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November 18, 2018

Lexi Thompson

Naples, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we're here with our final champion of the 2018 LPGA season, Lexi Thompson, who just captured the CME Group Tour Championship; a 4-stroke win at 18-under par, and we also have Leo. Let's face it, Leo is the star up here.

Lexi, is it safe to say this might be one the most special wins of your career.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, you can definitely say that. Just the last few years it's been a very up and down two years. A lot of ups, but just some stuff I've been going through.

To have this special win in front of all my family and friends out there and to have my brother on the bag, it was a huge honor for me to win this event, but just very special.

THE MODERATOR: Your approach on 18 was amazing.


THE MODERATOR: What were your thoughts going through your head as you line that up? What was you yardage? What was Curtis walking you through? And when you saw it fall in there?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I had I believe 169 pin; 64 to get to the top of that ridge. A little downwind so I just hit a good 8-iron and landed up there and to about five, six feet.

He was just feeling telling me all the numbers and everything. I'm like, Oh. Looks like a pin I can go for. I just aimed at the right side of the green and hit a nice draw in there.

THE MODERATOR: 4-stroke win, but any athlete knows it's not over until it's over.


THE MODERATOR: When, or did you ever let yourself start thinking this could be my moment, or were you just waiting until the last putt fell in?

LEXI THOMPSON: Honestly I was waiting until the last putt. I never like to get ahead of myself. I mean, of course once I hit the fairway, Okay, I can kind of breathe.

But, yeah, I kind of just wanted to think to myself the whole day, just keep on making birdies, keep on going for the pins like you have been the last three days, and don't worry about other players. Just focus on yourself and keep on doing what you have been the last three days.

If it works out, works out. If it doesn't, you gave it your all.

THE MODERATOR: What was that atmosphere like with Curtis by your side, walking up to the green on 18 and just hearing the cheers knowing they were for you?

LEXI THOMPSON: It was incredible honestly. Once I hit the green on 18 I was like, Curtis, you're walking up with me to this green; you're sharing this moment with me.

He's caddied for in other events, but mainly like not-so-serious events. He kind of saved me out there. I had so much fun. He was just keeping me laughing. Even when I struggled on a few holes today he was like, it's okay, you got this. You'll hit a great shot. Come on, Lexi. You're the best. You got it. That's just what I need to hear. To hear it from him it's amazing. We have such of a great leadership relationship.

To have him on the bag, it's the best. I hope that he continues to play and plays great on the tour next year. He'll be here caddying for me for Shootout, so it will be nice to have him out there.

Overall very special week.

THE MODERATOR: Good to know he's got a backup plan with you too if the whole golf thing doesn't work out.



Q. Because you do love this place so much and it does seem to suit you so well, how determined were you just to give yourself a better memory than it ended with last year?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, this tournament in general is one of my favorites just because first off I can drive to it, but secondly, just to have all my family and friends here. It's not the way I wanted to finish it last year, but I knew coming into to this year I was hitting it a lot better.

Just a lot more confidence with my game with what I'd been working on. I came into the week saying, I'm not going to play afraid of this golf course. I've kind of laid up on a few holes I shouldn't have in the past few years. This year I was like, I'm just going to take driver through on every hole and just bomb it out there and get the shortest shot I can and trust my ball striking.

You know, it paid off. I just tried to keep a nice confident attitude throughout the whole week with my ball striking and putting.

Q. You have been very open and honest with us about the personal struggles you've gone through. Just a question: Given the euphoria of a victory, are you in a mindset now where you could be happy with your life and yourself if you never hit another shot?
LEXI THOMPSON: If I never hit a golf shot? That's a loaded question. You know, this year I think it was just an eye opener. It all kind of hit my this year what happened last year. I kind of just tried to brush it off last year and just play through it because I didn't really have an option. And I played great golf. I don't know how, but I managed to.

All kind of hit me this year and just kind of got me really down. I needed that time off to be with my family, to figure out things that made me happy off the golf course.

