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June 2, 2012

Stacy Lewis


THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome our current leader, Stacy Lewis, into the interview room.  Second straight round of 65 out there today.  Congratulations.  Six‑shot lead, it looks to be like, heading into Sunday.  How was it and what was working well today?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I don't know.  It was a really solid day again.  I birdied the first hole and got off to a good start, and made double on ‑‑ made another double.  I don't know what the deal is, but made another double on I think it was 6 and then I was proud of the way I came back after that because I really could have gone the other way, but hung in there and made a bunch of birdies on the back.  So it was good.  It was easy.
THE MODERATOR:  When you look back, this is the second time that you will be heading into a final round with the lead.  The last time was back just last month in Mobile.  Do you feel more comfortable now kind of looking, being in that position, I guess, heading into Sunday looking at yourself at the top of the leaderboard and did you take anything from that last experience?
STACY LEWIS:  I did.  I took so much from Mobile.  I had a couple‑shot lead, but then I think at the turn I had a five‑shot lead, and I made the mistake of playing safe and not really staying into my game and what I was doing and worrying about what other people were doing, watching leaderboards.
So today out there I made the turn I think I had a two‑shot lead and kind of told myself let's see how big we can get this.  So I just ‑‑ I don't know.  I took so much from Mobile, just to stay in what I'm doing and can't worry what anybody else is doing is keep the pedal down.
THE MODERATOR:  You've talked about not performing well on this golf course in the past.  What has been the biggest difference this year?
STACY LEWIS:  I have no idea.  I really haven't played well here, so I don't know what the deal is, but I'm playing really well, and so I guess that takes everything out of it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Stacy?

Q.  Stacy, isn't it a case that you're playing so well it doesn't really matter what course you're playing, you're still shooting lights out.  Is there a way to just kind of like focus on how you're playing rather than the course you're playing?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think ‑‑ the course is ‑‑ I mean obviously I think the more you hit good shots on it, the more comfortable I'm getting on it, so it's starting to fit my eye more.  But like today we had a complete opposite wind than we had yesterday, so you really had to kind of think more, hit more hybrids and 3‑woods off the tees.  So I don't know.  It didn't allow me time to even think about not liking the course too much.

Q.  Could you talk about the sixth hole; you said you had a double bogey there and the process of basically erasing that and going forward?
STACY LEWIS:  I probably should have hit 3‑wood off the tee.  I was worried about my driver going through the fairway, so kind of laid off the driver and hit it into the brush, chipped out and then had an ugly three‑putt.
But from then on my caddie told me, he was just like, you know, when you hit a bad shot, we gotta slow down, you gotta get back in what you're doing.  And I did that the rest of the way.  I made a really good birdie on 9, and then just followed on the back.

Q.  When you're walking out there on the course, are you watching the leaderboard to sort of see like where you are compared, because you're saying like you did it last time in Mobile you watched it and sort of played safe, but this time you wanted to extend it.  So what are you looking for, I guess, when every once in a while you see the board and you kind of peek at it?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, today I think it was a little different because I think everybody that was in second or close to me, they were done, so they couldn't really ‑‑ they couldn't improve their position, so I was in a different place that I kind of knew what the goal was and knew where everybody else stood, but going into tomorrow it's going to be ‑‑ I'll be playing with them.
You can usually kind of feel what people are doing around you just by what the crowd's doing and things like that.  So ‑‑ but I don't know, I just gotta keep doing what I'm doing.  I'm hitting it really well, driving it really good off the tee and then making some good putts, so can't really do anything about what anybody else is doing.

Q.  You talked about how well you were driving the ball yesterday, but it seems like as you just mentioned, it seems like you're putting really well right now, too.  What, if anything, has changed there, and is it the same thing there, that the confidence really makes you a better putter, or what about your stroke is it that you're really happy with right now?
STACY LEWIS:  I think the main thing I've been working on is my tempo of the stroke.  I tend to get quick and fast and kind of come up and out of it some, but I think on these greens I'm actually reading them really well.  They're really tricky, kind of have some really subtle little peaks and valleys in there, so I'm really seeing how the ball is breaking and just trusting those lines.  I think that's the hardest part.  But I'm just seeing the reads, and my speed's been pretty good all week, too.

