December 17, 2020
Naples, Florida, USA
Tiburón Golf Club
Q. Nice 7-under to open the 2020 CME Group Tour Championship. Just take us through the day and getting started off on a really strong foot.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I started off pretty quickly with a birdie on 2 and 3 and 4. I don't know even know. But got off to a quick start, which always helps the round. Just trying to keep the pedal down and play aggressive golf and really just try to be relaxed out there with my brother and just enjoy my time.
Q. Speaking of your brother, how nice was it? You had a different caddie on the bag last week. Probably learned some new facts on the course. Just having that comfortability level with your brother on the bag. Talk a lot about it, just having him here.
LEXI THOMPSON: It's great. I love hanging out with my brother, Curtis. We hang out basically every weekend. If we're both home we are always playing golf together and joking around. It's great to have him out here. I really appreciate him helping me out and keeping me loose out there. Whether I play good or bad, he always keeps a smile on my face.
Q. Speaking of the start, you had, what, five birdies in a six-hole stretch to start on the front nine, and ended with two more. Just the momentum you kind of came in with, you talk about being positive over the ball. But having that momentum throughout the round seemed to be a really positive factor for you.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, if definitely helped. With five birdies in my first six holes it's hard to keep that going, unless it's a 59 watch.
But I was just overall very happy with how I committed to my shots. That's what I've really been working on. I've been working so hard on my game in general trying to improve on it, and it's been kind of an up and down roller coaster with an unfortunate week last week.
But I've worked extremely hard this last week coming into this, so very happy with how today went and how I committed to my shots.
Q. Was it almost a blessing in disguise last week of not having to go the all through the travel and circumstances and come in this event with the magnitude this is and have a fresh approach?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean, you can look at it that way for sure. It was hard too, at the time, to look at a missed cut in a good way. I flew home a day early and worked extremely hard the one day I got to practice before I headed over here. I hit it until almost my hands started bleeding. I had blisters and they started to bleed. I'm like, Okay, maybe I should stop.
Yeah, it was kind of a blessing in disguise. I needed to work on my game and get home and drive over here and really just take my time to get used to this golf course.
Q. And this golf course you thoroughly enjoy it. Past champion here in 2018; played here multiple times. Course obviously fits you really well. Do you continue to see new things on the course or do you feel like you got a pretty good grasp?
LEXI THOMPSON: I think honestly it just plays different every year. Firmness-wise it's playing softer this year than other years. It's in great shape. I know the guys played on it the week before, so the greens are rolling so pure. Definitely in great shape for you us.
I would say that's the main difference. Nothing really changes dramatically. They added a few bunkers over time around the greens and fairways, but that's about it.
But it's definitely in great shape for us.
Q. You were talking about the hard work you put in. What are the feel keys that you got coming into this week that allow to you play this well?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, honestly, I've just been trying to find something that's worked in my swing that I felt like my swing just had a good rhythm to it.
I worked really well at ANA, played really well. I hit it good there. Kind of went away of course. With golf it works for one week and goes away.
But I've been trying get to that feel again and really just that my draw is gonna work. Aim it on the right side of pins and just draw back to them. Just really trust my golf swing. Get over my shots and know that I can hit them well.
Q. So more of a rhythm thing?
LEXI THOMPSON: It's more of a tempo and rhythm and honestly trust factor for me. Doing my routine and just making sure I'm relaxed and committing to my targets out there.
Q. Sometimes you can see a putt and know it's going in immediately, and that looked the way you were today. Tempo and everything was perfect on the putts. What is it that you worked on there that brought that about today?
LEXI THOMPSON: Just like I said, being relaxed. I think that's the biggest thing for me. Sometimes I overthink putts sure lines, and reads, and I just kind of look at the greens book when I get to the green and just kind of went with feel after that.
Having my brother, Curtis, helped me as well. But I think today just getting in there, doing my routine, and going for it and not spending too much time over shots.
Q. Does that give you a level of confidence that Curtis can read a green?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it definitely helps. Always the second opinion helps, and just reassurance really. I think we were all pretty similar on every putt out there today.
Q. After the Women's Open, how disappointed were you, I guess no better way to put it than that, missing the cut there? How long did you take to got over it?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean, obviously it's disappointing. Any time you miss a cut it is in any event. I'm always frustrated with that. Being the U.S. Women's Open it was very frustrating, but the way I played I didn't deserve to make the weekend.
So that's kind of the way I looked at it, unfortunately. But like I said, I went home a day early and worked extremely hard on my game and knew what I needed to do and work on, and came into this week with a more of a positive attitude and outlook.
Q. And just with Curtis, the confidence on the greens, does he read every putt for you out there? How does that impact you on the greens?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, he basically reads every putt with me. Besides like the short ones. I'll just say -- from like three to five feet I'll just be like, Not much in it, left center, and he'll just agree with me.
But, yeah, he'll get in there and read every putt with me. Like I said, it's nice to get reassurance and extra confidence.
Q. Has Joe been working with you?
LEXI THOMPSON: He took a look at my swing this week. It's always nice to have a second look of eyes on my golf swing. He's a great coach and I like having him out there with me.
Q. We've got a video from Mary Browder, a patient with St. Jude. So just going to have you watch the video real quick.
MARY BROWDER: I don't know if you remember me, but my name is Mary Browder, and I met you last year at the CME pro-am. You kind of snuck on me while I was warming up on the green. First off, I just want say a huge congrats on both of your holes in one this year and last year. Easiest $40,000 you've ever donated, right?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah.
MARY BROWDER: I've been pretty close to a hole in one last year myself. I was about 35 inches short of getting it, which was still good enough for closest to the pin. I just want to say thank you for supporting St. Jude and good luck this week.
LEXI THOMPSON: Oh, my gosh, that's awesome. That's so cute. Thank you.
Q. You're one of her favorite players and she was really sad she couldn't be here, but she wanted to send that to you.
LEXI THOMPSON: Oh. Can you send that to me?
Q. Just comment on what it's like for the LPGA to be partnered with St. Jude in that endeavor?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it's amazing, honestly. Obviously we're out here playing against the best and the best golf courses. To play on a tour that gives so much back, and for St. Jude to be such a big partner means the world to us.
I mean, we had closest to the pin in the pro-ams, they donated. And then our hole in ones they donated a lot and some eagles I believe. So it's just great what this tour does in giving back.
As athletes we want to play and win, but we want to give back to the game as well and the world and make it a better place.
Q. Like Mary said, easiest $40,000.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, so easy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports