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July 31, 2019

Lexi Thompson

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

LEXI THOMPSON: I don't really think about that too much. We're all out here just to try and do our best, play our own game. I've been fortunate enough I've been playing pretty well. I've had a good good past few years, and especially this year I've had a lot of good finishes and a win. It's gotten me to that ranking. But something I just really don't focus on. I just try to go out and just play my best.

THE MODERATOR: You had tied eighth here back in 2016, so it obviously a course that suits you. What do you make of what you've seen so far this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it's a great golf course. We played here in '16. It played a lot different in '16. It was a lot firmer, and this year it's obviously gotten a lot more rain, especially with last night, so it's a lot softer and greener. They've moved a few tee boxes back, so a little bit more added yardage on this golf course, which is good. So it's just playing a lot longer. But it's probably in the best shape I've seen.

THE MODERATOR: Back-to-back majors, how does that affect your preparation for this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, this is my fourth week in a row, so it's been a lot of golf for me this year. Just in general, there's a lot more tournaments that were in a row that I wanted to play in. Like I said, it's just one of those years where I'm playing a lot more, but at the same time I'm making sure to take that downtime when I do go home and not grind away on practice sessions.

So getting ready for these past two weeks, I played in Toledo and then played in Midland for that team event, so just took it easy, didn't really grind away in practice rounds and just to get ready for these two weeks, especially like tune-up events. It was great to have these last two of the four-week stretch.

Q. A lot of off-course distractions. Can you take us through the realisation that you didn't have your passport with you and then just the events that followed?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I realised it late Sunday night that my passport was in my golf bag that was in the van that was coming over with all the luggage, and I was freaking out, honestly. I was like, I'm going to be stranded here. And then going to another major championship, I'm like, I need to figure this situation out.

I didn't realise that I was going to cause so much delay in the bags for all the players, and I'm very sorry about that. But in my situation I was freaking out, and then he happened to be somewhat close to where my caddie Benji was, so my first reaction was to hopefully stop him and get my passport so I can leave and get to the Women's British Open.

I do apologise. I mean, I would be upset, too, if I was the other players, but I ended up getting it, and I can't apologise enough.

Q. What's it been like out here in terms of trying to focus, and I'm sure you've been apologizing to a lot of players along the way. How have you been able to put that aside?
LEXI THOMPSON: You know, I mean, nobody has really come up to me directly. I can kind of feel it, but unfortunately it happened. I didn't mean anything by it. I am very sorry to all the players and caddies, whoever put their luggage on it. But I'm just really trying to focus on this week and play good golf and just focus on enjoying this experience and being at a major.

Q. Let's say that this was happening at -- what would you do differently if you had the chance to go through the whole thing again? What would you have done about the passport and you weren't freaking out and you'd had time to think it through?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would have remembered my passport to put in my backpack. I would have done that.

Q. You won't do it again probably.
LEXI THOMPSON: No, I will definitely never do that again.

Q. Following on from there, let's say you had still forgotten the passport. Is there anything you feel you could have done differently after that?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I mean, honestly, in the situation I was put in, he didn't tell us that there was -- that he could possibly miss the ferry or anything like that. I didn't know the possibility of it being that much delayed, or I probably wouldn't have done it. But I think if any other player was in the situation and the reaction time that we had and that he was close to my caddie, I think any player probably would have done it. Like I said, I'm sorry that this had happened, but that's all I can say.

Q. You said you could pick up on -- is there a tension from the players whose bags were late or do you think we will get to stage where people can see the funny side? Can anybody see the funny side of it yet?
LEXI THOMPSON: I don't really know. I haven't talked to many players about it. They haven't come up to me. I can kind of feel it. But I didn't mean anything by it, and I think everybody that knows me as a person, I don't -- I didn't know that was going to happen. I didn't mean anything by it. But it happened, and I'm very sorry.

Q. The course that you said is very different from three years ago. A couple of the players I was talking to yesterday said it was just too long, a lot of the par-4's they're left with fairway woods or hybrids into the greens. But for the players that carry it longer like yourself, you must be licking your lips this week.
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I played a full 18 yesterday, and it's playing a lot longer. Like I said, in 2016 it was very firm and bouncing out a lot, so there was a lot more shorter clubs and the par-5s were a lot more reachable. Yesterday the par-5s weren't very reachable. I got close to maybe two of them. But yeah, I mean, I like the length of the golf course, but I'm sure that they'll move a few tees up depending on wind and wind direction and how it's playing. I think it'll just be a good test no matter where they put the tees.

Q. It's challenging obviously to live your life in the public eye, but you've spoken about how you've met some other challenges. How have the lessons you've learned in the past helped you with a challenge like this?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, yeah, I mean, this whole career has put me in a lot of situations that I never would have expected, but I've learned so much about myself and just how strong I am as a person and realise who my true friends are or who's really there for me and what makes me get through these situations. I always say just a positive outlook helps get through the tough situations and just never giving up. Growing up with a family and circle that I have around me, they've taught me just to be a strong person in general, and I'm learning every single day. There's always a learning experience. I've learned a lot through what I've been through, and I guess continue.

