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May 31, 2013

Stacy Lewis


THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome our current leader in the clubhouse, Stacy Lewis, also defending champion.  There just seems to be something about this golf course that brings out the best in your game.  Take me through your day out there and what is it about this golf course that really seems to suit your eye.
STACY LEWIS:¬† Well, I think coming into the week, even the last few weeks, I've been driving the ball really well, and so that was one thing I was looking to coming into this week that you have to drive the ball well here.¬† So I knew‑‑ coming into the week I had some confidence, and you really just have to stay patient out there.¬† The greens are a little bit bumpier than they have been in years past, so you're going to have some bumps go your way and some not go your way, so it's really a test of patience and missing in the right places and taking advantage of the par‑5s, which I was able to do.

Q.¬† On 9, the par‑5, you hit a great second shot on a tough hole that's surrounded by so much fescue and it really takes a tough second shot to get in there and give yourself an opportunity.¬† Was that kind of just one example of how well you were hitting it today to put it in there so close and give yourself an opportunity for eagle?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I definitely missed some shots today, but I had a really good number there on 9.  I had about 235 to the hole and it was into the wind and it was a shot that I could just get up there and swing as hard as I wanted to.  I usually hit some pretty good shots when I do that.  It was just kind of one of those that I felt good, and as soon as it was off the face I knew it was going to be pretty good.
THE MODERATOR:  It's been quite a ride for you over the past year.  When you think about last year when you came in here and were looking for your third career victory and how many victories you've had since, you knew you were looking to become the top American in the Rolex Rankings.  When you look back on the past year and everything you've been able to accomplish, do you take the time to think about how you were able to get to that point and keep yourself up there in the rankings?
STACY LEWIS:¬† Gosh, it doesn't‑‑ I mean, it doesn't really seem like a year.¬† It's gone by so fast.¬† It's really been a whirlwind.¬† At this time last year I was just kind of middle of the road still and kind of just hanging in there every week.¬† I don't know, I don't really know what the difference is.¬† I guess you just get more confidence being there, you start trusting yourself more, but it's really cool to think how far I've come.¬† I wasn't even the top ranked American this time last year, and now I'm kind of going back and forth for No.1 in the world.¬† It's just nice to keep that consistency going.¬† I've had a bunch of top 10s over the last year, and that's what I'm trying to do every week.

Q.¬† You talked about the greens.¬† You said they're bumpier this year than last.¬† Is it just like a matter of poa annua or anything like that‑‑
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think the cooler weather, the weather has been a little bit cooler, and this is the first week that they've really had hot weather here.  Just the type of grass that's on the greens I think needed a little more heat coming into it.  But they've definitely gotten better throughout the week, so hopefully with this hot weather come Sunday they'll be rolling even better.

Q.  Can you talk about your pairing?  Pretty studly group there.
STACY LEWIS:¬† Yeah, I've been getting‑‑ I think Paula and I have played a lot of golf together this year.¬† The better you play, you get in those TV pairings and you kind of start playing with the same people every week, but it's nice because they're great players and you know they're going to be hitting some pretty good golf shots.
We had fun out there.¬† We were kind of talking about Solheim and who was going to make the teams on both sides, who they would pick‑‑ who like Suzann would pick as captain's picks and stuff like that.¬† It's fun to play with them, and certainly it won't be the last time.

Q.  What were the conditions like out there?  Did the heat bother you?  Did it get more windy down towards the bay?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, teeing off so early was nice.  Our first nine holes we really didn't have much wind.  I started on the back nine, so when I got out, got out to like 2 green the wind really started to blow.  I think the hardest part about this golf course is a lot of the shots, when you're hitting shots you're back in the trees and then the greens are exposed.  So it's really just trusting that that wind is actually blowing up there.  You've got to pick targets that are pretty far right on 2 and 5 and real have to trust that that wind is going to move it.  You've just got to really believe in yourself and have control of your golf ball.

Q.  And obviously in any tournament a good start is what you want to do, but I think you went wire to wire here last year.  How key is it to sort of get out of the gate here pretty quickly?  There's a lot of birdies out there, I think.
STACY LEWIS:¬† Well, a three‑day event you've got to get off to a good start.¬† That's important.¬† But I think this week you really just‑‑ you can't make big numbers.¬† That's kind of the thing. ¬†If you miss it, at worst make bogey.¬† Try to get up‑and‑down when you can.¬† But you've got to stay patient.¬† Birdies aren't exactly easy to come by.¬† You can make them on the par‑5s but you can make a double pretty quick.¬† You've just really got to manage your game.

Q.¬† Can you just go over the lengths of the birdies and what was the problem with the bogey?¬† The birdies were 3‑‑
STACY LEWIS:¬† 3, par‑5, I had about 20 feet for eagle, so that was just a tap‑in.

