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January 23, 2014

Stacy Lewis


THE MODERATOR:¬† Good afternoon, everyone.¬† We'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No.3 Stacy Lewis into the interview room.¬† Nice round, 4‑under par today, one shot off the lead.¬† Take us through your round; what was really working well for you out there today?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I really got off to a pretty good start.  I thought I'd be a little bit more rusty than I was, but got off to a good start, and really just hit the ball really solid and was able to control some shots in the wind and really the shots that I saw I was able to pull off.  I was really happy with the way I hit the ball.
Up until about‑‑ from 14 in, I hit the ball great, I just didn't score very well.
But 4‑under, first round in six weeks, is pretty good.
THE MODERATOR:¬† I know we talked about the time you took off during the off‑season to give yourself a mental break.¬† You were playing so well at the end of last year.¬† Was it tough to take that time off and were you worried you might not be able to continue that momentum after some time off?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I wanted to keep playing.  I wish we had more tournaments to keep going, but I knew I needed some time just to kind of step away and allow myself to break and not think about golf all the time.  I mean, it was a good thing.  I forced myself to do it, and I came back around the 1st of the year and just been really happy with what we're working on, and it seems to be coming into play.
THE MODERATOR:  You talked about what you've been working on.  What specifically have you been targeting, and what did you see kind of pay off in today's round?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I think really living in Florida these last couple years has helped me a lot with controlling spin in the wind, and that really helps on this golf course, just knowing if I turn one back into the wind how far it's going to go, or I can hit one less club and let it ride the wind.  Just knowing those different types of shots, that's helped me a lot.
Really what we worked on is just kind of the same things we've been working on for a long time.  I don't know, I always try to get a little bit better every day, and just little things.  We're not changing the whole plane of my golf swing or anything like that, it's just little things.

Q.  You were Player of the Year in 2012, Vare Trophy winner last year.  What are your goals for this year?
STACY LEWIS:  First I'd like to get back to No.1 in the world.  That's kind of the most immediate thing.  I mean, I'd like to do both of those things in one year at some point in my career.  I have a list of things kind of in the back of my head that I want to check off, and those are two things that are on it.  But you try not to think about it too much because there's so many good players and so many people that can be No.1, and it's a hard place to be.
Today was a good start, and we've got a long ways to go, though.
THE MODERATOR:  I know when we were talking a little bit earlier about you and Lydia both played well in the same group.  Lydia said it was fun because she had never been paired with you in the first round before and it was fun to see her name up there with one of the top players in the world.
STACY LEWIS:  It's unbelievable.
THE MODERATOR:  She just doesn't seem to really realize where she is ranked in the world.  But she also said that it was good to kind of watch you play.  Do you watch her when she's playing?  Are there any things that you watch from her game that you kind of pick up on?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I think our games are very similar, just the way we play.  We both hit it solid and make some putts.  She rolled it great today.  For the first seven, eight holes, she made everything she looked at.
I mean, she's‑‑ I don't understand.¬† She must not think she's very good or something.¬† I think she's really good.¬† Gosh, when she gets some confidence and really figures that out, watch out for the rest of the Tour.¬† I mean, it's nice to see, but at the same time you want to see her kind of really believe in herself and believe that she is one of the best players in the world.
THE MODERATOR:  I think it's that quiet confidence she's starting to get.  She did say today, though, that she didn't have as many nerves on the first tee as she's had in the past and it was a different feeling, which kind of surprised her because it's her rookie season and her first event as a rookie that she didn't have more nerves.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, not many things seem to faze her.  You can change her golf clubs, you can change her coach, you can change all this stuff, but she's still the same person on the golf course.  That's what I like about her.  She gets it done, and that's all you can say.
THE MODERATOR:  I know it's early in the week, and it's always hard being at the top of the leaderboard, but what are the keys you look for the rest of the week to succeeding on this golf course.
STACY LEWIS:¬† I really think it's a ball‑striker's course with the greens.¬† The greens are really grainy and they do get pretty bumpy with spike marks and things like that.¬† I think the ball strikers are definitely‑‑ the best ball striker is probably going to win this week.¬† It's controlling those shots in the wind.¬† The last couple holes on both nines are pretty tough. ¬†It's really got to play well early and kind of hang on at the end.

Q.  You and Lydia seemed to talk and chat and laugh.  There's some good rapport there?
STACY LEWIS:¬† Yeah, we've played so much golf together, it's hard to believe that she's‑‑ I think being with her, with her first win a couple years ago in Canada and being with her that final day, we've played a lot together.¬† She's so easy to play with.¬† I actually like‑‑ when I saw we were paired together I was actually pretty happy.¬† She's just a really likable kid.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Stacy, and best of luck the rest of the week.

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