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April 4, 2014

Lexi Thompson


THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We would like to welcome in our current co‑leader Lexi Thompson, shot a fantastic 8‑under par 64, the lowest second‑round score ever shot here at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, very nice round.  Just take me through the day.  It looked like you were just on fire out there.  What was really working well in your game today?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, well, I had a little bit of a slow start.  I parred my first five holes.  But I struggled a bit yesterday on the greens, just struggled to get my putts to the hole, but I figured out some things after my round yesterday with my putting and some of my iron shots.  So I would say mainly just committing to my iron shots, hitting some good ones in there and draining some nice putts on the back nine especially.
THE MODERATOR:  You've been playing some great golf.  We watched you play really well at the Kia Classic last week.  Your play was what secured the No.1 spot for the U.S. in the International Crown by moving up in the rankings.  What has been the biggest key for you, the biggest difference in your play of late and how much confidence did that bring into this week?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I would say especially last week, I just went into last week and just tried to have fun out there, laugh in between shots, get my mind off the game, and same thing with this week.  Just go out there and relax.  Even though it's a major, it's just a golf tournament, so just going out there and having fun.  But I worked extremely hard in the off‑season on my short game and just trying to get my game a lot more consistent.  I think that's showing in the last few weeks, so hopefully it'll show even more.

Q.  Can you get a little technical with us about your putting and what you've worked on in the last six months?
LEXI THOMPSON:  In the last six months I went through quite a dramatic change.  I had moved really close to the ball to get my eye line more over it to see my line.  It's not something I've been used to.  Even as a little kid I stood far away from the ball and took the putter inside.  So I just went right back to that, just go where I'm most comfortable and feel I can make the putt.  I really think putting is pretty much all confidence.  So I moved farther away and just take one look at the hole and just knock it in.  Hopefully.

Q.  How long did it take to get comfortable with that?
LEXI THOMPSON:  With moving back far away?  It probably took me a good month or so because I putted the other way a few months, so I had gotten quite used to that putting stance.  But when I moved back, it was definitely where I was more comfortable.  It took me about a month or so to get back used to it.

Q.  You've played this tournament four times.  You played it once as an amateur.  Do you feel comfortable on the golf course now?  Do you feel like you've learned enough about it?  Obviously 64 is pretty good.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I feel really comfortable on this golf course.  I always say this is my favorite tournament of the year, just coming here it's so beautiful, like really nice weather, and the fans are amazing.  I really enjoyed this week out of the year probably the most out of them all.  But yeah, I'm really comfortable with the golf course.  I get to hit a lot of drivers, so I just aim up the right side and hit my little draw.  I really enjoy it out here.

Q.  Was there any point during the round today where you said to yourself something special is going on out here, the hole looks like a bucket?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I wouldn't say I saw there was something special going on, I was just trying to stay in the moment and focus on each shot, not really think about what I was shooting.  But yeah, I had the same confidence over every shot, just committing to my line and just being confident over every shot or every putt, and I just tried to do that the whole way throughout, even at the beginning of the round.

Q.  You've been playing in majors since you were 12 years old.  What have you learned that's maybe helping you now?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I would say the biggest thing I've learned over the years is just staying patient.  Majors, they don't shoot crazy low in majors usually, so even if you're just parring, missing a few birdie putts, you just have to stay patient with it and know you can take advantage of a few holes and get the birdies there, and that's what I'm kind of realizing here.  You have plenty of birdie holes out there, so even if you miss a few birdie putts, you've just got to keep on plugging away and get those looks with the birdies.

Q.  Did you have to learn how to stay patient?  Was that a hard process?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I think that's definitely a huge learning process I've gone through because sometimes I'll have a good amount of birdie chances and miss a few and get a little impatient.  As long as you're hitting it well and you get those looks, you just have to tell yourself that they'll fall eventually and just go out with a confident attitude.

Q.  Can you just give us a couple of your highlights today, your favorite putts that dropped or something that we might have missed?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I would say probably my favorite putt I dropped today was on No.1, my 10th hole.  It was quite a bit breaker, so it was pretty cool to watch it go in hole.

Q.  How long was that putt?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It was probably almost 30 feet.

Q.  How much break did it have?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I played it a good at least five feet out, so it was pretty cool to watch.  And then the 18th hole, I went for it in two today and hit a hybrid to about 20 feet.  I made birdie, but I love playing that hole.  It's so scenic, and embracing all the fans walking up to the greens is always a great feeling.

Q.  Can you take us through your last hole?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I went for it in two, I had 235 front, got in a greenside bunker, hit my bunker shot up to about 10 feet and made it.

Q.  Yesterday you had 35 putts, today 25.  Did you make any adjustments overnight or they just went in today?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, well, I putted a little bit after my round yesterday.  I just had a little bit of speed issues yesterday.  I didn't really commit to my lines, and I came up short a lot yesterday.  I just went out today and picked my line and sped up my tempo a little bit with my putting and just went up to it and said I'm going to knock it in.

Q.  You've won LPGA events, but to see your name at the top of the leaderboard at a major tournament going into the weekend, what kind of feeling is that like, and what do you do now kind of looking forward to the next two rounds?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It's a great feeling to have.  Obviously this is one of my main goals, to win a major this year, especially the Kraft Nabisco would be a huge honor.  But no different attitude going into the weekend.  I'm still going to go out there, have fun, stay patient with each shot, pick my line and just commit to every golf shot and just have fun out there.

Q.  Just in case you do end up paired with Se Ri, I'm trying to think back, you might have been too young when she was in her prime.  Do you remember her coming up and what do you know about Se Ri?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I've played with Se Ri quite a bit.  I don't know too much about her accomplishments, but I obviously show she's an amazing player and great role model.  But yeah, I mean, it would be great to be paired up with her.  She's an amazing player.  But I'm just going to go out there and play my own game.  This tournament has so much history behind it, so it would be a huge honor to win it obviously, but just going into the weekend with the same attitude.

Q.  You were a little young in 1998 when she won the U.S. Women's Open.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I was only three.

Q.  Sort of playing off that theme, Se Ri was just in here and talking about some of the things she's learned over the years and how her attitude just sort of changed.  You're 19; can you even see what that would be like to be like a 17‑year veteran at some point and facing that evolution of your game and your life, or is it still kind of too far out there?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It's pretty far away.  I haven't looked too much into the future.  I'm just trying to take one tournament at a time.  This is what I've always wanted to do, play out on the LPGA.  To be like a Se Ri Pak and be a veteran out here and winning that many times would be a great honor.  Like I said, this has been my dream since I was a little girl to play out here.  Seems like I've been out here a while just only being 19.  But I look forward to the years to come to play out on the LPGA.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you so much for joining us, and best of luck this weekend.

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