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January 15, 2019

Stacy Lewis

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

CHRISTINA LANCE: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Christina Lance. I'm happy to see all of you here today for the inaugural Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. I'm here with one of our 2017 winners, Stacy Lewis. Stacy, last time we saw you was in Ohio. Anything big happen in your life over the last few months?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, we've been a little busy, just had a little baby. She's 2 1/2 months old now. She's here with us this week. She's in daycare right now. It was a little bit hard dropping her off the last few mornings, but life is definitely different. It's all about her. It's not about me anymore, which is completely okay. So just trying to fit the golf in there. Not a lot of high expectations for this week, but we'll see how it goes.

CHRISTINA LANCE: She was born early October, correct?

STACY LEWIS: Late October.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Chesnee Lynn, beautiful name. What has that transition been like for you, going from someone who was able to just focus on your golf and focus on life with your husband, and now you've got a little life depending on you?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it's been a challenge. It's been fun. It's really been the best thing ever, just seeing her kind of growing and starting to smile and laughing. It's just every day is about her. It's literally her schedule. When she needs to eat, I go home. When she's napping or I can get somebody to watch her, I go practice. It's really just trying to fit the golf in there whenever I can. But it's all about her, and that's 100 percent okay with me.

CHRISTINA LANCE: How is the golf fitting in? I know you've only been back with the club the last few weeks. You said the last time we saw you at the Marathon Classic that you had this week set for you as a goal to come back here. How are you feeling?

STACY LEWIS: I'm feeling good. I would say the recovery from giving birth was a lot harder than I expected. I felt really good up until I had her, and so it was kind of a shock of how long it took for my body to heal afterwards because it was probably a good eight weeks before I really felt comfortable to go swing a golf club and do things again. You know, you lose all your core. You lose all your back muscles. All these muscles that I worked so hard to keep all these years were gone pretty quickly.

So it took a couple weeks of I took two weeks and just basically did work in the gym and didn't do a lot of golf and got my body in better shape. Really only been hitting balls now for about three weeks. So it's not where it needs to be, but that's okay.

CHRISTINA LANCE: But this event is worth coming back for?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I just feel like this is a special week, that being the winners only, the small field, if you do happen to play well, it's a good opportunity to kind of kick start the year. But just playing with the celebrities, I think is going to be a lot of fun and a little bit different format. It's already felt kind of pretty low key. We get to ride around in carts for our practice round. And just seems pretty relaxed so far.

We're getting a test run, my husband and I, of what it's like to travel with a 2-month-old and all the stuff you have to bring and how you get out the door every morning. We're 0 for 2 leaving on time. We'll hope to improve that by Thursday.

CHRISTINA LANCE: You've got time for some practice.


CHRISTINA LANCE: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. So physically you're not quite back, but one of the abilities you've always had is your ability to compartmentalize. You get inside the ropes, that's where you are. You get outside, that's it. Are you having difficulty now with that transition because you're out hitting shots and you're wondering if she's okay.
STACY LEWIS: Not so far. The good thing about dropping her off when she's this young is she can't cry or be upset. She doesn't really know yet that mom is leaving. That part of it has been easier on me. I do look for -- I'm excited that an hour from now, I get to go get her. I look forward to the end of the day. I'm better were my practice on getting in and getting out.

I don't know. I've always been good about kind of having a schedule and setting to it and just being where you are. You know, like you said, I just I'm here to play golf, and then when I go home, it's going to be with her. Gerrod and I have -- we are literally just trying to get through every single day. So the thought of Saturday or Sunday or whatever that means, I have no idea, like no clue. I'm trying to get through today. We'll get all our stuff ready tonight for tomorrow. That's how we've lived our life the last two months.

Q. Was there ever one moment or one day where you second guessed coming back to play?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, a lot. There's a lot of moments where you second guess can I do this? Can I travel and play golf with a kid? When she's crying and you're trying to just get through a day of getting laundry done and get her fed and get everything picked up around the house and then it's like how do you throw golf into that? I mean, for me, that's a constant battle of every single day.

To the golf, I mean, yeah, when I first came back hitting balls, it felt so foreign. I kind of had to go through my checklist of, all right, this is how you grip a club. This is how you set up. This is what my shoulders need to be. I think for four or five days I just went through that checklist of just trying to make it feel more normal again because my body doesn't feel the same as it did before.

So it's been a lot of emotions. You're more emotional anyway when you have a child, so the emotions have been all over the place the last month or so.

Q. Stacy, a lot of new rules this year. I was wondering if you could give me your take on three of them. No caddie lining up behind the ball, putting with the flagstick in, and dropping from the knee, if you could address those three.
STACY LEWIS: The no lining up is the greatest change in all the rules. Then putting with the flagstick, I'm indifferent to. I won't do that. I'm just going to kind of do it the way I've always done. I'll have my caddie tend it if I need to, but I don't know, it seems strange to me to putt with the flagstick in. Totally get it for recreational golf and playing at home, things like that. And then dropping from the knee looks a little funny, but, again, I understand it because it's the most, I guess, uniform way to drop. So I don't mind it. It just seems a little strange, looks funny, especially on those tall guys. Watching those tall guys on TV have to squat down looks kind of funny, but I think everybody's going to get used to it in time.

Q. There's lots more women now with babies on the Tour. Are you getting advice? Does Gerina tell you, you know, do this? Does Cristie Kerr say, oh, remember this. Annika played with babies. Juli Inkster played with babies. Do you have a little group of experienced moms giving you advice?
STACY LEWIS: A little bit. I haven't seen a lot of the girls yet. They're probably going to be calling me after this week, asking how I did things. But just to hear stories from Juli about the hardest part of her day was dropping her kids off, and her kids are fine. They grew up out here, and they're fine. So just seeing that and see what they went through.

I mean, times are, of course, different now. We have so much international travel and stuff. I think that's going to be the hardest part of my schedule is figuring that out with her, but I'm sure we're going to learn from each other as we go along, and I have a feeling Gerina is going to call me next week. You've got to pack a lot of stuff is all I know.

Q. Stacy, how much were you able just to watch golf while you were away? And being away like that, when you really haven't been in your career, any particular observations about the Tour when you were gone?
STACY LEWIS: I watched a little bit. The Asia swing was kind of nice because there was golf on in the middle of the night because there's nothing else to watch in the middle of the night when you're up feeding. Asia swing was kind of nice. I watched it. I wouldn't say I paid attention that much. I mean, I watched it, but I was half asleep too at the time.

I feel like the Tour is in a good spot. I always feel like with our Tour we have work to do. I'm just never comfortable with the number of tournaments we have. I feel like they can all be better. I feel like we can continue to raise purses. I feel like events like this are really going to help us get more eyeballs on us, get more people paying attention. We're on network TV this weekend, so I feel like we're trending, but we still haven't reached our peak yet. So I always feel like there's work to do.

But I'm excited. I loved watching all the American winners last year when I wasn't there. Seeing people like Marina win was pretty cool. I don't know. I feel like we're -- I'm excited for the Solheim Cup year, and I want to make sure I'm there. That's kind of my main goal for this year.

CHRISTINA LANCE: It's an exciting week, a lot of faces out there we don't normally get to see with those 49 celebs. Any names out there you'd particularly like to hang out with, play around with?

STACY LEWIS: Well, all the Atlanta Braves pitchers from back in the '90s. I grew up a Braves fan. My husband already hit up Glavine for an autograph. We'll probably make some of the rounds there. I'd love to play with some of the baseball players. That would be fun.

CHRISTINA LANCE: We just had John Smoltz out here for the long drive.

STACY LEWIS: We'll probably have him too at the end of the week.

CHRISTINA LANCE: What is it like seeing players like him and some of the players out here having fun? What is that balance like knowing you're out here for official money but there is that fun aspect to it as well?

STACY LEWIS: For me, it makes coming back easier. It's that mix of the guys are out on the range cutting up and laughing and having a good time. It just makes this comeback for me a lot easier. It's not so serious. It's nice to have because our girls get pretty serious out on Tour. They get grinding a lot. Especially now that they're younger, I don't understand it. Maybe I'm just older now, and I just want to relax and have more fun.

So it's nice to see those guys just kind of cutting up. We'll see how they handle the pressure, though, when the real thing starts. It should be fun to see.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Thank you so much. We're excited to have you back. Good luck this week.

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