Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC

Wednesday May 18, 2016

Minjee Lee

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: It is my pleasure to welcome in our defending champ this week here at the Kingsmill Championship, Minjee Lee. Coming back to the site of your first LPGA Tour win, how special was it driving into the entrance here at Kingsmill, getting the memories? How special has it been just getting back on-site here?

MINJEE LEE: Actually it's been really nice. I mean, everything feels really familiar, so that's always a nice feeling, and just driving in, I saw my little picture up there, so I was like, oh, so it was really cool. And when I walked in, there was a huge picture of me with the trophy, so that was really nice.

THE MODERATOR: I saw you posted a picture of the defending champ parking spot. Are you driving, or is it somebody else that got to pull in?

MINJEE LEE: Well, actually yesterday Mom parked in like a totally different spot, and Kylie, one of the girls, who's like, your parking spot is right there; why aren't you using it? We didn't know it was there. Now we drove in today and we parked right in my parking spot.

THE MODERATOR: Now, last year just a really great week of golf for you. What do you remember most about the win? I know it was a little weird kind of coming back on Monday, waiting around a little bit, but what do you remember most about that win and that week for you?

MINJEE LEE: I think just the eagle that I made before it got dark. I think that was my most memorable hole for the whole year. Just that moment was really special to me, and obviously waking up really early on Monday to finish. But all in all, it was really great.

THE MODERATOR: Now, how important was that win? On Tour you had a great rookie class, a lot of hype, but how important was that to get your career kind of jump started because you obviously had win number two this year, but how important was it last year to get a win under your belt in your rookie year?

MINJEE LEE: I think it really came at a good time because, I mean, leading up to that tournament, I was sort of a little bit homesick, and I was not really settled down. But after I won here, I just like really settled down, and I just kind of got comfortable with being out here, and I realized that I can compete out here. It was nice.

THE MODERATOR: Felt like you belonged?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, yeah.

Q. Now that you have multiple victories on Tour, as a player does your mind now go to major championships and wanting to bring home some titles there? What's the mindset?
MINJEE LEE: Yeah, definitely. I mean, majors will always be the main focus, I think. Obviously you want to win the major events, but obviously any win is great. But the major events are the ones you really prioritize I would say. It's definitely one of my next goals.

THE MODERATOR: Let's talk about the course a little bit. A lot of rain yesterday, still a little rain today. Talk about conditions. How many practice rounds have you got in this week, and what's your outlook on the course setup going into tomorrow?

MINJEE LEE: I saw the course Sunday afternoon and Monday -- early Tuesday, as well. I just did nine, nine, nine, and I'll do nine today for the pro-am. But it's playing much longer than last year. It was sort of hard and fast last year and a little warmer, so yeah, very soft, so it's playing longer, a little tougher because we have longer clubs in. Yeah, I guess we just have to adjust to those conditions and see how it plays tomorrow afternoon.

Q. Since your win last year, how has your game changed, maybe if not on the course, mentally, how you approach, and just some confidence after finally getting that first win? What has the last 12 months been like for your game?
MINJEE LEE: I feel like I had a pretty successful end of the year last year, and obviously because I won the beginning of this year, I'm riding a bit of confidence and momentum. It's definitely for the better. I do have a lot more confidence obviously this year than I had last year.

THE MODERATOR: This is the start of an 11-week stretch, consecutive weeks for the Tour, jam-packed summer, including three majors, UL International Crown. How are you mentally preparing for this stretch, and have you ever been more excited for that amount of golf upcoming on your schedule?

MINJEE LEE: You know, the first thing that popped into my head was I'm really excited for this stretch. It's a great bunch of tournaments. Yeah, I'm playing most of them. I'm only not playing two events. Yeah, it's going to be really fun, I think, and I think all the girls are looking forward to it.

Q. Meghan mentioned the 11-week stretch. That also includes Rio and the Olympics. What are your thoughts about representing your country there?
MINJEE LEE: I'm really, really excited to go to the Olympics. I mean, well, if I go. I'm really excited for the Olympics. I don't think there's -- there's no other tournament that's going to be like the Olympics. I think it's going to be a very different experience, but overall, really excited for it.

THE MODERATOR: As of right now, it's you and Karrie in the rankings, someone who's been a mentor to you. You surpassed her as the top-ranked Australian in the world. How cool would it be to experience that with her as someone who really prides herself on representing Australia every week.

MINJEE LEE: That would be so cool. I know she's like super pumped for the Olympics, so just -- no, it would be such a great -- I mean, it would just be really special for me to be able to be with her there. I know she's really excited for the Olympics. I think this is just what she's been waiting for.

Q. How has kind of your life changed after getting a win, getting your first professional win? Obviously you've won again since last year, but just in general to be a winner on the LPGA Tour?
MINJEE LEE: You definitely get, I think, more media attention and more notice. That was a little different because I'm sort of a quiet person. No, that's pretty cool. I mean, it's sort of growing your business. I think it's good.

THE MODERATOR: Pulling you out of your shell?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, a little bit. I'm getting more comfortable with all the media stuff as I go along.

THE MODERATOR: Keys for the course this week? What's going to be the key to success?

MINJEE LEE: Obviously you've got to putt well, but I think your ball striking, close to the hole. The greens are pretty -- like they're like beans sort of -- they're pretty like long and narrow. Like they're not like --

THE MODERATOR: Big and wide, okay.

MINJEE LEE: So I think if you're like in the middle of the green, close to the hole proximity, then you're going to have, what, 10-, 15-, 20- footers all week. Obviously your ball-striking I think is really important this week.

THE MODERATOR: Hitting your targets, all right.

Q. As a Tour, what is it the LPGA does best?
MINJEE LEE: What do they do best?

THE MODERATOR: A lot.

MINJEE LEE: There's like too many things.

THE MODERATOR: Top three if you need to.

MINJEE LEE: What do they do best? I think just the girls, everyone is really good with the fans. I think that's what we do well with.

THE MODERATOR: That's a good one, fan experience, coming on-site.

MINJEE LEE: I think everyone is really good with little kids, and I think that's what we all try to grow, for girls' golf.

THE MODERATOR: Trying to be role models?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, and really good role models.

Q. As a Tour, what do you think the LPGA could do better?
THE MODERATOR: Nothing, we're doing great (laughing).

MINJEE LEE: They've done such a great job. I think we're always going to be striving to do even better. So yeah, always going to be improving.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for coming in. Good luck this week. Nice job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2016-05-18 14:16:00 GMT

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