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April 23, 2014

Stacy Lewis


MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis into the interview room.
Stacy, this week's event marks a return to the Bay Area.  You've had a chance to tour the city a little bit.  You rode your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge the other day.  Tell us about that.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, the Monday qualifier was going on Monday morning and we wanted something to do.  So myself, Alison Walshe, and Cindy Lacrosse we went down to Fisherman's Wharf and rented a couple bikes and went across the Golden Gate and back.
It was just really cool to get to do some touristy things.  Definitely a good work out, too.
MODERATOR:  So Monday you toured around the city.  Did you go anywhere else other than biking around the bridge?
STACY LEWIS:  No. We stayed down there, got some clam chowder for lunch.  Feel like you have to do so that here.  Really then came back and got some practice in later.
MODERATOR:  You've been around Swinging Skirts before.  What does it mean to have the Swinging Skirts back as a sponsor?
STACY LEWIS:  It's huge.  You know, not only as a sponsor, but they brought it here to the United States.  That's what we've been looking for, more events in the U.S.
They were very open to coming here, and to bring it to a great golf course like Lake Merced, to an area where we need to be playing every year; we have a lot of players from this area.
It's a first‑class tournament.  You can feel it when you first walk in.  They're doing it right.  It's really great.
MODERATOR:  They brought some interesting pieces of art work they laid all over the course.
MODERATOR:  Have you had a chance to get around and look on the them or play with them at all?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I've seen the whole golf course.  You definitely can't miss them, that's for sure.  They look really good for climbing.  Irene and I were hanging from one the other day.
They're definitely pretty interesting.
MODERATOR:  You mentioned the golf course.  As you played, what are your thoughts on the course, and I guess what are some of the challenges that the players will face this week?
STACY LEWIS:  The course is hard.  I mean, just looking at it it looks like a US Open‑style course where you got to drive it straight.
I feel like off the tee there is some room.
But into the greens I think is where you really have to be smart and miss it in the right places.  You can get short‑sided pretty easily.  Just really have to play smart.
It's in good shape.  The rough is definitely there, so it's going to be a good test.  I don't feel like scores will be super low, but I feel like it'll be fair.
MODERATOR:  And finally, there is a strong field this week, but also so many different players have been playing so well out there this year.
How hard is it then to win out here this year?
STACY LEWIS:  I mean, it's a great thing for the tour.  We can never complain about having multiple winners and different people winning.
It's a great thing.  And it's hard.  It's super hard to win.  I've been knocking on the door really since the start of the season; just haven't been able to close the door.
I've played good golf.  Just somebody has played a little bit better every week.  Michelle's win last week was huge for the tour; Lexi winning the major.  Couldn't really ask for much better.
MODERATOR:  Exactly.  Questions?

Q.  You mentioned this is an area the tour needs to be every year.  Just because there are so many players from here?  What about the Bay Area sort of fits with the LPGA in your mind?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I think there are so many great golf courses in the Bay Area.  We were across the Bay for a long time, and there is just so much golf history here.  That's why I feel like we need to be here.
And having a lot of players grow up in this area, that adds to the tournaments.  It brings more people out to watch.  This is definitely one of the places we need to be.
MODERATOR:  Any more questions?

Q.  You mentioned Michelle and Lexi winning.  Seems like there has been a lot of energy with players like that having success, yet Inbee has been No. 1 for 54 weeks.  You had a run at No. 1.  What do you see the top of the rankings looking like the next year or two?  How difficult is it going to be to stay where you are?
STACY LEWIS:  I think if Lexi and Michelle keep playing the way they're playing the rankings could look drastically different in a year.
Inbee, Suzann, and myself, none of us have played poorly.  They're just starting to make a run.  Staying up in the rankings is playing consistently every week.  Your bad weeks, still finish in top 10, top 20.
So at the end of the day, that's what you got to do is stay consistent.  Who knows what could happen a year from now.  I think with so many players playing well I don't think there will be a dominant No. 1.
It's getting harder and harder to win.

Q.  Suzann is returning after a back injury.  You've had some back trouble in the past.

Q.  What do you think her challenges are coming back?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, back injuries are tough.  The hardest part about a back injury is just trusting it and going after shots.  At the end of the day, you probably hurt it worse by trying to protect it a little bit.
So hopefully she comes back sooner rather than later.  She's definitely an asset for the tour and is a greater player.
We need her out here.  But at the at the same time, you got to protect your back, that's for sure.

Q.  One more.  You said it's harder and harder to win; there is not going to be a dominant No. 1.  Is that good for the tour?  How do you view the affect on the tour?  And as sort of a corollary, how do you view the state of the tour from the last time you were in the Bay Area two and a half, three years ago?
STACY LEWIS:  I think if you're a player you don't want a dominant No. 1.  And if there is one, I think for outside the tour it kind of depends who it is.
I have to think if it's a Michelle or a Lexi, I mean, not to the extreme, but you get a Tiger effect.  Kind of the big, quick increase there.
Where if it's Inbee or someone from Korea, it's a little bit tougher just being an American‑based tour.
I don't know.  I don't want to see a dominant No. 1.  I like to see the competition and the battle going back and forth.
What was the second part about the Bay Area?

Q.  Since the tour was here before...
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, gosh, I think three and a half years ago we had 23 events on the schedule, and now we're up over 30.  I think that says it right there.  We've got more marketing partners and partners of the tour, bigger sponsors, and we're starting to increase the purses.
We can be a little bit more selective now where we're going to play, who the sponsors are.  And now the sponsors kind of realize that they have to step up their game a little bit.  Can't come with half an offer.  You have to come with the full thing.
I mean, right now we're in a great place.  Like we were talking about with Lexi and Michelle, if this continues, who knows where we'll be in the next year.
MODERATOR:  All right, great.  Thank you, Stacy.
STACY LEWIS:  Thank you.

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