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May 31, 2012

Stacy Lewis


THE MODERATOR:  All right.  We'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis into the interview room.  Thanks for joining us today.  It's been a pretty great season for you starting off this year, one victory already at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.  Can you just take me through the start of this year for you?  I know you said for a while you weren't feeling great about your game, so how are you feeling right now heading into this week?
STACY LEWIS:  I'd say this week I'm feeling pretty good.  I came off the win and I played well at the Match Play, just lost my final match.  But I started off the year really well.  Lost in a playoff at the Australian Open and kind of went through a little rough there, kind of lost my swing a little bit and found it again in Mobile, so it's kind of been a little up and down for me, but I feel really good about it and I feel like it's in a good spot.
THE MODERATOR:  I was asking Yani this question, too, but how difficult is it to go from a Match Play event back to stroke play?  I mean you guys play a lot of stroke play, I know that, but is it a different feeling at all?  Do you feel like you have to adjust back?
STACY LEWIS:  I think Match Play for me is a lot more stressful.  I feel like you get so kind of tense over every shot because that one shot you could be done after that.  And so I think coming back to stroke play is actually a lot easier.  You're a little more relaxed and kind of can free it up a little bit and swing a little bit easier.
THE MODERATOR:  You guys are going into a stretch, too, of big events coming up after this week, next week the second major of the year and then the U.S. Women's Open is coming up not long after that.  What do you do with your game as you kind of prepare for this stretch of the summer where you have these events and is there anything differently that you do in the weeks leading up to the majors?
STACY LEWIS:  I think throughout the year I've been kind of getting ready for these next six weeks, five and a half.  I've been getting ready for these five weeks because these are the most important weeks I think for us all year.
So everything I was working on in Mobile to Sybase to everything up to that point has just been getting ready for these weeks, so I feel my game is in a good spot and now it's just going out playing and just little tweaks here and there, but nothing major.
THE MODERATOR:  And overall how does this golf course suit your game?
STACY LEWIS:  I haven't been very successful on this golf course.  Hopefully it'll be better this year.  I haven't quite figured out the greens.  The greens are really tough.  You get some bad bounces.
Last year they were pretty firm and not quite reacting very well, but this year it's a little softer, so I think that should help me.  Other than that I'm playing well, so hopefully that'll kind of change the tide a little bit.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Stacy?

Q.  Stacy, I know that you probably get asked this a lot, but do you ever get tired of telling your story?  You know, I mean it's been written so much.  It's probably going to be written a lot more, but it seems like such an inspirational thing.  What is that like when you go to every stop and people want to know about that and how you got to be who you are?
STACY LEWIS:  It definitely gets tiring telling the same story over and over again.  I'm not going to lie, but it's really cool that every year I can go to the same tour stop and find another kid that hasn't heard my story before that really inspired them.  For me it gets a little monotonous and I don't like telling it all the time, but if I tell it one more time and one more person gets inspired by that, then I'll tell it every time.  It's definitely made me who I am and I've learned that I need to embrace it a little more.

Q.  You talk about role models.  How do you feel about being obviously a role model for an awful lot of people who are going through the same thing as you and probably maybe help them getting through it through reading about you or learning about you?
STACY LEWIS:  It's definitely a little strange to me because everything I went through, I just felt like it was something that I had to go through.  I didn't really have a choice, and so I just dealt with it and I did it.
I didn't have an option with it, and so now it just seems kind of strange that I'm a role model for all these people just by doing what I had to do.  And it was pretty weird for me, I went to the Women's NCAA Championship a couple weeks ago, and all these college girls they were so nervous to meet me, and I was like I was just here three years ago.  I was like you shouldn't be that nervous to meet me, but it's really cool that even kids in college are looking up to me and looking at what I'm doing and I inspire them.

Q.  Why were they nervous?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know.  I don't think I'm that nervous of a person to talk to.  I don't know.  I guess they'd just seen me on TV and hadn't met me before.  I don't know.  It's pretty cool, but it's also kind of strange.

Q.  You talk about embracing it maybe more, but it must make you feel pretty good, though, to know that you are, whether it gets monotonous or whatever.  It must make you feel pretty good because I know charity work is a big part of the golf.  But that's sort of a contribution you're making.
STACY LEWIS:  Absolutely.  I do all kinds of charity work.  I love helping people, so anything I can do to help someone, I'm all for it.  And I do get a lot of letters from kids and everything, it just seems when I'm upset, I might have a bad round or something and I check my email and I've got an email from an eight‑year‑old girl somewhere that's inspired by my story.  It kind of makes me think twice about, okay, my round wasn't really that bad today and doesn't really matter in the whole big scheme of things.  So it puts perspective on what I do.

Q.  Do you have to approach a 54‑hole event any differently than a 72?  I would think there's probably not as much room for error.

Q.  Do you have to change your strategy at all?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't think you really have to change your strategy.  You just have to get off to a good start.  I think that's key.  Especially a golf course like this.  I think 11‑under won last year.  15, 16‑under won in years past.  So you gotta get off to a quick start, and there's really not as much room for error because you don't have as much time to make it up.  So it's kind of a fast deal.  We wait all week for the tournament and then it finally gets here and it's over like that.

Q.  You touched on it a little bit with saying how the other college golfers were nervous to meet you.  With the success you've had recently, with the major and another win this year, do you see that a lot, there's a different vibe that people have around you, when they meet you or they're following you around the course?
STACY LEWIS:  I've seen that people are definitely starting to know who I am more.  I can hear people saying, oh, there's Stacy Lewis and things like that, but it's still pretty strange to me because I'm just out there playing golf.  I'm still the same person.  I haven't really changed.
I don't know.  It really, it just shocked me when I went to the NCAA tournament and all the girls were so nervous to meet me.  Of course, (inaudible) giving them a hard time because I hang out and play golf with them all the time.
I don't know.  It's still strange, but it's cool that they're looking up to me and want to be out here on tour.  They're asking me questions.  They want to learn from me.  They want to know what I did here or there, and it's pretty cool.
THE MODERATOR:  You've seemed to get more comfortable in this role, too, since Kraft and winning.  Do you feel more comfortable when you're now asked to do more media and get in these situations where you have people come up to you as a role model?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think I've had to get more comfortable.  I've kind of been forced into the role.  And I've learned to embrace my story, and I'm okay telling it and learning that people, they want to know what you're doing.  They want to hear stories, what little things are you working on here and there.  So I've tried to embrace it more and hopefully it comes off that I'm more comfortable.

Q.  Stacy, you were on the '98 Curtis Cup team with Meghan Bolger, now Meghan Stasi.  Did you see her this week and what are your impressions on her?
STACY LEWIS:  I haven't seen her this week.  I saw her dad.  She was so much fun to have on the team, and she played really well there.  She's a great amateur player, and to stay amateur all these years and to represent us at the Curtis Cup for me it was an ultimate thing.  I'm sure it was for her.  But she's a great player and she gets to come home and play this week, so it'll be a lot of fun for her.
THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions for Stacy?  All right.  Thank you very much, and best of luck this week.

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