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April 1, 2014

Stacy Lewis


THE MODERATOR:  Thank you again for being here.  I'm joined by the number three ranked player in the world, top American, Stacy Lewis.
You just said this is an easy week for you.  I need to hit the rewind button and say, What?
STACY LEWIS:  This is easy.  Not as many commitments.  I'm not running around like a crazy person.  This is a pretty easy week.
THE MODERATOR:  When you say that, what is a normal week?  What are the challenges that you face in a non‑major?
STACY LEWIS:  A normal week is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I start the day at about 6 or 7 in the morning and finish at 7 or 8 at night.
This week I have more down time, more time to practice, time to be to myself, be able to relax a little bit.  I try to do that on purpose at majors so I have more time to prepare.
I feel really good about the way we did things this week and feel really relaxed.
THE MODERATOR:  You've had a remarkable run over the last couple years.  Of the things that you remember most, what stands out?  What are you most proud of among your accomplishments?
STACY LEWIS:  Probably the consistency.  I pride myself on that.  I pride myself on not playing my best golf but still finishing inside the top 10, giving myself chances to win.  Like last week, I didn't feel like I played my best golf, but I still had a chance going into Sunday.  That's what I'm really proud of.
I definitely would have liked some more wins, especially in the last six months or so, but I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.
THE MODERATOR:  16 of your last 17 events, top 10s.  That's pretty consistent.
STACY LEWIS:  That's not bad.  Karrie had to let me know I didn't get a record, so she was pretty happy about that (laughter).
THE MODERATOR:  Questions.

Q.  When during the year do you start thinking about Mission Hills and the golf course?  What do you do to start getting ready?
STACY LEWIS:  Probably in December, as soon as the year is over.  I work all off‑season to get ready for the majors and to be peaking at the right time, to get ready for this week.
Really over the last couple months, all my work has gone into this week, having everything sharp.  My coach has been out three weeks in a row, but I've wanted that because I wanted to make sure when I get to this week I'm just ready to play, and we're getting to that point.

Q.  Specific parts of your game you start working on?
STACY LEWIS:  A major obviously tests a little bit of everything.  Early in the season I wasn't hitting the ball the way I wanted to.  I didn't have the height on my shots I normally have.  That's something you need on this golf course.  We kind of worked on the swing, getting some height back in my shots again.
The putting really has been my Achilles' heel so far this year.  It's been really streaky.  I'll have some rounds where I'll make some putts, but I'll have rounds where I've had a lot of putts.
That's what we've been working on the last few days.  I feel like I'm really getting a lot more comfortable with it.

Q.  I've heard a couple people say maybe the rough doesn't look quite as choking this year as it has in the past.  Is that your take on it as well?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I was actually a little bit disappointed when I played the golf course yesterday for the first time not having the rough.  That's what makes this golf course, is the rough.  It makes those fairways seem a little bit tighter.  You have to play a little bit smarter on the doglegs.
But there's no rough.  The greens are still firm.  If you're in the rough, you're going to have trouble stopping the ball, but it's definitely not a penalty like it has been the last couple years.
THE MODERATOR:  Karrie Webb was talking about the way the tour is going right now.  She specifically brought up the Americans and their play, feeling like that is a big positive for the tour.  From your perspective, how important is it for the Americans collectively?  How much do you all talk about it?
STACY LEWIS:  Contrary to belief, we don't talk about it a lot.  But I think the Americans playing well, it's huge for this tour.  We're an American‑based tour.  I mean, it's no lie that the ratings go up, more media coverage.  Things happen when the American players are playing well.
It's great to see Lexi going into her own.  I played with her on Sunday last week.  She's having fun out there again.  She's playing some really good golf.
Paula finally getting a win again.  Cristie is settling into life with her baby.  It's a great time for American golf.
I've been saying it and we're finally having the proof.
THE MODERATOR:  Is getting back to number one something that drives you right now or something that could be a distraction if you think about it too much?
STACY LEWIS:  It's really not a distraction because, number one, while I really want to get back, as you kind of saw last year, a lot of it's out of my control.  I played some really good golf last year.  I won a major.  Inbee goes out and wins three.  There's not a whole lot I can do there except win a few more.
I'm going to try to control what I can control, and that's winning golf tournaments, and let the rest take care of itself.