Q.  On sort of a separate topic, the pace of play issue that's been the hot topic lately, especially after what happened at the Sybase, what's your thought on that and what do you think this tour can do to improve?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I think pace of play is an issue in golf in general.  It needs to be played faster, not even at the pro level; college, junior.  Everybody needs to play faster.  I don't want to watch somebody play a five‑and‑a‑half‑hour round.
But our policy is just tough.  I don't think there's really a fair way to do it, because unfortunately if you have a fast and a slow player and you're on the clock, it doesn't matter who put you on the clock.  And I don't know if there's a way to make a rule that gets the slow players all the time, I don't know.  But I think a lot of it has gotta come from us as players.
I know the rules officials are doing a lot to help players, timing them, even when they're not on the clock, just letting them know, you're taking this amount of time and helping people improve.  I talked to Sandra Gal about it.  She's gotten a lot faster over the last year, and the rules officials are actually helping her play faster.  So I think people kind of need to take some ownership for their play and realize that it is an issue.

Q.  Do you feel like players need to help each other or talk to each other when they see other players not playing fast, or should you all just mind your own business?
STACY LEWIS:  No.  I mean I think you can do it in the right way.  It has to be done in the right manner, obviously.  No yelling at someone to speed up or anything like that.
I don't know.  I think it's just out of respect for your competitors, I think, a lot of it is.  You know, you don't want to watch somebody take two minutes to hit a putt because then you're standing around, you get out of your rhythm and things like that.  So I think just out of respect for the whole tour, I would encourage people to try to play faster, and I know it's hard.  It's not an easy thing to do.

Q.  What would it mean to you rankings wise to move ahead of Cristie Kerr and be the top American in the rankings?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, that was kind of my No. 1 goal coming into the year was to lead the Solheim Cup point list and be the No. 1 American, just because Yani's lead‑‑ and she just walked in.  Yani's lead in the rankings, she's so far ahead of everybody, you know, that's kind of out there.  So that was my main goal coming into the year.  And I just ‑‑ every time I'm practicing and working out or whatever it is, that's what I'm working hard for and that's No. 1 for me.

Q.  And going back to slow play real quick, how are the officials helping Sandra?
STACY LEWIS:  I know she's been using, like we have a timecard sheet and she keeps track of where we are, just even letting her know because they're just timing people when they're sitting out there, just trying to let people know how much time they're taking for certain shots because most of the time they don't know that they're taking a long time.  To them it doesn't seem that long.
So just trying to encourage them and help them realize like what they're doing in their process that is slow.  But I mean give her some credit for stepping up and wanting to help and wanting to do it.

Q.  Going back to the American thing, how have you grown more comfortable in dealing with the media and would you enjoy that spotlight?  I mean obviously you want it from a competitive standpoint, but all the other things that go along with that.  How have you grown in that area?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I don't know.  I think I've gotten a lot better doing interviews and being that face.  Obviously it goes along with it, so you kind of have to deal with it.
I mean I want that.  I want the pressure.  I want people to talk about me being the No. 1 American.  I want that there.  So I don't know.  I'm okay with it.

Q.  Stacy, when you did your TV interview, you mentioned the fact that not looking at the leaderboard, wanting to extend your lead, and you said it was a game you're playing with your caddie.  Is it a serious game or is it one you have a little fun with where the caddie says now you're up by six or now you're up by five?
STACY LEWIS:  No.  Actually I never really talked about it with my caddie at all.  We never really talked about where we were.  It was just kind of something in my head.  I got such a big lead in Mobile and kind of let it go.  I was like, all right, just put your head down and see how big we can make this at the end of the day.
I didn't think another 65 was out there.  I mean it was playing tough today, and you know, I don't know.  I feel pretty fortunate to be where I am and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR:  Any more questions for Stacy?  Thank you very much and we do appreciate how much you enjoy these interviews more now.
STACY LEWIS:  Thank you.

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