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April 2, 2019
Rancho Mirage, California
THE MODERATOR: We're here with 2011 ANA Inspiration winner, Stacy Lewis. Stacy is playing in her 12th ANA Inspiration this week, has 5 Top 5 finishes, including your win, and you've never missed cut.
What has given you such longevity in this game, particularly here on the Dinah Shore course?
STACY LEWIS: I think I love this golf course. It was the first time I played as an amateur. Obviously had a really good result, but just fell in love with the golf course. I love playing in the desert and just the history of this tournament. Just coming in with good vibes, seeing all girls jump in the pond the last -- gosh, I don't know how many years we've been jumping in the pond now.
It's my favorite tradition we have. I'd love to be able to do it again.
THE MODERATOR: So this time last year you were expecting baby Chesnee. We didn't know that yet. You were keeping it to yourself.
STACY LEWIS: I just told my caddie at this tournament last year. Surprise.
THE MODERATOR: How has life changed over the last year? Might even be better to say how hasn't it changed? What's the new normal?
STACY LEWIS: There is not much that hasn't changed really. Everything has changed. The way I go about my day, day, my golf swing feels different, my body feels different, the mindset when you leave the golf course is way different.
My agent says that I'm a little bit more calm and maybe not as high strung as I've been in the past. I kind of agree with that. Maybe a little bit more even keel and low-key. Maybe that will help on the golf course. I don't know. Life is so different. I don't even remember what it was like before.
THE MODERATOR: You understandably took your time coming back. You played Diamond Resorts; sat out the Asia and Australia swing. Last week you had a great week, particularly the final round at Kia Classic. Do you feel like your game is starting to roll back into shape?
STACY LEWIS: I do. I feel like I just need to be able to play some golf. I was just disappointed to miss the cut in Phoenix because I felt like I just needed to keep playing. Gerina and I both missed the cut in Phoenix, and on the Saturday we went and played 40 holes of golf, and then drive over on Sunday, played 18 on Monday, played nine on Tuesday, nine on Wednesday.
So I had played basically 72 holes before I tee'd it up last Thursday. That was really what I needed. Just trying to do the little things a little bit better every day. Kind of seeing this whole thing is a process. You know, I think that's its best I've ever played on that golf course at Kia, so I was pretty excited with the result from last week.
THE MODERATOR: You always hear them say you got to get the baby into a rhythm. Maybe momma needed to get back into a rhythm.
STACY LEWIS: Exactly. Just playing golf and seeing shots and getting your numbers dialed in. The little chip shots around the greens. You know, you can only recreate so much around a practice green.
THE MODERATOR: So here at Mission Hills it was a wet spring, but it's made for a nice, wet, lush golf course. How does it look out there to your eye?
STACY LEWIS: Looks great. Very green. Greens are fast and firm, which I love. I love to see this golf course firm. I hope these winds dry out the fairways a little bit more. The rough is not super long right now, but I know they're not going to cut in anymore, and by Sunday it will be what it needs to be. I just like to see the greens firm because that's the way this golf course should be played.
THE MODERATOR: Open it up for questions.
Q. Just to follow up the last comment on the course setup. Does it favor bombers less or more? What are your thoughts on its shaping up?
STACY LEWIS: I think if it's firm it favors the bombers less. I think it brings somebody that hits it straight more into play. This golf course off the tees, when it's firm you can run it through the fairways pretty easily. I think it favors a ball striker more than a bomber if it's firm. That's why I like seeing it the way it is so far.
Q. I was talking to a member of we'll call it your team in the final round out there watching you. Asked about your expectation level having come back to what is kind of an unknown. You've never been through this before. What is your expectation level now and is it growing each week?
STACY LEWIS: Expectations two week ago were to make the cut. Now it's to be in contention come Sunday. You know, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how the traveling with the baby was going to be. I had to figure out early and late tee times, and teeing off at 1:00 with a baby that wakes up at 6:00 is very hard. We had things like that to figure out.
With the way the game is, I feel like I'm rolling it really good. I just honestly want to start tomorrow, to be honest. Just want to get playing.
Q. Curious, because you're a very intense player and your agent is saying maybe you're a little calmer and everything, does that translate into your game, and is that a good thing? I remember you once also talking about admiring the calm of the Koreans in the Women's Open. Tell us about that.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think there is a level. There is a level that you still need to be intense. You still need to get excited when you need to.
But for me, I think there has been a point where I get to where it starts to hurt me. Maybe the perspective of having Chesnee maybe changes that a little bit. Definitely when I leave the golf course I'm not worried about golf as much. It becomes all about her. I'm definitely able to leave it more at the golf course and come back more fresh the next day.
I don't know. I don't know if there is a magic answer to it. I'm hoping it keeps me more in that range of where I can play really good instead of getting to where it is a detriment to me.
