Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G Thursday Pre-Tournament Notes and Interviews

Photo Credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Stacy Lewis watches her second shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Kingsmill Championship at Kingsmill Resort on May 9, 2013 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G
Pinnacle Country Club
Rogers, Arkansas
Thursday Pre-Tournament Notes and Interviews
June 20, 2013

Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

 

Happy homecoming! Although Stacy Lewis can claim many places as her “hometown,” the University of Arkansas alum feels the most love when the Tour makes its stop in Northwest Arkansas. Being the only Razorback on the LPGA Tour, Lewis has always been a fan-favorite to watch at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.

“It is hometown for me,” said Lewis. “It really feels like home.  And I've said it before, nobody else on tour has this.  I mean, I don't think we have any other stop where you get so many people just pulling for one person, and it's really cool for me.  I know all the players kind of joke about it that they always know where I am on the golf course and they always know when I get to 17 and 18.” 

Lewis says a win a this tournament would rank among one of her favorite wins, but there’s a certain pressure that she puts on herself when she returns to Arkansas. The 28-year-old as only notched two top-10s at Pinnacle Country Club since her rookie year in 2009.

“For me this tournament, it's right behind a Major Championship,” said Lewis. “It's my biggest event that I want to win beside a Major, and I think the last few years I've definitely put a lot of pressure on myself that I wanted ‑‑ really, really wanted to play well here.

“I've learned from becoming No. 1 and over these last few months that you can't play that way.  You've got to just go over there and take care of every shot and you can't control what anyone else is doing.  So I feel like I have less pressure on myself.  I'm putting less pressure on myself this year.”

Feeling prepared. Suzann Pettersen has never felt more prepared for the U.S. Women’s Open. Notching her second tie for third finish in Major championships this year in Rochester, the Norway native says the Pinnacle Country Club is the perfect course to help prepare to tackle the Sebonack Golf Club next week.

“I like to play leading up to a Major instead of practicing,” said Pettersen. “I think that for me personally that sharpens my game a lot, just to get rounds under my belt, just keep plugging, putting a score together and just hitting numbers.  So this course is always in great shape.  The greens are rolling very pure, so it's very true to what the ball shows you.”

Pettersen’s stretch of five top-3 finishes in the past seven tournaments has her hopes high for not only her second win of the season, but also unseating Stacy Lewis from the No. 2 spot in the Rolex Rankings.

“I know if I play well and I win tournaments that would take care of that business,” said Pettersen. “If I were to knock Stacy down this week, I probably won't be too popular coming back here, I think.” 


The Countdown Continues. Only 52 days and five tournaments remain until the U.S. faces the Europeans, the reigning Solheim Cup champions, at the Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado. Not that anyone is counting, but both Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen say the buildup to the tournament is getting more and more intense as each tournament passes.

“We have such a team that's so motivated,” said Lewis said of the U.S. team. “We were devastated by the loss in Ireland, so it's going to be awesome.  Colorado is going to be awesome.  They're ready for us to come.  So we're only a few weeks away.  So I know Laura Diaz is counting down.  I think we're at 52 or 53 days, something like that.”

Pettersen, who will play on her seventh Solheim Cup team this year, says each team is coming together slowly but it the rivalry between European and American players has become more prevalent as the year progresses.

“There's a little bit of words thrown back and forth from Americans to Europeans,” said Pettersen. “I still think both teams still have a long way to go.  I think there's a lot of potential players that can be in or out.

“The team, our European team is going to be different this year.  The last six that I have played it's been very predictable who is going to play.  When I first started, it's usually half the team was Swedes obviously with Annika as the featured player, if you want to say that, as the No. 1 in the world.  And she carried a lot of load for the rest of us and kind of was good to kind of keep pushing us.  Now it's changed quite a bit.  I think you'll see new players.  We'll have a lot of rookies.  But again, rookies, it all depends on how you define rookies.  If you look at our rookies, they've won several times on the European and the LPGA.  So it's I think just a new generation of players trying to really get on that team.”


