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September 29, 2020

Lexi Thompson

Galloway, New Jersey, USA

Seaview, A Dolce Hotel

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Good morning. Welcome to the virtual media center for the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer here in Galloway, New Jersey.

Pleased to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 10 and 11-time LPGA Tour winner, including the defending ShopRite LPGA Classic champion, Lexi Thompson.

Lexi, thank you joining us today.

LEXI THOMPSON: Thank you for having me.

THE MODERATOR: Back in South Jersey to defend your crown. A little later in the year than anticipated, but a truly amazing effort from the entire ShopRite team and staff to make this event possible.

When you arrived at Seaview this week, what emotions and memories from your win and 2019 came back to you?

LEXI THOMPSON: So many great memories. I made my pro day debut here at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, so a lot of great memories. That was here ten years ago.

Especially winning last year, I replayed that putt on No. 18 and just the crowds cheering for me over and over in my head. It gives me chills every time. I just watched it last night again.

Just driving in, it's a great town, a great city to be in. I think we're all just very happy to be able to play this course and event again.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of that eagle on No. 18 to win last year, does that go down -- when you look back on it and you can reflect on the career you've had, does that go down as one of the most memorable moments or putts that you've had your career?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yes, definitely. It was definitely one the my best memories that I've ever had in my career. You know, going to the 18th green I didn't know what position I was in because I didn't look at a leaderboard all day. That's how I kind of went into the day, focusing on my own game.

When I hit my second shot in and it bounced like 50 yards up on the green to that putt, I was hoping to make it, we all want that, but it was a tough little putt. I was trying to lag it up there and ended up making it.

Threw in a little fist pump after, and gives me chills every time. Like I said, it was a great way to win the event.

THE MODERATOR: That fist bump, something fans love to see.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. It was unexpected. I usually never do it. But in the moment it was needed.

THE MODERATOR: Felt right.


THE MODERATOR: Well, competing as the defending champion, what's that like? Take us through what it's like to be in that position. Are there different feelings or unique pressures that come with having a target on your back?

LEXI THOMPSON: I wouldn't say that. I think we're all just going into every event focusing on ourselves and our own game and what we can control. That's all I'm going to do. I am just going to go out, play my own game. I know what I've been working on with my swing and myself, and just go out and have a good time and hopefully get some good weather.

But it's a lot different with no fans. No big galleries around 18 or anything like that or stands. A lot different; more relaxed. At the same time, we're all try to win.

THE MODERATOR: At the ANA Inspiration you worked with our old coach, David McClain, and it led to a nice T4 finish. With no competitive events since then on your schedule, what has the recent down time looked like for you in anticipation of a return to the Bay Course.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, after ANA I ended up having about a week and a half off. I was going to play in Portland, but with the fires I just like health-wise it was right for me to go home and have that week and a half to practice and get ready for this event defending and the major, KPMG, next week.

It was a good week and a half off, and I'm happy to be here again. I practiced a good amount so feel about with where my game is.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of the major, there are 21 major champions in the field this week. Next week, like you said, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Obviously first things first. Focus on the task at hand. How much of this week about finding a good rhythm into your game to take into a major?

LEXI THOMPSON: I would say definitely is. Like you said, we're just trying to focus on one day at a time, one round at a time. Focus on this event first, but I did play Aronimink Sunday, so I got a look at the course. I've never seen it before, and it's truly amazing. It's definitely a major championship setup.

I'm excited to play next week, but first week here at ShopRite LPGA Classic, so I'm excited to play here. And a good tune up.

THE MODERATOR: Kind of nice to have that really close proximity, too, so you're not traveling across the country.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, exactly. It's only about an hour and a half drive, if that. Yeah, I have my little dog with me, too, so makes it easier on all of us.

THE MODERATOR: This tournament is playing as a 72-hole event this year. That has only happened one other time in tournament history back in 1990. When you have consistently competed in this event and kind of expect a three day sprint to the finish, if yo will, are there any adjustments needed maybe mentally or strategically how you play the course?

LEXI THOMPSON: There is a big difference from three day to four days. I feel like three days you just have to play -- depending on the course -- usually aggressive; a lot of birdies win.

On this course, if it doesn't get super windy, definitely a lot of birdies out there you have to make. Playing aggressively when it's three days, but four days as well. I don't think you should play safe or anything. Just play your own game, play aggressively, and play smart as well.

So no different mindset. Just maybe take it easy. I've played nine holes, nine holes, nine holes, so been just taking it easy leading up to Thursday.

THE MODERATOR: Maybe a slower start on Thursday doesn't catch you off in the...

LEXI THOMPSON: In the four days, yeah. A little bit of a slower start couldn't hurt you as much as a three day. Three days you want to get off to a quick start with the first round.

THE MODERATOR: Since ShopRite took over as the title sponsor in 1992, they have donated over $35 million to charities, including food banks, health care, education programs in the communities they serve. How inspirational is it to have the support on the tour from a title sponsor that gives back like ShopRite, and have you ever been able to witness or learn about their impact in any way?

LEXI THOMPSON: It's super inspirational. You know, we're obviously very grateful to have the sponsors we have for our events. To hear how much they give back to charities like that and just to help people out in general, especially in times like this, is it very inspirational. I think we all aspire to be like that. We are not only athletes, but we want to give back to the game or to anybody in need in general.

So it makes a big difference to us just knowing our sponsors care that much, not only about us, but the world in general. I think we're all happy to be a part of this journey with them.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of giving back, you launched your new brand, Lexi, earlier this month. What are some plans for the immediate future and what made 2020 feel like the right time to get it off the ground for you?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, this year has obviously been very different, a little bit slow of a year. I just feel like the time was right. I've made a few changed off the golf course management-wise as well, but just launching my brand with Lexi, Lexi Skin, Lexi Fitness, and Lexi golf. We're hoping Lexi Skin gets launched in about December, the first launch of it. Just copper based skin care, first one in America, so I'm very excited about that.

Hopefully it'll be very successful. Just a slow process right now. I'm very just excited to get it going and have something other than golf that I'm very interested in, passionate.

THE MODERATOR: And I would imagine you probably have to take a golf approach to it. In business there is a one day at a time mentality.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, exactly. You just have to take it one day at time, and it's a learning process as well. I'm just excited to be a part of it.


Q. Going off one of Zach's questions, how do you feel about the sponsors giving you guys the opportunity to play? Obviously it's been really tough economic times. What has it meant to you to have an opportunity to make a living during these times?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, that means the world to us. Coming through this year and just seeing what it's done, we didn't know if we were even going to play this year at all. It's great what the sponsors are doing just giving us an opportunity to play and compete and just do what we love.

So we're very appreciative of the events we have this year, and the ones that stick by us through these tough times. We greatly appreciate everything they're doing for us and supporting us with.

Q. What's it been like for to you play without spectators?

LEXI THOMPSON: It's been so different. Every golf course looks so different because there is no stands, no fans. There are ropes, but nobody behind them. So it is so different. I know we have a bunch of supporters watching us on TV, but it's definitely not the same.

I always say the fans make the game, so it is a lot different, but we have to get used to it. The tour is doing the best they can for us.

Q. You mentioned Aronimink over the weekend. What impressed you most about the golf course?

LEXI THOMPSON: It was beautiful. I played Sunday. It was definitely soft. But I hit basically driver on every hole, minus one or two of them. Just a great layout. The whole atmosphere of the event, it felt like a major championship, and there wasn't stands, there wasn't people out there playing. The members were playing.

But just had that feel and that environment, so it's a great place to hold the KPMG Women's PGA.

Q. Just real quick, you mentioned work you did with your former coach before Palm Springs. What has improved in your game or what areas were you focused on? What are you doing better now that you weren't maybe doing earlier in the year?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I worked with Jim probably about four or five days before I left for ANA. You know, I was struggling with my ball striking. I needed help just to get comfortable over the ball and just maybe go back to like the old Lexi when I was like ten.

I was like, Let's just give Jim McClain another try. He's been so amazing with my game and knows my swing better than anybody just because he's seen me throughout the years. So I went to him and we made a few changes fundamentally-wise, and it made drastic changes to my golf swing and just confident with my shot shape. I know I can aim up the right and draw it back.

That does wonder for my mind. I just feel like going book to my old swing and just trusting it.

Q. And when you make changes like that and you come to a place you've had success, is that perfect timing almost where you can kind of -- you have good feelings? You can carry it forward, I would think.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. Well it definitely helped gaining that confidence and getting on a golf course that you feel comfortable on and have had success on. It definitely helps.

But I love like the ANA Inspiration, just the atmosphere of that event. I get to hit a good amount of drivers, which I absolutely love, and I get to play my draw around that golf course. Like I said, it's one of my favorite events on the schedule, play good or play bad.

Q. And you mentioned you saw the putt that you made here on 18 last year last night. Just what were the circumstances of that? How did you stumble on that?

LEXI THOMPSON: The LPGA uploaded in on their Instagram and they tagged me, I believe. Somebody tagged me on it. So I was on my Instagram and I saw it. Watched it probably two or three times and I got chills every time. It was a putt to win and I didn't know it. Even if it wasn't for the win, the crowds and having the fist pimp, it would give me chills no matter what.

Q. I wanted to ask a few questions about your brand and your products. What's the level of input you've had on developing or deciding what it is that you're doing with the skin care?

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, that's the whole thing. Skin care, like I said, it's copper based, the first one in America. Basically stimulate collagen, anti-aging, and all that. I'm very excited about it. It's definitely something I am very interested in and I want a lot of input in, so I think it's good for me.

So along the way, hopefully be at some of the meetings and have input, whether it's what container is it they're using or anything like that, colors and branding.

I don't know. I'm just very excited to have something other than golf and something that I'm interested in and hopefully can help people's skin, and my skin. The product is great. I'm already using it. I'm excited for the process of it all and just to be a part of something.

Q. So all that's upcoming. All the details you're hoping to be a part of?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. Well, we're hoping to have it launched, the first branch of it, in December of 2020, and 2021 it'll be hopefully up and going.

Q. Is there any other athlete in this space that you look to that has their own product line that you like how they do things and it's inspired you to take this on?

LEXI THOMPSON: On the golf course I'm not too sure. I think just in general in the world, I feel like there is some females out there that have branded themselves. Like Jessica Simpson has her own line of clothing and things like that. I'm not only a golfer, I'm a person off the golf course as well, and I definitely -- I wanted to have a brand, something I was passionate about.

I'm not going to golf forever, so I wanted to have something to be able to do when I'm not golfing, and also as well when I am golfing, I'll have something other than just my round on the course to be passionate about.

Q. If I can just ask one more question. You and Bryson share the same agent and now you're both driving Bentleys. Have you spent any time with him? Were you able to watch the U.S. Open? And sort of what's your takeaway with how he's changing the game?

LEXI THOMPSON: The few times I've spent him were just at photo shoots, so I've got to spend a little time with him. That's about it. I did watch the U.S. Open. It was just remarkable how he played. It was truly inspiring just what he did that last day, the whole week in general, and what he's doing for the game.

He has his own beliefs on what he can bring to the game, physical-wise, what he's changed, and he knows what he can do. I know love that about him. He believes in himself. He doesn't care what people think. He goes out there and does his own thing.

If it doesn't work, doesn't work. He's on to the next thing to keep on trying to improve himself. I think that's what we're all trying to do.

Q. Have you recently -- you're already a long player; plenty of length -- but have you ever thought about chasing more distances, drinking more protein shakes?

LEXI THOMPSON: I think we all don't mind a little bit of extra distance, but I don't want to put on 40 pounds. (Laughter.)

No, I think for me, it's just doing the right training and I know what my body is capable of, when I swing my best, what kind of shape my body is in.

So I think we're all different. Physically-wise we know when we perform our best how our body is and how we feel.

Q. Do you drink protein shakes?

LEXI THOMPSON: I do, but like one a day maybe. (Laughter.) After my workout. Hey, whatever works, right? Whatever is working for you, you do it.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for spending time with us this morning.

LEXI THOMPSON: Thank you. Appreciate it.

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