December 9, 2020
Houston, Texas, USA
Champions Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: Welcome back. Please join me in welcoming Stacy Lewis to the interview area. Stacy is a Houston native and she is competing here in her hometown.
She has 13 LPGA victories including two major championship titles. What does it mean to have the U.S> Women's Open here in Houston?
STACY LEWIS: It's a really big deal. I wish they could have people out here and kids out here. I just think of growing up in this area and being that little kid that needs to see us play, that needs to have those goals and those aspirations.
We just don't get to play in Texas a lot, so it's a really big deal that we're here, especially at Champions of all places.
THE MODERATOR: Give us some insight into these courses. You obviously know them well.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I've played USGA qualifiers here a lot as a kid. Grew up 45 minutes away. You know what, a lot of it is angles to hole locations, because obviously the greens are very big, so they're going to play very different from a front to a back pin.
Just knowing where you can and can't miss it. The two golf courses are very different. Grasses are similar, so don't have to change a whole lot there, but just the strategy. I'm comfortable on the golf course.
My caddie and I were joking that this is just the most laid-back, easy U.S. Open practice I think -- a couple of days I think I've ever had just because I've been able to work on my game and work on my swing and not worry about the golf courses so much.
Q. Feeling so laid-back, when the gun actually goes off, how do you keep from pressing too much, because I know this is an important one?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, you just -- I think this golf course does it for you because you can't force anything here. You get kind of greedy and go after a pin you shouldn't, you're going to pay the price. You just kind of have to plot your way around here and playing boring golf.
I do think not having fans is going to help me a little bit because definitely when you have more crowds and more people following you, it creates more pressure there. So from that aspect, the no fans is a good thing.
Q. Houston is a large city, doesn't have an LPGA event here. What would it mean for the LPGA, Houston itself, to have a regular stop every year? And also, what would it mean to promote for girls' golf, for junior golfers, as well as just the recreational female golfer?
STACY LEWIS: Well, Houston is one of the biggest cities in the world, and there's so many companies that are headquartered here, and I kind of throw it out to them to say, Hey, let's get us here more often. Let's have a tournament here every year, because there's plenty of good golf courses that are able to do that.
In general we don't play a lot in Texas. The Dallas event has only been here recently. Like I said before, just having the kids to be able to come and have role models and have aspirations, to want to be in this tournament one day, that's what we're missing this week.
From that aspect I think it's kind of sad for the kids in the area. But hopefully this will maybe spark an interest and get us coming back.
Q. If everything goes well this week, you think it would help Houston's chances to get eventually an annual stop every year?
STACY LEWIS: I don't know. I mean, I think the way things are going right now, who knows, with what companies want to do. But you've got all these energy companies in this area, and I just make a pitch to anybody that is supporting women in their organization and in their company to want to come out and to see this and to see the best in the world.
Maybe they can do something to help within the tournament to help their business, so it's a win-win for both. It usually just takes one person believing in us and having the idea.
Q. The Jackrabbit layout is so much tighter than the other one, and I was wondering if it requires almost -- it rewards different skill sets, and does that increase the challenge of anyone that, unlike you, is not really familiar and has had to kind of decide which course do I want to try to figure out more?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, from playing I feel like Jackrabbit usually plays a little harder, even though it's shorter, just because the greens are elevated and there's places you just can't miss it on that golf course. And that's what having the knowledge here is going to -- hopefully should help me. You can't always control where the golf ball goes, but just knowing the little things about it.
I would say skill set-wise it's going to be similar because you're going to -- even on Cypress you have to be able to control your longer irons, control how much it's releasing out. I'd say it's similar there. It's going to be somebody that hits it high and that can control it, I think.
Q. Someone told me, to your point, that Jackrabbit is not a course because of its nuances that you can walk once and figure out. At the end of the day, could that be weirdly where the tournament is won or lost?
STACY LEWIS: Potentially for sure. I think in everybody's head you say, We're going to play Cypress three times, my focus is going to go that way more than the other one. And then you have a bad day on Jackrabbit and you're not even playing the next two.
So I do think that -- I know people have asked me and I've just told them, Pay attention to Jackrabbit. Figure out where you can and can't hit it, because that's the biggest thing over there.
Q. There's a lot of golfers, male and female, that look up to you. When you were growing up was there someone that was your role model?
STACY LEWIS: To be honest, I didn't watch that much golf growing up. It wasn't really until I got in college that I really started watching golf at all. And then once I did, I really got to know the history of the game and I wanted to learn from other people.
That's something that I did day one from when I got on Tour, and I still do. I watch how other people practice. I watch what other people do. Because somebody always does something better than you, whether it's a little chip shot or how they do lag putting or whatever it is.
So when I came on Tour I tried to play a lot with Karrie Webb. I was in Meg Mallon and Beth Daniels' ears a lot, Betsy King and Nancy Lopez. They've all been so helpful to me. A lot of it is not specifically how to hit a putt, but it's how to handle everything that we do and the emotions of it.
So for me it was more once I got on Tour and got to this level.
Q. If there was a stop in Houston with all these girls and everything, if there was a stop now, they could sit there and look up and get more involved in it?
STACY LEWIS: Absolutely, and maybe that's part of it, is I never had an opportunity to go to a tournament. We did go to the Jamie Farr when I was a kid. My parents are from Toledo, so we always went to that tournament. But that was really when I was pretty little. It wasn't when I was really interested in golf.
Q. Lexi has a new caddie this week; you've had the same caddie for your entire career.
STACY LEWIS: 12 years.
Q. This is such a unique tournament, two golf courses. How difficult is it to adjust to a new caddie while trying to learn two golf courses all at the same time?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I've never had to adjust to a new caddie, so -- I mean, the hardest thing I guess would be that trust factor of knowing that he knows what he's talking about kind of thing and trusting and just seeing certain -- Travis knows what shape of shot I see. He knows the type of shots that I see and where -- if you had a different caddie, they wouldn't know that as much.
You know, maybe with a new caddie you're doing more yourself, which on these golf courses -- if you have two, you need some help. You need somebody to kind of rely on because you can't -- in two days, three days, you can't go map two golf courses and know what to do on every hole location yourself.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Stacy. Good luck this week.
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