Kraft Nabisco Championship
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Pre-tournament notes and interviews
March 27 & 28, 2012
Liselotte Neumann, 2013 European Solheim Cup Captain
Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 9 and defending champion
Yani Tseng, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Morgan Pressel, Rolex Rankings No. 17
Michelle Wie, Rolex Rankings No. 21
The LPGA Tour stops in Rancho Mirage, Calif. this week for the 41st annual Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club, where players will compete for the right to take the historical leap into Poppie's Pond.
Stacy Lewis returns as the defending champion, after becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner last season in the California Desert. defeating Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng by three strokes. Lewis fired a 3-under 69 in the final round, defeating Rolex Ranking No.1 Yani Tseng by three strokes. Lewis became the fourth player in LPGA history to record her first career LPGA victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship along with Helen Alfredsson (1993), Nancy Bowen (1995) and Morgan Pressel (2007). Lewis went on to record 10 additional top-10 finishes last season.
How 'Swede' It Is: Sweden's Liselotte Neumann was announced this morning as the Captain of the 2013 European Solheim Cup Team. Neumann, who represented Europe on six consecutives occasions as a player, from 1990 to 2000, takes over from England's Alison Nichols, whom she assisted at the 2009 match at Rich Harvest Farm in Illinois.
With 13 career LPGA wins, including the 1988 U.S. Women's Open, Neumann boasts an impressive resume and says being named Captain and her experiences with the Solheim Cup are among her career highlights.
"It's definitely going to be right there at the top," said Neumann. "I've had a great career, and I think the Solheim Cup for me obviously has a lot of highlights. Representing Europe and Sweden has meant a lot to me, so I'm definitely ranking this at the very top."
For what will be one of the biggest challenges in her golf career, the captaincy selection almost didn't happen.
"I found out in November I was put on the list and considered to be a captain," said Neumann. "I was kind of at that time thinking about maybe doing a little bit of coaching or teaching. I'm taking some nutrition classes and I sort of had all these plans that I was going to sort of move forward with.
"So I took my name off the list, and a few months later, I ended up getting a lot of very nice emails and text messages from a lot of the players and from friends and family. Everybody was sort of pushing me to please consider this again; we would love to have you as our captain."
All she needed was a little push and some rallying from the players, including Sophie Gustafson who sent an email on behalf of the players, to realize that it was a chance she didn't want to pass up.
"I think getting those notes from some of the players, I think, really sort of got me thinking again, am I going to miss out on this if I don't do this," said Neumann. "I might never get the opportunity again. And I put my name back on the list and I got the okay. I'm very honored."
On the defense: Stacy Lewis returns to Mission Hills this week wearing a defending champion target on her back for the first time in her career.
"I love that," said Lewis. "I want to come into a tournament and people expecting me to win and play well. I love this golf course. I think it really sets up well for me."
After becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner a year ago, Lewis took her major win as a confidence booster and helped her stay consistent for the rest of the 2011 season.
"I think I took a lot from that week last year," said Lewis. "It gave me so much confidence that I could play against the best players in the world. You know, just to hang with Yani like I did for two days, I don't think there's many people that can say that they've done that. I just rode that momentum throughout the year."
Returning to the Kraft Nabisco Championship as the defending champion has also filled up Lewis tournament week schedule
"This is definitely the busiest week I've ever had on Tour," said Lewis. "I don't know if that's a disadvantage or advantage. There's good and bad to that. I had a lot of obligations and a lot of things to do.
"But it's also great to come back and people telling me congratulations from last year, signing things from last year, and it just brings back such good memories. I'm so comfortable on this golf course that it feels like I'm at home," said Lewis.
Major Spotlight: On the eve of golf's first major of the year, the 2012 LPGA major championships will take center stage on Golf Channel.
A Golf Central Special - LPGA Major Championships will air tonight on Golf Channel at 10 p.m. ET. The special will spotlight golf's first major and will include interviews with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan Rolex Ranking No. 1 Yani Tseng, Rolex Ranking No. 3 Suzann Pettersen and Rolex Ranking No. 9 and defending Kraft Nabisco champion Stacy Lewis. The show will include insight from players on their experiences in major championships and also take a look ahead to the Tour's upcoming majors in 2012.
"We're excited about tonight's show and the opportunity for the LPGA to get a prime-time platform to showcase our major championships," said Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann. "This show is a first, and hopefully the start of many more to come as we work with Golf Channel to grow exposure for the LPGA Tour and its great players."
Sponsor Watch: Two sponsorship announcements in as many days came from Morgan Pressel and Stacy Lewis this week at Mission Hills. Pressel announced her new partnership with apparel brand Lilly Pulitzer and Lewis with audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG.
Pressel will be wearing items from Lilly Pulitzer's Spring and Summer 2012 collections this season and is looking forward to sporting a Floridian style on Tour.
"As a Florida native - Lilly's founding state, I get to take a little piece of home with me while on Tour," said Pressel.
She's not worried about getting her new threads wet and thinks her new sponsor would appreciate a leap into Poppie's Pond this Sunday.
"I think it'll shine through the water with the bright colors. I don't think that'll be a problem. I'm sure they'd love it," said Pressel.
Lewis joins fellow professional golfer Phil Mickelson on KPMG's sport sponsorship platform and will wear the KPMG logo on her shirt and collar during all golf-related appearances, beginning this week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
"I'm proud to pair with KPMG on the LPGA Tour. Their culture of professionalism and integrity, focus on being the best, and commitment to the community and diversity, all resonate strongly with me," said Lewis. "They are also great fans of golf. I look forward to building strong and meaningful relationships with KPMG's partners, employees and clients."
Giving Back: The Kraft Nabisco Championship, is teaming up with Feeding America and FIND Food Bank of Indio to take a stand against hunger in America. They donated a gift of a new Kraft Foods Mobile Pantry truck that will help FIND Food Bank deliver fresh foods to the nearly 80,000 residents of the Coachella Valley who struggle with hunger.
In addition, the Kraft Nabisco Championship has set a goal to provide one million meals to the Feeding America program at this year's tournament
Of Note… There are six amateurs in the field this week: Charley Hull, Jaye Marie Green, Austin Ernst, Alison Ernst and sisters Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn….Amateur Alison Lee shot a 4-under par 68 at the fresh&easy-Kraft Food Legacy Junior Challenge to earn Kraft Food's sponsor's invitation. The 17-year old Southern California native shook off some nerves to clinch a spot in her first major championship. "I was so nervous today so I'm glad it's over but I'm so excited to have been a part of this event and to have played so well," said Lee. "I'm from Southern California so I grew up coming to the Kraft Nabisco. Getting the chance to play in it at 17 is such an unbelievable opportunity."
Tweet of the Day: "New Euro Sol Cup capt Liselotte Neumann has some unique insight into how to beat the Americans. She's one of us, became US citizen 2 yrs ago" --@RandallMellGC
The season's first major championship is on the line this week in Rancho Mirage, Calif. and all eyes are on Yani Tseng to see if she can continue her impressive run. Mission Hills Country Club plays host to the LPGA's first major of the year - the Kraft Nabisco Championship - for the 41st time beginning Thursday.
Stacy Lewis became a Rolex First-Time Winner last season in the California Desert after defeating Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng by three strokes. Lewis fired a 3-under 69 in the final round and made the ceremonial leap into Poppie's Pond with her caddie, her parents and her sister. Lewis became the fourth player in LPGA history to record her first career LPGA victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship along with Helen Alfredsson (1993), Nancy Bowen (1995) and Morgan Pressel (2007). Lewis went on to record 10 additional top-10 finishes last season.
Hands Off! She claims not to be very superstitious, but Yani Tseng will not be touching the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy before the final putt drops this year, a gesture she said she has stopped after losing at Mission Hills last year by one-stroke to Stacy Lewis. It was a ritual she picked up from all-time great Lorena Ochoa and appeared to bring her good luck, winning six events up until last year's Kraft.
"I did that a couple times and tried to make it similar to her before winning a tournament," Tseng said. "It worked very well, but probably just didn't work last year. But after that I won't touch a trophy again. I will never see it again. Even when I see it I would just pretend I'm not seeing anything."
Regroup and Reload: For someone who is not used to losing, failing can turn into helpful motivation. Tseng sees last year's second place finish as a learning experience and served as a positive stepping stone in improving her mental game.
"That experience gave me lots of things to improve on," said Tseng. "I know my emotional control wasn't very good. I was very stressful after I missed a putt, after I made a bad shot.
"But after that tournament, I had a little meeting with my team, my trainer, to see how much I can improve on the tournament, and I did after that. I've been playing very well, and I learned how can I win in a tournament when I was leading on Sunday or when I was behind on Sunday, and I know how to play golf better on Sunday instead of just playing it like the first day of a tournament."
The post tournament regrouping seemed to work for the Rolex Rankings No. 1 player. Beginning with her victory at the LPGA State Farm Classic in mid-June last year, Tseng has won nine out of her last 19 events.
Chasing Yani: When you become the second-fastest player to 15 wins in LPGA history and hold the Rolex Rankings No. 1 spot for 59 consecutive weeks, a staggering presence becomes impossible to ignore.