Q. Do you wish you had had that perspective before, or are you just glad to have it now?
STACY LEWIS: I'm just glad to have it now. I think it's all part of a process of growing as a person and growing up; probably part of the getting older, too. You have a different outlook on things at 34 versus 24 you can't go back and change anything. You just have to keep learning and going forward. That's what we're trying to do still.
Q. Another question: Three of the Top 5 amateurs chose this event when they had a very difficult decision to make.
STACY LEWIS: Uh-huh.
Q. When you saw that, what went through your mind? Can you imagine being in their shoes and having to make that choice?
STACY LEWIS: You know, I think it's unfortunate really that they have to make that choice. They shouldn't have to. I would love to see the Augusta Women's National Amateur played at a different time of year, one, for the girls and their college schedules, and, two, that maybe they could get a full tournament on Augusta National.
Get a couple practice rounds, have a three-round tournaments. The week before the Masters they're very restrictive about the number of people they allow on the golf course. I would like to see that tournament played at a different time of the year so they don't have to make that choice.
But to the ones that are playing here, I'm really proud of them. If you want to play professional golf you need to play in majors and you need to see where your game stacks up and have that experience of playing in front of those big crowds and what the week is like.
I just think if your goal is to play on this level one day, why wouldn't you come play here?
Q. How often do you expect to hear from Brittany Lincicome over the next several months?
STACY LEWIS: I get a text every couple days. I get a lot of questions. Probably even more after the baby is born, to be honest. I think she'll have more questions then.
But it's been really fun. Between her and Sarah Jane. I was talking to her about stuff yesterday, trying to figure out her golf swing with a belly. It's fun to be able to help them. I was just trying to figure it out on the fly last year.
Q. I was going to say, was there somebody you reached out to at the time on tour that had gone through this?
STACY LEWIS: No, no.
Q. So you're the spring of knowledge now.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. I feel like I've learned a lot of baby talk over the last year. I used my sister a lot on how I was feeling.
But swinging a golf club and being pregnant is a hard deal. Just to be there for them and to assure them that what they're feeling is okay.
Q. I think she said she lost five yards and you said that's to be expected.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. I bet she still hits it further than I do. Five yards for Brittany Lincicome is okay.
Q. We hear a lot about things like competitive rust and needing to have your game in tournament shape. That's a nice way to say you got to play a lot of competitive rounds. As you pare your schedule back, Jack Nicklaus did pretty well with a limited schedule. What do you think about that, and has your thinking evolved?
STACY LEWIS: I still want to play probably 24 events this year, which is less than what I'm doing, but it's more about when you play. Maybe not playing five in a row. Maybe just play three in a row, and that's how you kind of cut back with your schedule.
Even when I'm home I need to be playing more golf. Leading into Phoenix with the weather I wasn't able to play a lot of golf. That was really kind of the downfall there. It's playing more when you're home and having to hit those shots, playing with your buddies and having to make a five-footer every now and then.
Just little things like that is how you get your game in tournament shape. But I'm so busy with Chesnee that a week off isn't really a week off.
Q. You've always been really good about your fitness level. Obviously you had a child and you don't like look you did.
STACY LEWIS: Yes.
Q. Talk about how you got yourself back in shape physically.
STACY LEWIS: Well, I don't know if I should say this, but I was back in my normal clothes after five days. Yeah, I know. I'm sorry. I didn't do anything special. I don't know. I only gained 25 pounds throughout the whole process and actually got down lower than I wanted to weight-wise.
I'm now trying to gain weight again, if that makes any sense. I've just been very fortunate from that aspect. I did have to get the core stronger, get the muscles back in my stomach and back and things like that. My trainer has been really helpful in trying to get that stuff back.
But weight-wise I didn't have to worry about a thing.
THE MODERATOR: That's the definition of life being unfair.
STACY LEWIS: I know. It's the first one, too, though, right?
THE MODERATOR: There's time.
Q. Pernilla Lindberg talked about dealing with some unexpected distractions and demands on her time after she won here last year. When you won, did you experience that kind of thing?
STACY LEWIS: Oh, yeah. Totally. I mean, gosh, when I won here, you go to the next tournament and all of a sudden everybody wants to talk to you when they didn't really care before. Every step of the way there was more obligations, more people wanting to know what you're doing. The tournament asks more of you. It's a process of learning how to deal with it all.
I know Pernilla said yes to a lot of things. You have to learn how to say no in a very nice way. You can't physically do everything. It's just a learning process. But she'll figure it out. Her game is good enough obviously as we've seen to compete at the highest level.
Q. How long did it take you to learn to say no?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I'm good at saying no, but...
You know, I've always been crazy about my time. Golf was always first, and then I put a block of time aside for everything else. If it doesn't fit in there, it doesn't happen. I've just always been crazy about my time is the most important thing to me, especially on a Tuesday Wednesday leading up to a tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Anything further for Stacy? Thanks for joining us so much. See you out there on Thursday.
STACY LEWIS: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports