that it's a good setup for me; I'm a little bit longer and I'll be able to hit a good amount of drivers hopefully. I don't know, we'll see. I'm going in blind right now, so I'll have the pro-am today, get just a look at it, really just play one shot out, and then tomorrow do some work around the greens. But it would be a huge honor to win this event. Any major championship, it's a huge honor, but this one is definitely very special, especially since the PGA came in and KPMG. It's just gotten better and better.

Q. Given that you haven't seen the golf course yet, were you hesitant at all to play in the CVS, skipping a whole day of potential practice here, and are you comfortable that you'll know the golf course well enough in just two days?
LEXI THOMPSON: No, I wasn't hesitant at all. That's one of my favorite events. What that event does for the local charities in Rhode Island, there's no doubt about it, and it's really -- it's such a fun event, and it's an honor to be invited back so many years in a row. What CVS with Larry Merlo does and Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade do, it's truly amazing what they do and how they change the world with that event.

So it's no question that I'll go to that anytime I'm invited; I don't care what week it is. But no, if I get two looks at a golf course -- if I can't figure it out in two days -- I mean, I never usually come weeks ahead for a major anyway to look at a golf course. I usually just go with it and just let my natural talent go.

Q. Is your patience behind the scenes wearing thin at all that you haven't won yet this year? And if it does, who do you vent to about that or talk to about that?
LEXI THOMPSON: I think it's really just my family. But I mean, it's not -- I know that I'm playing well, and as long as I'm having consistent finishes and knowing my game is super close, I know it will all fall together. Golf is a crazy game. You lose more than you win, so you just have to be patient with it and take the struggles as they come, and then it makes the successes that much better.

Q. Being the top-ranked American and drawing the biggest galleries over here, what's that like? Is that a pressure? Is that exciting? Does it pump you up? How does that translate for you?
LEXI THOMPSON: I love it. I love bigger crowds, the better. It means the world to me that I have the fans that I do. I'm very grateful for it, that they take time out of their day to come out and support me, watch me chase a white ball around. But it means the world to me to get them out here. The more people the better. We want to see women's golf grow as a sport, and that's what we all want to see out here.

Q. Being it's a major on a course you haven't played, what will be more of a focus for you, your length or your accuracy going into the week?
LEXI THOMPSON: Usually major championships it's more about accuracy. Usually the rough is grown up a little thicker than normal, greens are a little quicker, so it's just important -- length never hurts, but it's all a matter of keeping it in the fairways, giving yourself the best shot at the greens and leaving yourself the best putts, never really short-siding yourself and leaving you some bad leaves. I'll learn it in the next few days and see how it goes.

Q. It seems like it's getting more difficult to win multiple times in a season. Just in your six, seven years out here, how much have you seen the depth of the fields change and how many different players that you have to beat week to week?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it is. The level of talent has changed a lot. It's gotten a lot better, and it's super hard to win every week out here. You have to have your "A" game and usually shoot around 20-under it seems like every week. I shot 15 -- I don't even know what I shot last week, but I was in third place and I was seven, eight back. But yeah, the level of talent is extraordinary. It's getting better and better every year. You just have to keep on working on your game and trying to improve and try to go for that one.

Q. This is the cutoff week for the UL International Crown. I think it's safe to say you're a lock to head to Korea and represent Team USA. You've played in both Crowns, part of a winning team in 2016. You talk about big crowds; what do you expect this year when we take Crowns to Korea?
LEXI THOMPSON: Really big crowds. Probably not too many Americans, but really big crowds over there. There's nothing like representing your country. Any time there's a team event on your schedule, it's like, okay, I want to be there, that's my No. 1 goal. I think it's great what UL does. This event is very special. It gives other countries an opportunity to represent their country, unlike the Solheim, which is also an extraordinary event, but it's only the US against Europe. This event allows South Korea and other countries to be able to represent their country, and they love it, and crowds love team events, as well. They want to see birdies, they want to see fist pumps and everybody get amped up. It will be a special event over there. Golf is huge over there in South Korea, so hopefully we get a lot of people out there supporting the event.

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