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February 27, 2013

Stacy Lewis


KELLY THESIER:   We'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis into the interview room.  Thank you so much for joining us today.  Just came off the golf course, playing in the Pro‑Am, new golf course here this year.  What are the initial thoughts on it, and what do you think are the keys this week to playing well on this golf course?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, initially this golf course, it's just tricky.  It makes you think a lot.  It's going to pull out the best ball‑strikers and the best caddies.  I think the caddies are going to get a workout this week trying to figure out the right numbers to hit off the tee.  You don't hit driver a lot.  You really just have to kind of think your way around and be really patient.
KELLY THESIER:  Last year was really a breakthrough year for you, four victories, first American in 14 years to win Player of the Year.  What was that year like for you, and how difficult is it to sometimes put everything that you were able to do last year in the back of your mind and start fresh in the new year?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I don't think it really hit me until the end of the year until I really realised what I had done and how long it had been on the American side.  It's a great thing for the Tour, where we need American players to step up and play better.  I got tired of answering that question, so I just figured my play should just go and take care of it.  That was kind of my motivation.
And then coming into this year, for me it really wasn't an ending point and another beginning.  I feel like everything just kind of rolled into one.  You know, you just kind of go back out there and kind of just do the same things and give yourself chances to win and keep working hard, because winning is never easy, and it doesn't get easier now.
KELLY THESIER:  Especially when you have all of these demands on your time.  It's amazing when you get up to the top of the rankings and you start playing well, how many things there are to do.  How do you keep yourself balanced between knowing how much to practise, dealing with all of these extra demands, but yet still having some fun, too, and making sure you're not putting too much pressure on yourself.
STACY LEWIS:  I think that you have to make the time to have fun and that has to be a part of it.  You have to say no to some things.  You physically can't just do everything that's required.  For me golf is always going to be first, my practise time is first.  And then the media and then the fun stuff, you have to kind of split that time.
Yesterday I think nine of us went and we went ziplining and rode the Luge.  It was fun to just get away and go be kids for a couple hours.
KELLY THESIER:  What was the zipline like?  I bet you guys were pretty excited to try that one out.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I had been before in Hawai'i and it was pretty cool.  It was one long zipline.  Some of the girls were afraid but I was ready to go.  It was a lot of fun.

Q.  I just want to get an idea of the course, I've been asking a few of the girls these questions, obviously you can't landtoo many drives there because the landing area is like 230 to 250‑‑ I'm sure you've been asked this question before, the short hitters, who probably put more priority on their short irons?  How is it going to work, do you think?
STACY LEWIS:  I really still think length is going to be an advantage.  But you have to hit it straight.  I think that's‑‑ I think the straight ball hitters will play well, because you know, you hit it 240, 250 off the tee and the long hitters are going to have 5‑ and 6‑irons and the shorter hitters are going to have hybrids.
The long hitters still have an advantage I think because you're going to have shorter irons in.  It's really going to be a straight‑hitter's golf course, and who can think their way around the best.  You know, hit to the middle of the green, 2‑putt and move on.

Q.  So bad putting‑‑
STACY LEWIS:  I think any week, the best putter wins, and with these greens so big, it's whoever could minimise the 3‑putts and not leaving yourself those 50‑, 60‑footers is going to be key.

Q.  Defending and coming back here on a totally different course, is that annoying perhaps?
STACY LEWIS:  It is, it's always a little tough, but I never seemed to really play that well on the other golf course, so I was actually excited to get to a new venue.

Q.  You mentioned the other Americans stepping up their game; are you worried that the Top‑10 players might all come from Asia?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I'm going to stay there.  I don't plan on that changing any time soon.  As of right now, I think I'm the only‑‑ me and Suzann and are the only non‑Asians in the Top‑10, and that's just the way the game is right now.  And you look, it's from various countries.  It's not just one country:  It's Japan, it's Taiwan and it's Korea, and that's just the way our tour is.  We are worldwide and we play worldwide, and that's the result of it.
So for sure, I don't think we are going‑‑ I think there's always going to be an American player up there.  I think we could always use more.  But I don't plan on leaving any time soon.

Q.  Why do you think the Korean players, why are they surging ahead maybe more than the Americans or the Europeans in your opinion?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know, I think they work really hard but I don't think they work any harder.  I don't know, they are just great players.  A lot of it is I think at the end, it comes down to putting.  I think the Asians, I don't know what it is, but I think they are all really good putters.  So it's winning golf tournaments and making putts, and that's the difference.

Q.  Michelle said it was something to do with being five‑foot and being closer to the ground makes it a lot easier.
STACY LEWIS:  Maybe, I don't know.  (Laughing).
KELLY THESIER:   She was saying to getting a little lower, that was the key to being a good putter.
Earlier this year we announced the International Crown where will take place for the first time in 2014 where it will be countries competing against countries.  Everybody talks about the Americans stepping up.  And you guys have an international competition already in Solheim, but what will it mean to kind of compete and see if you ‑‑ the Americans can be crowned as the best women's golfing country in the world?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, that's what everybody wants to know.  I mean that's what we are asked about every week is South Korea versus the U.S. and the U.S. versus Japan.  We are asked that all the time.
I think it's great for the Tour.  I think we needed it.  And I think the best part will be‑‑ in a team competition, I think you see the personalities of the players come out a lot more; and I think maybe seeing how the South Koreans come together as a team and seeing their personalities come out when they are partnered together, I think that will help the Tour and maybe the fans in the U.S. get to know those players a little bit more.

Q.  We are seeing more and more tournaments on the LPGA played outside of the U.S., is this something as an American that you like to see, and also when you do play outside of the U.S., do you play tournaments any different from the ones you play state side?
STACY LEWIS:  I think the LPGA, it's been a U.S.‑based tour and I think the majority of our events need to stay in the U.S.  Just, I mean, I don't know, just being an American, I want it to stay at home but I think it's good that we play worldwide.  We have players from other countries come to the U.S. and play, so why can't we go to their country and play, as well.  I think it's good but there needs to be a limit on it, just because of the travel.  It's hard to hop from one country to the next and still play good golf.
What's the second part?  I forgot the second part.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
STACY LEWIS:  That's the way we are going.  I think in the States, you compare it to the PGA TOUR and those guys just hop one hour, drive down the road between events.
So I guess The European Tour is the same way, but the guys also have some private jets involved in there, too.
KELLY THESIER:  Thanks so much for joining us today.  Best of luck for the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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