June 8, 2021
Daly City, California, USA
Lake Merced Country Club
THE MODERATOR: All right everyone, welcome inside the virtual media center here at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship.
Without any further ado, Lucy, welcome to the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. How are you doing?
LUCY LI: Super excited to be here, get the week started.
THE MODERATOR: For you, you come into this week after your best career finish in the U.S. Women's Open. Just take me through what last week was like from qualifying and then making your appearance there last week?
LUCY LI: Yeah, I remember when they announced that the Open would be at Olympic Club a few years ago, and that was something I was looking forward to for a really long time. Being able to qualify for that was a huge goal of mine this year, so happy I was able to do that and have a good week out there.
I just had so much fun playing that course. I love that course so much, and being able to be at home and have a good week was really nice.
THE MODERATOR: How many times are you played Olympic before last week?
LUCY LI: Well, before I had qualified I had actually only played it once when I was like nine, and after I qualified I played it a couple of times before I went out for tournaments. So, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: I was telling you earlier, but if I had an over/under for the number of times we saw you as a young one with the ice cream scoop after a round. When you're at the U.S. Women's Open, how much does that tournament mean to you in your journey to becoming a professional?
LUCY LI: Yeah, obviously that's kind of what I'm known for. There is no really escaping that. I saw some of the clips on social media and stuff. I didn't really watch much of the broadcast. But, yeah, I saw some of my friends sending in clips and stuff like that.
Obviously the U.S. Open is the biggest tournament of the year, so that tournament means a lot to me, especially that's kind of where I got my jump start in my career. So every time I go back and play that tournament it's just a really memorable experience.
THE MODERATOR: What was it like being able to sleep -- were you sleeping at home -- and still be able to participate in a major? How many other people can say they can do that?
LUCY LI: Yeah, for sure. I live 30 minutes away from the course so it was nice to be able to sleep in my own bed and have some family around. Kind of helped me stay relaxed out there. Kind of just nice to be home and eat some home cooked meals and know where to go and stuff like that. It was really nice.
THE MODERATOR: Now you're also staying at home for this week as well. Tell me what it was like when you learned that you would be able to compete here this week?
LUCY LI: Yeah, I was super, super excited. I think I found out I was going to play this tournament before I qualified for the Open, so knowing that I would be able to play two weeks back-to-back at home was something I was super looking forward to I'm still super excited about it.
THE MODERATOR: You've been now a professional for a little bit, I would say over a year. I know you've been playing well on the Symetra Tour. What has the last year of being a professional been like for you?
LUCY LI: Yeah, it's been a really good learning experience. I feel like I played pretty good last year and this year, but there was a lot of -- like some things to improve, and I feel like going into this year, especially mentally I feel like I learned a lot from last year.
A lot of those kind of virtues, like patience and stuff like that, something I learned last year, definitely came into use last week at the open.
THE MODERATOR: And for you when it comes to playing at Lake Merced, you played here many times. We were talking about how you used to be a junior member, and now this is, I would assume, one of your home courses. What's it like to be teeing it up in an LPGA event on one of your home courses?
LUCY LI: Yeah, for sure. I spend my winters in the desert so I'm not up here as often as I would like to be. When I'm out here I'm out here a lot. I try to practice at Lake Merced and some other courses as much as I can.
It's really nice to be able to play a course that I'm a little bit more familiar with. I'm just really excited to play such a beautiful course.
Q. What do you like most about Lake Merced Golf Club?
LUCY LI: Probably the people. Like I'm good friends with the GM here and he's always been so supportive and kind to me. The head pro and everyone, all the members, I know quite a few member, and they've always been so supportive of me, and so I feel really appreciative of that.
Q. What are three keys to playing well in your mind?
LUCY LI: I think number one is just being -- just being mentally prepared, being a little bit more relaxed. I play better when I'm not so nervous and stuff like that.
But number one is definitely mentally, and then having the patience. Knowing like when you hit bad shots and things like that, being able to come back from that. That definitely came in last week. I had a couple rounds where I was 2-over, 3-over and just being able to stay patient and hit -- take every shot at a time is a huge thing.
Q. When you consider your game and how you've grown as a golfer, would you consider you're a more old school or new school kind of player? Do you focus more on technology or more about feel for you?
LUCY LI: I would say I'm definitely more of an old school player. I did get a TrackMan, but that was mostly just to see like my swing speed. I don't really focus in on too much the numbers. It's more swing speed and carry distances. I don't really get into kind of the really technical stuff.
I would say my swing definitely looks more old school with the like a flatter swing plane and longer backswing, so, yeah.
Q. And the last one from Bob here. Did you set goals for yourself at the beginning of this year? Would you care to share them?
LUCY LI: I mean, I think the goals I set were more like towards improvement, gaining five, ten yards off the tee, which I think I already did.
Mentally one my big goals was like if I'm playing poorly not to get frustrated or upset on the golf course, and that's something I've definitely improved a lot on.
And then obviously qualifying for the Open at Olympic Club, it was nice to be able to do that.
Q. I know there are some similarities but definitely some differences playing this week compared to last week. How much is it saying a warmup, a major championship, for this week?
LUCY LI: Yeah, I think that kind of this area plays sort of similar type of golf. The rough won't be as thick this week, but it's kind of the same general idea. It's going to be pretty windy. The fairways are narrow, there are trees. Obviously last week was a really good warmup playing an even tougher course coming into this, and being able to play pretty well is a good confidence boost.
THE MODERATOR: A good confidence boost, and nothing like a T16 finish. How incredible did that feel after a grueling process of getting through the Olympic Club?
LUCY LI: Yeah, the first three days were kind of up and down for me. I think started the tournament off like 3-over through 6 or something like that, so I was able to kind of rein it back in.
Then the last day I hit the ball so well and the putts would not go in. I hit 12 fairways, which is insane, and so many greens. I mean, the putts just wouldn't fall.
It was a solid round, so I just had -- I think it was just a solid week.
Q. First of all, are you still in Redwood Shores?
LUCY LI: Yes.
Q. Only reason I ask is I live if Foster City. There used to be a driving range in Redwood Shores. Is that way before your time or are you aware of it?
LUCY LI: I've never heard of that before. (Laughter.)
Q. Yeah, just shows you how things are. Who is your teacher?
LUCY LI: Sorry, what did you say?
THE MODERATOR: Who is your coach?
LUCY LI: Oh, I don't have a coach.
Q. That's interesting. You touched on Lake Merced. You have playing privileges there. There is a history of that. Dorothy Delasin I know going back years ago similar situation. Talk about the unusual membership and the inclusive nature of the Lake Merced Golf Club.
LUCY LI: Yeah, I started -- I know the GM out here so he was always super supportive of me and kind of let me come out and practice here. I actually know quite a few members here from just other things, so it's nice to be able to come out and practice here and see some people I recognize.
I think the membership has grown a lot in the last year because of COVID, so it's nice to see that the golf course is doing really well and the tees are super packed and the driving range is super packed, so it's nice to see that.
THE MODERATOR: I think that will do it for us here. Thank you, Lucy, and thank you everyone for joining us.
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