Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC

Sunday May 21, 2017

Lexi Thompson

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the media center at the Kingsmill Championship. We are very happy to have with us our 2017 champion, Lexi Thompson, her eight career victory.

Her four rounds, 65, 65, 69, 65 for a 20-under, a new tournament record, breaking the previous record held by Annika Sorenstam. What does it mean to you when you hear me say you beat a record held by Annika Sorenstam?

LEXI THOMPSON: Oh, it means the world to me. Annika has been a player I've always looked up to not only how she played on the course, but how she is off and how she gave back to the game. This is a huge honor. I wasn't focusing on that and I didn't actually know that until maybe last night.

My goal going into today was to get to 20-under. That way I didn't focus on any other players. Just try to focus on my game.

THE MODERATOR: You got that mark, got to 20-under. We'll also say you're the third American to win this year.

You only had two bogeys all week. Let's start on No. 1 where right off the bat In Gee almost dunks it in for eagle on you, but then you come back with a long 30-foot birdie putt. How important was it to you for that birdie putt to get off to the good start?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well that obviously helps, but I knew In Gee was going to play great today. She's such an amazing player and so consistent and just putts out of her mind.

And then she almost dunked it on the first hole and I was like, This is going to be an interesting day. But she is so polite and such a great player. Definitely helps to get the birdie at the start to kick start things.

THE MODERATOR: That was just the first of several birdies for you: 9, 12, 14. When did you feel yourself really getting into your groove today? It looked like just a smooth round for you out there.

LEXI THOMPSON: I'm happy it looked that way. First three days I struck it very well off the tee and irons were good.

Today was a little off off the tee and kind of steered it around the golf course. I'm not complaining with a 65, that's for sure.

I just felt very in control of my game and a lot more relaxed in between shots. My caddie was a big help with that.

THE MODERATOR: You have said you rely on your caddie, your family, and the support of everyone in the crowd. What was it like feeling all of that around you as you walked up 18?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it's the best feeling honestly. Words can't even describe it. I'm a big family girl. I love being around my family. Just feeling the support and love from them through my whole life has meant the world to me.

Just to hear the fans cheering me on and giving me high fives in between shots and holes, it means so much. It helps me pull through rounds like this.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. I actually have a couple, so I hope you'll bear with me. Where does the bunker shot on 15 rate in terms of the best shots you've hit? Can you walk us through what you hit there and what you had?
LEXI THOMPSON: On 15, yeah, obviously hit a little bit of an off drive. I was in that bunker two out of the four days. Yeah, it was an awkward lie. I had two of those today. I hit a 9-iron. Wasn't planning on it to go 180 or 90 yards through the fairway, but I caught it very clean.

It was definitely a shot that I needed to be able to pull off to be able to get my approach shot in there for birdie.

Q. And how does that rank in terms of the shots you've hit? Would you say that's one of the best?
LEXI THOMPSON: I wouldn't say it's one of my best. Probably today, yes. It was an important shot that I needed to get way down there and keep it in the fairway so that way I could hit a good shot into that green.

Q. Throughout the week, you're normally an intense player. This week it's been kind of elevated. A lot of us have kind of said, Whoa, wait a minute. Let's take a step back. Have you felt it more intense, and how have been able to manage that intensity?
LEXI THOMPSON: Are you talking about on-course?

Q. Both. On course and as you walked off. In the immediate aftermath you were still pretty intense.
LEXI THOMPSON: You know, I am always a very determined person. Every time I've tee'd it up I have that drive to win - even more now especially.

But I would definitely say I was intense on the golf course. I just had the drive to hit good shots, make putts, and get this win.

I love coming here to this venue and I felt confident coming into the week. I knew I had a good chance of winning.

Q. You mentioned 20 was the goal for today. Was it that you knew the record was 20, or you were just thinking that would be safe or very safe?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, no, I didn't know that was the record or anything. My goal was to get to 20 going into the third round, but for the weekend to get to a total of 20.

So to be able to fulfill that goal meant a lot. I just set my own little goals, and that way I don't focus on other players' games. Just focus on making birdies out there.

Q. You talked about how hard it was at time away from the ANA. How did you revolve and regroup and not let it allow you to lose your confidence and momentum?
LEXI THOMPSON: You know, just being around my family. I went straight home and I was golfing the next day, if not the day after. I was so determined just to keep on working on my game, because I knew that was the best golf I have played. I just couldn't let it get to me.

I had to continue to practice and work hard. To have the support from my family and friends and all the fans, I mean, it was amazing. Without them, I wouldn't be here.

Q. Does this allow to you put a lid on that talk and leave it in the past now?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, definitely does. I'm so over that. It's in the past. It's unfortunate what happened, but it's time to move on. This puts a lid on it.

Q. What's your next spectacular arrival at a golf course?
LEXI THOMPSON: Just going to have to wait and see. (Laughter.) Having Red Bull as a sponsor I can do anything.

