KELLY THESIER: Good afternoon, everyone. We would like to welcome Lexi Thompson into the interview room. Congratulations, Lexi. A great 6?under par round 66 today. Tied for the first round lead at the moment. Great finish.
LEXI THOMPSON: Thank you.
KELLY THESIER: With a birdie on 18 which is playing as the toughest hole on the golf course so far today. Take me through that round, hot start and then nice way to finish.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. Overall it was just a really solid round. I mean I started off with birdieing No. 2 and 3, so that got me a little confidence early in the round, and I just tried to keep that going, pretty much keep that steady pace going. But mainly just doing my routine on every shot and just not really getting ahead of myself.
KELLY THESIER: You were 7?under through 14 and then got through a stretch of what I think are probably four of the most difficult holes on this golf course. At least three of them are playing the three toughest today, 15, 16 and 18. Back?to?back bogeys on 15 and 16. What was going through your mind there and kind of what happened on those two holes.
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, you know, I hit good shots off the tee into the green. It’s just a three?putted both of them. But I just didn’t have good speed on the two putts and didn’t make the come backers. But you know, it happens. It’s golf. You’re going to hit bad shots and miss putts, so I just tried not to let it get to me and just tried to birdie one of the last two and unfortunately it was the harder one of the holes, so I was pretty happy about that.
KELLY THESIER: This golf course all week everybody’s been talking about how it favors long hitters a little bit, it’s going to play long. How much did you think your length was an advantage for you today.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I would say it’s definitely an advantage. Coming into the week I knew this golf course was going to be setup good for me. I get to hit driver on every hole, but you just have to hit it straight in majors because usually they grow the rough up pretty deep and that’s what majors call for. But today the wind kicked up on a lot of those holes and it was blowing, I mean some of those par?3s are pretty long and a few of those par?4s were straight into the wind today. But I can reach some of the par?5s, which is definitely an advantage.
KELLY THESIER: We’re going to open it up for questions.
Q. So you hit driver all 14 of the holes?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yes.
Q. You did.
LEXI THOMPSON: Uh?huh.
Q. So did you feel, like when you got here this week did you realize it was going to be grip and rip all week for you with the way the fairways are sort of generous here?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, after I played the first time on Monday I realized that. I didn’t really hear too much about it coming into the week. I knew it was going to be playing longer, but I didn’t know like the width of the fairways.
But yeah, after I played Monday I knew I could take driver on every hole, which definitely I feel comfortable with.
Q. And then to follow on that, are you finding that these fairways are perhaps a bit wider than you’re used to seeing, especially in a major?
LEXI THOMPSON: Um, I would say some of them are a little bit wider. I mean it’s wider than Locust Hill last year. But like I said, you just have to hit it straight because the rough can be thick in some spots and the fairway bunkers here have big lips on them, so it calls for pretty much pitch?outs. So I mean you gotta hit it straight. Doesn’t matter what club you’re hitting.
Q. What was your yardage and club into 18 and how long was the putt?
LEXI THOMPSON: I had 183 pin, 160 front, I think. And I hit a knock?down 5?iron.
Q. How long was the putt?
LEXI THOMPSON: The putt was probably about eight feet.
Q. What’s the longest club you hit into a par?4 today?
LEXI THOMPSON: Into a par?4? I think it was that. I think it was the 5?iron.
LEXI THOMPSON: Par?3 I hit a 4?iron.
KELLY THESIER: Lexi, captured first major victory at the Kraft earlier this year. How much confidence does that now having major champion by your name give you when you head into other major championships, how much did that kind of give you that boost.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it gave me a lot of confidence just going into any other event for that matter. I always say after a Solheim Cup I always feel so much more comfortable because playing for your country and under that kind of pressure, you know, there’s nothing like it. So I knew I could pull those shots under that kind of pressure.
But getting that Kraft Nabisco win has helped me out so much. Just pulling it off that Sunday, being relaxed and staying with it one shot at a time and doing my routine. Gave me a lot of confidence going into every other tournament after that, especially majors.
Q. Do you have any idea how many times you hit driver at Locust Hill usually on average?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would say I probably laid back at least five times on a few of the holes.
Q. And I’m curious if you’ve gotten longer as you’ve been a pro in the last couple of years, because you have such an emphasis on fitness that just, is that a by?product by chance?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would say I’ve gotten a little bit longer. I’ve mainly just been trying to focus on flexibility and, you know, the right strengthening of core with my trainer. But I definitely have gotten into fitness a lot more in the past few years, which I’ve seen a big improvement on my game and physical, I guess, appearance, so it has helped me out a lot and I look forward to keep on continuing that.
