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July 12, 2022

Stacy Lewis

Maria Fassi

Midland, Michigan, USA

Midland Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to the virtual media center here at Dow GLBI. Here with I believe Team Tex-Mex? What was the --





THE MODERATOR: I remember that. Back again to see you guys here. Start off with Maria. Maria, I remember all throughout last year at this event and kind of the remaining season, how much pairing with Stacy really changed your season and kind of changed your outlook.

As we head into this week what do you think about when you think about last year?

MARIA FASSI: I'm hoping it happens again. But, no, I mean, I think any time I get to play with her there is so much to learn. We been talking a little bit, and I think I'm in a little better space mentally and golf-wise than I was last year.

So there has been a lot of work put in, and I'm just very happy that we're back out here again, that we get to enjoy this fun week, and hopefully have a great one out on the golf course as well.

THE MODERATOR: Stacy, what's it like for year two with Maria as your partner?

STACY LEWIS: It's fun. I had a blast last year just seeing the way she grew from Monday to Saturday. I mean, just she put in a lot of work this week last year. I can tell just yesterday playing together she's in a better headspace and enjoying golf a little bit more, which is great to see.

I know she was struggling last year, so I think just getting in a better headspace. I mean, it just makes what we do more enjoyable. It's hard, it's a grind, and just to see her enjoying it a little more is exciting.

THE MODERATOR: Maria, I know this week not only are you a Dow ambassador, but you have a little buddy following you this week in Mia. I believe she won an essay contest with Fassi and Friends. Do you want to explain what this program?

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, so with the foundation, we had been thinking about what other ways we could continue to just give the kids cool opportunities, and we partnered with Dow and they were like, Hey, how about you bring somebody to the tournament and they can kind of experience what we go through week in and week out.

So she wrote an essay about why golf should be inclusive and kind of for everybody to access, and she wrote an amazing essay. We had a lot them that were very, very good, but she crushed it, so her and her dad are here with us this week.

We're having a lot of fun. It's keeping me a little more entertained as well outside of the golf course, which is great. It's just fun to see her smile, see her excited. Keeping all of us in a better headspace as well and well behaved.

But, yeah, it's just a cool thing that we were able to do with Dow. Hopefully we can continue to do it throughout the years, but it's been super cool so far.

THE MODERATOR: I know she won an essay contest. Do you mind spilling a little about what the essay contest was about or what she wrote about in particular?

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, so she wrote about why golf should be for everybody. I think the thing that put her essay over everybody else's was she went and talked about a few of the kids, some of which had different disabilities and stuff and things that she had learned from them in how to persevere and how be nice and polite and cheer everybody on.

She took the time to give specific examples of some of the kids we have in our clinics, and it was great. I mean, I was reading them and I couldn't stop smiling. Couple of them made me tear up, and hers was amazing.

THE MODERATOR: Absolutely incredible story. Stacy, also for something not entirely inside the ropes, but this isn't your first time playing this event but first time playing as a Solheim Cup captain taken.


THE MODERATOR: Is there any different perspective going into a week like this that is a team event? Are you looking at any of the American teams with a different competitive?

STACY LEWIS: I'm excited for the fact we had a couple teams that came out of this, last year's Solheim Cup, that wanted to play together again. They kind of found that bond last year, and Lizette and Jennifer Kupcho, they were both a little bit hesitant to pair together in the Solheim Cup week.

Now to see they want to play together this week is a great thing. So I'll be watching to see how they play, but also just see how -- if they're not playing with Americans, just to see how they do in a team format and how they work together. You know, it's a good week to just watch and see how people do.

THE MODERATOR: Absolutely. Any questions?

Q. Maria, a year later, what's the best advice Stacy gave you?

MARIA FASSI: I think there is a few.

STACY LEWIS: Put her on the spot.

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, we could be here for a while. I think the most important one I think is just to don't forget why we play the game and to enjoy it. I think we make it be such a big deal at times, let it get in our heads.