Q. Lexi, whether it was here or somewhere else, the first win after that ANA disappointment, will that always stand out in your mind? Certainly seems like it would, to show what resolve you have inside?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean, any win stands out. Doesn't matter after, before what happened. This event is very special to me and I love this golf course. I always have my mom here to home cook meals for me. It's just a week I look forward to, so it's obviously a huge honor to win here.

THE MODERATOR: What's a Mrs. Thompson specialty?

LEXI THOMPSON: This week it was like all chicken. Anything she makes, home cooked meals, there is nothing like it.

THE MODERATOR: I like to hear that. David.

Q. You mentioned your resolve. Was that also evident as you walked off the 12th green at ANA and birdied three of the next six just to force the playoff?
LEXI THOMPSON: Sorry, what is the question?

Q. You mentioned your resolve. Were you proud of the way you handled the last six holes on Sunday to get into a playoff?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, of course. Like I said, it's unfortunate what happened. With how I came back and how I fought for the last five, six holes, it just shows how much fight I had and how much determination I have.

To get the win here, I think it shows even more.

Q. Several times you've referenced Kevin. He remarked out there on 18, Whatever it takes to keep her relaxed, that's what I do. How does he do it and how important is that to you?
LEXI THOMPSON: It is so important. Caddie-player relationship, it's so important. I don't carry a yardage book so I need somebody to do all my numbers for me and everything. (Laughter.)

He's player himself, so he understands my game and what I go three. We joke around in between shots. Oh, my gosh, I've never laughed so hard on the golf course with a caddie before.

That's all I need. I just somebody to help me relax and let my true game show.

THE MODERATOR: I see you're wearing the blue camo today. What does it mean for you to get this first win for the SEALS and for the Lexi Legacy Challenge?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, of course it's a huge honor to be able to obviously sky dive with a Navy SEAL on my back coming into the event to announce my SEAL Legacy Foundation support.

Just to be able to represent them and hopefully bring awareness to them and this foundation to help raise money for the families of fallen SEALS and also operators in service right now.

It's a huge honor, and I had a few out there following me. Means the world just to be able to show my support for the men and women that serve our country. I'm allowed to do what I am today.

Q. You said that this creates an opportunity for you to put the ANA thing behind you. That being said, were you playing a little bit mad?
LEXI THOMPSON: I always play with a little bit of intensity. Growing up with two older brothers I've always had that just fire in me. Obviously there is a little bit more now, a little bit more behind it.

But I'm just a driven person. You know, tomorrow I'll be out practicing, working on my game to improve even more, I'm sure.

Q. Kevin got the job?
LEXI THOMPSON: I think he's had the job. (Laughter.)

Q. Off the wall, but one of the commentators mentioned you were seen in the gym this morning.
LEXI THOMPSON: Oh, yeah, because I uploaded a video.

Q. Oh.
LEXI THOMPSON: Did he see me?

Q. He claimed -- he admitted he was not in the gym himself.
LEXI THOMPSON: Okay.

Q. Is that standard for you when you have an afternoon tee time?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, especially when it's 3:00. I don't think I've ever dealt with a 3:00 tee time. Yeah, I tried to stay up as late as I could and then sleep in as late as I could.

It's just a light workout to make sure all my body parts are functioning well and being able to fire correctly. Just a light workout. I have been working with a new trainer, Colby Collier, and he's helped me out tremendously.

Q. Right after the ANA there was a rules change which I guess will be now be known as the Lexi rule change. Do you think that rule should have been changed, it was well time for it to be changed?
LEXI THOMPSON: I'm sorry.

THE MODERATOR: We're going to go to Randall.

Q. How important was the work you put into your putting in the off-season, and how much are we seeing that now in the all-around level of your play?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it's very important. Golf comes a lot down to short game. Ball-striking is definitely my strength, but you can't ball-strike it well every day. You have to be able to putt well and be able to get up and down when you miss those greens.

So I knew that was something I needed to work on in the off-season. It's definitely showing. I feel so much more comfortable over my putter. I'm just going to continue to work on it and hopefully improve more and more.

Q. This will probably be resolved and they're working on it, but there is a possibility that this is the end of the contract. There is not title sponsor; hasn't been for a while. It's a possibility this would be the last Kingsmill tournament. What would the LPGA Tour miss if that were to be the case, and how would you personally feel having said so many wonderful things about this place?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I hope that's not true. I hope after this week and the amount of fans and support that this tournament got, I hope somebody will pick this tournament up or continue to sponsor it. It is one of the favorites for all players, not only myself.

We hope to see it right back here next year.

THE MODERATOR: Enjoy. Put some candy or some Red Bull or something in that. We'll see you next week in Michigan.

LEXI THOMPSON: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #179 at 2017-05-22 00:41:00 GMT

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