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June 7, 2013

Brittany Lincicome

Morgan Pressel


THE MODERATOR:¬† We'd like to bring in Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lincicome, currently No. 1 and 2 to the clubhouse in the first round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship. ¬†Thanks for coming in, ladies.¬† Nice rounds out there.¬† I'm going to start with Morgan since she birdied the last four holes to finish 4‑under.¬† Just take us through your round, and more importantly, the last four holes of your round that put you on top of the leaderboard.
MORGAN PRESSEL:  Yeah.  I played pretty well out there.  I didn't put myself really in any bad trouble which you can certainly find on this golf course.  I hit a lot of fairways, which you need to do.  I only missed I think two or three maybe, and the couple that I did, I most of the time saved par.
And I kept the ball in front of me, and on the last four holes I just had four good chances at birdie.¬† I happened to make ‑‑ I hit a crummy wedge on 17, but made the putt.¬† So nobody has to know about the wedge shot.
And a couple of weeks ago, actually in the Bahamas, I switched putters to ‑‑ it's the same Odyssey metal X that I've been playing, number six, but with a different insert, a little bit softer, and it's allowed me to roll the ball better, and more importantly, feel more comfortable over the putts.¬† And my putting was the reason why I played well today for sure.
THE MODERATOR:  Before we get to Brittany I'm going to bore everybody and make you take us through what clubs you hit in on the last four holes.  You don't have to do that.  We'll just go to Morgan.
MORGAN PRESSEL:¬† Okay.¬† What did I hit, on 15?¬† I hit a 9‑iron on 15, probably to about 15 feet.¬† I hit an 8‑iron into 16, again, probably 15 feet.¬† I hit a lob wedge into 17 and then maybe had a 20, 25‑footer.¬† And then on 18 I hit a 5‑hybrid to about six feet, and I was truly trying to lag the putt.¬† It was that ‑‑ I had that much break and it was that downhill.¬† I mean the hole got in the way at that point.
THE MODERATOR: ¬†Good putt.¬† Britt, 3‑under today.¬† You had the lead for part of the day.¬† Tough bogey at 18, but still a great day.¬† Just take us through your round.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah.  Kind of the same as Morgan.  First of all, I think we both played really good today because we were together.  And we had Caroline today, who is another amazing girl.  So just a fun day out there today, and it was nice.
I was driving the ball really, really well.  I knew I was going to hook it all day, and I just played for it and it was going in the middle of the fairway almost every single time except 18.
So that's good.  Being a longer hitter, I can hit it off line a little bit further than most players, and it's nice to be in control of the golf ball.  I took last week off to kind of work on a few things.  I had a buddy in town, and we practiced every day, and I actually changed putters as well on Saturday to the Odyssey tank putter.  And a little bit heavier, and I can't manipulate it as much.  So it felt like I was stroking it well out there, and just played really well.  So very excited.
THE MODERATOR:  You're both major champion.  Morgan in '07 became the youngest LPGA major champion at the age of 18.  You won the same Kraft Nabisco Championship two years later.  Just talk about coming through a major, and maybe this week is a little different because Thursday got postponed.  Now you're playing the first round Friday.  Obviously the importance of the majors on our calendar and how you approach this week.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  You know, tournament days just kind of flow together.  I don't even know today is Friday, to be honest with you.  I guess it's going to catch up on Saturday or Sunday when we're playing 36 holes, one of those days.
Obviously it's a major.  I try not to over think during the majors.  Like a lot of girls will go to the U.S. Open and practice early.  And I don't ever do that because I don't feel like I want to add more pressure to myself, especially this golf course, I mean the fairways every year are getting narrower and narrower and the rough is super thick and obviously it's really wet out there.  So it's a course that you have to be driving it well, and then if you can make a few putts here and there, you're going to be on top of the leaderboard.  But it's a fun golf course and I'm excited for the next three days.
THE MODERATOR:  Morgan, how about you, your approach TO this week?  You showed up, you tried to play yesterday; it didn't work.  You said on TV you thought maybe you wouldn't even tee off until noon today.  Does that affect the way you look at the next few tournament rounds?
MORGAN PRESSEL:  Well, I mean the thing is our past handful of majors, we've certainly had some delays and it feels like in the U.S. Open you have a lot, here in Rochester we have a lot.  Last year at the British Open we had that one day where I think we played two holes and they washed the round.
So you always know coming into a major that it's going to be a long week because you're going to do everything ‑‑ everything is going to make every option to get 72 holes in.¬† And we're hoping for no more rain the rest of this week.¬† I was very happy that we were able to get today in and start on time today.
And yeah, glad we're done.  But we certainly want to have enough time to play 36 on Sunday, and but you just gotta be patient in a major.  It throws a lot at you, and I think that's the biggest difference is the mental strength that it takes to play a major, to know you're going to make bogeys, but make birdies when you have the opportunity.
And you know, having a whole day off yesterday, I was pretty bored, but I mean I just tried to relax so that I would be ready for the next long three days.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I took a nap and went to the movies, by the way.
THE MODERATOR:  That sounds like you.
MORGAN PRESSEL:  I did pretty much nothing but worked out a little bit.

