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NORTH TEXAS LPGA SHOOTOUT


April 24, 2013


Stacy Lewis


IRVING, TEXAS

MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis Rolex Rankings No. 2 into the interview room.  More importantly this week, Woodland text's native.
First off, just being back here, I know there is a lot of states that like to claim you, but for you, Texas is home.  What's it like to be back here in Texas and getting to play an LPGA event.
STACY LEWIS:  It's awesome to be back.  We have so many great players from Texas.  It's kind of like, Why haven't we had a tournament here?
Just to be back where you're familiar.  I mean, it's not exactly where I grew up, but it's close enough.  Every week they announce on the tee where we were from, and I always say The Woodlands, Texas.  It really is home to me.
MODERATOR:  It's been quite a ride for you over the past year or so taking over the No. 1 spot back in March and now having relinquished it for two weeks.  The big story again this week is it's up for grabs again, and you in be the battle for it.
We went through scenarios again, and looks if you finish fifth or better you'll have an opportunity to take that spot back.
For you, how do you approach that whole situation?  Is it something you're more focused on golf and how you finish in the tournament than that No. 1 spot?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, for all those scenarios, I feel bad that you have to sit there and figure that out.  But it's something that it's cool to be No. 1 and nice to get to that point, but it's not something I think about all the time.
It's a result of good play, of winning tournaments.  That's what I want to do every week, is win the tournament.  If I have a chance to win going into Sunday, that's what I want.  That's my goal every week.
I mean, rankings do matter, but it's not something you think about every hole or shot.
MODERATOR:  When you think about how busy you've been recently, what is it like, whether No. 1 or No. 2, but being up thereas the top American.  I know recently you've made appearances at CNN and the Masters to accept your Player of the Year award.
What are the demands like being one of the top players and top‑ranked American to get so much attention?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I guess it was in June last year I took over the spot as top American.  Ever since then the demands have just been going up.  There have been a lot of media requests, a lot of things that I've unfortunately had to say no to.
That's what I'm learning:  I can't do everything.  I try to do as much as I can, but I can't do it all.
We're doing some things getting more exposure, going national, going to CNN.  We want to do things like that and get our big network shows that will really bring golfers, people that aren't fan, into the sport.
We have or good fan base.  We just want to grow it.  So that's really what the tour and what I want to try to do.  But I've been very busy.  I've been flying all over the place.  I flew up to Arkansas on Monday and filmed Feherty, so that'll be coming out in about a month.
It's been a lot, but it's been fun to finally get that exposure and recognition.
MODERATOR:  There haven't been too many females featured on Feherty so far.  What was that day like, and what can we expect from that episode?
STACY LEWIS:¬† It was pretty entertaining.¬† David is ‑‑ what you see on the show, that's how he is all the time.¬† We had a lot of fun.¬† We spent all day.¬† He was goofing off will whole time.
He did his own version of a hog call, which was pretty interesting, to say the least.  So you have to watch the show to see that.  I think it's going to come out the end of May is when they're talking about it showing on TV.  I'm excited to see what it turned out like.
MODERATOR:  You've been playing well in recent weeks, but coming into this week how do you feel about the state of your game and what are you focused on?  Is there something specific you're working on?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I haven't played as well as I would have liked the last few weeks.  I've been struggling with my swing a little bit.  It's come around and turned the corner, so I feel good about my swing.  I feel good about my game.  I feel like it's moving in the right direction.
Just excited to get play in.  This course is definitely going to be a challenge this week.  I think the greens are running a lot faster today than they were yesterday, so it's going to be a challenge this week.  This course is going to be hard.
It's going to be windy probably.  It's just going to get firm and fast.  But I'm ready for the challenge.
MODERATOR:  Questions.

Q.  I had mentioned how the tour has really grown, especially the depth of the tour.  In terms of interest, it seems that having an American on top has really helped a lot.  I mean, the international thing has been going on for 20 years.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it's something that as one of the top Americans for the past few years I've been asked about a lot, is why all these players from Asia are playing so well and we aren't.
For me, I can't talk about anybody else.  For me, I just want to let my play speak for itself.  You can only sit up here so many times and, We have a lot of talented players.  You just got to go out there and make it happen.
I think now you're seeing some younger Americans getting experience being in final groups and really starting to play well.  That's what most exciting for me.  We've got some really young talent from names that aren't the typical names everybody knows.
I'm excited to play with them and watch them learn and grow, too.
MODERATOR:¬† When we talk about some of those young Americans, one is Lizette Salas, who we watched finish runner‑up in Hawaii last week.¬† I know you were sitting there watching her finish up with that great round of 62 and then in the playoff.
Coming up on a Solheim year, what impressed you most about her game?  How excited are you to see players like her and Jessica Korda and other young Americans emerging and they could possibly be on Solheim Cup team.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I've been saying it for probably six, eight months now.  They always asked who is coming up next, and I've always said Lizette Salas.  So is just so solid.  She hits is straight and can putt it like crazy.  I was not surprised that she has been playing as well as she has.
She had a little bump there at the Kraft the final round.  I think you need an experience where you falter to really kind of can grow from that.
She shoots a final round of I think 79 at the Kraft and then comes back the very next week and plays and shoots a 62 in the final round.  Yeah, she lost in the playoff, but she's going to learn from that as well.
I think she has to be on the Solheim Cup team.  I think you can pretty much say that.  She's gritty and a fighter.  I would love to pair up with her come August.  You look at Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson, I mean, they could potentially be the stars of the Solheim Cup team because of the way they're playing now.
They're playing the best out of a lot of the players on the team.  I don't know.  It's great for the tour.  I like seeing when kids do well.