Q. Do you think most golfers realise the full extent of what's involved in playing professionally? It's so much more than just playing golf, isn't it. Do you think a lot of them go into it without realising what they're letting themselves in for?
LEXI THOMPSON: I'm sorry, who?

Q. Young girls in general, they think it's all about just playing golf, but it isn't, is it?
LEXI THOMPSON: No, there's a lot that goes into it. I think a lot of people in general don't realise what goes into being a professional athlete, let alone professional golfer. Everybody just thinks, you go out, play a round of golf and it's done. But there's so much more that goes into it. We're on the golf course, let alone our round is five hours, but then a two-hour warmup, and then if we practice after, then I'm in the gym an hour or so after or before my round, so there's a lot more that goes into it, a lot more obligations if you have sponsors and press conferences, media days. So there's a lot that just goes with a professional athlete that I don't think a lot of people realise. But it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices, but if it's your dream, you have to go for it.

Q. Should youngsters be told more about what lies ahead for them as a pro?
LEXI THOMPSON: I mean, I think it would help, just to have them be more prepared for what being a professional is like. You know, the hours that you have to put in and what goes with being a professional athlete with the sponsors and everything. I think it would help an up-and-coming person that wants to turn professional.

Q. Could you just evaluate your year overall, where you feel like you've made progress and the things you're still working on?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I had kind of a slow start to this year. In my first few events I didn't play that great of golf, but then I had a few weeks off, and I really just worked on my game. I had a few lessons with Kevin Kirk and worked on my golf swing, just trying to get more consistent with my ball-striking, and it kind of really all came together, and then with obviously changing to the claw grip at the Open, that's kind of brought my whole game together. I've just been trying to be more consistent. Like I said, the first few events I was a little bit all over the place on the tee shots and just not hitting my irons as solid as I wanted to, but I put in a lot of hours on the range and just working on my game, and then I think really off the golf course mentally has helped me out a lot, just making sure I take that downtime and have fun and just be more relaxed so that way I'm ready to come out here and grind on the tournament.

Q. You don't miss very many cuts, and with there being back-to-back majors, there's not a lot of time to put the disappointment of a missed cut behind you. I know you've been grinding; what have you sort of come up with going into this week that you've learned from the Evian?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, I had obviously Saturday and Sunday to go out there and practice so I tried to squeeze in some practice sessions before the rain. Yeah, I mean, I feel great about my game. It's in a good spot. But we're human. We're going to miss cuts. You can't play perfect every day. Sometimes it's just not your week.

I really like this golf course a lot. I played yesterday, and I feel good about where my game is at, so one more round in the pro-am today and hopefully get some good weather, and looking forward to just the tournament.

Q. And if I could go back to Evian just for a second, what would you like to say changed about that golf course to make it more major-like? What improvements would you suggest? And have you talked to anyone involved with the tournament about that?
LEXI THOMPSON: You know, honestly, I've played in that tournament since I was 14 years old, so it is a great place, it's just the golf course sometimes is just -- the bounces that you get, you just kind of shake your head at when it's going right at the pin and you're a few feet away and it ends up 50, 60 feet away. I mean, maybe just a few slopes in the greens or leveling out some things. But it's not my choice to make. It's the tournament director or whoever is in charge. And I haven't spoken to anybody about it. It's their choice. They're going to do what they want.

Q. Do you feel as the top American you do have a voice, you had a platform to be able to say what you think should change?
LEXI THOMPSON: I mean, I kind of do, but I feel like everybody has the right to speak their opinion. That's how I was brought up, and I think nobody should be afraid to express their opinion. It's not like there's anything against it.

Q. As the Tokyo Olympics are coming up in less than a year now, how are your thoughts on playing in the Olympics again?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, honestly, that's my number one goal. I always say any time I can represent my country, it's the highest honour. To be able to wake up, put your country's colours on and go out and represent, there's nothing like it. And with the Olympics being in Tokyo, I think it'll be great for golf in general, but for the women's golf especially. So it is my number one goal to be on the Olympics team. It was a huge honour for me to be in Rio. I didn't play so great, but just being there surrounded by the best athletes in the world, it was like a dream come true. So I'm going to work my butt off to be on that team hopefully in Tokyo.

Q. Are you at all like our Charley Hull and having a few friends that would know absolutely nothing about golf so you can get away from it?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I do. I have a few friends at home that know nothing about golf. They're into other sports, but I try to talk about golf, and they're like, hmm, and they have no idea, which is so nice. It's refreshing. I can just hang out with them and just be a normal 24-year-old and just hang out and not have to worry about anything. So it's very nice to have. It's nice to have that balance between golf and just the real life.

Q. You touched upon health and well-being and going to the gym. How important is that to you as a professional athlete?
LEXI THOMPSON: It's very important to me. I got into fitness probably when I was 15, 16 years old. I didn't really know what I was doing in the gym, I just went in there and floundered. And then I got into having a trainer around that age and I started seeing a lot of differences not only in my body but in my golf swing. I started gaining distance, a little bit more consistency with my game and just feeling better on the golf course. I was able to get through the long days that we had out there a lot easier, and I was like, all right, I kind of need to do this a lot more. And then it became an addiction for me. I love going to the gym, just putting my headphones on and just being in my own little world but at the same time improving on myself.

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