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December 17, 2011

Lexi Thompson


THE MODERATOR:  Welcome the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters tournament champion, Lexi Thompson.  What a wonderful win.  You're 16 years of age and very important for yourself, and also great for the tournament.  How does it feel to be winning?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It feels amazing.  This has just been a great tournament.  It's run so well in the last two years I've been here, so I'm looking forward to coming back many years.
THE MODERATOR:  How do you think you'll celebrate this win?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  We're definitely going to have some fun tonight.  There's a party here, so I might come and hang out, but just relax with my dad and celebrate when I go home too.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take some questions from the floor, please.

Q.  Alexis, obviously there was a lot of pressure on you on the first nine holes, and around the first eight holes, Lee‑Anne Pace played so well and started catching up with you.  So how important was that chip‑in for birdie on the 9th, and what was your thought process when she caught up with you?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Well, chip‑in was definitely really important, but the whole day my whole goal was to get it to 15‑under.  That was my goal, but once she made the birdie and the eagle, I knew I had to play my game, make a lot of birdies, so I just kept on going strong and hoping for the best.

Q.  This is your second win at the age of 16.  What are your goals for the next few years?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Just hopefully get a few more wins for sure, but just continue to improve with my game and keep on working hard and hope for the best and see where it goes.

Q.  Is there added pressure on you at a young age to go on now and win more events or are you going to let it wash over you, the pressure, or is there any pressure there?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  There's not really any pressure.  I'm just playing my game and doing what I love.  Playing every week in these tournaments is an honor for me, so I'm just coming out and relaxing and just doing my best.

Q.  Many congratulations.  How does this compare to Navistar for you in terms of maybe the feeling afterwards and maybe some comparisons in terms of the competition, whether you felt more pressure here or less pressure?  How does it compare to Navistar?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Both tournaments have great competition, the best from both sides and countries, so it's just an honor to be at both events.  Both were equal wins.  Just Navistar was my first one.  But both I'm definitely going to remember, that's for sure.

Q.  Lexi, congratulations.  Michelle Wie for many years starting when she was your age has been the pioneer of women's golf.  In some sense are you the new Michelle Wie?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I actually haven't gotten to play with Michelle, but she's an amazing player.  She's said some nice things about me, and we all know how great she is.  So hopefully I'll be playing with her a lot of years to come.

Q.  What are you going to spend the money on?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I don't know.  We'll see.  I'm going to do a lot of Christmas shopping, that's for sure, when I get home.  So I'll just celebrate it with my family and myself, too.

Q.  What was your thought process when you went onto the first tee?  What were you thinking?  Was it to be aggressive or was it to just see what others are doing?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Like I said, my goal was to get it to 15‑under, but I knew I had to make a lot of birdies because there were so many great players behind me on the leaderboard.  So I just tried to play my game and focus on my game and playing the golf course.  Nobody else.

Q.  Lexi, I followed you for a few holes and you were about 50 yards ahead of both your playing partners off the tee.  How big an advantage was that?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I don't know if I'm 50 in front of Sophie because she hits it really long.  But yardage doesn't really matter.  Just how straight you hit it out here.  So that's why I'm trying to tune in my golf game right now.

Q.  You were quite aggressive on 13 and 14 the lines you took off the tee.  You must be pretty confident to be able to go off those lines.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah, you just have to trust it out here and know that it's going to be okay, just get out there and be confident.

Q.  You were leading for three days.  At what stage did you start to think you could take this home for a win?  At what stage did you think perhaps you had it in the bag?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Probably when I had the five‑shot lead, I would say.  That's the latest that I thought.  But I was just focusing on my game throughout the whole day, just taking one shot at a time, not get ahead of myself.

Q.  Speaking of bags, you had your dad on yours.  How big of a help was it to have him there with you throughout the tournament?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It's a big help.  He's caddied for me my whole life throughout junior golf and now.  So to have him on the bag going through my last two wins with me is just an amazing experience and something I'll never forget.

Q.  Have you thought about your plans for next year?  We obviously saw in the men's game Luke Donald is winning the money list on both sides of the Atlantic, presumably now with abilities to play on both tours.  If you can schedule it, would that be your aim as well?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I'm definitely going to be playing overseas a lot, too.  So we'll see.  I love tournaments over here.  It's just so relaxing.  They're run so well.  So on both sides I'm just looking forward to playing a lot of tournaments.

Q.  (Inaudible) shot on the 17 and shot over the water on the 18.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  On the 17 I struggled a little bit on that green, but I ended up three‑putting, it was a two‑shot swing.  But I was just thinking I'm going to just take 3‑wood off the tee and hopefully make birdie or par that way.  I would think that would do it.  So I ended up making birdie, so it was a bonus.

Q.  (Inaudible) bogey on the 17th.
THE MODERATOR:  Did you feel that you'd already relaxed when you were on the 17th green, did you feel like you'd already won it?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah, probably.  But I was still trying to hit really good golf shots coming in.  I don't ‑‑ I was playing safe, but still pretty aggressive, just playing smart.  So I just went into 18 and played smart, hit 3‑wood and hopefully make par, birdie.

Q.  On any other day would you have laid up on the 18th green?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Oh, if it was close, I might have gone and hit driver and went to the green to make eagle if it was close, but I'm just thinking I'm pretty good with my wedges, so I was just hoping for birdie with that.

