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May 27, 2015

Lauren Kim

Mariah Stackhouse

Anne Walker


RICK NIXON:  We are joined here on the dais by Stanford student‑athletes Lauren Kim, Mariah Stackhouse and head coach Ann walker.  Coach Walker, let's take an opening statement.
ANNE WALKER:  An opening statement, gosh, I'm still kind of speechless.  We're just thrilled to have taken this championship and be taking it back to Stanford to the campus with a wonderful group of scholar‑athletes on our team that worked very hard.  They're not just golfers, they're great students, as well, so it means a lot to be taking this trophy back.

Q.  Could you and Lauren (inaudible)?
ANNE WALKER:  Well, I just told The Golf Channel I think we should keep it.
LAUREN KIM:  Yeah, I definitely like the format a lot better than the stroke play.  It brings more of a team aspect into it.  In the stroke play you're focused on team and also individual, and you're competing simultaneously for a national championship, but with the match play the way it is, it's all team, and it's so great to just be a family and experience this all together.

Q.  How draining has this week been for you?
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  I know for me personally I reached the peak of my fatigue yesterday afternoon.  I came out yesterday morning, and was like, boom, had six birdies that round, and I went, pewwwww, and just kind of lost everything in that afternoon match.  I didn't get a good night's sleep last night.  Me and Lauren were just talking.  This is all legitimate.  At this point it's the last match.  You're not going to get tired because it matters too much, so we were just like, keeping in mind that we're playing hard and we're playing for something really big, and then just try to stay in there the whole time.
LAUREN KIM:  It is tiring.  When we were watching my finishing holes I had blisters on my feet the entire week and I didn't even feel a thing.  It was just really exciting, and Shannon and I were running down No.10 to try to watch the approach shots into the green, so it just becomes too big and too exciting.  It means too much for you to give up and let go.

Q.  Mariah, what was the most important shot that you hit down the stretch?
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  The most important shot I hit was definitely my approach shot into 17, I think.  After she hit that great shot out of the hazard on 16, I was just kind of like, oh, my gosh, you've got to be kidding me.  It was great.  Like that was a true golf shot that she hit there.  I was just like, you're dormie, you have to set yourself up for eagle, possibly birdie.  That's the only way you're going to be able to win this hole and keep going.  That shot, as soon as it came off the club face, I was just like, this is money, and it felt really good.

Q.  How far tough?
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  209 to the pin.

Q.  What did you hit?

Q.  Mariah, when you heard that you were the anchor match for today, talk about how excited you were about that or how you felt?
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  Like Coach said, we knew that Baylor was going to be tough to beat.  They're gritty.  They've been playing well this whole season.  So when I went out in the last match, I was like, it's probably going to come down to this because they're going to be 2‑2 in the four matches ahead of me and it's going to come down the stretch.  I actually thought a lot about it last night.  It felt kind of silly but I envisioned some kind of crazy finish with me having to hit huge shots.  (Laughter) I knew I was going to be down and I was going to have to do something crazy to come back.

Q.  You saw that in your dreams?
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  I did.  I did.  It was even more dramatic.  I had like a crazy eagle putt on 17, and like my visualization, and then on 18 I just stuck it for a birdie and pushed it to extra holes.

Q.  When Hayley missed the putt, what was going through your mind in the playoff?
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  All I could think about was the fact that our team had just won and that was stressful and didn't have to go any more holes thinking about it's all on you and you've got to do it for us.  So I was really happy.  I think we all saw for a second‑‑ I looked back at the team like do we celebrate, what happens now, and then like this whole feeling of joy just kind of rushed over me.  Lauren is always the first person I look at because she's like my best friend on the team, and I've got to run and get this bear hug.  But it was a lot of fun.  Hayley played great today, so I know she was super bummed to have missed that putt and not been able to continue.  But just happy that I was there down the stretch.

Q.  Coach, Mariah (inaudible) on the last hole, as well.  Can you talk about as a coach just kind of what's going through your mind trying to keep track of everything that's going down on there?
ANNE WALKER:  Yeah, I saw a lot of Casey's match through the first seven holes, and she was playing really well and she played really well yesterday.  I liked what I saw.  She was 2‑up, and then her mom had been kind of texting me back just kind of keeping me in the loop.  I saw she went back to even and her mom was like, well, she's back to 2‑up again and I was like, good, I like the way that's looking, and then she went back to even again.  I had a good feeling about Casey.  It wasn't like she was really struggling.  She kept putting herself in good position, and just yesterday having the pressure she had to win her match in the morning, I knew that would pay off for her today, and I really think it did.  And then Shannon is just steady Eddie.  Shannon is so not going to let anybody beat her.  She's going to find a way to win and she loves to win.  I had a good feeling Shannon would take her match.  Casey I knew was a key match for us right out of the gate.  I thought if we can get Casey's match then we had a real shot at it.  We got that, and then in the back that's all I was thinking.  I think when Casey got down, Mariah still had four or five holes to go.

Q.  Considering that Mariah and you are best friends, what's going through your head when you see the weight of a national title on your best friend's shoulders coming down the stretch?
LAUREN KIM:  Yeah, it's funny.  I'm like 17.  I was shaking with nerves.  I was telling me teammates I would be crying right if I were in Mariah's position right now, because just like feeling it from watching it, I think‑‑ I almost think it's better to be playing actually, because watching it is just‑‑ it's so hard, and knowing how badly both of us and Coach wanted it since we've come to Stanford, we came the same year, and knowing how much we've talked about it and wanted it, it was just‑‑ I just couldn't watch.  I couldn't look.  I was like getting really nervous and trying to stay calm for my teammates, also, but then like inside I was just shaking, and then when she made the putt on 18, I just went nuts and I was screaming, and then Lauren Dobashi, our other assistant, was just like, OK guys, we still have extra holes, anything can happen.  It was just a whirlwind of emotion, and I'm so happy that it worked out in our favor.

Q.  Mariah, you already talked about Hayley's incredible shot and feeling like, oh, my gosh, how is this going to happen?  How did you buckle down with the pressure of having to win extra holes?
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  I honestly think not being able to sleep last night and re‑envisioning something like that taking place just really put me in a good place, and to be honest, I've never been more excited about a couple of finishing holes.  I was like, we've worked hard for this all year.  It's do or die.  There are two holes left.  You've got to get through to even have an opportunity to win the championship.  That's the kind of stuff you dream for as a golfer.  Well, maybe you don't dream to be 2‑down and have to win the next two holes, but yeah, that for me was just‑‑ I think I kind of had the easier hand because I had to go for it versus protect, and so I definitely was able to‑‑ I think it was great that I was shorter on 17 and was able to hit a really good shot up there because it forced her to have to stick it, and it all worked out, and I was really excited, and to be honest, we were walking down 18, and Coach looked at me, and she said, how much fun is this, and I said, I'm having a blast.  And it was, it was a great time.

Q.  What was the low point of the season?  You guys had a lot of injuries.  What was the turning point?
LAUREN KIM:  I don't even know if there was a turning point.  I feel like the whole season has been so up and down that it's hard to say there was one specific point where it all turned around.  But yeah, just coming here, I don't know, I keep telling everyone this, but I said in my head, I was like, I really have a good feeling about this national championship, like early in the season, and we just went through too much for it not to be ours and not to have it work out in our favor.  Yeah, I don't know if there was really a turning point, but we just kept plugging along and getting through the season day by day, and we ended up here.
MARIAH STACKHOUSE:  I also don't know, I was reminding the team, but last season, I think it was at regionals, after we made it through regionals and were going to nationals last year, it was funny because we were going to a different national championship, but Coach was‑‑ we were talking about Concession, and coach looks at us and said, I think that's going to be our national championship course.  I don't know if you remember this.  Nobody else does but I remember these words coming out of your mouth, and she said this more than a year ago ‑‑ Concession is going to be our national championship course.

Q.  What does this mean for the sport of women's golf ‑‑ just what took place here the last couple days?
ANNE WALKER:  Yeah, I have a lot of thoughts about this because I didn't see it on Golf Channel, but I was walking the fairways, and the quality of golf that the nation just witnessed I think is‑‑ I'm sure there's a lot of people at home that can't believe how good these guys are.  They're really good.  And to have it showcased on a national stage, I think that's a really big deal.  It's changed the championship a lot.  We had breakfast this morning, and I looked at all those players, I know how I felt, and I looked at all those guys, and we've never looked so tired.  In fact I joked with someone today ‑‑ golf, this is not an endurance sport.  We should probably be sponsored by Red Bull.  This week is long.  It's definitely a different challenge.  We changed the way we were training this year.  For the first year with our strength and conditioning coach, we put a lot more cardio into play, and I think that paid off for us, because it's very obvious.  If you want to win this championship in future years, you'd better be in great shape.

Q.  Anne, piggy‑backing off of what you were talking about, predicting this was going to be your national championship year, what made you think the Concession and the layout for your game?
ANNE WALKER:  I'd never seen it before and I didn't really know, but I was planting the seed, because the year before that, I planted a seed by winning the 2014 Pac‑12 championship at Oregon State and I said I'd been there as a Bear and I had some individual success there and I liked it, and actually when I was with Cal golf we won our first Pac‑12 championship there, and I had a feeling that we could do well.  So I planted a seed and it worked, so last year, I thought I'd plant a seed and see if it works.  Turns out Mariah remembers it and it worked?

Q.  I just wanted to ask you about putting Mariah in the anchor match, and when you decided you were going to do that and why?
ANNE WALKER:  Well, for anyone who watched the picking of the teams yesterday, I took a long time with those last two, and I was going back and forth kind of whispering with Lauren a little bit, and you know, I know that if you go by the numbers and you go by the statistics, probably not great to stack your two best players against their two best players, and that's why I was deliberating a little bit.  But at the end of the day, I couldn't envision having anyone else in that anchor spot than Mariah.  So that's why I took so long, and in the end that was what I went with, went with my gut, and it worked.

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