July 22, 2021
Evian Resort Golf Club
Q. How did today go? Solid day it looked like.
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, it was really good. I hit the ball really well. I think I made six birdies, and I gave myself a lot more opportunities, so overall it was just a pretty easy day.
Q. 65 seems to be a magic number. You've shot that now in four of your last five tournaments in the first round, including the team event, you guys shot a 65. Each of those times you shot it, you've finished in the top 15. What is it about the fast starts that you've been able to get out of the gate quick early lately?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I mean, I'm not sure. I guess just being more comfortable with the Thursday, Friday and not really thinking about the cut at all, just kind of knowing that when I put myself in good position after the first round, it makes the rest of the way kind of easy, I guess.
I guess I just enjoy getting out there and trying to make as many birdies as I can the first day.
Q. Have you put an emphasis on the day after you shoot in the 60, because I think I saw, too, when I was looking at some of your numbers, whenever you've followed up a round in the 60s with another round in the 60s you've always finished inside the top 15, as well, this year. Do you put an emphasis --
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I don't think I really approach a round with like a number.
Q. Do you put an emphasis though on following up a good round with making sure you don't go backwards the next day?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Not really. I mean, I feel like I don't really think about it that way. I know that if I shot 65 today, I'm hitting the ball well, so that continues to give me an opportunity to score well tomorrow. Just kind of doing the same thing I did today.
Q. Do you have some good memories from here with the Palmer Cup?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, I do, but I actually have a lot more bad memories from how bad I played two years ago, so it's nice to put a good round out there today.
Q. Let's start with the good memories. What do you remember from your time here in the Palmer Cup? I know Maria was talking a little bit about some stories you guys shared earlier this week. Do you have any good stories, any good memories you could share?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I just remember playing alternate-shot with the guys. They put us in like a lot of interesting places, and on No. 7 specifically he put me behind the bathroom off the tee, and he was like, oh, you can just hit an 8-iron out over the bathroom house in the trees, and I'm like, I'm going to have to wedge out a 60 from here. It definitely made the course a lot harder playing from where the boys hit it. But it was a lot of fun.
Q. What did you do in that situation to get out of that?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I ended up just taking a 60 and like putting it back in the fairway, and I was like, you can handle the rest of it.
Q. What about two years ago? What did you learn from the event two years ago to help you when you stepped foot this week to prepare for the major?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, Josh and I were kind of playing the course on Tuesday. I was just thinking back to two years ago and how I played and just didn't play very smart. This course you have to hit it in certain spots and like let the ball roll, and sometimes you can play like 40 to 50 feet away from the flag, and I feel like two years ago I was just playing at every pin and not really creating any strategy at all.
So I feel like once you learn the course enough, it definitely makes it a lot easier.
Q. How much different is the course playing from two years ago that you remember? When you take a year off from the tournament, I would imagine you've got to relearn a few things over again or just take some new strategy.
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, I think the course plays pretty much the same. I feel like it's always going to have super tight tee shots with long rough, so it's just so critical to get the ball in the fairway, which I felt like two years ago I didn't do well at all. But today I hit my driver really well, so being in the fairway off the tee is just huge because you'll always have more looks at birdie versus struggling from the rough.
Q. Coming off the team event, how did you adjust -- coming off the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, how did you get back into stroke play mentality and right into major form?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, I felt like last week was good practice for me. It was really fun. But then also I kind of noticed that I kind of had like my "B" game, maybe even "C" game. I didn't hit the ball as well as I would have hoped. Kind of just talked with my coach after and looked at some swing videos and tweaked some things, so the ball-striking was definitely a lot better today in the past few days than last week. So I felt like last week was great practice and preparation for this week. Any time you can have fun with your friends and play some golf and learn new things, it's always a good experience.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports