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January 17, 2020

Gaby Lopez

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

GABY LOPEZ: One off the lead heading into the weekend. When you can start off the year like this on the right foot, I would imagine this would not only bode well for the whole year, but it's got to just feel good right out of the gate.

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, I feel that I probably didn't have the amount of weeks that I wanted to practice. I felt a little rushed at the end, to be honest, but I don't know, I just took the best out of the last year. Now I'll try to find my game throughout the week. I'm close to where I want to be. I'm still a little short to -- you know, as in some shots that I've missed out there, but of course, nothing is going to be perfect.

I'm happy that my caddie and I have worked for so long that now we can rely on each other, knowing how we're going to react. My coach has done a phenomenal job with me, kind of leading every week into the work that we have to put in. I mean I just feel very lucky to have the team that I have.

Q. Since it is obviously the first event of the year, do you rely on maybe some of those mental rememberings from last year to get you through?
GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, for sure. I played very well in Japan from last week. It was second to last week. It was fine. I mean, I'm here at the golf course, and I'm kind of bringing those memories back to how I mentally play the game. So I'm trying to think, okay, I'm always going to give my putt a chance, so I'm going to play on the high side all the time. So just little stuff like that that probably I didn't recall or didn't remember past years, and now I'm able to kind of pick it up a little quicker. That's for sure been helping me.

And also taking it easy. I know it's a long season, and the more patient I stay, the better I play. Last year I wanted the results so badly that I got a little impatient. But now this year I'm just going to take it one day at a time, and if it goes my way, fine. And if it doesn't, then I'll learn and try to do my best because it's a long season. Last year I felt very tired at the end.

Q. You had a really strong finish today. Does that, how you finish today, do you go off maybe a little more aggressive tomorrow, especially with the slower start you had today?
GABY LOPEZ: I wouldn't say more aggressive. I would say that the conditions are going to determine that. Today was really windy at the beginning, so I couldn't be -- I couldn't play aggressive today. I had to pick my target, and if I was in a fairway bunker, I had to just hit it in the middle of the green. That's some of the things that I still didn't do, and that's why it caused some bogeys at the beginning.

But, yeah, I think the condition is going to determine how I'm going to play, but still I'm going to be aggressive when I can. When I have a wedge in my hands or when I have a 5 iron or a hybrid coming into par 3s, I'm just going to hit the middle of the green and try to make the birdie with my putter and not with the club.

Q. Having the celebrities out here and the different personalities, does that -- obviously, everybody wants to win, but does it take a little bit of the pressure off just to have that kind of lighter side to the tournament?
GABY LOPEZ: I guess so. Being able to play with Mardy Fish, who's a tremendous tennis player and golfer, I mean, he hits the ball so well, very pure, super on line. So just being able to learn from them is just really fun, and of course, I guess, now being able to speak to them about a different topic, about their sport, about racing, about tennis, about their family -- you know, nothing that has to do with another LPGA because probably I know of their whole life to my friends. So being able to kind of talk about different things has helped me relax a little more through the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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