"I think it's hard for anybody in golf not to watch her performance and think about how impressive it is and how golf just seems easier for her than for everybody else," said Morgan Pressel. "Any time you have a player like that, whether it's an Annika or a Lorena or a Yani, it raises the bar for everyone else."
Pressel says Yani's dominance drives the rest of the Tour to even give her more competition.
"Right now Yani doesn't have as much competition as maybe she even wants, so we all need to practice a little bit harder and we need to go out there and challenge her more often because right now she's beating us pretty badly," Pressel said. "So we need to step up our games. So I think that it's good for competition and good for women's golf."
Michelle Wie agrees it's hard to keep what Yani has accomplished out of her head.
She's the best player in the world right now, and I think obviously people do look at her and try to beat her," Wie said. "Me personally, I think that I see that in the back of my mind, but I try not to."
After being asked about Yani's presence on Tour, Suzann Pettersen acknowledges Tseng's successes and sees her as her main competition each.
""This is a question we get a lot these days," Pettersen said. What she's done is phenomenal. She's won five majors and she's 23 years old. She's a very consistent contender every week.
"I still think it's possible to play better than her, and that's what I believe. I believe in my own game. I know what I've done in the past, and I know what I'm capable of doing. I don't try to compare myself to other players. I know if I can finish what I've started, I think I can be pretty good. "
Bring Back the Memories: Morgan Pressel made LPGA Tour history in 2007 when she became the youngest major champion at 18 years, 10 months, and eight days old, with a one-stroke victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Pressel will be taking the memories from one of her biggest golf accomplishments to fuel a run at another major.
"Great memories start flooding back, and even yesterday playing a practice round out there, I can remember especially my final round when I won in '07 and all of the putts that I made in kind of the crucial moments," said Pressel. "Not that I try and recreate it, but I just try and remember and feel the moments, and hopefully I can create more this week."
A lot can happen in five years in a golf career and Pressel says the five year anniversary reminds her to not get caught up in the ups and downs and to appreciate every moment.
"It doesn't seem like five years ago, and to think this is my seventh year on Tour, things have gone by so fast. It's almost like you need to step back and take a breather and really enjoy everything that has happened out here, both the good and the bad. It's not a life full of roses, but it's a challenge. But it's a fun challenge. Over the last five years, a lot has happened, a lot has changed. I'm sure five years from now, I'd sit here and say the same thing."
Cannonball!!!! The most recognized tradition in women's golf is undoubtedly the jump into Poppie's Pond by the winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. So it's no surprise that the topic of "the jump" arises whenever players are asked what it would be like to win the event.
Yani Tseng, who won the event in 2010, admitted that she has practiced some jumping poses in the pool at her Orlando home. She said that while she thought her jumping technique two years ago was pretty good, her friends told her otherwise. But she's not the only player that joked about rehearsing her Poppie's Pond entry.
"There's a reason why I have a pool at home, too laug," said Suzann Pettersen, who has finished runner-up at the Kraft Nabisco a total of three times in her career.
Tweet of the Day: "WooHoo!!!! Made a HIO today in the pro-am and won a year's supply of Oreo's. Anyone want some? #KNC2012" -- @SophieGustafson
MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship. I'm Mike Scanlan from LPGA communications, and with me today is Mr. Marc Anderman from the Ladies European Tour. He's the Solheim Cup manager when the Solheim Cup is in Europe.
As you know, in 2013 we will bring the Solheim Cup to Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado just outside Denver, and right now the all‑time match‑up is eight wins for the U.S., four for Europe, with Europe coming off a fantastic victory at Killeen Castle last year. On that note I'd like to hand it over to Marc. He has a very special announcement to make.
MARC ANDERMAN: We're delighted on behalf of the Ladies European Tour Solheim Cup committee to announce the next European captain will be Liselotte Neumann from Sweden. Liselotte, you've had an incredible career and you've inspired many European players and many Swedish players. How does this rank as now one of your achievements?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: It's definitely going to be right there at the top, I think. I've had a great career, and I think the Solheim Cup for me obviously has a lot of highlights in my career. Representing Europe and Sweden has meant a lot to me, so I'm definitely ranking this at the very top, I think.
MARC ANDERMAN: Mike kindly reminded us that the score is 8 to 4 and Europe have yet to win on U.S. soil. How is your strategy and plan going to change that?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: Well, I mean, obviously with the Europeans coming off the win last year, I think that gives obviously all our players great confidence. So I think everybody will be really fired up to hold on to the trophy and try to win it on U.S. soil for the first time. I think we can get everybody fired up for that.
Q. Liselotte, you've got a great friendship with the U.S. captain Meg Mallon, who we're delighted to have here today with us, and you were both PING Junior Solheim Cup captains in 2011 when the matches were drawn. How do you think that's going to continue?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: Well, I saw Megs the other night, and yeah, we tied the matches at the Junior, and of course the U.S. were defending. So when the match was over, all the U.S. players were smiling and jumping around, and all my players from Europe were crying. I saw Meg the other night, and I said, "How about if we just play for a tie since we're holding on to the trophy?" She said, "Absolutely not." We'll see. It's going to be a good match.
Q. Liselotte, how fast did this all come together, you being offered and accepting, and did you have to think it over?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: I did think it over. I actually found out in November I was put on the list and considered to be a captain, and I accepted to start with and kind of changed my mind about five days later and took my name off the list and just sort of felt that I had been involved with the Solheim the last four years, being the vice captain in 2009, being the junior captain, and I really had to think about it, do I want to do this for two more years.
It's a big job. It's very time‑consuming, and I was kind of at that time when I was thinking about maybe doing a little bit of coaching or teaching, and I'm taking some nutrition classes and I sort of had all these plans that I was going to sort of move forward with. So I took my name off the list, and a few months later, I ended up getting a lot of very nice emails and text messages from a lot of the players and from friends and family, and everybody sort of pushing me to please consider this again; we would love to have you as our captain.
I think getting those notes from some of the players, I think, really sort of got me thinking again, am I going to miss out on this if I don't do this. I might never get the opportunity again. And I put my name back on the list and I got the okay. I'm very honored, and it feels great to have that support, I think, from family and friends and obviously mostly from the players, knowing that they're supporting me and behind me in this.
I think we're going to create a really good team and a good atmosphere and really build on this.
Q. Can you just give us a couple snapshots in your mind of some of your favorite Solheim Cup memories over the years, whether in a playing capacity or otherwise?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: This is going back ‑‑ well, the first time we won, it was in '92. That was, I think, so unexpected for the Europeans. Looking at it on paper, we probably didn't have that strong of a team, but we all sort of pulled it together. I just remember playing in the rain. It was just horrible weather, and we all pulled it together, and that was sort of a great memory.
Of course going back to 1990, the first match that we played in, the Solheim Cup, it was so small, there was really no one there. I don't even think we had a media tent. It might have been just a local paper there and a few people, but the tournament was really small.
I remember playing my singles match actually against Beth Daniels. She's back there, and I think she beat me 7 & 6. That's also a memory. Not a good memory but kind of a fond memory.
And I think every Solheim Cup has its own memory, and everyone has been a lot of fun to be a part of. Win or lose, I think the European team, we always made it fun, and we all sort of worked hard and stuck together, and no one was really crying when we lost. We still had a good time after. Just lots of great memories from the camaraderie and the team.
Q. What have you been up to the last couple years?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: I play a little bit out on the Legends Tour, down at a few of those events. Just the last few days I was part of the Fresh & Easy Pro‑Am here and tried to play a little bit of golf. I joined the LPGA teaching division, and I'm really interested in fitness, so I got TPI certified. I'm doing a course online now for nutrition involvement, so hopefully I'll get certified at the end of the year. Just kind of interested in how the body works and maybe want to get into sort of sports nutrition combined with golf.
I think nowadays, it's just really important because all the players coming out, everybody is working so hard, and it's really important to stay fit, especially with all the travel and everything that everybody is doing. So it kind of interests me, so I'm kind of working on something in that direction.
Q. Liselotte, how do you see the captain's role, and in what way does the captain most influence the outcome of a match or matches?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: I think for me now I'm just kind of starting to sort of think about it, but obviously my first step now is going to be finding the vice captains and helpers, and I think that's going to be a really important part of it. I think it's really important to build up a good team around not only myself but around the players and have people there that the players are very comfortable with, that they get along with.
You know, I think obviously that's going to be a big role for me to find the right people and really go out to players and ask them what their feelings are and who they think might be good people around them.
Q. You mentioned it's more work for you. How do you see the next year and a half for you? Will you be out on Tour more, going to more tournaments, being in Europe more, things like that?
LISELOTTE NEUMANN: Yeah, I will ‑‑ I mean, one of the things, too, I want to do is obviously go off to Colorado Golf Club and take a look there. But I will travel a little bit more now, try to get out to some events, and I'll definitely have to make a couple of stops over in Europe, which I don't mind because I travel over there anyway. I still have family there. So I will try to combine those trips with visits to Sweden.
But yeah, I want to get out there and get to know a lot of the girls that obviously they don't know me since I've stopped playing, and I haven't played that much in Europe lately, so there will be a lot of girls that I need to go out and introduce myself to and say hi, all the young ones.
STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 9
KRAIG KANN, LPGA Chief Communications Officer
JOHN VEIHMEYER, Chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP
MIKE WHAN, LPGA Commissioner
KRAIG KANN: Great to have you all here. Thank you so much for being a part of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the entire year in professional golf. I'm Kraig Kann, chief of communications at the LPGA. I want to thank you all for being a part of this week, and we do have a special guest to my left, and I'm not talking about the trophy, although that's pretty special, as well. Stacy Lewis is here, and this news conference is going to celebrate Stacy Lewis. We're going to talk about last year's victory, her career to this point, and we're also going to allow for an opportunity to share some pretty big news today that I think says a lot not only about Stacy, corporate America, but also about the LPGA Tour, and we have some other special guests that will join us for that, as well.
That being said, I want to throw one more thing out there. I'll give a little tee‑up, kind of a precursor to that bit of news. The fact that you were a finance and accounting major at Arkansas ties very nicely into the bit of news that we're going to share. Are you ready? Here we go.
Let's talk about this trophy. Now, the first thing you noticed when you sat down, you were glaring at it. It does have a nice glare to it. What does it make you think about?
STACY LEWIS: It's really one of the first times I've seen it since taking pictures with it a year ago Sunday, so it just brings back a lot of really cool memories and just reminds me of walking up 18 and knowing you're going to win. I mean, it was an unbelievable week, and it just takes me back to that.
KRAIG KANN: By the way, I've got our brand new player guide, the LPGA player guide, which has a lot of Stacy Lewis information in here, so I've got all my good notes. Not that I've needed too many because you've had a phenomenal year all the way back to winning this major championship. Let me run through a little bit of 2011 for you on Stacy: 23 events, 22 cuts made, $1.3 million made, fourth on the money list, but the highlight for sure was the leap in Poppies Pond, no doubt about that. How did it change you and what do you remember about the feelings you had from that week?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think I took a lot from that week last year. It gave me so much confidence that I could play against the best players in the world. You know, just to hang with Yani like I did for two days, I don't think there's many people that can say that they've done that. I just rode that momentum throughout the year. I had a ton of top 10s, I had two runner‑ups later in the year, and just kind of rode that momentum and even kept it going into this year, too.
KRAIG KANN: What do you remember about down the stretch with Yani?
STACY LEWIS: I don't remember a lot truthfully. It all seemed a big blur at the time. I remembered more when I went back and watched it on TV and kind of went shot by shot. But I just remember the nerves. I was so nervous the last four holes, and I didn't hit very many good shots, but I made some key putts, and I actually went back in the practice round on Monday and kind of found certain spots where I was, where I made putts from, so it was pretty cool.
KRAIG KANN: You said you were nervous. Was it because of Yani or was it because you hadn't won on the LPGA? Was it because it was a major? Or all of that? How many times did you go back and watch it?
STACY LEWIS: I think it was all of that. It's a major championship. If you're not nervous, I think you're not human or something. You've got to be nervous to be on the first tee. I mean, Yani definitely ‑‑ you knew she was going to come out and play ‑‑ I knew I had to have my "A" game because I knew she was going to play well. I don't know, I was really actually pretty relaxed until the last four or five holes, but I was pretty nervous, and I was shaking pretty good, especially on my third shot into 18, and I was just glad it hit the green.
KRAIG KANN: You finished second in Player of the Year race last year to Yani Tseng, but you got the best of her at the Kraft Nabisco. I know she wants to come back and try to win this thing, as well. You're the one everybody is pointing to and that has to be a little bit different for you. You've had all the success now and you are somebody that wears a target on your back.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, and I love that. I want to come into a tournament and people expecting me to win and play well. I love this golf course. I think it really sets up well for me, and so I want people to write that and I want people to know that, because I mean, I feel like I can tee it up with her and contend with her.
KRAIG KANN: There is a rumor out there, actually I don't know if it's a rumor anymore. Yani made a point that she had practiced or has been practicing jumping into her swimming pool to get ready for Poppies Pond when that moment happens, which I think is a tremendous quote, number one, and pretty enlightening to all of those in the media. Instant champion, just add water, is the big marketing situation here. Specifically that leap, what do you remember?
STACY LEWIS: I remember the water was really cold. I just remember ‑‑ I don't know, I had so much adrenaline at the time, I just needed to get it out, so I just jumped really far. I'm not going to practice the jump. I think that's kind of ‑‑ I just wouldn't do that. But I think it's just spur of the moment, you've just got to go for it.
KRAIG KANN: They've got a jump zone out there now to make sure everybody jumps in the right spot because there was a little injury last year.
STACY LEWIS: I was wondering if you were going to bring that up.
KRAIG KANN: Just did.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, my mom kind of hurt her leg, didn't jump out quite far enough, so they dug it out. It's quite a bit deeper, especially close to the edge, so hopefully we don't have any more injuries.
KRAIG KANN: Earlier this week you took part in a little ceremony out there with Amy Alcott. What exactly were you guys doing?
STACY LEWIS: Well, we were celebrating the renovation to the pond, and so we poured in the last six gallons of water, so we each had three gallons of water that we poured in, so it's at the perfect level now and it's ready to go for Sunday.
KRAIG KANN: It looks spectacular, by the way, it really does. I know you're thinking ahead to Sunday and perhaps another chance.
Q. If you win this event will your mom jump in again with you?
STACY LEWIS: Yes, I told her that it was just me and her going in, and we're going ‑‑ because she has to redeem herself. So if I win again, it's just me and her.
Q. Defending champion, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
STACY LEWIS: Well, this is definitely the busiest week I've ever had on Tour. I don't know if that's a disadvantage or advantage. There's good and bad to that. But I had a lot of obligations and a lot of things to do. But it's also great to come back and people telling me congratulations from last year, signing things from last year, and it just brings back such good memories. I'm so comfortable on this golf course that it feels like I'm at home, really.
Q. When you're so nervous, you mentioned the last four holes of the final round, what do you do to compose yourself?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it's hard. I mean, the golf course was playing hard enough that luckily you had to focus so much over every shot that if you kind of started thinking about the end or the trophy or your jump or whatever it was, it brought you back in because it would come up and bite you pretty quick. You really had to stay in the moment. For me I tend to get pretty fast down the stretch, so my caddie was really good at kind of reeling me back in, making me go slow, slow down, go through your process. He was definitely helpful with that.
Q. The trend more and more is to not go to college at all or to go for one or two years only. What did you gain from going all four years that you think is valuable, and how did you end up majoring in finance and accounting?
STACY LEWIS: Well, actually I went to school for five years. I loved school, and I don't know why anyone wouldn't go. But I went to school not with the intention of playing professional golf. I went with the intention of getting a degree to hopefully get a job down the road. I went to school and just got better with golf, and so I had started in finance and just kind of ‑‑ I just stuck with it. I wanted to get a degree that I could do something with if this whole golf thing didn't work out.
KRAIG KANN: It's working out, by the way.
STACY LEWIS: Okay, thanks. But it's really helpful to what I'm doing. I can manage a lot of what I do from day‑to‑day. But I think college, it's just a time that you can grow up and be ‑‑ you can make mistakes and you can be a kid and you can have fun, and it's not in the spotlight. You don't have cameras on you 24/7. I think it's just ‑‑ you can just be ‑‑ it's just a maturity level, I think, you see of players that don't go to school or that do. It just takes them, I think, a little bit longer to really find their game.
KRAIG KANN: Do you feel a lot more relaxed this year? I'm just watching you sit up here and maybe the difference from last year to this year, maybe it's the win, maybe it's the Solheim Cup, maybe it's the fact that you've done numerous interviews here, but you look completely different up here.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I would definitely say I'm more comfortable. It's still not my favorite thing to do, I'll tell you that, but I'm definitely more comfortable.
That's one of the things I talked about, just the maturity level, figuring out who you are and what kind of person you are and your game and all of that, and I think college and just kind of ‑‑ I'm growing throughout the last couple years.
Q. You mentioned how busy you were this week, obviously the defending champion and everything. How much has life off the course changed for you since you won over the last year as opposed to maybe the previous year? It must have been more hectic for you.
STACY LEWIS: Oh, for sure. I'm glad I didn't ‑‑ truthfully, was it 2008 I was leading the U.S. Open going into the final round, and I said it last year, but I am so glad I didn't win that golf tournament because I was not ready or prepared for what I went through last year after I won, just all the media obligations, people wanting your time, whether it's to do an interview or meet with somebody or do a clinic or whatever it is. My time, it's just busier. So I'm definitely still learning how to juggle and manage everything, but life has gotten pretty crazy.
Q. Can you talk about have you gotten new endorsements because of last year, and can you just talk a little bit about what you have now?
KRAIG KANN: You are getting a little bit ahead of us. Let's hold that question because we're going to make that announcement in just a second.
Q. When you talk about the new responsibilities and the attention, does it surprise you really, and can you compare it to what Yani gets on a regular basis?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I mean, I wasn't really surprised because when you win a golf tournament there's obviously things that go along with it. I mean, I'm definitely surprised with just my story with my back and everything, how far that has gone and how many people it impacts every ‑‑ I get new letters and new emails every day from kids all over the country. I mean, I couldn't imagine ‑‑ I mean, Yani has got to be crazy busy. I don't even ‑‑ she's probably got so many obligations and hers are all over the world.
I mean, hopefully I would love to have that problem, though.
