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July 10, 2019

Maria Fassi

Toledo, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to the media center at the Marathon Classic. It's my pleasure to be joined by 2019 NCAA individual champ, 2019 LPGA rookie, Maria Fassi.

Maria this tournament has a long history of inviting the NCAA champions here. You're here on your own merit this week.

What does it mean to have an LPGA tournament supporting NCAA golf and have your name as part of that record?

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, I think it just says a lot about the people that run this tournament. I think Marathon cares not only about professional golf, but golf in general.

Giving us a spot as amateurs sometimes for the NCAA winner, it's huge. I think it's a great motivation for us to work hard and to get after that national championship. Because then you know you're not only a national champion, but you're playing on an LPGA Tour event.

So it's great to have the opportunity that I have and I think I'm very lucky to have that.

THE MODERATOR: Can you put into words what these last few months have been like for you? You finally got a week off last week. Just in terms of finishing school, ANWA, NCAAs, and then right into your professional career.

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, I think after ANWA I haven't had a lot of time to breathe and to think much, but it's been great. I mean, I've been out here, I've doing what I love. I've been doing it with the people I love. It's been great.

I feel like I'm just so lucky to be living my dream, to have finished my college career doing it on such a high note winning nationals at home. And now being on the LPGA, it's amazing. It's overwhelming at times, but been a great experience so far.

THE MODERATOR: Last week you had the week off. How did you spend your time? Did you get any practice?

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, so I just moved into my house in Orlando, so it was nice to just take everything out of boxes and have a nice house now. So it's exciting to come back home and actually feel like home.

So I did that the first part of the week, and then Thursday through Sunday I started working and getting ready for this week and the next few I have as well.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned the stretch coming up starting this week and the Dow next week playing with Jennifer and back-to-back majors. How do you prepare for a stretch like that mentally and physically?

MARIA FASSI: Well, I'm still trying to figure that one out just because I've never had to do that before. I'm still just working on that. But I feel like the group of people that I have working with me, they have a lot of experience and they're guiding me the right direction.

Then of course people like Lorena and Stacy have been super helpful in that guidance of how to practice and how to approach weeks like this. Having back-to-back majors, that's not very common. It's all new. I'm very excited for the challenge.

I think physically I think I'm ready. It's more of a mental aspect that I need to be working on. But I'm getting there, so I'm excited to see how these four weeks go.

THE MODERATOR: This is your first start at Marathon this week. Have you had a chance to see the course? How does it set up for you?

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, I played 18 yesterday. I absolutely love the course. I was telling my caddie that this may be one of my favorite ones so far. The layout, it's interesting. It's got some weird holes, but I think having length on some of those, it's an advantage.

Then there are some others that you just have to hit a 6-iron off the tee and then hit something onto the green.

But I think it's a great layout. It's in great shape. I'm excited to be here this week.

THE MODERATOR: Go ahead and open it up for questions. Please raise your hand for a microphone.

Q. (Regarding coming off the NCAA championships) Do you feel good about the next stretch of tournaments coming up? Do you plan on playing a lot toward the end of the season?
MARIA FASSI: I think I'm only going to play four tournaments at a time. I think that's a good amount of tournaments to where I can perform and feel good mentally.

So I think for me, just playing four -- I'm lucky I can do that now. After the start I had at the Open it gave me the opportunity to actually choose the schedule and have more flexibility in that regard.

Again, like very fortunate that that's my situation now, but I think it's -- I mean, I guess it's just part of it. It's just getting used to it. It's going to be the hardest part, but I'm working on it. I trust the team tat I have from my trainer to my psychologist, nutritionist, coach, caddie, they have all been around for a very long time and they know how this goes.

I know it's different for every player. There are players that can play nine weeks in a row. I don't think I can do that. I think it's just getting my formula and see what works for me. For now, it's just going to be these four tournaments in a row and I think that's a good limit for me now.

Q. (Regarding Stacy Lewis.) Have you gotten to know her? Has she given you any advice?
MARIA FASSI: Yeah, I think for us having Stacy as a former Razorback is huge. Former No. 1 player in the world, major champion. It's great to have her as part of our team, because even though she of course wasn't part of our coaching staff, she was a volunteer coach and she would come from time to time to tournaments and even to practice with us sometimes in Arkansas.

So just having her and knowing that we can reach out to her and have her help us with whatever it is that we needed, it's huge. I think it's an amazing thing we have, and lucky she has a great relationship with Shauna, our coach. They're very close. So even some of us don't feel too comfortable asking Stacy, we can ask Shauna and have Shauna ask Stacy about something.

Having that, it's huge. She's been great to me these first four weeks I've been out here. She's given me advice. I mean, anything that I need I know I can go to her and ask, so I think it's just more me going up there and asking away because I know she'll be happy to help.

Q. (Regarding Jennifer Kupcho and NCAAs.)
MARIA FASSI: I think that golf-wise the NCAA definitely got me ready for the LPGA. I think especially this last couple years in college were key. I mean, I learned how to win; I learned how to come back from a bad round and post a good number the next day; be in the last group and have to like finish with three birdies to win the tournament or whatever.

I think the amount of competition and the level of competition in college is getting so much better that I think it really helped to get ready for my transition to professional golf.

I think there is still a learning curve. It's way different. We never played four weeks in a row or nine weeks in a row like some players are doing, so all this is just different. We played three-day tournaments and now we're playing four-day tournaments that include a pro-am and a practice round, so you're actually playing six rounds at least a week.

So getting used to that. I think it's just going to be a little bit of a challenge. But I think I've handled it fairly well. It's different. I know at the end of the day it's still golf, but we're playing a lot more and putting a lot more strain on our bodies. I think it's just finding time to balance golf and working out and taking care of our bodies and then also doing stuff outside of golf that makes you happy.

I think having life outside of golf is also very important. For me, it's just finding balance, and like I said, finding my own formula and what works for me.

THE MODERATOR: Any further questions for Maria? Okay. Thanks, best of luck this week.


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