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February 19, 2014
MODERATOR:Â Okay.Â I would like to welcome you to a very special press conference today.Â We don't get to do this all that often.Â We have the top four players in the world.Â To my immediate left we have No. 3, Stacy Lewis; No. 1, Inbee Park, No. 2, Suzann Pettersen, and No.4, Lydia Ko.
Than you all for coming in.Â What an awesome day here in Thailand.
Inbee, defending champion.Â How are you feeling this week?Â This is your first start of the 2014 season.Â Took a lot of time off; training in Australia.Â How excited are you to get started?
INBEE PARK:Â Yeah, I finish off the season quite late last year, middle of December, so I wanted to give myself a good break before I start the season.
About five weeks in Australia.Â I thought I needed some time off after last year's season.Â I did some training and had a lot of fun.Â I did physical training and I did golf training.Â I had a good time and I feel good about coming this week and feel excited.
MODERATOR:Â Good.Â Anything in the off‑season exciting?Â We haven't seen or talked to you.Â Some people take vacation.Â Anything we should be aware of that was a little off the cuff?
INBEE PARK:Â I did paddle boarding first time ever.Â I swim with the dolphins.Â Seen kangaroos and koalas.Â It was different.Â That was any second time being in Australia.
Q.Â So you played a little bit of the tourist role?
INBEE PARK:Â Yeah.
Q.Â Stacy, two Top 10s in your first two starts.Â Making me sound like a broken record.Â Talk about your strong start this year and how you feel coming into Thailand continuing your strong play.
STACY LEWIS:Â Yeah, I've really just kind of carried over since the end of last year.Â I didn't really want to take a break and just kind of kept the momentum going.
Two Top 10s to start year, I've been right there in both tournaments.Â Just a few more putts at the end of the day and I'm right where I need to be.Â My game is really close to where I want it.
You know, I'm excited I've kept my top 10 streak going, which has been fun.Â Look forward to week and give myself another chance to win.
MODERATOR:Â Suzann, talk about having the four of you on this stage and the first time this season to have you all in the field.Â Competition is at its absolute highest.Â You're the one that says this is what we strive for.Â Talk about having you all guys in the field, you three paired together on Thursday, Lydia with Lexi and Ariya, another big grouping.Â Talk about that competition among you four.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â We've had some great rivalries between a bunch of girls.Â I think the level of the LPGA gets better and better.Â To see girls like Lydia that are so young and so competitive at such an early age, it's very impressive.
I guess I'm oldest out of these four, so I guess it's good for us to have players that keep us on our tippy toes, that makes you work just a little bit harder.Â It's fun to be a part of the pack like that.Â Just shows what this game is all about.
I think we all make each other better.
MODERATOR:Â Any trash talk in the first round?
STACY LEWIS:Â Well, they like to do this a lot, so this is not the first time the three of us have been paired together.
MODERATOR:Â That's true.Â Any rookie initiation for Lydia?Â You guys have been on tour for a while.Â Up and comer, have you put her in her place at all?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â I think she has a better record than all of us together.
MODERATOR:Â No hazing, though?
STACY LEWIS:Â No, we're pretty nice.
MODERATOR:Â Lydia, Thursday you're paired with Ariya and Lexi.Â Talk about being in such a well‑known group.Â Ariya obviously being the native here.
LYDIA KO:Â Yeah, I think we'll have quite a low combined age.Â (Laughter.)
STACY LEWIS:Â Rub it in.
LYDIA KO:Â Yeah, I think it's going to be really fun.Â They're such great players, so I'm happy.Â Yeah, 's going to be a good day.
MODERATOR:Â Suzann, you won in Thailand before.Â Talk about this course and this event.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â Well, this has been a fantastic venue for the LPGA for years now.Â Honda has been very supportive of the ladies golf.Â It's great to see the new young hai players come through all the programs they have had I would say over the last then 10 years I would say almost.
First time I came here it was probably six or seven.Â I think this course is one of the better ones we play.Â The conditions this year is the best yeah I've ever seen.Â The greens with as fast as what we play on all year.Â Never seen them this good.
So it's going to be quite a week.Â I'm excited to be back.Â It's always great support here, and I think this is a great start for us.
MODERATOR:Â Questions for right now?
Q.Â Lydia, you're a very experienced player, but this season is your first full season as a professional.Â Do you find any extra pressure being a professional than when you are an amateur?
LYDIA KO:Â I thought there would be much more pressure, but I played the last couple tournaments now showing good results and kind of gave myself better confidence.Â Been playing good golf.
Yeah, I think there is a little bit more pressure.Â I've been trying to concentrate on my golf and my game rather than anything else.
Q.Â Lydia, have you got any pressure being Rookie of the Year?
LYDIA KO:Â Yeah, just going to take one tournament at a time.Â There are so many other great rookies.Â I just got to concentrate on my game.Â I can't control another player.
MODERATOR:Â Did you think about Player of the Year at all?Â Obviously Rookie of the Year was the goal for you.Â Have you thought about Player of the Year?Â Got a good start in that race as well.
LYDIA KO:Â No, I think I (players talking over.)Â So it's too early to kind of think about that now.
Q.Â (No microphone.)
LYDIA KO:Â I think with the irons been going couple yards longer.Â I hit my driver at the (indiscernible) really good, so nothing's really changed.Â I think everything else is pretty much similar.
Q.Â (No microphone.)
LYDIA KO:Â Yeah, it's been really good.Â It's not a huge change compared to what I'm using.Â So I don't think it's a huge change.
Q.Â (Question regarding eye surgery.)
LYDIA KO:Â I hope so.Â I want to get rid of these.
STACY LEWIS:Â You don't recognize her without them.
LYDIA KO:Â You kind of don't want your eyes getting worse after the surgery.
STACY LEWIS:Â They have to stop changing.
LYDIA KO:Â So if I get them done and they're getting worse...
STACY LEWIS:Â She's not old enough yet.Â That's the problem.Â (Laughter.)
Q.Â Suzann, on the subject of getting a bit more length, everyone was talking in Melbourne about your length off the tee.Â Can you quantify how much length you gained in the off‑season?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â I just think the driver, felt like I always had more in the tank with the driver.Â So it's probably an average 15 yards longer, I would say.
But it's more the way the hit it.Â A little bit of a change of attack angle and a little different shaft.Â So I actually have a better ball flight.Â So I tried to get that over the winter.
Not like the driver I had was awful.Â It's always nice when you feel like you can out in one extra (indiscernible) when you really need it.
Finally, at age 32 I found a great driver.Â Never too late.Â (Laughter.)
Q.Â (No microphone.)
STACY LEWIS:Â You can get it on there pretty easy.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â Yeah, 250, piece of cake.
Q.Â So not going to layup?
STACY LEWIS:Â I think it depends on where the pin is and wind and all that.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â I hope they move it up.
STACY LEWIS:Â Yeah, I think it would be good from there.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â It's a pretty tough green.Â It's definitely one of those holes where you could give it a go.
Q.Â They're talking about moving the tee up on 18 as well.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â I've never seen the tee where it is.
STACY LEWIS:Â Yeah, the back tee is hard, I think.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:Â I don't think it's a great hole from the back.Â I think it's a much better hole where it was.
I hit a pretty good drive today and...
STACY LEWIS:Â Yeah, I think the back tee is a three‑shot hole.Â Takes some of the drama out of it.Â The tee gets moved up a couple times during the week at least, I think.
MODERATOR:Â Here in Thailand the International Crown is a huge deal.Â For the Americans, you guys are very clogged at the top.Â Angela and I think Jess and Lizette were the three out.Â Talk about that event.Â Time is kind of ticking on.Â Have you talked about the event on the American side?Â How excited you are about it?
STACY LEWIS:Â I think it's kind of crept up on everybody quicker than we thought.Â Kraft is only four tournaments away, which kind of crazy to think.Â We've all kind of started watching the standings more.Â We haven't talked about who would play with who because we don't know who the team will be.
I'm excited.Â I think Lexi is pretty much a lock.Â She's going to be there.Â I'm excited to have her.Â I played Solheim with her and we played best ball together really well.Â I'm going to like having her there.
Just excited to see how the format plays out more than anything.Â Playing the other countries, Thailand is going to be a very solid team and very hard to beat, so it's going to be fun.
MODERATOR:Â Inbee, you guys are almost the ones with the targets on your back, top‑ranked South Korea.Â Talk about strategy between you four.
INBEE PARK:Â Yeah, I mean, we didn't talk about it just yet, but I am sure everyone is thinking about International Crown.Â We play each other a lot of times since we were so young, and especially we played a lot in Korean Japan Cup last few years.Â So I think we're used to playing with each other.Â We all feel comfortable.
I think one thing we need to do is not to put too much pressure on ourselves thinking we're going to win.Â Thinking maybe we will get close.
MODERATOR:Â Talk about the season coming in.Â Did you do any goal setting?Â Expectations?Â Are you going to try to block that out and keep the goals to yourself?
INBEE PARK:Â Every new season I think about do better than last year.Â That's usually my goal.Â Obviously it's going to be very tough to beat last year.
So this tournament too.Â It's going to be tough to beat my last year's record.
I'm going to have tough weeks, but I think just being a happier person and not to thinking so much about results and just thinking about what I can do, what I can control.
So yeah, I think my game is in good shape.Â But I feel comfortable coming here and seeing everyone here.Â Yeah, I feel good.
MODERATOR:Â Any other questions?Â Thank you all four for coming in.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports