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June 3, 2012

Stacy Lewis


THE MODERATOR:  All right.  We're here with the 2012 ShopRite LPGA Classic champion, Stacy Lewis.  Congratulations.  Two victories now in your last three events.  Taken over now at the top spot as the top American in the Rolex Rankings.  Just tell me, I guess, what your thoughts are initially after this victory.
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I was relieved to be done.  It was so hard out there.  Having a huge lead like that was really tough to keep your concentration, and I kind of lost it in the middle of the round.
But I saw the leaderboard on 13 and saw I still had a six‑shot lead, and from then on it was make par and get out of here.
So I'm so happy that I won, and I find out that I think I'm projected to be third in the world now and the top American.  It's just ‑‑ I don't even know what to say.  I mean it's unbelievable.
I mean you dream of it and you kind of can see yourself there eventually, but for it to actually happen it's just unbelievable.
THE MODERATOR:  I know that was one of the goals you set out for yourself earlier in the year.  Could you have imagined that it would happen this early on in the season?
STACY LEWIS:  No.  I honestly thought it would take most of the year, and I'd gotten off to a really good start, two wins in the last three events, and just been playing some good golf.  So for it to happen this with quick is pretty surprising.  I don't know.  I don't even know what to say.
THE MODERATOR:  I know this is the second event where you've had a big lead on Sunday, and we had talked about the differences that you were going to try to do this time, but does it ever get easier when you do get off to such a big lead?
STACY LEWIS:  I'd say it was a little easier this time.  I knew more what to expect, and I was proud of the way I started.  I got off to a really ‑‑ birdied four of the first eight holes and got off to such a good start, and kind of lost my concentration.
I mean you can always learn and I can learn that for next time that when you've got that big lead, to keep it going, keep concentrated and take every shot ‑‑ you can't take any shot for granted, especially on this golf course.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Stacy.

Q.  Stacy, first of all, congratulations.  When you started the round, were you thinking I want to extend the lead?  Was that your mindset going in, play aggressively?
STACY LEWIS:  Right.  It wasn't really playing aggressively.  It was just play smart and I knew I needed to make some birdies, and I made a really good two‑putt on 2 and a good two‑putt on 3 and that really seemed to calm me down and got me in a really good place.  And after that birdie on 3, I kind of knew I was going to be okay.
I mean I knew I needed to play well.  I was surprised that nobody made a run.  I expected somebody to maybe get to 9 or 10, but they didn't quite get there.

Q.  When did you first think about becoming the No. 1 American?  Was it right when you joined the tour out of college or was it after the Kraft Nabisco last year when you won and said, hey, I can do this?  I'm just trying to get a time table.  How much was it in your head to get there?
STACY LEWIS:  Gosh, I would say probably towards the end of last year was when it started.  I kind of saw myself moving up the rankings slowly and kind of put that as a goal just to have a short‑term goal out there, and ultimately it's to get to No. 1, but you've got to kind of chip away and move yourself up there.
But you know, coming into this year my goal was to lead the Solheim Cup points and be the top ranked American, so I'm on track to do that and now I just gotta finish out the year there.

Q.  Stacy, congratulations.  What was it that made you lose your concentration and how did you get it back?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know.  I think just kind of taking a few chip shots for granted, and I thought they were going to be easier than they were and they turned out to be pretty tough shots that I probably didn't give it the amount of attention that I should have.
So I probably ‑‑ I know people don't like this, but I kind of slammed my putter after my three‑putt on 12, and honestly, it relieved me so much.  It got all the tension that was in my hands.  I was so stressed out and it just got all my tension out, and from 13 on, I felt great.  I kind of got my rhythm back and got my feel back.

Q.  Did it matter today how you played ‑‑
STACY LEWIS:  Absolutely not.  I mean I wanted to play well.  I wanted to go out in style.  I wanted to shoot under par and everything, but a win's a win.  Whether it's four, six, eight, it doesn't matter to me.

Q.  The three‑putt aside, you've been putting really well.  What is it about Aimpoint that works for you?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  Aimpoint, I mean it's just a greens reading method.  For me, I kind of learned the harder way a couple years ago, and Mark's teaching an easier way now, but it really helped me understand the contours of greens and how they work, how the ball ‑‑ it's kind of the direction it goes off of certain types of mounds and types of greens.  Just helped me really understand the complex of the greens.
And like on these you've got ‑‑ I mean there were putts out there that broke four or five times, so you had to kind of really understand how it was going to work its way down there.

Q.  Is there like a lot of math involved?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, there are a lot of numbers.  I don't have it with me, but there's a chart, and you can basically get down on the inch how far each putt is, and it's really helped me on the short putts to know, especially when you got like a right‑edge putt versus a just outside or just inside.  I mean it really has helped me trust my reads, and also you have to have really good speed with it.  So it's made my putting a lot more consistent.

Q.  Stacy, how often did you look at the leaderboard?  Did you pay much attention to it or when you started to struggle is that when you started to look and see now I'm okay or was it before that?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  I looked on 5.  Kind of saw where I was, and then I didn't see one again until 9.  So I mean I knew even with the bogey I was still okay.  And then I made ‑‑ when I made the double and the bogey on 11 and 12 I was actually pretty nervous there.  I thought somebody could get within a couple of shots.  And so I saw the leaderboard on 13 green and saw I had a six‑shot lead at that point, and so that was kind of when I said, all right, it's center of the green, two‑putt and move on.

Q.  There's a lot of players that have gotten a lot of attention and not played as well as you have.  Do you have a chip?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know.  I mean it's always going to be that way.  There's always going to be the stars of the tour that aren't playing very well right now, but you know, our tour needs that.  We need the stars, and if the stars play better, more power to them.
But it does give me ‑‑ it does put a little chip on my shoulder, I would have to say, because I kind of I think over ‑‑ even last year I got overlooked a little bit.  I had a pretty good year last year and kind of got overlooked, so that was definitely a little bit of motivation coming into this year.

Q.  Do you feel like a star?
STACY LEWIS:  Not really.  I don't know.  I don't know if I am, but I don't really feel like one.

Q.  Brittany said that she's trying to talk you into buying a boat.  How do you think you might celebrate accomplishing this goal?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know.  I probably already have a few text messages.  A couple of my friends have been telling me to buy a boat.  So I probably already have text messages telling me that.  I don't know.  We've got such a busy stretch coming up that I'm not even going to be home, so hopefully they won't bother me about it for at least the next month.  So we'll see.

Q.  Do you like being out on the water?
STACY LEWIS:  I do.  I love being out on the water.  I like friends that have boats better than having my own.

Q.  Going into the major next week you will be the No. 1 American, and obviously there will be a lot of attention and people wanting a piece of your time.  Have you taken time to anticipate what that might be like last week?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, actually my agent came in today and we already talked about next week and kind of set out a schedule of what I need to do, because No. 1 for me is always preparing for the golf tournament.  So we kind of already have somewhat of a game plan of what we're doing next week, and I know going to be busy, but the busier I get, I think that's a good thing because it means I'm playing good and I'm doing something right.  So I welcome it.

Q.  Have you found that a challenge to be able to focus on golf when it's time to do that and balance the other things?
STACY LEWIS:  It's definitely a challenge.  The hardest part is saying no to people because I definitely have to say no to certain things just so I can prepare the way I need to.
But I mean in general ‑‑ it almost helps you once you get on the golf course because you kind of focus on the golf and what's at hand and then once you get done, take care of everything else.  So it's almost made me focus more on the golf course.

Q.  You talked about losing your concentration and you dumped a wedge shot on No. 9.  Do you ever wonder where the concentration goes?  It took you a long time to even get some semblance of how you were playing the first eight holes back.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  I don't know.  It seems to just it'll go like that, and then all of a sudden you get a little stressed out, you're gripping it a little tighter, and I don't know where my short game went in the middle of the round.
But that's what pressure does to you.  I mean I'm just trying to learn from it, learn how your body responds to it, so next time I'm there instead of making double I get up‑and‑down and move on to the next hole.
So it's all a learning process, and my win a couple weeks ago in Mobile helped me today and this should help me down the road, so it's just continuing to learn every day.

Q.  And do you do any type of psychological work?
STACY LEWIS:  No, not really.  Just try to go out there and have fun and relax, and my caddie keeps us pretty relaxed, so he's pretty good.

Q.  And you talked about being the No. 1 American.  When does the dream change to being the No. 1 player in the world or is that off limits for you right now?
STACY LEWIS:  No.  It's always in the back of my head.  It's just hard when Yani is so far ahead right now.  So it's going to be chipping away at it.  It took her a long time to build that lead, so it's going to take a long time to get closer.
So it's always in the back of my mind, but we'll go back after this week and kind of set some more mini goals.  I don't know what they're going to be, but set some more mini goals for the rest of the year because I know I've blown my goals for the year out of the water.

Q.  How surprising was the greeting you got after you holed out on 18 and who was out there spraying you with ‑‑ there was water, too, being sprayed at you?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  There was water and champagne.  I still smell like it.  I know Brittany Lincicome, Natalie was there.  Paige Mackenzie, Tiff Joh.  Gerina.  I don't even know.
I mean I was surprised because normally at the end of tournaments everybody's getting out of town and getting on to next week, so it was pretty cool to have some of my friends out there to celebrate with.  That's the cool thing about our tour is that we can go and compete week in and week out, but then when your friend wins, you're out there celebrating with them.
THE MODERATOR:  Any more questions for Stacy?  Well, thank you very much.  And congratulations again, and best of luck next week.
STACY LEWIS:  Thank you.

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