Q. Could you speak to her dominance since last year? When you watch her play, what about her game has made her so good this last 12 months or so?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think her ball‑striking over the last year has gotten really good. She always seems to make putts and do that kind of thing, but she's hitting it a lot straighter and hitting a ton of greens. So you put fairways and greens and putts, that's the key to winning.
And also, just her mentally, she's so tough. She'll have one bad day, and she's coming out firing the next day, completely forgot about the day before. For example, in Thailand, I think she shot 1‑over the first day and then ‑‑ did she win Thailand? Yeah, shot 1‑over and then still ended up winning the golf tournament. I mean, I don't know, that just shows you who Yani is right there.
KRAIG KANN: It should also be known, too, in kind of following up the growth part of it and being more comfortable, Stacy is a part of our new player communications committee at the LPGA and has played a big role in providing us with some feedback and being a part of some nice initiatives in our campaign to show people why it's a bit different out here, and to that end, last week, I want to ask you about your little foray into the media world and The Golf Channel and being a part of the telecast for 35 minutes. For those of you who don't know, Christina Kim was the host and Stacy ran a camera at 15, and Brittany Lincicome was the producer for about 35 minutes. How was that running the camera during the telecast?
STACY LEWIS: It was really hard. I'm glad I play golf. I'm glad I don't have to video the shots. It was tough because the hole that we were hitting into was wedge, so I guess you just don't realize how high the ball goes, and having to follow the ball and zoom out and focus it and do all that at the same time, it was just a lot for me. But I finally got one good shot at the end, so I was happy.
KRAIG KANN: Big ratings spike on Golf Channel because you guys were all a part of it.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, and just to see our personalities and us out there having fun and learning new things, it was a good day for everybody.
Q. You're going to host an AJGA event later this year, so can you talk about getting more involved with junior golf and what you're looking forward to about that?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I got a call, it was about mid year last year, and they asked if they could put my name on a junior tournament in Arkansas, and I was ‑‑ I was really excited about doing it because growing up I didn't really play that many AJGA events, and it was more because I couldn't get into the events, so I'm all about getting more opportunities out there for juniors. So it's going to be an open event, so it'll be open to everybody. It'll be a big field. I don't really know the specifics of it yet because it is during the week of our U.S. Open, so we'll kind of have to work that a little bit. But I'm really excited to have my name on it.
Q. What about all this that still makes you a bit uncomfortable?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think it's just my personality. I mean, I'm pretty shy when it really comes down to it. But I've gotten a lot better, just being more open and just being easier to talk to and more open to doing things like this. I don't know, it's just kind of a whole learning process, I guess.
Q. Alison Walsh has talked about how moving down to South Florida and playing at the Medalist, playing alongside some of the men has helped her. Has that helped you, been a good environment for you?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I haven't actually played a whole lot with the guys. They tend to be out there all day kind of practicing, and I kind of like to get in there and do my thing and get out. But it is good to have little chipping games with them. I think any time you can play and practice with the guys, it helps out a lot.
Q. The robe, what do you do with a robe? Do you put it in a special place? Do you ever put it on?
STACY LEWIS: No, it's just hanging up in my closet. I didn't even wash it or anything from last year, so I'm sure it probably smells like lake water. It's hanging up in my closet, and it's just nice to look at every morning.
Q. You just finished your practice round. You've seen the golf course again. What is it about this golf course where you've had two top 5 finishes over the last five years, and what do you think of the course as it sets up for tomorrow?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think this course you really have to just hit it straight and then putt the greens really well. I think that's the main thing. I don't know, the golf course just really fits my eye. A lot of the tee shots really fit my eye. I just feel really comfortable there.
And the course is in great shape. The rough is a little down than it has been in years past, but I don't think they're going to cut it throughout the week, so it's just going to get longer. The greens are perfect. They're getting firmer and faster every day, and so people were kind of saying scores are going to be lower, but I don't really think they are.
KRAIG KANN: One last thing, speaking of media opportunities, Stacy is a part of tonight's special on The Golf Channel at 10:00 eastern time, the first time that the LPGA is being focused like that during the week of a major, a one‑hour show, and thanks for being a part of that. Tune in tonight, you'll see a preview of all the majors, including a lot about the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Stacy Lewis, a part of that.
I mentioned that this was a two‑part news conference. We're going to get into this other news, we're going to appease you and get this information to you and allow for your questions. Big, big opportunity for you. I'm going to let you break the news. This is breaking news, Stacy Lewis. Take it away.
STACY LEWIS: Well, I am excited to announce that I have a new sponsorship, a new partnership with KPMG. Many of you may have seen that it's on Phil Mickelson's hat, so I am joining their team, and they're all back there in the back to support me today. I'm so excited about it, and just really looking forward to working with them over the next few years.
KRAIG KANN: A global audit tax and advisory firm, and yes, there are some special guests here. Let me give you a few of the nuts and bolts. The relationship officially begins this week. You are part of the KPMG sports relationship platform which began with Phil Mickelson, as you mentioned, back in 2008. That means you're going to be even more busy not only on the course representing but off the course representing, right?
STACY LEWIS: Right. That's a good problem to have, though.
KRAIG KANN: That's a very good problem to have. Let me bring up some of those other special guests I talked about. John Veihmeyer, chairman and CEO of KPMG, and Mike Whan, the LPGA commissioner, is also up to lend some insight into this. Thank you both, guys.
John, let's start with you. This is clearly about aligning your company with winners and leaders and supporting some women's initiatives. I'm going to let you talk about this relationship and how it all got started.
JOHN VEIHMEYER: Well, first of all, I'm incredibly proud to welcome Stacy into that family. Joining Phil Mickelson as part of our KPMG family is a tremendous honor for me to be here today and officially welcome you into that family.
You know, women in our firm, at KPMG, are certainly continuing to emerge in terms of leadership roles and the critical dimension that they bring to our firm, the values, perspectives within KPMG and certainly the clients that we serve in the marketplace. Women are continuing to emerge as true leaders in every organization in America.
So we've had a great relationship with Phil Mickelson since 2008, and I felt something was missing in our golf sponsorship, and what was missing was a relationship with the LPGA to balance that relationship with Phil out and send a very direct message to our women and the women at the clients that we serve in the marketplace. So this is really exciting for us.
We announced it internally in KPMG this morning. I mentioned to Stacy I cleared my email when I took off from the East Coast this morning. I landed and I had 124 unread emails, and I think 13 of them were from women in our firm who were ecstatic about the fact that KPMG had forged a relationship not only with the LPGA but with Stacy, as well.
KRAIG KANN: I think it's terrific. The obvious question is why Stacy Lewis, what does she bring, and is it the double major at Arkansas? Is it the accounting and finance?
JOHN VEIHMEYER: Well, I went to Notre Dame, so it wasn't Arkansas, but the double major was certainly a nice added attraction after the fact. I told Stacy she's got a long way to go in this game, but when she's done, there will be a home for her at KPMG from an accounting standpoint, as well.
But in all seriousness, I think the relationship we've had with Phil I think is in large measure what we're hoping and very confident we are forging here with Stacy, which is not just having one of the greatest golfers in the game wear our logo on their hat or shirt in Stacy's case, but to really have someone that's going to represent KPMG in the marketplace in the way that's really important for us.
I think you've seen some of why we were drawn to Stacy in the interview today. I think it's her warmth, it's how genuine she is, it's just the way she interacts, I think, with everybody she comes in contact with. Stacy and I had a chance to have dinner probably three or four weeks ago now, and I was pretty convinced about three and a half minutes into that dinner that Stacy is going to do a phenomenal job with our women at KPMG. We are going to create a lot of opportunities for Stacy to spend some time with and reinforce a number of things we're doing from a diversity standpoint and with our clients in the marketplace doing some outings and getting Stacy one‑on‑one with a number of our up‑and‑coming women executives is really what we were looking for. And again, I think you've seen with the way she handles herself up here why she is going to be a great fit in our family.
KRAIG KANN: Mike, I don't think it takes a whole lot for you to be able to talk about why Stacy Lewis and what she adds, and I think also you could add a little bit more as to what this partnership that they've forged here says about the LPGA and momentum and our spot with corporate America right now.
MIKE WHAN: Well, first on behalf of all of the players at the LPGA and over 1,500 teaching club professionals in our teaching club professional division and our sponsors worldwide, welcome to the family. We're really excited to have you. I told you this the first time I met you, but you could not have done any better.
I think you know how we feel about Stacy. We're lucky to have players of that quality, not just playing quality because there's a lot of people that can perform, but the qualities that you've already identified that she brings outside the ropes and does it so willingly. Goodness knows we ask a lot of her, especially this week, even when she said this was her most busy week. I was thinking, more busy than Arkansas, because I don't think she sat down for a week. It was sort of the Stacy Lewis Invitational when we played in Arkansas last year.
But we're proud to have companies like yourself be part of the LPGA. Please understand that your relationship with Stacy has excited us for two reasons: One is we know that that will grow, and selfishly, we want to be able to help you, as well. So just because you have that relationship, know that the rest of the family is here to help you in any way we can, and the only thing that's important to us is when you have the Phil versus Stacy competition, Stacy wins by about three or four strokes, and anything else that happens is great.
KRAIG KANN: And it's in primetime, televised. Stacy, to the points that Mike just made, as well, and the momentum on the Tour, from your perspective as a player, having somebody from KPMG come to you, what does that say to you about where the Tour is right now and stars named Stacy Lewis and others that are getting these types of opportunities?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think it just shows where we're going. You know, we've had a couple of years where we were struggling, and we're getting great companies like KPMG and other sponsors, too, to kind of step up and see the value that our Tour provides, not only to put a logo out there or whatever it is, but to see the relationships and how we interact in pro‑ams and entertain people. Like all the logos say, see why it's different out here. That's how our Tour is different. That's how we entertain, and I think we put on a pretty good show.
Q. Do you feel like you and Phil Mickelson are on even par now? Have you talked to Phil about the sponsorship and do you know Phil very well?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I guess it was about three weeks ago, he was hosting an event for KPMG, so I got to go along, and they threw a lot at me that day, but I got to hang out with Phil and got to talk to him quite a bit. He was great. He was easy to talk to. He showed me the ropes, and he's one of the best at putting on events, corporate events and things like that. I'm just trying to learn from him, and he was great about it.
Q. What does he offer to the public as a sponsor, and what do you think you will offer the same or different?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, John might be better at answering this than me, but I mean, Phil just entertains the clients. I mean, he's talking to them all the way down the fairway and kind of ribbing them a little bit. I don't know, he just gets it. He knows how to entertain. John, from your side maybe you could add more.
JOHN VEIHMEYER: You know, I think Phil is very special and very unique in a lot of ways, and he's been phenomenal for us, largely from the standpoint that I talked about earlier in terms of helping us build and deepen relationships that we have in the marketplace. So that's certainly, I think, a big part of what we hope to gain with Stacy and will gain with Stacy, as well, in terms of creating opportunities for us to bring people together who might otherwise not have a reason to get together, have a lot of fun while they're doing it, get to meet one of the best golfers on the women's Tour in the process.
But there is one added dimension to your point of is there anything differentiating, and I would say there definitely is, because at a time when we are continuing to invest in our women as a firm and demonstrate to our women that there is no limit to where they can go within KPMG, it sends a very strong and a very powerful message, I think, to our 23,000 people in KPMG in the U.S. to forge a relationship like this with Stacy. So that speaks very differently, I think, to our KPMG women than the relationship we have with Phil, which is great for all our people, but certainly focused extensively in terms of the marketplace more broadly.
So Stacy will help us in both dimensions, both externally in the marketplace as well as internally with our continuing large emerging pool of women who are really becoming the leaders in KPMG.
And I think back to the comments that were made earlier. We see both Stacy and the LPGA on the same upward trajectory in terms of tremendous momentum, and we're just excited to be affiliated with both Stacy and the LPGA. It's a great fit for us.
Q. How many women are employed with you nationally?
JOHN VEIHMEYER: As I said, we have about 23,000 people at KPMG in the U.S.; about 50 percent of them are women. And globally we have about 140,000 people, and that same percentage, while it varies in different countries, as you look as it wholistically, the same overall percentage fits pretty well. We have got close to 50 percent of our professionals that are women.
Q. I know following Phil one time, and I think it might have been in The Skins when Annika was there, he was talking stocks with either her or another player during an event. I'm just curious, when you've chatted with Phil, did investments come up and that kind of thing?
STACY LEWIS: Well, as I found out, Phil seems to have a lot of ideas about everything. I think the KPMG folks will tell you that, too. I don't know, he's just an interesting guy. He seems to always be thinking about something or having an idea about ‑‑ I know when I was there he was giving them ideas about what they should do with me and what kind of events they should do. He's always thinking.
MIKE WHAN: Well, just for your people and the people that you brought here today, maybe for the media, as well, when we say welcome to the family, I hope you'll start to see and feel that it's just that. I can tell you in the last two days that I've been here, I've spent time with executives from Safeway, Wal‑Mart, Hana Bank, Kraft, I can literally ‑‑ from Kia and R.R. Donnelley. So when you think about, okay, they played the R.R. Donnelley Founders Cup two weeks ago so that just must be their week, it really isn't like that out here, and that's one of the reasons why we say see why it's different out here.
You'd be amazed how many of our corporate family sponsors are either playing in this pro‑am or doing something around this weekend, and they will be in a couple of weeks when we go to Lotte. We're excited about the momentum. We appreciate you referencing it. We've added probably seven new title sponsors in the last 12 months, and it's an exciting time.
It's all about, though, at the end of the day, the LPGA is a not‑for‑profit organization. It's really all about providing opportunity for women around the world, so to hear you talking about the opportunities you're creating for women in business, really the same thing is true for the LPGA.
We're hoping that young 12‑year‑olds no matter where they're growing up around the world can have the dream that Stacy had to walk across that bridge. I just watched it on the video as you were talking Stacy. They were showing you walk across. I literally got goosebumps watching the film standing there and thinking, I don't know if she dreamed this big four or five years ago, but she's blowing all those dreams out of the water. So we appreciate you allowing us to take those dreams to another level.
We have fans from around the world, sponsors from around the world, and now most importantly we have players as well that come from around the world. It's really an exciting time for women's golf, and it's an exciting time when companies like you not only recognize that but help us create more of it.
JOHN VEIHMEYER: Mike, just want to publicly thank you and your team for what you've done for us as we've gone forward and tried to forge this relationship because it does take a village to make all this work, and I just want to thank you again publicly, what I've said privately, which is your team couldn't have been more fabulous working with us to make sure we had a great launch here this week with Stacy.
And Stacy, I'll end where I started, which is this is tremendously exciting for us. It's going to energize the women in our firm in a way ‑‑ and again, it's not just the fact that we're affiliating with one of the greatest women golfers in the game and the LPGA Tour, but you've got a phenomenal story, as well. We talk to our women all the time about taking their performance to the next level and being confident that you can achieve anything you want to achieve, and I think overcoming your back problems and your personal story, it's just a great message, I think, to all of our women. This is not just some corporate sponsorship, this is a very personal relationship as we do become part of one family. We couldn't be more excited, and it was great to meet your parents here today, as well. It's not surprising that you're the type of person you are after I got a chance to meet with your folks.
Thank you, Kraig, for giving us some time to kick this thing off, and Stacy, we look forward to a very long and very successful relationship together.
KRAIG KANN: Stacy is an avid runner, I know you run half marathons and whatnot. You're going to have to run here in just a second, but I'll let you have one final thought about maybe your relationship and running after another robe.
STACY LEWIS: Well, I'll just say I've gotten to know the folks at KPMG over the last couple months, and it's been unbelievable. They're such great people, and everything they do is top‑notch, and I'm really looking forward to working with you guys over the next couple years. It's great for our Tour to have a company like KPMG come out and not only sponsor me but to come out to an event, and thank you to everybody for coming here today for the big launch, and I'm looking forward to it and looking forward to the week.
KRAIG KANN: Thanks to you all for being up here. Stacy, congratulations, and best of luck this week in your quest to successfully defend this trophy.
THE MODERATOR: Yani, welcome. You're on quite an impressive run right now. Last week you won your 15th LPGA tournament. You became the second youngest person to accomplish that feat behind only Nancy Lopez, who's here today. You won your third event in five total this year, and you won your sixth event in the last 12 tournaments you've played.
When you hear all those accomplishments, what stands out the most to you?
YANI TSENG: That sounds pretty good. I haven't looked at all the numbers, but after you saying that, that really sounds good, like how much I'm working on it. I'm working hard, and those accomplished goals, that winning, is making it pay off.
THE MODERATOR: Last week you also earned your 23rd point toward the LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame. You need 27 total. You know there's two points on the line at every major. Is that something that crosses your mind when you come here this week?
YANI TSENG: I mean, we all focus on the majors. Everybody wants to win a major when they come here. But I wasn't focused as much on the points. But Hall of Fame is always my big dream since I was really young. So that's my biggest dream, for me to be a Hall of Famer.
I wasn't expecting I'm that close already, just four points away. But I'm still going to try to focus on every tournament, every shot, instead of thinking about the points. But I still would love to win this tournament and try to get into the Hall of Fame.
Q. Two weeks ago you won the R.R. Donnelley Founder's Cup by one stroke. Last week you won the Kia Classic by six strokes. Have you had a chance to celebrate those victories or have you been focused on the Kraft Nabisco?
YANI TSENG: No, we drove from San Diego to here, so I had time to celebrate, and hopefully this week I can have a good week so we can celebrate together.
THE MODERATOR: Last year you were famously in the final group, touched the trophy on the way in, and you said after the Kia Classic losing here motivated you for the whole year. Talk about why the motivation.
YANI TSENG: I know because last year I was very close and I didn't win, but I think I still won a big experience for me. That experience gave me lots of things that improved myself, last year through this year, and I think that's kind of my career, I think one very important tournament, how much I'm learning from that, because I know my emotional control wasn't very good. I was very stressful after I missed a putt, after I made a bad shot.
But after that tournament, I had a little meeting with my team, my trainer, to see how much I can improve on the tournament, and I did after that. I've been playing very well, and I learned how can I win in a tournament when I was leading on Sunday or when I was behind on Sunday, and I know how to play golf better on Sunday instead of just playing Sunday like the first day of a tournament. So that keeps me relaxed and really focused and learning how to play one shot at a time, and I wasn't worried about what other players are doing, and that's how much I'm learning, and I can really do it right now.