KELLY THESIER: What have been the biggest changes? I know we see a lot of your work out pictures on Instagram and you share a lot of the workouts that you do. How different are your workouts now than they were perhaps a couple of years ago? Like you said, flexibility, but what do you kind of do to keep yourself in shape?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, a few years ago before I started with my trainer any workouts at all, I’m doing a lot more cardio now and I have set workouts instead of just going in there and doing whatever I felt was right. Now I have set workouts. I do a lot of cardio, at least 30 minutes a day, and then I focus on core a lot and balance, like Bocce ball exercises or TRX band work.
KELLY THESIER: And how much do you hear back from fans, because I know you do share the workouts. Do you get feedback from people about trying some of your workouts? Do they ever say, oh, my gosh, that was really hard, because they look hard.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I get a lot of comments saying I’m going to do this one tomorrow. So it’s really cool to see that way I can impact them on workouts, too, not just my game.
But it does mean a lot to me, but I do get some feedback on a few of them that it sounds really hard, or it is, after a few days of it.
Q. Lexi, since the Top 10 at the Open, four results that you’re probably not thrilled about, has there been anything in particular that’s held you back the last four starts, haven’t in particular you haven’t done well or is there something that’s held you back a little bit?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would say just my last few tournaments have been my irons that weren’t really spot on but I’ve been going through a little bit of a swing change just trying to get my club face in the right position. It definitely takes a lot of time to get used to, but I mean golf is a lot about confidence. You just have to go into every shot just telling yourself you’re going to pull it off. But going through the swing change has definitely slowed me down a little bit, but just being patient with it I think is key for me.
Q. What are your impressions of the greens? They said they’re going to get a little faster they think during the week, but what are your impressions? Do you find them difficult to putt or subtleties, anything like that or what are you finding out there?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, some of these greens out here are pretty tough. If you get it above the pin, it’s extremely fast on a few of these greens, and you get some pretty big breakers out here. But you know, that’s what we look forward to in a major, challenging greens, and just an overall challenging golf course. So I think that’s what we look forward to.
Q. I was just speak to go Karrie Webb about just her career a little bit. She was where you are, before you were born, actually, 20 years ago, and she said that basically only recently has she come to appreciate it. She was so in the moment that, you know, the competition almost got in the way of her being able to appreciate it. Are you able to digest all that to appreciate the situation that you’re in?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, yeah. I mean a lot of the times I just step back and just realize how grateful I am to be doing what I love and traveling the world, getting to play the best golf courses against top players in the world. I mean it’s such a huge honor and dream of mine always since I was little.
So you know, definitely the competition can get to you at some points, but sometimes you just gotta step back and realize how lucky you are to be out here.
Q. Lexi, you are a south Florida resident, and your goal owe south Florida resident, Rory McIlroy just won two majors in a row on the men’s tour. How much does his success inspire or motivate you and perhaps talk about any interactions you and he may have had down in south Florida.
LEXI THOMPSON: I’ve actually never met Rory before. (Laughs). But it’s so cool to see his success out there on tour. I mean just not only with his golf game, but just how he is physically and his swing looks incredible right now. And it’s so cool to watch him just play really well out there and also watch Rickie play well in all those majors. So you know, I hope the best for them.
Q. Does that give you any extra motivation yourself to do something similar on the LPGA?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I guess it kind of does. I mean it is amazing to watch them and how they’ve been playing in the majors or just in general out there on tour.
But like I said, I’m just going into every tournament doing my best and I’m out here playing a sport that I love and that’s all I can do is just try and do my best and try to win.
Q. You were saying that the ?? that your irons have held you back the last couple of weeks. What’s it say about your iron game today that you hit 16 of 18 greens?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, it was a lot better today. Well, I’ve just been, like I said, I’ve been going through a little bit of a swing change, but my last few holes yesterday in the pro am and a little bit of a range session yesterday, and this morning warmed me up. I felt really good.
So just being confident over my irons, and just working on the swing change and staying with it I think has helped me out so much and just trusting it out there.
Q. Can you tell us just a little more specifically what the swing change is that you’re working on?
LEXI THOMPSON: It’s pretty simple. I mean I just ?? I usually take it back a little closed with my club face, so I’m just working on a little bit of more rotation on the way back. But mainly what I’ve always been focusing on is just more controlled swings and not getting too all over the place with my golf swing.
KELLY THESIER: Any more questions for Lexi? Well, thank you very much. Congratulations on a great round today, and best of luck the rest of the week.
LEXI THOMPSON: Thank you. Thanks. Appreciate it.