I think at the end of the day we just have to come out and do what we know how to do. Golf is hard enough. We don't need to make it harder with making up stories in our own heads.

I think just trusting that the work that I've put in is going to pay off, and just keep doing that.

Q. Stacy, you were always so intense inside the ropes. Have you become more comfortable being a mentor now?

STACY LEWIS: I think becoming a mom has having Chesnee has changed me a lot. I think a lot of people would say that. As I got older I kind of see my position more in the game, that I can influence and help other players.

And I know what she's going through. I was there. I was a rookie over in Japan, like what the heck am I doing? I'm struggling. I'm doing okay, but I'm not where I want to be. I'm not winning golf tournaments. How do I get better? What do I do?

To pick those people up with you and make them better, making her better is a going to make this tour better, and I guess I just see more of the big picture now versus just worrying about me and winning that golf tournament.

Q. Stacy, I wanted to ask you what you know of or remember of an Annika-Karrie rivalry. Both in the field this week, and also playing against each on in the Senior LPGA next week. Just what it means to have both of them in these fields.

STACY LEWIS: Oh, it's super exciting. I mean, obviously I know -- probably closer with Karrie than Annika, so I've heard lots of stories from Karrie along the way. Just how fired up she got when she heard that Annika was playing.

Just, I mean, that rivalry was so great for our game. I remember the two of them competing. Now to see it on this side and really learn the back stories of what was going on, you know, it's really interesting. But it's tremendous for the game.

Gosh, for those senior events it's unbelievable. I can't wait until Karrie can play in the Senior Open as well. Excited that they're here playing. I think it's great for the tournament and great opportunities for Marina and Madelene to just go learn, like what Maria was talking about.

MARIA FASSI: You're not that old though. No worries.

STACY LEWIS: I know, but I got to learn from Karrie. I played so many practice rounds with her. She's been a great friend. She has been a mentor to me. For Marina and Madelene to have that opportunity this week, I think it's amazing for them.

Q. If I could ask kind of -- Maria I am going to ask about Annika real quick and go back to Stacy. Same topic. In terms of Annika being a mentor of years -- I know you've gotten close to her over years after winning her award, what did it mean to see her back in the winner's circle at the Senior Women's Open? I know you weren't there, but to see her hoist a trophy and be surrounded by her family.

MARIA FASSI: It's amazing. I grew up watching her and it's crazy to see that after so many years of competing and then not competing and starting a family that she still has the same drive and excitement she did on day one.

I think for a lot of the younger players it's pretty cool to see that her passion and love for the game is maybe even more now. You know, it's a little bit different, of course, but she is just doing everything that she can to continue to grow the game.

It's been pretty cool to see her and see her out in a couple of tournaments out here on the LPGA and this week. It's pretty cool to see her drive and passion.

Q. Stacy, just one more. So team events haven't always been considered official on the LPGA going back decades.


Q. Do you agree that this one is considered an official win, and why or why not is that important?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, no, I think it should be an official win. Yeah, it's a team format, but you're still playing against the best players in the world. For Dow, I think for our sponsors, it should be an official format. I don't think you get world rankings points. There is no way to count stats or anything like that with the format.

But I think you can still call it an official win. I have no problem with that. I think the tournament deserves that. I think Dow's investment into this tournament and women's golf deserves it. And players do, too. You're playing four rounds. You still got to hit the putts, the shots. You just got a little bit of help.

And so we need events like this. This is fun. It's in the middle of the summer, in the middle of kind of the really stressful stretch for us with all these majors, so it's a really important tournament for us.

Q. Maria, for you as well, you talked about learning from Stacy last year and what that's done for your game. This is, as you said, as we've said, more laid back. It's still an official win. You're still going for the win. What does it mean to have an event like this as a Dow ambassador as we head into the rest of the season?

MARIA FASSI: It's awesome. I think -- and I read earlier this week that we've extended this tournament until 2029. So just to see their commitment, not only with us players, but with the whole tour and to see what the community does as well, I think everybody in this town gets involved with this tournament.