Q.¬† Over the course of the Rolex Rankings system, the No. 1 players always tend to be around top 5 in putts in greens in regulation.¬† You're second right now.¬† What is the secret putting‑wise for you?¬† Makes you successful in that regard?
STACY LEWIS:¬† Putting, you know, putting is a lot of confidence, but it's also for me speed.¬† I kind of figured out over the last few years that every putt is a speed putt.¬† When you're not speed putting and not giving yourself four‑ and five‑footer for par all the time, it frees you up to really kind of go for some putts maybe you wouldn't.¬† It's really a confidence thing.
I played Inbee Park so many times, and she might be the best putter on tour.  I don't know how she makes all the putts she does.  Putting wins golf tournaments.  That's what gets you to No. 1 in the world.  That's something I've been focused on really over the last few years.

Q.¬† I know this is a little out of the blue, but Pinnacle shortened the par‑3, 17.¬† What's your take on that?
STACY LEWIS:  For shortening the hole?

Q.  Yeah.
STACY LEWIS:  I've been asking them to do it for however many years we've been there.  We've been trying to get that 17th hole to be like 16 in Phoenix for the men.  Get it rowdy and get the crowd going.
On Sunday they put that back right pin, and you've got to hit probably a 210 shot into that pin.  Nobody makes birdies.
So to get the people rowdy, we need to see the birdies.  That's good to hear that they finally moved that.

Q.  You talked about the course.  It sounds like you think it's different.  Was that a matter of the wind?  Take me through how this course plays.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I mean, the wind definitely, it's going to be a factor.  I think the hardest part is gonna be hitting the fairways.
A lot of the fairways are sloped from left to right pretty hard that if it goes an extra four or five yards you're blocked out in the trees.  You have to be strategic.  I know the wind was mostly out of the north the first few days; it's going to switch out of the south and it's going to be completely opposite.
So you'll have to adjust and make some different moves off the tees depending on the conditions.

Q.  Your fight with scoliosis has been well documented.  How have those experiences molded you into the golfer you are today?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I said all the time I wouldn't be up here if I didn't go through all my back stuff.  It's something I wouldn't wish on any kid.  It was hard wearing a back brace for 18 hours a day for six and a half years.  That's not something I think any parent would ever want their kid to go through.
It made me realize how lucky I am first of all just to be able to practice every day and be able to do this.  I just love what you get to do.  That's the biggest thing.  I'm just so grateful for the opportunity.
Whether you play bad or good, at the time you're not happy, but when you look at it big picture, it's really not that big of a deal.

Q.  A lot of tweets going out about how much the golfers are enjoying it here in Texas.  Thoughts on that.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I'm excited to be home.  I grew up playing in the wind and on tough courses like this, so I'm excited to be back.  It's strange that we haven't had a tournament here for so long; hopefully we can keep this thing going for a few more years.
MODERATOR:  Any more questions for Stacey?
STACY LEWIS:¬† Uh‑oh.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STACY LEWIS:  How long do I have?

Q.  When did you fly back to Arkansas, and what was Feherty's version of calling the hogs?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I actually flew here on Sunday from Hawaii.  Got in about noon; left 8 a.m. on Monday, flew to Arkansas, filmed the show, and then got back here at 9:00 on Monday night.  Quick trip.
He hunts hogs, like he shoots them, so he had a call that he does out in the wild when he's hunting.  So something along those lines.  (Laughter.)

Q.  The commissioner has mentioned how the players really stepped up in terms of helping to promote the tour.  You guys have really taken ownership of this tour, haven't you?  How much pride do you take in how much it's grown so far?
STACY LEWIS:  I think a lot of players have realized we've got the staff and the commissioner around us that we can give them feedback and they listen to us of they come to us and ask for our opinions.
I think if you go back to the founders that started our tour, they were the ones that sold the tour.  They were the players.  The players sold the tour.  They did clinics and went to sporting goods stores and got people out to watch the tournaments.
As players too we realize that this is our tour.¬† We need to take ownership of it and make it our own.¬† So we have to sell our tour.¬† That's why our Pro‑Ams are so successful.¬† That's what makes our tournaments go are those Pro‑Ams.¬† We got to work to make the tour the best it can be so the kids out there playing junior golf and have that dream of professional golf, that they have that opportunity.

Q.  Northwest Arkansas Media, and I'm working on a story in advance on the tournament and how it's really grown since its inception.  Talk about that tournament and its success and how you feel about that tournament personally.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, you know in Arkansas, it's another hometown event for me.  I lived there for what, seven years.  It's really cool how the area, they took ownership of me.  Just because I went to school there, they made me their own.  For me to come back there and play, it's really special.
No other player gets that treatment when we go any other place, so it's definitely one of my favorite events.¬† I love getting the hog calls coming up 17 and 18.¬† Wal‑Mart and P&G have really taken ownership of that tournament and want to make it as best it can be.¬† They're making changes every year.
The players talk about loving to come to that area and staying for the week.
MODERATOR:  Any more questions?
Thank you very much.  Best of luck this week.  It would only befitting if you took impact No. 1 spot in Texas; is that right?
STACY LEWIS:  It would be pretty good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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