Q.  First of all, just tell us about the golf course.  Obviously the ball IS staying on the fairway, if you hit it there and it's staying on the greens, too.  Did you have many adventures in the rough today?  Just give us an overview of if the course is harder or easier after all the rain.
MORGAN PRESSEL:  I think the rough is a little bit thicker because of all the rain.  I had a couple of SHOTS in the rough.  One, I tried to hit a hybrid out because I could get to the back of the ball, but there was kind of a wall of grass in front of it, and it never got up over that wall of grass, and I hit it may be 10 feet.
And then on another hole I was just on the outside of the ropes, so I was where people had kind of trampled it down a little bit, so I had a decent lie.  Then the third time I hit it in the rough I could barely see it and I had to take a sand wedge and hope to get it somewhere in the fairway because it was that thick.  And I was only maybe a foot into the rough, and the ball had actually landed in the fairway and kind of kicked left.
Like you said, it was so wet that I was surprised that happened.¬† But I just had to take my medicine.¬† That was probably the only mistake that I made all day was I didn't take my medicine on 4 when I did hit it in the rough, but I was able to get up‑and‑down for bogey from about 100 yards, which kind of kept the momentum going in my round.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah.  Kind of the same.  Definitely it was already thick to begin with and now it's wet.  So it kind of slows the club down even more I guess.  Really 18 was my only biggest mistake, I think, of the whole round.
I was driving it so well all day.  I was like, oh, this is going to be great, I'm going to get my hook and then got super slick with it.  Actually, the further you missed the fairways, the better your lie, I felt like, where obviously the people were kind of trampling.  If you missed the fairway by like a foot or two, it was going all the way down to the bottom and you were going to have to chunk out some type of a lob wedge to get it back into play because you couldn't advance much further than that.
MORGAN PRESSEL:  And it helped that the marshal is right there and can spot it.  He puts a little flag down so you know that they have found your golf ball.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  If we didn't have the marshals, we wouldn't find our golf ball out there.  No chance.  It would take hours.

Q.  Just one more.  You can both answer it.  You're both having struggles this season.  You missed some cuts?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  That's saying it nicely.

Q.  You missed three in a row at one point.  I mean obviously you've both kind of broken through today, but if you could just kind of quickly give us an overview of what maybe some of the struggles have been this year.
MORGAN PRESSEL:  You know, I said to Brittany when we got into the scoring tent, I said, that's a little better for the two of us.  You know what I mean?
And we certainly thrived off each other out there, and she was making birdies and I was making a birdies on a course where it didn't look like many people were.  But playing with each other, it looked like the course was certainly playable.
And I mean I've struggled with my wrist since I played here last year, and it took a while to overcome that.  It took a while to really want to play golf again and enjoy playing golf again, and I feel like I'm in a better place.
And I was excited when I saw the pairings came out and I was playing with Brittany because we do enjoy each other's company and have a lot of fun together.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  For my game I really can't even pinpoint one specific thing.  Like the beginning of the year in the off season I tried taking lessons, and I'm a player that's kind of more of a feel player.  I just kind of hit it, find it and hit it again.
I think I was trying to change too many things at one time, so I kind of stopped doing that.  And then I wasn't playing well, missed a couple of cuts in a row and lost my confidence.  But took last week off to kind of go home and regroup, and you know, just try to remember that, you know, I've won five times on the LPGA Tour and I've been here before and I can do this.
So I was just kind of feeling more confident today and every time I had a par putt or birdie putt I told myself, you've been here before, you can do this, let's make this.  Just try to be more confident.  Even if I'm shooting 100, I'm going to try to be more confident.  That's the mindset coming into this week.

Q.  For both of how much is the Solheim Cup on your mind?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I did see Meg out there two different times today watching.  Meg and Beth actually were out there.
Yeah, I was lucky enough to get invited to the dinner this week, and they gave us these little bracelets, and I said I was going to wear it to remind myself to obviously keep playing well to stay high enough on the points.  But still need to be playing good going up to that event.  It just kind of instills the confidence and hopefully help my team out.
MORGAN PRESSEL:  Solheim is the three that I've been on has been the highlight of my career, and it's my goal this year for sure.  And there have been times when it has kept me from playing better because I've been so worried about it, so I'm trying to just go out and play my game and not worry about it so much.
And if I go out and try to win, then I'm thinking it will take care of itself and I'm trying to approach it from a little bit of a different point of view, I guess, and have a better picture in my head and not so much worry about top 20 and the points and everything else, but just go out and play some golf.

Q.  Morgan, I don't know that you told us of your wrist injury.  Can you tell me what happened and what the diagnosis was and how long it affected you?
MORGAN PRESSEL:¬† Yeah.¬† It was ‑‑ it started here last year.¬† I kind of started to feel it on the range.¬† And I did not hit the ball very well here last year.¬† I was in the rough a lot, and I truly think that is kind of what caused it was just the many, many shots I had to whack out of the knee‑high rough here.
And it started with ‑‑ I'd start to try to play a little bit with it, and I had to go home from the U.S. Open and got a Cortisone shot in my thumb because that was where it was bothering me then.¬† That lasted a couple months.¬† And then come to the British Open and we had to play 36 on Sunday and my wrist started bothering me.¬† I go see a specialist and he tells me that it's intersection syndrome, which is where a couple of ligaments in your radial nerve meet in your wrist.¬† And so I took some oral Prednisone.
Then ‑‑ it was almost the end of the season by then, and I had over‑compensated probably for my injury in my golf swing, so that affected my results.¬† I couldn't really practice.¬† I was just trying to get through 18 holes.¬† And in hindsight I should have kind of taken some time off.
And I took most of the winter off as I got married and all that.¬† And I got to Asia and it was bothering ‑‑ it started to bother me again after I had been practicing for a couple of weeks.¬† The physio therapist out there helped me to realize that it's actually a little bit more in my shoulder and in my elbow and in my neck, but I feel it in my wrist.¬† I know it's really strange, but since I've been treating it that way and making sure to stretch out the nerves that run all the way down my arm, I've had a lot less pain; and staying out of the rough today certainly helps.
There were a lot of different ‑‑ I think intersection syndrome caused the pain, but I think that it's just very tight left side from my neck all the way down into my hands.¬† So I spent a lot of time trying to stretch it out, trying to get the soft tissue in my elbow a little bit in my neck and in my shoulder.¬† And it's all help.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I think it's the big ring on her finger.
THE MODERATOR:  Yeah, that thing might be weighing you down.  You did get married in the off season.  Just tell us about that real quickly.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I wore her ring all day yesterday in the rain delay.
MORGAN PRESSEL:  I looked at the table at one point and I'm like, where's my ring?  Oh, Brittany's got it.
Yeah.¬† I definitely had a very special off season.¬† And I'm very lucky, very happy.¬† Andy was here earlier, but he's getting ready for the Wal‑Mart Arkansas Championship in a couple of weeks.¬† But he's already texted me about telling me he's proud of me and wants me to play well and he's been my biggest supporter.
THE MODERATOR:  Who was at your Solheim dinner?  What does the bracelet look like?
MORGAN PRESSEL:  It's just this little white dude that says "I love USA," and there was I think the Top 8 players on the rankings right now were at the dinner, Meg Mallon, Beth Daniel, Dottie Pepper, Laura Diaz.  I think that was it.
We just had a dinner.  It was just kind of more just to get everybody together.  And didn't really even talk about Solheim too much.  Meg kind of gave an inspirational speech when we were all leaving, but it was more kind of just to get together and chitchat with everybody I guess.
THE MODERATOR:  Where did you eat?
MORGAN PRESSEL:  Right across the street from Wegmans.  Hi, Jess.  Jessica Korda, everybody.  We didn't talk at all out there.

Q.  Meg's telling me that I guess she talked to Ron and you guys had a great session right before this event.  Can you just kind of talk about what you guys worked on?
MORGAN PRESSEL:  Yeah.  Ron is here this week, and it's nice to spend some time with him, and we've been working on really not so much mechanical or anything.  My biggest problem is when I get out on the golf course my tempo gets a little quick.  So that's something that I always work on in the back of my mind.
But really committing to the shot and seeing a good picture and approaching the round a little bit differently than I have, trying to get out of a little bit of a pessimistic attitude, I guess, and tell myself that that's the shot that I want to see and that's what I'm going to hit.

Q.  And each time you got in the rough this week, were you nervous?  Did you have like a flood of memories of last year?
MORGAN PRESSEL:  Definitely.  I was a little bit nervous, but it makes me want to hit it in the fairway even more.  So extra motivation to not hit too many shots out of the rough.
You know, I didn't practice too much out of it.  I mean what's to practice?  You're gonna take a wedge on it anyways, but I did hit a lot of chips out of the rough, and it wasn't bothering me, so I felt pretty good about that.  So just tried to make sure I stay on top of it, take a little Advil this morning and help me get through the round.

Q.  (Inaudible).
MORGAN PRESSEL:¬† I hit a 5‑hybrid in the rough and I hit another 5‑hybrid.
THE MODERATOR:  Next time you come in we're going through every hole, every shot.

Q.  Morgan, four straight birdies.  I mean how much momentum do you pick up?
MORGAN PRESSEL:  Well, I mean just coming in on the last few holes, I mean I just saw the line on the putts.  I mean like all day I'd been hitting in the fairway and been on the greens, but I just committed to my line and just saw the ball rolling where I wanted it to and made four really good putts on the last four holes.
And out here, putting is what wins major championships.  Like I mentioned earlier, my new putter, and I feel good about it and I'm looking forward to the next three rounds.
THE MODERATOR:  Anyone else?  All right.  A couple major champions looking for their next one.  All right.  Thank you, ladies.

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