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July 15, 2021

Nasa Hataoka

Lexi Thompson

Midland, Michigan, USA

Midland Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back inside the Zoom press conference room here with Lexi Thompson and NASA Hataoka. Lexi what have the last two days been like playing competitively with Nasa?

LEXI THOMPSON: It's been so much fun. She's coming off a strong week last week and I've gotten to play with her so much over the years so I've gotten to see her game quite a bit and we've committed to each other for playing this event since they had it two years ago. We've just been looking forward to it ever since, and we've just been having a lot of fun.

THE MODERATOR: Nasa, I want to ask you, what's it been like playing with Lexi here?

NASA HATAOKA: She's so used to Solheim Cup and these kind of tournaments, so she's really helping me out.

Q. Lexi, how do you draw on match play when you're coming through an event like this?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, of course. First off I think this is such a great format. I think golf needs more events like this because it is so much more fun for us and I think fans enjoy it as well. I played a lot of match play and team events as an amateur and junior, as well, so I really fed off that and really learned from those experiences. It's just been a blast watching her game, and coming into the week I just wanted to have fun and come out with her and make as many birdies as we can.

Q. Nasa, today a fantastic scorecard between both of you. What do you think was your strength today as you went through this four-ball format?

NASA HATAOKA: Yesterday I kind of felt pressure, but today I think we were able to feed off of each other and get all these birdies.

Q. Lexi, what's it like feeding off of Nasa? Where do you think your strength played into today's format?

LEXI THOMPSON: You know, coming into today since we're playing our own ball, she went first on every tee, so she doesn't hit it as far as me but she's always so straight. Once she got it out in the fairway I knew I could play aggressively or if she got it near the hole 15, 20 feet I could go at a pin I normally wouldn't go at and play aggressively. That's what match play format is all about, really feeding off each other, ham and egging it.

Q. How has the communication been between you two? I'm assuming not a lot of small talk.

LEXI THOMPSON: No, it's been great. I mean, like I said, it's all about feeding off each other and helping each other out. When one is struggling, keeping each other upbeat during the day. We talked about the format, talked about our outfits. That was more important at night. But talking about the formats, which is better, alternate-shot, who's hitting off odds, evens, things like that. Really just fist bumping out there and getting emotions out.

Q. Lexi, when you play in the Solheim Cup you're very engaged with your partner, talk through shots and that sort of thing. Is this different or are you doing it about the same?

LEXI THOMPSON: I wouldn't say that we talk to each other too much over shots and everything like that, just because -- especially in best ball. We're playing our own game, and one is out in the fairway, the other one can play more aggressively, vice versa. I don't want to get in her way. I don't think she wants to get in my way. But meanwhile just supporting each other throughout the day.

Q. Do you feel good about that, Nasa?

NASA HATAOKA: Yes, I think this is really working out. We're each doing what we're good at and just keep going. Tomorrow's at not will really work out, too.

Q. Nasa, how often have you played in an alternate-shot or best ball format?

NASA HATAOKA: The only time would be two years ago in International Crown. That would be the only time.

Q. What was your first impression of this kind of format? Did you like it right away?

NASA HATAOKA: It's fun, but there is the pressure of hitting in turn, at gnat, so it's quite pressure, but I'm fine.

Q. If you could have one part of each other's games, what would you take?

LEXI THOMPSON: For me, for Nasa, it's probably her consistency, how straight she hits the ball. It's just pretty amazing, and her attitude out on the golf course.

NASA HATAOKA: The distance.

Q. Lexi, could you take me through how you decided what your schedule was going to be leading up to the Olympics?

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, yeah, I mean, our schedule has been a bit crazy. I just came from London this past week, so it's been a lot of travel for me. The most important thing is the Olympics coming up, so I knew that I wanted to be well rested going into that week, so I decided to take the next two weeks off and make sure that I'm ready for Japan.

Q. Was it a difficult decision not to play Evian?

LEXI THOMPSON: You know, skipping a major is never an easy decision, but I know where my health needs to be for my best game, and going to Tokyo.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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