Q.  When you look back on this tournament when you won, what did that do for your confidence?  How did that change everything for you mentally?
STACY LEWIS:  One, it's hard to believe how long it's been since we were there.  It really opened my eyes that I could be one of the best players in the world.
At the time I was still kind of struggling for that first win.  It just opened the door for more wins, more confidence that I could do it really.
I don't know.  That final round, I was so motivated just because everybody was giving it to Yani that Saturday night.  Everybody said she was going to run away with it.  I was so motivated that day, there was no way I was going to lose.

Q.  A year ago at this time, nobody would have had any idea Inbee would win three major championships.  Talk about how your viewpoint and the players' viewpoint of her has evolved.
STACY LEWIS:  I think it's gotten to the point where you're never surprised when you see her name up there.  It was like last week, you didn't see her name all week, all of a sudden she finishes up there in the top 10.  It's just every week she's there.
She's making putts.  It's not like when Yani was number one.  She was reaching par 5s in two, driving it far, being showy with it a little bit.  There's nothing flashy about Inbee's game, but she gets it done.  It doesn't matter what it looks like, it just matters what that score looks like on the scorecard.
THE MODERATOR:  A little deeper on a perspective from you about being No.1, the toll it takes mentally, the learning curve you went through at the end of last year and the start to this year.  Seems like you have a much fresher outlook on everything.  Maybe it's not translating into numbers of victories, but you seem quite different.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I don't know what it is.  I think I was so focused on getting back to number one last year that I kind of lost sight of enjoying it and having fun.  Really I'm at a position where I can make an impact, make this tour better, make a lot of other people better around me.
I think I've tried to embrace that a little bit more and have more fun with it.  Phoenix was probably the most fun I've had on the golf course in a long time.  Hanging out with the kids that were out there, all the founders walking around.  I don't know.  I'm trying to enjoy it a little bit more and have more fun, realize I'm in a position where I can make an impact, and make it a good one.
THE MODERATOR:  Your Twitter conversations with the fans, are you having fun with that?
STACY LEWIS:  I'm trying.  I got back on Twitter.  I'm trying to ease my way back into it.  It's not the easiest thing in the world for me, but I'm trying.

Q.  It's not like 39 is old, but ever since you've been out here Karrie Webb has been one of the elite players.  Do players appreciate and marvel at longevity?  Is longevity something that impresses other players?
STACY LEWIS:  You have longevity, but playing good golf for a long time, which is what Karrie has done.  A lot of us as players, I don't see her as old.  Everybody is writing her as being so old.  She's younger than Phil, a lot of those guys on tour.  She has a few good more years in her.
The way she's playing right now, the sky's the limit.  But playing that well, how hard she works, she's been doing this a long time.  She works just as hard as some of the girls that are 18 years old in their first year on tour, she's probably working harder than them.
It's great to have her around, to have her perspective, to be around her, to talk to her.  She's great for this tour.  She's always coming up with ideas and ways to make women's golf better.  That's what we need around.

Q.  Your thoughts on Lydia Ko, how she's started her pro career, what sort of threat will she be this week?
STACY LEWIS:  I think Lydia is a threat any week.  She's so solid.  She doesn't realize how good she is.  That's the one thing that I'd like to see in her, a little bit more confidence and belief that she can win, belief that she is one of the best players out here because she is.  She's a threat any week.  She's such a good putter.  Very consistent with her irons.  She seems to be getting a little bit more comfortable the week in, week out kind of grind on tour.
I think she's going to get more comfortable as the year goes on.  But any week Lydia's a threat.

Q.  How important is this event?  How important is it to stay here?
STACY LEWIS:  This event, I mean, you can't even understate it.  For me, when I think of a major, I think of this event.  I think of the tradition, the history.
Last night at our champions dinner, just hearing all the ladies talk about Dinah Shore, all the traditions that have been built here, we can't leave here.  This is what our tour is about.  We have one of the best celebrations on tour.  The walk across the bridge, the walk when you have the lead coming up Sunday, it's the best.
I think a lot of the older players like Juli, they know this tournament as the Dinah, where players my age, we know this as the Kraft.  For me it's going to be hard to not call it the Kraft anymore because that's what Kraft Nabisco has built here.  It's Kraft, that's what it is.  Everybody knows what course it's at, where it is.  We need to hopefully get another sponsor, somebody onboard, that wants to create a tradition like that again going forward so these 16‑ 17‑year‑olds that are coming out in a couple years, what are they going to call this.  We need to stay here.
THE MODERATOR:  I think some of the 17‑year‑olds are already here.  Stacy, best of luck this week.  Have a great time.

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