Q.  And what are the lady bugs for?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It's just my good luck charm.  I believe that they're lucky.  Superstition of mine.

Q.  Do you wear them all the time?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  No.  I always wear lady bugs.  I never take them off.

Q.  Lexi, do you fancy yourself against the men at any point?  Obviously Michelle talked about taking them on.  You are long enough.  How would you think you would get on in the events like power play?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  No.  I'm not going to play against the men.  There's so many great players out here, the best in the world on the ladies tour, so I think I have to improve my game to compete out here, too.

Q.  Your first win outside the States.  How do you think this is going to go down in America?  What do you think this news will make back home?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Hopefully it'll blow up in the U. S.  Hopefully be in newspapers and everything, but I'm looking forward to going home and celebrating with my family and friends and just relaxing.

Q.  If you look at your win in Navistar earlier this year and qualifying for the U. S. Open at the age of 12, which would you rank as your great achievement?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Actually they're all pretty up there in ranking, but I would say my first win at Navistar, but all those moments have been really memorable for me, just learning experiences for me all these tournaments are.

Q.  And did you get any advice from your brother?  Was he watching at any point?  Is the tournament being shown in the U. S.?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah.  He saw a couple of statuses on Facebook and he was saying "go Lexi."  I didn't get to talk to him because my Skype wasn't working, but they were saying good luck and I love you and everything.

Q.  (Inaudible) when you win any tournaments, especially the first victory.  Do you plan to come back here to defend your tournament?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yeah.  I'm definitely coming back here.  I mean it's such a well run tournament.  It's an honor that I was invited back this year, so I'll definitely be back.

Q.  (Inaudible).  You seem quite superstitious.  Is it going to be a struggle for you to change to red, orange or purple on the fourth day?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It's always going to be blue.  It'll probably be the same outfit every day.  I'm really superstitious.  Like I'll eat the same things, I'll wear lady bugs every day.  It's weird, but I'm really superstitious.  It worked.

Q.  You said you're superstitious.  What's your final day breakfast?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Well, I had a bowl of cereal, fruit and an omelette every day and a little chocolate croissant thing that was pretty good.  That was just here.  That was my breakfast every morning.

Q.  Everyone knows you as a big hitter, but it seemed like today you really had everything working, especially your approach shot, your short game.  Maybe talk a little bit about that.  You got going quickly.  Maybe talk about some of the highlights as well that you felt good about.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Well, I made 2 and 3.  I hit it to about 10 feet on 2 and ended up making the putt, and 3 I went for with the 5‑iron and two‑putted.
So just the whole day everything went pretty well.  I three‑putted on 17, but just overall I improved throughout the week.  So hopefully I'll continue to work hard on it.

Q.  And even when Pace took the lead, you didn't seem to be affected by that.  I mean the pressure, a lot of people even much older don't do well with the pressure.  Is it just something you just block out the other players?  Even your father was telling us you're managing pressure really well.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Pretty much throughout every day somebody who you're competing against you have to just expect the best from them.  So you just have to play your own game.  And when she made the eagle and the birdie, I was thinking, you're still playing good.  So just continue that and see where that takes you.  That's all you can do.

Q.  And was there a point where you felt, okay, I've got this in the bag?  Was it the 18th approach shot or even before that?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I think when I had the five‑shot lead with about three to go.  But no, I still wasn't thinking about it then.  I was still thinking just make pars and birdies coming in.  But I was just playing it a little smarter and safe on the last three.

Q.  When you hit that approach shot to about three feet on 18, what were you thinking at that point?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It felt great.  I had about 100 yards in, and we were in between clubs with a full 455 or knock‑down 52, so I was like just hit it long and don't bring that water into play.  And it ended up coming in a little bit short and to the pin.  So I was pretty grateful for that.

Q.  Who has been your idol growing up, golfing idol?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Pretty much my brothers, just growing up with them.  I've always looked up to them and just trying to follow in their footsteps, competing with them, trying to beat them.  I play with them for money every day.

Q.  (Inaudible).
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It's really intense, but they made me such a better player.

Q.  Do they give you any shots?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Straight up.  I usually play from the blues, though, and they play from the golds.  But sometimes I'll go back.

Q.  You better not tell them how much money you're bringing back to the States.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  I know.  They'll probably find out.

Q.  As you mentioned your brothers and your father's on the bag, when we asked Michelle about kind of maybe looking ahead and navigating obviously all this media pressure, she said you got a good group around you.  Is that important to have family around you?  Is that kind of a key, at least in your early success, would you say?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Yes.  It's really important.  I mean I have such a great family and support system, with friends back home and family.  They're always there for me no matter how I do, no matter if I come in last or if I win, so they're always there for me, and it's great to have, and I'm grateful for that.

Q.  (Inaudible).
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  It's really an honor to win this tournament.  I mean I love coming back.  I played in it last year, and it was just an automatic that I'm for sure coming to this tournament for years to come after.

Q.  Did you prepare your speech beforehand or did somebody do that for you?
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  Was that an insult?  Was it bad?

Q.  It was actually pretty good.
ALEXIS THOMPSON:  No, just making sure I got the names right.  I was nervous, so I was shaking a little bit.  But no, I just winged it.

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