Like Stacy was saying, it falls in a perfect time of year where you still want play and compete and not get out of rhythm, but you're doing it in a way more fun and relaxed setting.

So I think it really helps take a lot of the pressure off and you can just go out and have fun. You hit some shots that you wouldn't hit normally, so I think that's also kind of cool, especially with how much stress we have between majors and now going overseas for a few weeks after this.

So I think it's a lot of fun. I'm happy that Dow has done it. I'm happy that I can represent Dow and all they stand for. Hopefully we get to do it for many for years.

THE MODERATOR: Stacy, one more from me. Obviously what's going on in Scotland, it's the 150th Open at St. Andrews. Obviously St. Andrews means a lot to you as well.

STACY LEWIS: Is it does, yes.

THE MODERATOR: Just overall what's going on over there, being able to follow The Open, does it make you think about the memories you had over there?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, 100%. I mean, you still think of certain holes and the golf shots you hit. It's my favorite place in the world. I love St. Andrews, being in that town. So just to see it on TV is really cool.

You know, I don't know, it's just the coolest place I think we have in golf. Obviously I have the Curtis Cup memories there and then winning, the whole week of winning. I can't wait. I think we get to go back in a couple years, so I'm really excited for that.

And I know she will be. The younger players won't have played there, so it will to be a really special week for our tour again.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to say, we'll be back there in 2024. For a past winner of the event at St, Andrews, what will it mean, do you think, to be able to step back on those hallowed grounds in 2024?

STACY LEWIS: I think the players will see how special it is. I just think we've only had two female winners there. Lorena and I are the only ones that have won at St. Andrews included with the list of all these guys.

The tour is going there to add another winner to that list, so I think just that opportunity for the women is huge. We have an awesome opportunity at Muirfield this summer. So just the investment across the board, we're giving our players lots of great opportunity to do things that have never been done.

Q. I can't believe I didn't ask about St. Andrews. Can I ask both of you your memories of watching Lorena win at St. Andrews in 2007. Did you watch?

STACY LEWIS: I don't remember a ton of it.

MARIA FASSI: Yeah, I don't remember watching it. I remember kind of everything that followed after that win. I mean, the pictures and just I was reading actually this morning something about like how crazy that night was in St. Andrews.

Very on brand for us Mexicans to throw a good party after a win. So it's pretty cool to see, like Stacy was saying, that only the two of them have their names written in history at St. Andrews.

I'm very happy and blessed that I get to call both of them my friends. I'm proud of both of them. Very excited to get to see a lot more of that hopefully in a couple years and get to experience what St. Andrews truly is.

Q. Stacy, did you go back when The Open was at Kingsbarns? Did you go back to the Old Course?

STACY LEWIS: I did. Actually, I stayed there. I stayed at Dunvegan again. The Dunvegan and St. Andrews has a special place for me. I even stopped there when we were in between quarantines, or in between our bubbles last year I stopped through there.

My caddie, Travis and I, we walked around and reminisced a little bit. Walked on 18 and stuff like that. It truly is, it's my favorite place. Any opportunity I have I'm going to stop back through there. (Smiling.)

Q. So when you guys were my age, I was wondering what you did for practice?

STACY LEWIS: What we did for practice? When I was your age I had just started playing golf, so I was doing a lot playing with my dad and I would always meet with him and play a few holes.

What I would tell you to practice a lot is your short game.

MARIA FASSI: She's very good at that, let me tell you already.


MARIA FASSI: Yes. She's a great putter. I would play a lot. I did not practice a whole lot when I was younger, but I would go out on the golf course a lot and just spend as much time as I could out there with my brothers. My dad would come from time to time even though he shouldn't be allowed on a golf course.

But we would just go as a family and try to have as much fun as we could.

Q. Do you guys have any advice for me?

STACY LEWIS: Any advice? Follow her around and do what she's doing.

MARIA FASSI: Because I'm following her around and trying to do what she is doing, so it's a fun chain.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you both for joining us here today.

STACY LEWIS: Thank you.

MARIA FASSI: Thank you.

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