Q.  And then 5?
STACY LEWIS:¬† 5, it was probably about a 20‑footer I made there.

Q.  And the bogey 6?
STACY LEWIS:¬† I pulled my drive left and had a horrible lie in the rough and so I had to chip out, and then I had about an eight‑footer for par and it lipped out.

Q.  9?
STACY LEWIS:¬† 9, hit the green in two, had 20 feet for eagle so that was just a tap‑in.

Q.  And 13 and 15?
STACY LEWIS:¬† 13, I hit a 9‑iron in there.¬† That was probably the shot of the day.¬† I hit it to about a foot.
And then the par‑3, that was a pretty good shot, too.¬† I hit 4‑iron and I was hole high about 15 feet and made that one.

Q.¬† What was the confusion, because we were seeing you were at 3‑under or something like that.¬† What did they mess up?
STACY LEWIS:  I think Paula and Suzann had a pretty rough finishing hole, so I think our scorer was having a little trouble keeping track of shots.
THE MODERATOR:  She made birdie but that was just a little mistake.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I was kind of hanging out on the sideline most of the time.

Q.  In your wildest dreams did you ever imagine that you would be a main attraction on the LPGA Tour?  That's the number one question.  And the second one is we rarely get to see your full arms.  Do you work out?
STACY LEWIS:  I know, right?  I've got to show it off a little bit.

Q.  Do you work out?
STACY LEWIS:  I do.  I work out quite a bit.  I had to work on my tan lines in the off week because it was pretty brutal right there.  My sponsor finally sent me some sleeveless shirts for the summer.  But I do, I get to show it off a little bit, show off all my hard work.
But the other question, growing up I never had dreams of being out here.  I never dreamed of any of this.  It's still strange to me, it seems every week, everywhere we go the number of fans I have seems to grow and grow and grow, and I'm having the biggest crowds follow me around.  It's really cool that people are watching and noticing what I'm doing.  People out there today as I was walking up 9, they're like, great playing, and you're doing such a good thing for this Tour and stuff like that.  I guess it's just nice that people are noticing.
THE MODERATOR:  Speaking of cool fan interactions, I got to watch you after you came off on 9 and signed your scorecard and signed a lot of autographs, got the chance to visit with a fan but you were telling me it's a really cool story about how you got to know her, now a senior in high school but you've known her for how many years.
STACY LEWIS:¬† I've known her since 2007.¬† I was a junior in college and through my coach I got a letter from her dad‑‑ this is kind of the first letter I ever got from a girl that had scoliosis and she played golf and her dad was looking for some inspiration, and so I didn't really tell anybody, I didn't tell my parents, I just wrote her a letter, I just sent it, and I never thought I would hear anything from it.
So I turned pro, and I don't even remember how it happened but we got in contact through my agent and we've stayed in contact through email.¬† She came out to the 2009 U.S. Open.¬† That's the first time we actually met face to face.¬† I brought her inside the ropes.¬† Mizuno gave her some golf clubs, we gave her clothes, got her all geared out.¬† I saw her‑‑ she comes out to this tournament almost every year, and I saw her today, and she said that her back was doing great, and she doesn't have to go to the doctor for another year, and she's not wearing her brace anymore.¬† So it's cool to‑‑ I really kind of grew up with her, and to kind of‑‑ I've inspired her to‑‑ really to get through wearing the brace and everything like that.¬† I guess I knew what it was like.¬† She's the first one I've had that's really grown out of it, so it's good to see the success stories of it.

Q.  To what do you attribute your popularity?  You're obviously a very good golfer, but you seem to identify with your fans very easily, and this identification seems to come very naturally to you.  Between the Player of the Year acceptance speech which got a lot of play and how you comport yourself, just seems like none of this is hard for you.
STACY LEWIS:¬† Well, it's definitely been a work in progress because I'm pretty shy by nature, and so I've had to‑‑ over the last couple years I've had to kind of learn how to come out of my shell and be more confident in whom I am and really to get people to believe what I'm saying.¬† I don't know what it is.
People have told me I'm a very approachable person, which I guess is a good quality.  I don't know, I'm out there, I'm being myself, and I think you can't go out there trying to be anybody other than who you are, and people seem to relate to my story and what I've been through.  I don't know what it is.

Q.¬† You look at the leaderboard and Moriya is up on top now.¬† Have you played with her, and the other thing is when you look at the board you see Michelle there.¬† She hasn't had the best of years, so I mean‑‑
STACY LEWIS:  I mean, it's not really surprising to see Michelle play well.  This golf course, I am a little surprised on this course because if you can get some shots going sideways you can make some pretty big numbers.  That's good.  She needs those good rounds.
Moriya, I've played a few rounds with her.¬† Her sister seems to get all the attention, but she's very good in her own right.¬† I think she's leading Rookie of the Year right now, so she's pretty‑‑ she's small in stature, but she's a pretty good little player.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, and best of luck the rest of the week.

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