Making the Cut: More than 400 people donated their hair to make wigs for women fighting cancer on Wednesday at the Pantene Beautiful Lengths event at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. LPGA player Jane Rah and caddie Kurt Moskaly were among those who had their hair cut at the seventh annual event at the LPGA’s stop in Northwest Arkansas.

LPGA stars Mina Harigae, Jennifer Johnson, Brittany Lang, Sarah Jane Smith, Brittany Lincicome, Azahara Munoz, Morgan Pressel, Beatriz Recari, Yani Tseng and Wendy Ward, as well as LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan, offered their services as haircutters.

(photo left) LPGA stars ready to cut the hair of Lesley Baker, CME Group Titleholders Tournament Director; Kurt Moskaly, LPGA caddie; Jane Rah, LPGA player
“I knew about the event last year, but I didn’t have long enough hair so I kept it in mind all year,” said Jane Rah. “I did not expect the event to be so big. It was amazing to see the whole community come out and support such a great cause.”

In addition to Wednesday night’s participants, 100 donors cut their hair prior to the event, taking the total number of donations to more than 400, a record number for the event. The first-ever Pantene Beautiful Lengths event in Northwest Arkansas in 2007 had only eight participants. This year, every school in the Northwest Arkansas region was represented from students ranging from five to 18.

Quotable: “If I were to knock Stacy down this week, I probably won't be too popular coming back here, I think.”  - Suzann Pettersen, who could potentially unseat Stacy Lewis from No. 2 in the Rolex Rankings with a solid finish this week.


Tweet of the Day: “Kurt getting ready to cut his hair for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths!! pic.twitter.com/gTxW8C5rwl” - @MinaHarigae

 

Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 3

THE MODERATOR:  All right, I'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 3, Suzann Pettersen, into the interview room.  I think it's fair to say you've had quite the season so far.  Earlier this month you captured your fifth Top 3 finish in seven events.  Your game is coming together quite nicely, but you were saying at Wegmans that the best is yet to come.  Talk about the state of your game and what we might expect from you the rest of the year.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I have no complaints.  First of all, I'm healthy.  The game has been getting better and better each week, each month.  I felt like I came out a little bit slow, but then kind of kickstarted in China when I went to play the European event there.  Felt like I played pretty good at the Kraft, which was kind of the first big highlight of the year.  And then once Kraft was over, I managed to actually keep the push to my ambition.  It's easy once you've played the first Major to almost chill, relax, take a little break, but I just kind of kept playing.  Then I won in Hawaii and felt like I played pretty good and decent leading up to Rochester.  So that being over now, my eyes are obviously on next week, but with this week as good warmup tournament.

THE MODERATOR:  With a solid finish this week you could potentially regain the No. 2 position, which you’ve held before.  Has the thought crept up in the back of your mind that you could be close to getting No. 1?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Not really.  I know if I play well and I win tournaments that would take care of that business.  If I were to knock Stacy down this week, I probably won't be too popular coming back here, I think.  But no, I mean, that's something I don't really think about.  Inbee is playing really good, so you can't really sit down and relax and kind of be happy with what you do.  You've just got to go out and grind and fight and keep playing.

THE MODERATOR:  It seems the Europeans have been playing really well this year.  Solheim Cup, we have five more events for players to earn points for that.  You're kind of spearheading the European team so far.  Talk about the environment on tour right now and what it's like between the Americans and Europeans.  I'm sure it's getting pretty intense.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Well, I mean, there's a little bit of words thrown back and forth from Americans to Europeans.  I still think both teams still have a long way to go.  I think there's a lot of potential players that can be in or out.  I think on each team you have probably a pretty solid four or five players, maybe six, and then the remaining six on each side, it could be ‑‑ well, I just think there's a lot of players for those spots.  Talking about the European, I think it's great to see all of us playing better and better.  If the Solheim was where it had been a year ago, I would have been a bit more scared we would have had a tough time beating the Americans, but it seems like everyone is starting to get their game in shape and looking forward to Denver, Colorado in August.  So I'd like to see, you know, at Kraft we had a lot of great Top 10s.  I think we had four or five or six players in the Top 10.  And then at the LPGA Championship Beanie almost won.  So it's all about gaining confidence and get the belief that we can do it.

