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October 13, 2013

Lexi Thompson


THE MODERATOR:  It is my absolute pleasure to welcome in the 2013 Sime Darby Malaysia champion Lexi Thompson.  Lexi, congratulations, but now that you've gotten a deep breath or two, let's talk about how you're feeling, what emotions are running through your body right now.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Just a bunch of happiness, that's for sure.  Words can't even describe the feeling I have right now.  It's sort of like a rerun from Navistar, just having that feeling walking up to the 18th green, embracing the fans and just knowing you have the win under your belt.  It means so much, especially to get it here in Malaysia.
THE MODERATOR:  43 starts in between this win and the last win, and you've put so much‑‑ you put a lot of pressure on yourself, let alone everybody else having expectations for you.  How sweet is it to get this second win and how big is it for you at this stage in your career?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It's very big.  I've worked so hard between this whole last year since Navistar, just working hard on my game, improving on my short game in particular, and just to have it pay off, it means so much to me, and it's just no stopping here, just going to continue to work hard and just going to try to win every tournament.  I mean, that's the same attitude I have going into every event.
THE MODERATOR:  Win number two, do you think it was harder getting the second one than the first?  The first kind of came as a surprise and you broke all the age records and everything.  Do you think this one was a little tougher to get it under your belt?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, probably.  I mean, it took a little longer than I thought.  But it's the top players in the world here, so it's not easy.  Every tournament you have to shoot super low and you have to have your A game, and that's what I had this week.  It's all the top players right here, so it's a huge honor and privilege to be here in Malaysia and get this win here at the Sime Darby.
THE MODERATOR:  How special was it, you had Jess, Alison and Stacy meet you on the 18th green, douse you a little bit.  Did she get you in the face?
LEXI THOMPSON:  She did.  She pounded me in the face with a water bottle.
THE MODERATOR:  Besides that, how special is that to see them come out and support you?  You've been almost like a little sister at the start but now you're their peer, competitor and friend.  How special is that?
LEXI THOMPSON:  That is special to me just to have a group of friends come out and embrace me after the win on the 18th green.  It means a lot.  You know, it is very competitive out here, but at the end, off the golf course we're all friends, and we're still normal people, just traveling the world playing golf.
THE MODERATOR:  Aside from the victory, which is obviously very sweet, $300,000 winner's check.  For an 18 year old, pretty special.  Have you been thinking about anything to splurge on?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I haven't really thought about it too much, but I have been looking at some different cars.
THE MODERATOR:  What brands?  What are we thinking here?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I'm not too sure.  I saw some GTR's here in the One World Hotel's parking lot that were pretty nice looking.  Not too sure yet.  We'll think about it.
THE MODERATOR:  Let's get into your round today.  You had the early bogey on 2, so cut the lead pretty short.  What was going through your mind in those first seven holes when Ilhee kind of caught up a little bit.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, it got to I think a one‑stroke different between me and Ilhee.  It got really close.  I had a little off start.  I had a few bad tee shots.  But I was just trying to stay into it and be confident with all my tee shots and shots into the green.  But I knew not only the group I was playing with, Suzann and Ilhee, they're both good players, but even players behind them were obviously coming up and playing well.  I knew I had to just keep on birdieing and making pars.
THE MODERATOR:  So that stretch of three straight birdies, as soon as you made the turn, how huge was that?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, those were big.  No.10, I just hit a close wedge shot and made like a four‑footer, but the birdie actually on 11 was really unexpected.  I made about a 35‑footer.  But those are always huge in a tournament, getting that momentum and getting the confidence going into the next hole and always pumping yourself up to make more birdies out there.
THE MODERATOR:  How happy were you going into that 18th tee with that cushion and walking up that 18th fairway knowing you had sealed the deal, and also in such a strong field?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I was feeling very good coming up to the 18th green.  Like you said, there's top players here at these tournaments, limited field events, and if you win one of these tournaments, you know you beat the best in the world.  It means so much to me, and this tournament is one of the best out there and one of the best run events, so it's a huge honor to get this one under my belt.

Q.  When you missed the putts on 6 and 7 for your birdie putts, how did that feel?  What was going through your mind, because at the same time Ilhee was catching up?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, she was.  She made a few birdies in that stretch of holes that I missed a few birdie putts.  You know, it was hard to grasp because I actually hit some really good putts and they just lipped out unfortunately.  I just tried to stay confident and say, all right, they're going to fall in eventually, so just got to keep on putting good strokes on the putts like I have been.
But Ilhee is a great player, and I knew she would continue to make birdies and pars all day.

Q.  The fans were really behind you today.  Did that push you through the difficult moments?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, it was a huge help, especially in the beginning when I had the little rough start with the bogey on 2.  Just in between holes or in between shots they were always saying, go Lexi, and giving me high fives.  It means so much to have fans behind me and rooting me on, even through the bad holes and bad times.  It's always a good pump‑up to have people behind you and supporting you.

Q.  Having a brother who plays on the PGA Tour, is that an inspiration?  And your caddie, how important a role did he play today?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, my brother, yeah.  My brother Nick has been a huge influence on me, both my brothers actually.  I've always looked up to them.  When I started at five they were already really into the game.  I've always watched them and tried to be like them and especially tried to beat them, but they've always been there for me trying to help me out with my game or just my personal life at that.  But I've always looked up to my oldest brother and just tried to follow in his footsteps pretty much.
Second question, my caddie Greg, yeah, I've used him probably almost two years now, maybe a little bit more, and he was a huge role in today.  Not only today but every round that I tee it up, he's always a huge role.  I don't do any of my numbers so he figures out that for me and he's pretty much my best friend out on the golf course.  He's always there for me through the bad times and with me to celebrate at the end, too.
THE MODERATOR:  I talked to Shanshan after she finished out, and I said, competing against Lexi, she played with you yesterday, how big of a win is this for the Tour and American golf, and she goes, it's huge, and now Lydia turning pro, you guys are the youth movement for women's golf.  How big do you see your win in the retrospect of the movement for youth women's golf in this game?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I see it pretty big, I guess.  Being 18, I'm getting a few wins out here, I'm just really following my dreams, and that's what I want to pursue to little kids watching me and just always supporting me.  I'm just following my dreams and doing what I love, and that's what I want every kid that looks up to me to do.
I mean, it's great to have that family and fan support system behind us and to have Lydia coming up, too, being young, and she's going to be great out here, so it'll be interesting to see how we all do.

Q.  Which hole do you feel that you felt you had pretty much won it?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, a lot of the holes out here have a lot of water, so I didn't really‑‑ probably after 16, after I birdied 16 I would say I had it, because that was the last hole pretty much with water that I could be good with.  But it's golf, so anything can happen.  I was really just trying to‑‑ my main goal coming in today was to get to 20‑under, so that was my main goal.  But just taking one shot at a time, just trying to make birdies.  I really didn't think about anything else than that.

Q.  How far do you drive it?  What's your driving distance?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I carry my driver probably about 250, and then depending on how the course is playing, it rolls out.

Q.  This morning practicing I saw you (inaudible) how much did that help your putting?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It helped out a lot.  I usually like to end on either a holed‑out putt or a chip, just to get that confidence to be like, all right, let's go.  So to see a few of those chips go in definitely helped out my confidence going into today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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