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December 13, 2011

Lexi Thompson


THE MODERATOR:  Alexis, welcome back to the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.  How does it feel to be back in Dubai?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It feels great.  I was looking forward to this tournament for a while, so I had an amazing time last year.
THE MODERATOR:  So are you ready to go out and tackle the tournament tomorrow?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah.  I definitely am.  I had a practice round yesterday and had a lot of fun in my Pro Am today, so kind of looking forward to doing the same.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take some questions for Lexi.

Q.  Hi, Lexi.  Do you take some time out of your position and think that you've created history and what it does for your future?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  You know, I definitely look back at it and say like, wow, I really did that, but you know, in between tournaments I just love hanging out with friends.  I'm a normal teenager, besides I made history.  But I love what I do, and I've worked so hard for it.

Q.  (Inaudible question regarding records broken.)
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I'm sure it'll be broken.  I don't know how long, but I'm sure it definitely will be broken.

Q.  Maybe you could also sum up the year and winning the tournament and now you're joining the tour.  Coming here last year you were really kind of ‑‑ you know, you were trying to get tournaments under your belt just to get some experience, and now where you're at now, maybe talk about how the year's been for you.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah, the beginning of the year, I actually struggled probably for the first half.  I was struggling with my game, but I just worked through it.  I went to go see Jim McLean a few times and I got through it.  I just had to be really patient.
But going through the whole process, all these experiences have been really great learning experiences for me.

Q.  So how does the year ahead look for you, Alexis?  What do you plan to do?  How many tournaments are you going to play, and what's your ideal achievement?  What would satisfy you in 2012?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I'll probably be playing around 20 events for next year.  That's what we're thinking.  I know I start off with three weeks straight in Australia for two and then I go to Thailand the end of January.  So starting off with that, but you know, just trying to improve every year, every tournament, and I go into every event wanting to win.

Q.  I saw your par‑3 yesterday.  Your tee shots, you were better than Sophie, except the first and the 8th hole.  And also the putt on 4.  What is your favorite shot, the putting or the long shots?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I love hitting long shots.  I mean I've worked really hard on my long game, but recently I've been chipping and putting every day, about like six hours a day, but I love hitting my driver and working on my long game probably the most.

Q.  In terms of winning, how does that change things for you, winning your first tournament, and coming in here, do you come in, like you said, is this a tournament you think you can win after playing last year?  When you look at the field and everything, or what's your mindset, and again, how did that mindset change a bit after winning?  Must have made a big difference.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah.  Winning definitely gave me a lot more confidence, so going into every event knowing I can win.
But like I said, I go into every event wanting to win, but you know, it's not going to happen every time, so you just gotta take it shot by shot and hope it goes well.

Q.  You have an older brother playing on the PGA TOUR.  How much of a help was that in dealing with everything?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It's been a big help.  I have two older brothers.  So pretty much growing up with them got me started with the game, always watching them.  I don't really think I had a choice.  I loved it from the start, and always watching them was a great thing for me.

Q.  Lexi, how has life changed since the victory for you?  I imagine there must be an awful lot more media attention and hype and focus around you, back home, especially being like a teenage starlet in school kind of thing.  How has it changed your life since?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I would probably say just the few weeks after, I had a lot of media stuff.  I went to New York and did a lot of TV shows and photo shoots.  But it's calmed down, and I still love hanging out with my friends.  It's relaxing.  Just a lot more media.

Q.  So when you're with your friends, what kind of things do you guys like doing, and where is home now for you?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I live in Coral Springs, Florida.

Q.  So that's where your friends are.  Are you still going to school or are you home schooled?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I'm home schooled.  I do it all on line, and I'll finish next May.

Q.  So with your friends what kind of things do you do when you're hanging out?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Pretty much just go to movies, out to dinner, and beach sometimes, just what normal teenagers do.

Q.  I mean you're kind of going down the same road as Michelle Wie, and now she comes into this tournament having not won this year.  She's struggled a little bit.  Now that you've won do you kind of see yourself setting a goal next year of five or six tournaments or winning a major or are you kind of taking it a little bit slower and say, okay, I won this year and hopefully I'll win a couple more.  What's your outlook in terms of looking ahead?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I'm definitely taking it slow.  You just have to take tournament by tournament.  I don't like to get ahead of myself.  I always want to win, but you have to work really hard for that, amazing players out here, and the best in the world, so it's going to take a lot.

Q.  You mentioned the attention you got recently and the trips to New York and everything, that's probably a taster of what people like Tiger Woods get.  If you continue with your game, how do you feel about that kind of attention moving forward?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I loved it, actually.  I mean it was definitely a lot of attention, but you know, it was great.  I got to meet a lot of pretty famous people, like Taylor Lautner, Jonah Hill.  It was an amazing experience for me, and hopefully continue it.

Q.  Do your friends treat you any differently since you've met all these famous people?  Do they look at you perhaps differently or treat you differently or is it still the same?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  No.  They don't treat me any differently.  They're still the same around me.  I wouldn't want them to treat me any different.  That's what true friends do, they stay the same throughout your life, no matter what you do.

Q.  I'm sure you're picking up all the tab nowadays.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Most of the time.  It's good, though.

Q.  What's your views on academics?  And I am asking that question because somebody named Michelle has been doing the schooling in Stanford now, and there have been thoughts about how it has made perhaps been detrimental to her game.  But what are your thoughts on academics?  What are you going to do after you finish your home schooling next year?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I haven't really thought about too much like college wise.  I haven't really thought about it.  But I'm just going to finish my next half semester and focus on my game 100 percent, because I'm going to be traveling a lot.  Even with my next half I'll be having to do a lot when I'm in Australia and Thailand.

Q.  20 tournaments is quite a lot for someone of your age to take on.  I mean do you feel physically prepared for all of the traveling, the physical fatigue and all that stuff?  How do you think you'll handle that at such a young age?  I mean the PGA, for example, made an exemption in your status in allowing you to play games because of your top 50 ranking despite your not yet 18.  How do you feel about playing 20 tournaments?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah, I love playing like week to week.  Growing up and playing as an amateur and junior golf, I was playing back to back weeks so much.  So I love playing keeping the rhythm going.  Even if you're playing bad, you just gotta work through it.  I'll still have weeks off here and there, so still work on it.

Q.  There's been some comparisons to you and Rory McIlroy three or four years ago.  How do you feel about that?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I actually haven't gotten to meet Rory yet, but he's an amazing player and just to be compared to him is an honor, so yeah, it's pretty cool.

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