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July 17, 2013

Stacy Lewis


MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 2, Stacy Lewis, into the interview room.  Thank you so much for joining us today.
I know you just got off a very hot day out on the golf course.  I'm sure it's always great to be back here in Toledo, one of your many hometown events you get to enjoy on the LPGA Tour.
What are some of your favorite things about coming back to Toledo?
STACY LEWIS:  Gosh, I love being back here.  This course, this place, is very special to me.  It was the first LPGA tournament I ever even went to as a fan.  I have a lot of great memories here.
Probably the best part would be having my family out.  I get hang out with my family, which we're on the road so much throughout the year that that time you get with your family is really special.
So coming back, golf course is always the same every year, which is quite nice actually when we're always hopping around to different courses.  It's nice to come back to something we're used to.
MODERATOR:  This year it's the same tournament we've always been used to, different title name, which is a familiar name to you as you wear it right there proudly on your shirt.  You've been sponsored by Marathon for quite a while.
What does it mean to you to be able to have sponsors of yours then come on and take on titles of events that are helping to prolong and really generating a great future here for this event in Toledo?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, this week, it's really special for me to come.  I really feel like a part of ‑‑ Marathon being the title sponsor, I felt like I helped do that and was a part of that.  So it's really special to come back.
They're so excited about it.  I've been working with them a little over a year now, and so have gotten to know a lot of the people with the company.  Just really cool to see it all come together.
I've always said at the end of game I want to leave this tour better than when I got here.  Getting tournament sponsors and increasing purses and things like that, that's what we're trying to do here.
So I feel like I've at least accomplished it one week, and so now we just got to keep it going.
MODERATOR:  As I was joking about a hometown event, it does seem everywhere you look you see your pictures.  You're on the magazine covers, the programs, you're on all the ads.  So we were joking, do you almost feel like it's a Stacy‑Lewis‑sponsored tournament or the Marathon‑sponsored event?
STACY LEWIS:  I have been ‑‑ you know, a lot of the other players have been giving me hard time about how my picture is everywhere.  They're signing posters with my picture on it, programs with my picture on it.
It's cool, though.  It's cool how they really kind of supported me over the last year.  I'm excited to see their response from hosting the tournament.  They've had a great reaction so far.
I'm excited to see at the end of the week.  From talking to them it's going to be long term, but just making sure everything went the way they wanted it to.
MODERATOR:  It's been quite a year for if you look back really dating back to last May or so is when things really started getting rolling.  You're now No. 2 in the world; you had a stint at No. 1 back in February‑March time.
MODERATOR:  What has this whole ride been like for in terms of putting together so many victories, so many top 10 finishes, you've been so consistent it seems over this stretch.  What is it like now coming back to these events and being at this level that you're at now?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, every year I've come back to this tournament I've come back at a higher level.  I played as an amateur a couple times, and that really kind of sets the foundation of learning how to get better.  This is the highest I've ever been ranked coming into this tournament, so there is an extra spotlight every week, as it always is.  I'm always busy.
The last year has been a learning process for me learning how to manage the requests for my time and the demands and saying no to a lot of things.  It's really taken me almost a year to really understand it and how to make it work for me.
I feel like I've finally gotten to that point, and I think that's why my golf has been so consistent.  Every week is busy and I'm going with the flow and having fun with it and trying walk around with a smile on my face, because there are a lot of things that are worse than playing golf every day.
MODERATOR:  You understand now having been at No. 1 what it takes to be up at that level.  All the requirements, the media requests, all the demands or your time.  When you look at Inbee Park has been doing this year, and we've all seen how impressive she is on the golf course, how impressive is it when you consider now all of a sudden all these demands now that she's No. 1 in the world?  Do you sympathize a little bit with what she's been going through in terms of what that takes to be at that high level, especially in the midst of all that attention?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think the hardest part about being No. 1 is keeping your golf game in check.  There are so many requests, and a lot of what Inbee is getting is probably from overseas.  So you're doing some time changes and trying to figure all that kind of stuff out.  It's very hard.  Your golf game definitely takes a little bit of a hit.
So it's even more impressive the way she's playing.  She keeps winning, keeps winning, keeps winning.  We were joking last week that she must have felt like she played terrible last week and she finished 14th.
It just shows she's human.  That's golf.  When she gets rolling with her putter, she's very hard to beat.  But it's good for golf.  We've got a lot of buzz about winning the Grand Slam.  We got two more majors that she has to win.
All the buzz and talk about is great for women's golf.
MODERATOR:  No doubt about it.  Questions for Stacy.