Because it is hard for me because I grew up in this game ever since I was -- started when I was five, tournaments when I was seven, so I didn't really know much different. Golf is my life. It's who I am.

But it is just what I do. I'm coming to realize that. Still not there some of the days because it is so much a part of my life, but it is just a sport. There is so much to life other than that, my family and my friends and just loving every bit of that and just being grateful for what I have.

Q. And to follow up, sports goes away for every athlete at some point. Do you understand that now, and are you prepared that at some point you're just going to walk away from it?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. I mean, I definitely realize that. It's crazy to think that I'll be going into my ninth year on tour next year and I'm only 23 years old. I do realize golf won't be a part of my life at some point. I don't know how long I will play, but there is more to life than a sport. There is a family to be made and experiences to be had off the golf course that you should enjoy your life, what I've worked hard for. I deserve to enjoy my life off the golf course and in the future.

Q. I know winning isn't everything, but that being said, how does winning today change your off-season for you and propel you going forward?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, it's helped out tremendously with my attitude just in general, just showing the hard work that I've been putting in these last -- well, this whole year really. Just the amount of work I've been putting in my game, just to see to pay off in these four days was huge for me. I've been waiting for that moment.

It doesn't really change my off-season too much. I'm still going to be practicing. I come back here in two weeks for Shark Shootout, and then I'll have about four weeks off until we start up again.

I'll definitely take some much-needed time off and just spend it with my family and enjoy some time to myself. I don't know, my brother is getting married, so there is going to be a lot going on in December. But just to be at home will be nice.

Q. You said out there I think you hadn't heard so many funny movie lines from Curtis. Any examples or what movies?
LEXI THOMPSON: Basically any line from Wedding Crashers, Stepbrothers, and Hangover, I heard them all. I don't want to say a few of them, but just any of the funny lines from any of those moves you can put it in there. They were said.

Q. Looking at the golf-as-everything kind of conundrum, was it more internal pressure that you were putting on yourself or that you were feeling from others that can cause you to feel unhappy about that?
LEXI THOMPSON: That's a good question. It was a little bit of both, just being honest. I am very hard on myself because I expect a lot just with how hard I've practiced and what I've put into the game, what I do training-wise on and off the golf course and what I expect out of myself.

But what some people have to realize is just that I'm human. I'm going to make mistakes. I'm going to miss putts or shots. It happens. I really just try to focus on my goals and expectations, but sometimes those are just way too high. I just had to come to realize that and just be like, Okay, I'm human and I'm going to make mistakes. That's what a lot of people need to realize as well.

THE MODERATOR: Further questions for Lexi?

Q. Obviously a big success with your swing tweaks and hitting the draw. How much confidence does this give you going ahead knowing that, Hey, I'm playing a more natural way and not having to be fearful out there?
LEXI THOMPSON: It's helped me out a lot. I've been working on it since Portland week or in the middle of the year. It's been all a matter of making it more consistent, knowing when it's going to draw, or if it's just going to overdraw. Basically my miss now is just when it just overturns, which were a few of the shots today that just missed left.

It's better for me because it's not a left and right miss. That's what it was in the beginning to the middle of this year and that's what I was struggling with. Being able to aim up the right and know it's going to draw, of not overdraw, it's more back of how I used to play golf.

It's a lot more solid, and I've gained probably five to seven yards with my irons. It's just a lot more solid ball striking.

THE MODERATOR: One last question. $500,000. It's not too shabby. Last year, new car. Anything this year? Any thoughts?

LEXI THOMPSON: I have no idea.

THE MODERATOR: Some toys for you?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, definitely some toys. I don't know how many you can get with that, but I'm not too sure. Honestly, I don't have anything in mind.

I'm never too worried about the money. I kind of just want to play my best golf. M goal is to win every tournament I tee it up at. The money comes with it, but I don't know. We'll see.

THE MODERATOR: It's a nice perk that you don't say no to. We love having you up here. Thanks so much, Lexi. Enjoy your off-season.

LEXI THOMPSON: Thank you. Appreciate it.

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