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May 13, 2022

Minjee Lee

Clifton, New Jersey, USA

Upper Montclair Country Club

Quick Quotes

Q. Here today with Minjee Lee. Minjee, you had a really good start today but and even better start to the back nine. Tell me what was going through your head there.

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, I was just riding momentum pretty much. I know I went birdie, birdie, eagle and that was really nice.

And I just tried to take all my good play from the front nine into the back nine.

Q. I been looking at your statistics and they are pretty exceptional.

MINJEE LEE: Thank you.

Q. You're leading in scoring; No. 1 in strokes gained tee to green; you're in the Top 10 in putts per green in regulation. It's phenomenal. What have you done to get to this point?

MINJEE LEE: I think just over the years I've got a lot more confidence in maybe my iron play. I mean, I'm really dialed in. That has always been my strength, my iron play, so I think in that aspect I was pretty confident before anyway, but just I been trying to work on my putting a little bit.

I know the numbers dropped a little bit there, so I have a little bit more work to do, but been going pretty good in week.

Q. Do you find that putting better frees up the rest of your game?

MINJEE LEE I mean, for sure. If you're hitting it good it also frees you up to putt better, too. So I think it plays -- both of the things play a role in having to play freely.

So, yeah, I mean, of course.

Q. You've gotten substantially longer. What have you done?

MINJEE LEE: Not too much. I mean, I didn't do anything too much different with working out or anything, but I just decided that I want to hit it harder so I just tried to practice that.

I think once you start doing it, you get a little bit more confidence in doing it on the golf course and in tournament rounds as well.

So I think that's just what's helped me the most.

Q. Are you a TrackMan watcher?

MINJEE LEE: I mean, I don't have one. Like I don't travel with one. When I'm at home or working with my coach we like to look at the numbers. Most of this stuff we work on in the off-season anyway, so it's just a good time to get all the numbers good and try and see what I need to work on.

Q. The numbers have been better since you went to Augusta and saw your brother. Should we draw any correlation from that?

MINJEE LEE: No. I've been striking it really well the whole year. I don't think so, but it was nice to see him play and hit it hard I guess.

Q. Min Woo is exceptionally long.

MINJEE LEE: He is. He's very, very long.

Q. Have you seen him in a while?

MINJEE LEE: No, I actually haven't. I mean, I saw him one day in the off-season and then he was already playing in events, and then the next time I saw him was at Augusta.

Yeah, I don't really catch up with him too often. It was nice to watch him play.

Q. Madelene said yesterday when she shot 63 she knew early everything just felt right, the holes felt big. Was that what you were going through today?

MINJEE LEE: I mean, I don't know. To be fair, I never really thought about it in that way. I know it sounds cliche, but I just try to do what's in front of -- like assess what's in front of me and just play the shot that I need to.

I go pretty much shot by shot and not get too far ahead of myself. When I had a putt I tried to hole it. When I had a shot I tried to hit it close. Yeah.

Q. Seemed a lot of your birdies were in makable range. Was that the key to today's round?

MINJEE LEE: For sure. Hitting it close really helps you, just like I said before, really just frees you up. Even with the short putts it's just like a little more confidence boost, I think.

And is I did hole a few long birdie putts as well, so that was nice, to keep the momentum going as well.

Q. You're in a position now to win at all costs, I guess.

MINJEE LEE: Good pun.

Q. Yes. You have great numbers this year but you've only won once. Are you looking to start winning more?

MINJEE LEE: I haven't won this year.

Q. Oh, I thought you did.

MINJEE LEE: But maybe this will be the first one and it'll kick start the rest of the year.

Q. Yesterday you had a double bogey on hole 10 and today you go on to birdie it.


Q. How do you separate what did you yesterday on that hole to be able to capitalize on the same one today?

MINJEE LEE: You know, I was like, I'm not making the same mistake twice, so I made a better decision from off the tee, and then I was on the fairway and the pin was in the front, so it was quite easy to hit a wedge.

And I hit -- and I hit it close, so it was nice to make a birdie.

Q. After having a 9-under round today how can you continue that over the weekend?

MINJEE LEE: I think I'm just going to go in with the same mindset, just go shot by shot. The course hasn't been playing too firm yet so I'm not sure how the conditions will change. Just depending. I'll just be pretty aggressive I think and just do my best.

Q. And when you stood on 16 tee, if you birdied out you would've shot 59. Does something like that every enter your mind? Clearly not since you didn't know until right now.

MINJEE LEE: No, I didn't know, but now that you say it, maybe I could have, but not today.

Q. Madelene shot a 9-under yesterday; you shot 9-under today. Early in the week did you think these kind of rounds were out here at this golf course?

MINJEE LEE: No. It was like so -- it was much, much windier and it was much colder, so I didn't think it was going to be that, that low, to be honest.

I thought it was going to be like 10-under the winning score. We've already exceeded that. Just depends on the conditions on the weekend as well, I think. I think that will really make us go forward or make us go back.

Q. What's the plan to get ready for tomorrow?

MINJEE LEE: I think I'm going to go get a bubble tea. Yeah.

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