Q.  Can you go into some detail about what you may have done to facilitate this marriage of this sponsor and this tournament?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, we got introduced to the Marathon folks through Jeff Silverman, tournament director.  He kind of put a bug in my ear.  We need to get a long‑term tournament sponsor here.  I started working with Marathon, and they're a company they don't like to jump in things lightly.  They really like to think about it and make sure it fits with what they're doing.
We started last year.  I did a couple events for them.  They've done a lot of marketing just into golf in general.  You see their commercials on the Golf Channel and things like that.
So I guess it was about this time last year when I was doing the outing for Marathon.  They do a big event for all their customers.
Gary, their CEO, it was one of the first times I met him and he said, Why should I sponsor an LPGA tournament?  Kind of caught me off guard.
But at the same time, that's what we're here to do as players.  We have to sell ourselves and sell our tour.
I think I must have given him a pretty good response because we're at this point here today.  It's been cool to go through the process with them and see how excited they are for this event.  All the little things that they've done, the little tee box markers and all the signage on the course, they've done a lot more marketing leading up to the event.
I've heard my commercial has been running nonstop around here.  My aunt said they were getting tired to watching me and hearing my voice all the time on the radio.
They've done a lot for the event so far.  I played with Gary today, and he said, I want to know how we can make this better.  I want to know what we need to do better for next year.
So he's got ideas.  I think this is just the beginning.

Q.  If I can follow up, Paula was in here earlier, and she won in tournament in '08 when it was the Owens Corning Classic and she's wearing that big panther around.

Q.  Probably isn't pressure, but is there a greater desire to do well under these circumstances for a player like you?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think I have a few tournaments on my list that are ones that I definitely want to win.  Winning this week would be too perfect for Marathon.  Make it too easy on them.
It would be kind of the perfect way to start the tournament if I did.  But I don't really see it as pressure.  I think I'm trying to win every single week.  If it happens to be one of the ones that is on my list, that's great; if not, I'll be back here next year to try it again.

Q.  What was your reaction when you reached No. 1?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, it didn't really settle in for a few days.  I was so busy.  I was running around like crazy.  I don't think it really hit me until kind of I got to the Kraft.  There was a lot of attention, a lot of questions.
I don't know, it was kind of one of those things you work so hard for and it was kind of like, All right.  Now what do I do?  I'm No. 1 in the world.  You just go back to what you were doing.  You don't really feel any different, I don't think you're a different person, but it's just kind of one of those goals you can just check off the list.

Q.  You were quoted as saying you were more comfortable as an underdog throughout your life.  That's out the window now.  How do you handle this?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know.  I guess in some aspects I still kind of see myself as an underdog in a sense.  We're always asked about the Korean players, why they're always playing so well.  So I still feel like I still am that underdog a little bit.
I always played better when my back is against the ball.  When things are hard, that's when I do my best.  I don't know if maybe I'm just too hard on myself and I always want to try to get better.  That's just kind of the way I am.
MODERATOR:  Talking about American golf, in just about a month now, this is the last U.S. event we'll have before the Solheim Cup.  We've got nice poster over there.  How excited are you for that event?  And with only two events left before the team is announced, how much do you start thinking about it now?
STACY LEWIS:  I am so excited.  This Solheim Cup has been on my radar for two years now with the way things ended in Ireland.  I didn't play well.  The team‑‑ it didn't turn out the way we wanted.
So I'm really excited for I guess it's about three weeks now.  So it's getting close.  It's fun.  Actually between Angela, Paula, and myself, we've been talking about who the picks would be, how the team is coming together.
Talked to Meg a little bit about it.  I'm glad I'm not in her position making those picks.
It's fun, though.  You're seeing who is playing well under pressure and who plays well when the pressure is on.  That's what you need for Solheim.  It's exciting.  I'm excited for the way the team is coming together.
Especially the young girls are playing good, and I'm excited about that.
MODERATOR:  The team will be announced at the end of the British at St. Andrews.  Is there a better venue you can imagine?
STACY LEWIS:  I think we need to do that every year.  It's the perfect place.  I mean, for me, I played the 2008 Curtis Cup there, so it's a special place for me.  I love that golf course.
So to go there, and, one, play my first British Open, and then announce the teams right afterwards on the 18th green with all the people around, I mean, couldn't be more perfect.
It's going to be such a cool setting.  I know Angela, she was going back and forth whether she was going to play the British.  She's like, I have to be there when they announce the teams.  That's going to be way too cool.
So she'll be there, and we'll see who ends up on the team.
MODERATOR:  Anymore questions for Stacy?  Okay, best of luck this week and enjoy your time here in Toledo and with your family.
STACY LEWIS:  Thank you.

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