Q. You say you're working very hard, yet obviously you're playing very well. It sounds like you're working as hard on your mental game right now as your physical game. Is there anything in your physical game that you're working on right now?
YANI TSENG: I do. I work on everything. My coach, my trainer, my physio was in Orlando with me in the off‑season for a month, so I've been working out very hard to work on my fitness to getting stronger a little bit, and my cardio is getting better. I'm very happy with that. And I've been working on my swing a little bit, changed my swing, because the last few years I don't have much time to do it. But in this off‑season I really wanted to change to improve my swing and to get more consistency, and I did. I've been ‑‑ my coach, Gary Gilchrist, is doing a very good job on that, and I'm hitting the ball a little further, too, so we've been improving a lot.
Q. You won seven tournaments last year. Are you playing better now?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, if you won seven you always can win eight tournaments. You never know. But I try to play my best every tournament instead of focusing on how many tournaments I can win. I mean, last two weeks ‑‑ I mean, this week is a new week, so I'm always looking ahead and looking for the new week tournament.
Q. You told us in the off‑season when we came to you with many requests after your big year that you really wanted to spend a lot of time still focusing on your game because you didn't want last year to be a fluke. You didn't want it to be seven wins and then a falloff this year. Do you think you're successful thus far?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I think so, too. The beginning of this year me and my caddie, we were talking about if we can try to finish top 10 every week, and that's kind of our goal for every tournament. If we can win we're really happy, but I wasn't thinking too much of that, because last year even I'm winning seven but I have lots of tournaments I finished 30th or 40th. It wasn't very consistent. But this year my goal has been more consistency if I can't win.
But if I can't win I'm going to try to build confidence instead of being up and down most of the time.
Q. Do you like the golf course and why?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I mean, I love this golf course. I think this golf course suits me very well. The first time I played here was in 2007 for Q‑school, and after that I came here every year and played this golf course, and lots of par‑5s I can reach. It's not easy to hit driver every hole here. You have to hit all the different shots, hitting draws, hitting fades. On this golf course you need to be ‑‑ you need to play good to win in this tournament. You won't get lucky and winning this. Focus on strategy this week is very important for me.
Q. You've heard this story, it may or may not be true, but you have the 2010 Kraft Nabisco trophy in your trophy case, and then I understand that you have an Angry Bird figurine or something that came from last year here as kind of a reminder of last year?
YANI TSENG: Yes, I put an Angry Bird on the Kraft Nabisco trophy, on the trophy, because I think the size fits perfect, and that means I didn't win last year, and I want to try to get this year and try to focus on this year.
Q. Do you think of this every time you walk by and see it? That's kind of a personal ‑‑
YANI TSENG: No, I wasn't thinking about much. I just think it's very funny to put it on there. It looks good. Angry Birds was very popular, and that's a gift from my fans, and I think it was pretty cool. But I never saw anything about that.
Q. You've had such great success in the major championships so far. Does your focus change or sharpen if you come into a week like this as opposed to a regular LPGA event?
YANI TSENG: I mean, I'm starting from last year, and my mental coach kind of telling me why I'm always having success in the majors and why normal tournaments I don't play as good as majors, because I figured out every time I play in a major my focus level is going up way higher. So when I play a normal tournament, my focus the first few days is kind of like on and off, relaxed, and I wasn't ‑‑ like wasn't there as much as like a major.
So last year every tournament my goal is focus on every shot, like give 100 percent effort to every shot, focus as much as I can, because it's very hard to focus on five hours a round. So if I count ‑‑ like if I focus on one shot, if I count 72 shots and I only have to focus on one and a half hours in the day. So that way I can focus more, and instead of trying to focus on five hours, that helps me a lot to focus on the normal tournaments and focus on the big tournaments, because that way I can have the same focus instead of it doesn't matter if it's a big tournament or small tournament.
Q. Looking at the last round last year when you had the two‑shot lead, how long did it take you to get over that, and what do you think happened? Stacy played well, but what happened?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, Stacy played very well, and like I said, my emotional control wasn't very good. I wasn't in good control of myself. I had been very stressful, hitting a bad shot, hitting a bad putt, and I wasn't being as patient as I am right now, so I'm learning from that week.
But it took me a couple weeks to go through that because I was crying after the round, even after a couple days when I think about it. I was crying because I always tell myself, oh, if I don't do that, I can win if I didn't do that. Sometimes it's too late, and you only can learn from that. So I learned from that. I bring it to next few tournaments and I played great, and I think that's very important thing for me. Even I didn't win, but I learned something from it.
Q. This is potentially the last year the LPGA will have four majors as opposed to five, so the chances of winning the Grand Slam are, you would think, your best this year with four. Do you think that much about that? Obviously to do that you'd have to win here.
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I know, of course. I think I wasn't thinking much, but I did think about that because I'm playing great this year. I think I have a chance to do it. But I won this tournament before, so that gives me lots of confidence that I can do it again. Like the British and Wegmans, that's a major I won before, so I feel better.
But like for the U.S. Open I think that's the toughest for me because every time I get there I just feel different. It kind of brings me lots of younger kids memory because when I was young I went there to watch my first LPGA tournament, so I still have that thought in my mind. But I still have a ways to go, so I'm prepared for that, and this week I'm prepared to play in front of a crowd. I still focus on every tournament to see how much I can improve and how well I can play on the course.
Q. Were you satisfied with your first jump into Poppies Pond, the way you did it, and have you thought about what you might do differently if you had a second chance?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I do, because I thought I jumped pretty cool last year ‑‑ two years ago. But my friends say it wasn't a good jump. So after that I go in my swimming pool and try to jump in a different pose to see what's the best. This year I think maybe if I had a lead on the last hole and I can thinking what's the best pose for me to jump, some little crazy move or ‑‑ like now there is a very famous, like you jump in the pool but you feel you're relaxed, something like that. I don't know, I will think about it after I'm winning.
Q. This isn't an overly serious question, but last year when you grabbed the trophy at the first hole, people did make a big deal, like you can't do that. Are you a very superstitious person or are you more superstitious now because of that?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I think both ways, because I do grab the trophy before the Kraft. I've touched the trophy many times, because I know Lorena always do that. You know Lorena always go touch the trophy, always go see the trophy before she plays because she thinks that make her very good luck. So I do that a couple times, try to make it similar like her before winning a tournament, and it works very well, but probably just didn't work last year.
But after that I won't touch a trophy again. I will never see it again. Even when I see it I would just pretend I'm not seeing anything. Like Wegmans on No. 1 the trophy was there, but I just tried to not look at it and just tried to ignore the trophy and focus on the tee shot.
Q. Was there a point in your career where you realized that you could win every week you played, and if so, what was the cause of that?
YANI TSENG: You know, I think every player comes here expecting to win, and I think me too. I expect to win every week. Every player wants to win in the tournament. We won't come here to finish second. So we're always trying to do our best to play well on every tournament.
Q. (No microphone.)
YANI TSENG: No, I wouldn't feel like that at all. I mean, this couple years I think ‑‑ I think most of this year, because I've been playing ‑‑ I already played five tournaments, and I win three. I think maybe like end of last year pretty much.
Q. Was there something that caused that, though, caused you to be that confident?
YANI TSENG: No, no, I don't think so.
Q. Originally you said you would be happy with your caddie that you would be in the top 10, that's your goal. Would you really be happy if you finished fifth 20 times?
YANI TSENG: It depends. I mean, in Singapore I have a good chance to win, but I wasn't thought ‑‑ because I missed a three‑foot putt on 17, otherwise I can get into the playoff. So after I watched on TV, I was so sad that I didn't make the putt on 17. But sometimes it's going to happen like that. I mean, that's why golf is so much fun. You cannot win every week, but you can always do your best and try to win. If you don't win this weekend, you try to win next week. If you don't, you can always have lots of chances that you can win. You can learn from mistakes.
Q. I have two questions. First question is you said you want to play with Tiger Woods if you have a chance. What do you want to learn from Tiger Woods if you have a chance?
YANI TSENG: I mean, everything. He's amazing. I watched him play at Torrey Pines when he won a U.S. Open. I mean, even he hit a bad drive, but he can always recover the next shot. It was amazing that he made 20 feet for par, 30 feet for par, it didn't matter. He was trying to do his best on every shot and trying to recover. He really just played in his zone. He don't really care what other players are doing. That's how much he focused on it.
And I've been watching him many times, and I think I'm learning a lot from him to try to focus because he always plays in front of huge crowds, so that way it gives lots of focus just on this fairway instead of looking at anything else.
Q. I remember you had a problem with your elbow. Right now it's okay?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, it's getting so much better because last year when I finished I had three weeks off and I didn't play any golf, but after that I played ‑‑ when I started practicing it was getting really, really bad. I even can't take a backswing. My elbow was really sore, and that's why I had my physio there with me. At the end it was so much better, at the start of the season this year, and every tournament it gets better.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen to the interview room at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship. You've got some great memories here, but probably you want to get one really good memory here this week. Just talk about your history with the Kraft and what it feels like to be back here.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You know, it's always great to finally be here. It's the first big week of the year. At least everything I've done this year has been with this in mind, how I played, how I practiced. It's kind of nice to come back to the same place year after year because you know what to expect and you know what the course expects of you, so it makes the preparations a little bit easier.
This place has been very special to me in a lot of different ways. I have a lot of great memories, some pretty big disappointments. But at the same time I look at it all as one big learning experience. I think I've been runner‑up here three times. One time I gave it away, and the other two I kind of came from behind. So I've kind of seen most of the scenarios myself.
It's one of those courses that really suits my eye, so I kind of always look forward to playing here.
The course is in great shape, a little bit less severe rough, so maybe a little bit less penalizing missing fairways, but I'm sure they're going to firm up these greens so they can kind of keep low scores out of the way here.
It's been fantastic to be back. I look at this as kind of our Augusta. We come back to the same course. It's a fantastic setup. Mission Hills here puts on a great show, and we have great fans coming out to watch. It's just fun for this week finally to get started.
THE MODERATOR: So far this year probably not the year you had anticipated, but last week a tie for 12th. Coming into this event, how is the state of your game?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I had a lot of great answers to my game over the last two weeks. I mean, I don't really feel like I need the momentum to build for this week. I know where my game is at. I feel like it's very close for it to click, and it couldn't be a better stage than clicking this week instead of last week.
There were a lot of good signs last week, and like I said, I feel very relaxed. My game feels in good shape, and just want to have Thursday come around so we can start play.
Q. Three times you've finished runner‑up here. Is the difference between runner‑up here and winning here that it just happened to be the wrong week to play the way you played and somebody played a little better? Are there things you can do on this course or in this tournament that will push you to that win?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You know, I don't really ‑‑ that's a good question. I guess losing in '07 ‑‑ I say losing because I felt like I really gave it away. That felt really ‑‑ that's a huge disappointment on me. But I can look back at it and look at what I could possibly do different if I ever came in the same situation. Luckily enough I was right in the same situation in the LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock that same year and managed to nail my strategy and stay to the game plan. The other time I made the cut on the number and finished 2. It also shows that in a major, ten shots is nothing. If you get on a run on the weekend, you can get it done.
But I think around this place, you've got to be patient. There are holes where you can be aggressive and try to take advantage of those, and there's some pins where a par is a good score.
Q. I was going to ask, what is it about this tournament or this golf course that does tend to bring out those kinds of performances?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: There's a lot of traditions here, a lot of history. We've been here forever. This is the home of LPGA major, I think. This is what I grew up watching on TV. You have a list of fantastic winners, past winners here, and I would love to join that group of players.
Q. Yani said earlier she'd been practicing poses to go into the water because she got criticized two years ago.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: There's a reason why I have a pool at home, too. (Laughter.)
Q. If you would just talk about the presence of another dominant No. 1 right now, Yani. Is she forcing everyone and you specifically to change your game plan? Is she someone you think about when you're practicing?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You know, this is a question we get a lot these days, how good is Yani. What she's done is phenomenal. She's won five majors, she's 23 years old. She's a very consistent contender every week. I still think it's possible to play better than her, and that's what I believe. I believe in my own game. I know what I've done in the past, and I know what I'm capable of doing. That's where I'm kind of keeping my focus. I don't try to compare myself to other players. I'm trying to build my own game and believe in what I do.
I know if I can finish what I've started, I think I can be pretty good.
Q. Do you think about your World Ranking or do you think about let's win golf tournaments?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, I really don't care if it's 2, 3, 4 or 1. Whatever you do, you've got to stay the course, work on your stuff, get better, and my motivation is my heart, my passion. A number is a number; it doesn't really mean too much. Like I said, I probably haven't had the best results on paper coming into this week, but I've had that in the past, too, similar situations to previous years. As long as you're a good evaluator and you can kind of analyze your game without being too hard on yourself, there's every reason you can play well this week.
Q. For those who weren't at the Kia Classic last week, you were working specifically with your putting coach Dave Stockton all week. You talked about how you're trying to make it the easiest part of your game. Can you talk about the results of those meetings last week and where you feel like you are on the greens right now?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, obviously last week was quite a challenging week putting wise. The greens, with all the poa annua on the greens makes it a lot harder to kind of judge what you're doing. What I tried to do was to hit solid putts throughout the 72 holes, and I did so. Yes, we missed a few putts, too, but that was probably more due to bumps and humps instead of good rolls.
But we tried to put most of the work in last week, so this week is more relaxing. You come in here, you adjust to the speed and you just kind of work on finesse instead of grinding it out.
Leadbetter is here, as well, so we got a good session this morning, so that feels pretty good, too. I feel low key right now. I feel good with my game and going to go see the back nine in the afternoon and playing the pro‑am late, so I'll get to see the course pretty close to the way it's going to be on Thursday.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome 2007 Kraft Nabisco champion Morgan Pressel to the interview room at the 2012 Kraft, and before we get started, Morgan, I know today you have a very special announcement to make.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I do. It's nice to be here back at the Kraft. This is always one of my favorite tournaments. It's why I chose this week to announce my new partnership with Lilly Pulitzer, and I will be wearing the clothing on and off the golf course. It's a company that started in Palm Beach, which is just down the road from where I live, and I'm very excited to embody the spirit of Palm Beach out here on Tour.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on that. You've been very successful on and off the golf course throughout your career, obviously this tournament being probably the highlight of your very early career. You became the youngest player in LPGA history to win a major. When you come back here and pull through the gates, what's the first thing you think about?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Great memories start flooding back, and even yesterday playing a practice round out there, I can remember especially my final round when I won in '07 and all of the putts that I made in kind of the crucial moments. I get on 15 and I look at that front right bunker and think about how I got up‑and‑down and this long putt that I made on 12. Not that I try and recreate it, but I just try and remember and feel the moments, and hopefully I can create more this week.
THE MODERATOR: When you think back about that week, where does it rank amongst all the great things you've done?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, in terms of golfing accomplishments, I think winning a major would always be on top, and it certainly is. Winning at Kapalua was important to me. Winning in Japan and the Solheim Cups, those are all on the general top of the list, but winning Kraft and jumping in that pond is something that will probably be on the top of my list for a very long time.
Q. Will Lilly Pulitzer condone you jumping into the water with their clothing on?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think it'll shine through the water with the bright colors. I don't think that'll be a problem. I'm sure they'd love it.
Q. Do you wish they'd fixed the pond before you jumped in?
MORGAN PRESSEL: After what happened with Stacy's mom last year ‑‑ actually I think I was the first ‑‑ was I the first to jump in the new pond?
Q. I think you were second.
MORGAN PRESSEL: But I did jump in the new pond, right?
Q. Well, yeah, but I think they changed it again this year.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Did they change it this year? Oh, so after what happened ‑‑ I did not realize that. I didn't read that.
Q. Four feet straight down now.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Good, so now we have more space to cannonball. That's exciting.
Q. Given what happened to Stacy's mom, do you look back now and think how they could have ‑‑
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I just remember when my grandmother jumped in, if you watch the tape, she looks in and hesitates and kind of lets go, then kind of went waddling in. She was scared to jump in because of that. So I think it's a good thing that they fixed it.
Q. The common thinking is that on this golf course you have to be a bomber to win it. We've seen Annika, we've seen Lorena, we've seen Yani, we've seen Brittany. You've played well here. What is the strategy for somebody like you to play on this golf course and succeed?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I guess the first strategy is not thinking that you have to be a bomber to play well. I feel like I certainly have history on this golf course and have played well, and I think that that almost feeds itself. It gives me confidence going off on the first tee knowing that I have played well here before and that I feel comfortable here more than anything.
I mean, these greens are tough. They're not easy to read, and getting up‑and‑down around them is almost just as important as hitting it long off the tee. So it's always about making birdies, and I think this year with the rough being a little but the lower than usual, it will be all about making birdies, and to do that you have to make the putts.
Q. Suzann also mentioned that the rough maybe wasn't quite as daunting this year, at least so far this week. You kind of ‑‑ maybe because you didn't hit it in the rough that week ‑‑
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, the year that I won, I was 3‑under par, which is probably one of the highest winning scores there's been here. And I think that that's because that specific year the rough was insane. It was really deep, and missing the fairway was a tremendous penalty. It won't be quite that way this year, but it's kind of similar to how it was last year, I think, and it's kind of similar to how it was last year.
Q. So 3‑under won't win this week?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I don't think 3‑under will win this week unless something very strange happens.
Q. You've answered the distance question quite a few times. At the Solheim Cup, a very long course, you answered the question going 4 and 0. Do you feel like you don't have to be the longest player on Tour?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I feel that there's a lot more to golf than just hitting it a long way, and while it can certainly help, that just means that the other parts of my game have to be a little bit more dialed in, and I just can't miscue off the tee, really, to put myself in a good position to hit it close. I think that's where my strength is is I'm a fairly consistent player, and they always say play to your strengths, and if length isn't one of mine, I have to find it elsewhere, and I find it really in my short game.
Q. This is the five‑year anniversary of your victory here. How has life changed in five years? To think that five years ago you won this, it doesn't seem like that long ago.
MORGAN PRESSEL: It doesn't seem like five years ago, and to think this is my seventh year on Tour, things have gone by so fast. It's almost like you need to step back and take a breather and really enjoy everything that has happened out here, both the good and the bad. It's not a life full of roses, but it's a challenge. But it's a fun challenge, and I mean, over the last five years, a lot has happened, a lot has changed. I'm sure five years from now, I'd sit here and say the same thing.
