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October 15, 2010

Stacy Lewis


Q. Talk about the shot there at the end.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it was the only option there. I think it was the only chance I had of getting it close, so I knew I had to try to. If it worked out, fine. If not, I took my par and went on.

Q. We both cringed thinking, If we did that, there's no way.
STACY LEWIS: I'm sure my dad's over there, What is she doing?

Q. What were you using?
STACY LEWIS: A 60-degree.

Q. How much does that sort of - I mean, obviously you played well either way, but to end your round that way.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I played well really good on the front, and then just kind of struggled a little bit on the back.
Definitely to finish with a birdie gives you good momentum going into the weekend.

Q. I'm sure you've heard this many times, for us it's obviously kind of a new story here. To go through everything you've gone through and be here, how satisfying is that journey?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I mean, every day I'm just grateful to be able to play. Yeah, you want to play well and win golf tournaments. But to be out here competing week to week without any pain most of the time, I couldn't ask for anything more.

Q. Does it affect you at all? Looks like you whack the ball pretty hard.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, not anymore. I mean, the first couple years after surgery it hurt pretty bad at the end of the day and things like that.
Now I take care of it. I work out. No problems.

Q. What do you need to do? Stretching exercises?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, stretching. Just anything that keeps the muscles around where they did the surgery strong.

Q. Will the pins stay in there forever?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. Actually you can have surgery to get the rod and the screws removed, but it's another six months of not being able to do anything and rehab. It's just not worth it.
It doesn't bother me or go off in airports or anything like that, so I just say leave it in.

Q. What is it? Just a steel rod and screws?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, a rod and five screws.

Q. When was the surgery?
STACY LEWIS: June of 2003.

Q. Oh, so that long ago?

Q. Was there ever serious doubt whether you would be able to play golf again?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, my doctor, he told me I would be able to, but I never really believed him all along.
I guess with the way your spine works is that everything rotates together. So all the screws, when I turn, everything just turns with it.
So I'm limited just bending over, which, I mean, you don't need that in a golf swing.

Q. Right. What was childhood like, to have that brace for as long as you did? Seven years, right?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, six and a half years. It was really hard. I mean, I wouldn't wish it on any kid out there. I wish there was another way you could fix it. But, I mean, it allowed me it grow and get taller. I'm not that tall anyway, so I'm glad I got to grow an extra few inches.
I don't know, it was actually a good thing for me. It helped my golf game in a positive way and helped me grow up a little bit.
But I wouldn't wish it on any kid out there.

Q. I was going to ask, what was it like to play golf with the brace?
STACY LEWIS: That was my way of getting out of the brace was playing golf. So that's kind of why I played.

Q. So you took it off?
STACY LEWIS: I had to wear it to school, to sleep in. So it was like as soon as I got home from school I was like, I'm going to practice, and I would rip it off and run out the door. That was my excuse to get out, so that's kind of how golf came into the picture.

Q. So what kind of brace was it?
STACY LEWIS: Hard plastic that went from like here it here. Had three straps in the back. Had Velcro straps in the back. Just strap it on and go.

Q. So it was just lower back?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, for me it was just lower. Some people it can get where they have it up around their shoulders, but mine was just in my lower back.

Q. (Question in progress.)
STACY LEWIS: No, we didn't really know about it and didn't know much about it. My mom was a nurse, so she knew kind of what it was when she heard about it. I don't think any of us expected it to last as long as it did.

Q. And how self-conscious, I mean, an 11-year-old girl, had to be very -- the social adjustment had to be...
STACY LEWIS: Well, yeah. That's all you're worried about is what you look like in clothes, what do you tell your friends. You don't want people to make fun of you. I mean, I went through all that kind of stuff.
But looking back, I was like, Why was I so self-conscious of it? That's just how you are at that age.

Q. You met other kids that have come along and...
STACY LEWIS: I get letters and e-mails, kids that come out to tournaments. It's really cool that I can inspire them to get through what they're getting through and know that -- I mean, all these kids are like, You're amazing. We have the same thing as you and you made me want to go ride a horse or go out for swimming or do something.
It kind of hit me when I started getting all these letters that -- I was like, Well, I'm kind of doing all this for another reason now.

Q. Any out here today?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, actually he at the Wegman's earlier this year, I met a girl last year, and then kind of met another girl this year. Actually, they had their surgeries around the same time with the same doctor, they're about the same age, and they're actually really good friends now because I introduced them to each other and their parents talk all the time.

Q. How old are they?
STACY LEWIS: I think they were like 11 and 12. So that's just something that, I don't know, I just feel lucky to be able to do for the kids.

Q. Now, when you had the surgery, that's when your golf year career was kind of in doubt?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I had it right after I graduated from high school. I couldn't bend or twist for six months , so you couldn't even bend over to pick something up. I had to squat down.
So I didn't swing a golf club for six months.

Q. Were you in it another kind of brace?
STACY LEWIS: I had to wear another brace for three months. I mean, that was nothing at the time, because that whole three months I was at home I didn't feel good.
But then I went to school. Like four months after I had surgery, went to college. My college coach was great. She's like, You can redshirt a year, come back and play, no problem.
So I started playing in Jan of '04 again.

Q. Who was your college coach?
STACY LEWIS: Kelley Hester at University of Arkansas.

End of FastScripts

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