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August 21, 2012

Brittany Lincicome


KELLY THESIER:  We'd like to welcome you to the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open.  We are fortunate enough to have our defending champion gracing us with her presence today, Brittany Lincicome.  Different golf course than where you won last year, but is it the same feeling when you come back as the defending champion, the wonderful memories that come back from last year's win?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah, absolutely.  It is different, but it's the same.  Every single person that comes up to me, "We want you to defend."  It's so great signing autographs and having that kind of feel to it.  It obviously is a different golf course.
I think it is going to be a little easier defending not playing the same golf course, not the same pressure.  I haven't played this golf course eight times, back to back to back.  It's a little different.  Not as much pressure, I think.
But it's still cool to see your posters everywhere you go.  I'm staying at the hotel with my pictures all over the walls, so that's very cool.  Brings back a lot of good memories.

Q.  This golf course, I saw you out there playing this morning.  What's this golf course look like?  Who is it going to fit, I guess, better?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:¬† Yeah, that's a good question.¬† I feel like I hit a lot of 3‑woods yesterday.¬† I played in the All Ladies Women's Pro‑Am thing, which was very fun.¬† I hit a lot of 3‑woods, and some of the holes are really long coming in, but not super long in between.¬† The front nine is really hilly, so it's going to get through those holes, you get to the back, and you're excited because you're not walking up‑and‑down.
The greens are a little bigger than the past weeks that we've played.  One was tricky because it kind of went front to back and the other ones go back to front.  But they're also a little more firm than they were last week, those greens.  So it's going to be a test of trying to figure out how far the ball will release on every hole, and you don't want to be above them because they're super fast putting downhill.  So the key will be to leave it short of them and putting uphill, obviously.

Q.  Mentioning last week you had such a strong finish, finished runner up.  What does that take?  How are you feeling about your game coming into this week?  Is that kind of a nice momentum boost coming into a week like this where you are defending?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  That was great.  I feel like I've been doing some really good things all year, but not doing them all at the same time, I guess.  Last week I was hitting it low and putting lights out.  I was making everything whether it was ten feet to make par or five feet to make birdie.  It was nice to see my putting coming around and figure out what was off a little bit here and there.  It's nice to be defending.
We have been playing the last six out of seven weeks in a row.  So it's nice to keep it going.  I've never defended a tournament before and then won the next year.  So that would be really neat.

Q.  Last year you had A.J. on your bag.  That was kind of an interesting experience for Canadians because we had seen her out on Tour.  She's here caddying for somebody else.  You guys remain pretty close friends, I understand?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  We are.  I did an interview with a local paper last week, and he was talking about A.J. and picking her brain.  She's been here and played here before, so unfortunately, I didn't talk to her.  But I did see her today, saw her tweets, saw that she was in town.
It's really cool to see her back out here, and obviously she's loving teaching and loving living back in Canada.  Seeing her niece grow up and being close to her family.  That's really cool.  So glad she's happy and doing something she really loves.

Q.  A lot of pros, when they have the odd pro event here on the west coast, they've remarked that the ball doesn't go as far here.  Do you find that being at sea level and the air is a little heavier at times that you're one of the long hitting women on Tour?  Do you have to make any adjustments when you play on the west coast?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Actually, I didn't notice that this week.  Definitely didn't notice that last week either.  I played this morning, and I was wearing a jacket.  It was a little chillier this morning than yesterday afternoon.  I just attributed that to a practice round, I wasn't hitting enough balls.  Come Thursday, I'll be hitting it super far again.
But I didn't notice that today.¬† It will be something I'm paying attention to tomorrow when I'm playing the Pro‑Am.

Q.  You find two very distinct nines here.  Do you think one is more difficult than the other?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:¬† I would think the front because it's up‑and‑down.¬† It's a little harder to walk.¬† You might get a little more tired on that nine., and eat a little bit more to keep your energy level up.¬† But still all the greens are huge greens.¬† It's not like the last couple of weeks where if you were in the middle of the green, you had 20, 30 footers, and this week you could have 50, 60 footers.¬† So it's more important hitting good shots and aiming for the middle of the green and not just kind of getting lucky.

Q.  What do you think of the field that's here with 48 of the Top 50 women's golfers in the world?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  It's depressing that two are missing.  Who are the two that are missing?  Oh, it's really cool, actually.  48 of the top 50 is pretty remarkable.  I still wish all 50 could be here.  It's such a wonderful event and an event that I look forward to defending or not defending.  I would never miss this event unless I broke a leg, knock on wood.
But it's such a wonderful event.  So glad all the other players come out to support it as much as I enjoy it.

Q.  On that note, how do you feel trying to defend, given the competition?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Oh, yeah, any time you go in to defend or wanting to win a tournament, obviously, I'd want to win the tournament with all the top players there.  That means that you've beaten the best for those events.
Obviously, when you have that extra‑‑ like last week it was a three‑day event.¬† I didn't have to play that last round.¬† I couldn't imagine playing one more round last week.¬† Mentally, just how much goes through that Sunday round.¬† So a four‑day event with all the top players in the world, to win an event like that, you've beaten the best and that means you are one of the best.¬† So the top players, that's great that everybody's here.¬† If I'm the one that gets to come out on top, it will be an unbelievable feeling.

Q.  Brittany, so much has been said about the relationship between caddies and golfers.  Obviously, you had some success with a with A.J. last year.  An adjustment to that or do you pick up with the new person and go on from there?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah, I feel like I've had a lot of female caddies over the years.  I seem to do really well with them.  I don't know if we can talk girl talk a little bit more.  I yeah, I can't tell you that, but I don't know.  I don't know if it's I feel more comfortable or what it is.
But I have T.J., it's another initial name this year.  And he's caddied for Juli Inkster and Se Ri Pak, so he definitely knows what he's doing on the golf course.  So it's more of them keeping you calm as a player and not getting ahead of yourself.  I remember looking at the leaderboards yesterday, and I was coming down 18 yesterday and I made birdie, and I kind of looked at him again like what just happened?  What do we need to do?  And he kind of told me.
It's interesting, because obviously he's going to give you the yardage and tell you where to hit it and line it up.  But it's more like we're walking down the fairway.  Let's talk about fishing and talk about anything else other than you need to birdie this hole to get into a playoff.  Just kind of take your mind off what's going on.

Q.  Any adjustments (Indiscernible)?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  T.J. is somebody that's been out here for so long, that I felt more comfortable going with somebody that I knew had been out here.  I've seen his face every week since I've been on Tour, so that made it a little easier.
Obviously, if you went with a PGA TOUR caddie or somebody that you're not familiar with, that would have been a struggle, I think, but it was pretty easy.  It's Todd Jones.

Q.  Quick question about the state of the LPGA Tour.  It's been through some lean times.  A number of tournaments are not as great as they used to be.  Do you sense there is a new momentum and the Tour is making up, for lack of a better word, a comeback of sorts?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Absolutely.  You could see a couple years ago until now, we've got two or three events that are back on the schedule this year.  New events, Waterloo is a new event we're getting more events.  It's nice to see.  Mike Whan has done a fantastic job.  He's done such a great job.  We love him.  He's all about us as a Tour and trying to build all of us and not worried about himself, I guess.
So it's great to see him going out and trying to get new sponsors.  And we're definitely going uphill now, and it's nice to see the Tour kind of growing again.  We have so many great players and so much great talent on this course that anybody can win every week.
It's nice to see different players winning all the time.  I think it's great.  We're going in a great direction, and I couldn't be happier as a player.

Q.  Last week I was at Predator Ridge, and A.J., and she has a program called Hit Like a Girl.  I thought that was really neat.  I want to do an article on how to get more young people, particularly women, involved in golf.  Guys, it's easy to do with the Tiger factor, but how about for women?  How do you think more women and young girls can get into golf?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:¬† That's a great question.¬† Any time I see a young girl I'm always telling her stick with it.¬† If nothing else, you can get a college scholarship out of it, help your parents out.¬† But you're right.¬† It seems girls are more interested in other things and are more social and don't really‑‑ either they don't know about golf or they just get burned out with it.
So it's definitely a fine line of trying to keep it fun for girls and just keeping them interested.  I don't know why there are not more girls than there are.  The girl's golf program or any of those programs, I try to encourage those young girls and encourage them that one day you can be on the LPGA Tour like me, and try to give them that little bit of information and maybe spark something and they'll stick with it and keep playing.

Q.  Sticking with women in golf, can you give me some thoughts on Augusta?  What does that mean, in your opinion?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah, that was incredible.  We talked about that yesterday.  I was watching my Twitter, and I had just woken up in the morning and I was going through it.  I was like wow, is that right?  I'm reading more and more and more, and I was like oh, my gosh.  That was incredible.  So any time I've done an interview, I'm so jealous.  I've never played Augusta.
So if any of those nice ladies want to invite me out to play, that would be amazing.
Yeah, it's great.  Not only for women's golf, it shows how much the world is changing and evolving.  It doesn't matter if you're the CEO of another company, it empowers women.  It's not a man's world as much anymore.  It doesn't have to be about golf.  It can be whatever job you do.  It's really cool to see that it's kind of in my era that I was a part of this.  I think it's amazing.  I think it's awesome.

Q.  You talked about the course a little bit.  Is there a group of players that play strong on this type of course?  Can you pick out a bunch or is this an equalizer that's going to bring the whole field together?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:¬† Yeah, it's pretty much an equalizer as you said.¬† It's not long by any means.¬† I mean the par‑5's, I know I can get to two of them, so it's not a long hitter's golf course.¬† I hit a lot of 3‑woods.¬† Even somebody like Ai Miyazato who hits it 200 yards off the tee, but it's dead straight every time and she can putt lights out.
It's more going to be whoever can get it close to the green and close to the pin and who can putt it with the fewest strokes is going to win this week for sure.  I don't think you need to be a long hitter by any means this week.  It helps, obviously, if you're hitting it straight.
I always hit it straight.  Don't worry (laughing).  If I'm in the rough and you see me, then I meant to hit it there.  It's a better angle, I'm sure.  Strategy.

Q.  Do you find this closing stretch particularly challenging?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:¬† Yeah, there are a couple of good ones coming in, all around 400, 415.¬† Couple of them were into the wind.¬† So definitely, 18 is not super long, but like I said, I feel like I hit a lot of 3‑woods in the middle of the round and on the front.¬† Then coming in those last couple are the ones that are going to get you with the length, for sure.

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