Q. Five years ago Lorena Ochoa was kind of ruling the Tour. Now it's Yani. When you look at what Yani is doing, what do you think to yourself?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think it's really impressive. I think it's hard for anybody in golf not to watch her performance and think about how impressive it is and how golf just seems easier for her than for everybody else. Any time you have a player like that, whether it's an Annika or a Lorena or a Yani our past three really contenders have been, it raises the bar for everyone else. Right now Yani doesn't have as much competition as maybe she even wants, so we all need to practice a little bit harder and we need to go out there and challenge her more often because right now she's beating us pretty badly. So we need to step up our games.
So I think that it's good for competition and good for women's golf.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Michelle Wie to the interview room at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship. I think it's pretty good timing here with the airing of your Feherty episode on flanking the stage here. Let's start off with that. What was that like to have David Feherty at Stanford University?
MICHELLE WIE: It was awesome. You know, it was just such a fun day. I've heard so much about him. I've seen shows, and it was awesome. I was absolutely honored to be on the show, to be invited to be on it, and just allowing someone on the outside to get a glimpse of what I go through every day, it was an absolute treat. I don't think a lot of people get to see it, and it was really nice to have it on film before I graduated, and it was a lot of fun.
I can't believe he jumped into the (indiscernible) like that. It was crazy.
Q. A lot of people know Michelle Wie between the ropes but they don't know you outside the ropes. You've gone through four and a half years of college, well documented that you've kind of branched out, graduation is upcoming in June. Talk about your outlook for the rest of the season and whether you feel like college was the right choice for you.
MICHELLE WIE: I'm really excited. You know, to be able to get my degree and to actually finish, got my grades in today, passed some of my classes. You know, I think it was just such a big goal of mine, and I'm so proud of myself for sticking with it. But I'm also more than ready just to jump in full speed ahead with golf, and I'm really looking forward to the season, and just to have time to practice more, work out more, rest more, and on the upcoming year. I'm so glad I did it. I think I would have regretted it for the rest of my life, and I'm so happy with my choice.
Q. Pretty good resumé for a 22 year old. When you leave college and go full time on the LPGA, what's going to be the main goal for you?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, obviously I want to win more. I mean, that's a big thing. I feel like it's been pretty mediocre so far. I want to ‑‑ I want to be the best player that I can be and the best in general, and obviously it's going to be ‑‑ it's going to be a fun ride from here on out. I'm kind of entering the real world, as you may say. But I'm just really excited to actually really be able to do all those things and try as hard as I can.
Q. A part‑time resident of the desert area, some great memories for you here, especially as a youngster. Just talk about what it means to come back to the Kraft Nabisco and kind of what goes through your head as you walk onto the grounds here.
MICHELLE WIE: It was crazy. I just talked to Mike Ritz and he just reminded me I played in my first Kraft nine years ago. It's absolutely ridiculous to think about that. It's amazing my first experience here playing the final round with Patricia and Annika. It was an amazing experience. I have a lot of good experiences here, but I'm more about creating new ones. I want to create new memories, and that's why I'm so excited to play this week, especially coming off a very tough week the last couple weeks. I'm ready to turn things around and play a lot better.
Q. Can you talk about what it'll make ‑‑ maybe I should say, how you will be able to get over the hump to be the winner that you want to be now that you've learned throughout the years what it takes out here?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, obviously hard work and all of that is a big factor in it. I think a big thing for me is trying not to over‑think it, trying not to over‑try. I think that's been a big thing of mine, just to play like I used to, just carefree and just go out and grip it and rip it kind of thing. That's what David and I have been working on, especially today, just to trust myself, trust my instincts and go out there and have fun.
I think obviously the hard work and everything will pay off, but I think mostly just playing with your instincts.
Q. You've had some very good performances here, could have maybe even won it a couple of times, unless people were holing wedges on you from the middle of the 18th. What about this golf course has suited your game through the years?
MICHELLE WIE: I just like this golf course. I like desert golf. I think Dinah Shore has been one of those golf courses that I kind of grew up on over the last couple years, and it's a fun golf course. Obviously if you don't play well, it can bite you. But you've got to hit it in the fairway here, got to put it on the right part of the green and got to play it smart. It's a major, so pars are good, birdies are great, and got to go out there and keep kind of trucking along.
Q. Because you've played here and come so close, do you feel like this is a tournament that you're going to win someday?
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, I hope to say that about every major. Definitely this is one tournament that would mean a lot to me if I won, and obviously it would mean the world to me. That's what I play for.
But like I said, it's a long way to Sunday, and you can't really think about that right now. All I'm thinking about is just shot by shot and going out there on Thursday, posting a score, and kind of taking it on from there.
Q. I was so impressed in your Solheim play. I think how you played at Solheim is crazy, even in that loss. You had the spirit of the USA team in your heart. Can you keep that emotional high at other tournaments for a long time or is the Solheim so special that you go to a different level?
MICHELLE WIE: I think all of us will agree that you go to another level at Solheim, when you're put in that situation. When you play for your country, when you play for your team, it makes you a different person. I think we all try to bring it on at other tournaments. I'm there. I'm there in the other tournaments, but it's just not the same.
But Solheim is ‑‑ that's why Solheim is special. That's why we look forward to it every two years. It's so intense. I think Match Play also brings that out, and I think playing for your country, I think it really brings that out of me. But I do try to bring that out in every tournament, no matter how big or small. I might not be as loud as at Solheim, but I do try to bring that spirit everywhere I go.
Q. I may not look like a novice golfer, but I am, and I've noticed trying to pick up tips that the women golfers seem to have purer swings than the men, that they play better and I can learn more watching them than I can watching the men, and I want to know if you can tell me why.
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, I mean, I don't know. I don't know. I really like ‑‑ I feel like the LPGA over the years has gotten so much more entertaining. Every tournament the competition level has gone up. Every week there's more people in contention the final round, and I think it makes it more exciting to watch. I'm not sure what people think when they watch us swing, if they learn a lot. I mean, I don't know.
Q. In the last couple of seasons there's been a number of teenagers who have enjoyed some great success, which was assumed would belong to you. Has there been any ‑‑ has that caused any second‑guessing, a feeling of urgency, a frustration on your part?
MICHELLE WIE: Like why?
Q. The teenage success and the mark that's being left by them, it was assumed that it would belong to you first.
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I think that age isn't really important anymore. I think that when I came out, there was a lot of buzz because I was the youngest one or youngest one to do this, youngest one in the field, but that's not the case anymore. As you see, obviously Yani is really young. Age is not a factor anymore. I think when I go out there I don't think about how old a player is. The game has gotten a lot younger, and I do feel the urgency to be better, to play better, but that's not really because of my age. I just want to play better no matter how old I am. And I think it's great that the game has gotten a lot younger.
Q. With college behind you, is there any plans, or maybe you already have that I'm not aware of, to have your own place, buy a house, have your own base?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'm going to base myself in Jupiter.
Q. When is that going to happen?
MICHELLE WIE: That happened last year.
Q. Is that news?
MICHELLE WIE: No, it's not news.
Q. Yani has won 15 tournaments in the last 13 and a half months, 10 of them LPGA events. Has she had any effect on you as far as preparing for a tournament or as far as scoreboard watching or as far as knowing that you have to beat her if you're going to win the tournament? Has she had a Tiger effect?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think that Yani is an amazing player. I think what she has done over the last 13 months, winning 10 LPGA tournaments is amazing. It's an amazing feat. I think no one can say otherwise. She's the best player in the world right now, and I think obviously people do look at her and try to beat her.
Me personally, I think that I see that in the back of my mind, but I try not to. You can't really focus on all the other players, and you really just have to focus on yourself. When you try to beat someone in particular or try to follow that player, you kind of lose sight of what you have to do, and I've been really just trying to focus on my game and trying to get there.
Q. What are you going to miss the most about Stanford?
MICHELLE WIE: I've been thinking a lot about that recently. I think just my friends that were there, just the whole environment of college. I think everyone that has graduated will know that it was the best four years of your life. You know, you learn so much about yourself. You make so many amazing friends. You just have so many good experiences that you just keep with you for the rest of your life, and you can always bring it. Hopefully 20 years from now I'll still remember that. But I think if anything the whole environment. I owe a lot to them. I owe a lot to Stanford, actually.
Q. Putting, you've made a switch, I guess, short putter?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, it's been back and forth for quite a long time, which I don't like doing, but I had to find something comfortable. I'm back to my old putter, and it's feeling better.
Q. Is there anything in particular? Is it mental do you think mostly, the putting?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I worked a lot with David today, and like I said earlier, I have to trust my instincts. Sometimes I have a very large tendency to over‑think and try too hard, and putting is one of those things that cannot work so well when you try too hard. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is try less, and that's what I'm trying to do with my putting is just go out there and hit it.
Q. Do you consider this to be the Masters of your Tour, this tournament, and also, what would it mean to be able to ‑‑ with the history and tradition of the Kraft, to put this one on your mantle?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes, I think so. With the tradition that has been here with Poppies Pond and the past champions, all the traditions here, it's just like it. It's one of the most coveted majors, and it would mean absolutely the world to me to jump in that pond.
Q. What would be the best graduation present you could get?
MICHELLE WIE: The best graduation I can get is winning this week, actually.