THE MODERATOR:  This will be your seventh Solheim Cup team.  How do you think the teams have come together this year compared to previous years?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  The team, our European team is going to be different this year.  The last six that I have played it's been very predictable who is going to play.  When I first started, it's usually half the team was Swedes obviously with Annika as the feature player, if you want to say that, as the No. 1 in the world.  And she carried a lot of load for the rest of us and kind of was good to kind of keep pushing us.  Now it's changed quite a bit.  I think you'll see new players.  We'll have a lot of rookies.  But again, rookies, it all depends on how you define rookies.  If you look at our rookies, they've won several times on the European and the LPGA.  So it's I think just a new generation of players trying to really get on that team.

THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for Suzann.

Q   Recently a fan gave you a painting.  Do you get a lot of things like that from fans, and what's your reaction?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  That's one of the nicest things that I have ever gotten.  I mean, it was a beautiful painting, actually looked like me as well.  Yeah, it happens that fans, they come up and they give you, could be anything from ball marks to really anything.  But it was a really nice painting.  It's hard to kind of thank him enough.  It was a very good job.

THE MODERATOR:  Where are you going to hang it?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I'm actually going to put it up in my office,

I think.  I'll put it on the front door so everyone knows who lives there.

Q   Can you talk about this golf course.  Is this a good course for you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  This is a very good golf course.  The Pro‑Am players, the amateur players, if they ask how this course rates of the ones we play on tournament, I think this is a very, very good golf course.  I've only played the 18 holes today and it feels like the greens are a little bit softer.  The fairways are soft, but I've also heard they have had a lot of rain here over the last month or so.  So it's playing not as firm as it was last year, I think.  So I'm looking forward to going out there.  And like I said, it's going to be a good preparation for the U.S. Open next week, which is the reason why I love coming here and play.

Q   Did you have a chance to play the 17th hole? What is that like this week?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  From what I understand, they want to create more of a buzz around that green.  You'll probably see someone hitting it a little bit closer than maybe it has been the previous years.  It's been a tough par 3 with the tee back, so I understand what they're trying to do.  You'll probably see a few new pin positions.  They might tuck a few pins, so tomorrow's pin position is one I've never seen before.  I think it's front left.  So I think it's going to be exciting for the crowds and hopefully we can put on a show.  And I don't know if we can beat Phoenix and in the Waste Management for the PGA Tour, but we can do a good job.

Q   You said this is good preparation for the U.S. Open.  What do you like about it?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I think you have to hit ‑‑ it's a target golf course.  You have to hit shots off the tees.  You can shape it.  I mean, you can shape it around here and you can really test your game, how it feels.  I like to play leading up to a Major instead of practicing.  I think that for me personally that sharpens my game a lot, just to get rounds under my belt, just keep plugging, putting a score together and just hitting numbers.  So this course is always in great shape.  The greens are rolling very pure, so it's very true to what the ball shows you.

Q   Suzann, how hard do you think it is for Stacy to come to this course?  It's like her second home, this area.  How hard do you think it is for her to come?  I'm sure she wants to bring home the big trophy at the end.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I mean, Stacy has become a phenomenal player and obviously she's a major favorite here in Arkansas.  I feel like she's in good control of her time management.  I think she's structured enough to know how to structure her day, to feel like she can prepare, get teed up to be in the competitive mode.  And like I said, I mean, she has every aspect of the game.  So obviously coming here playing in front of a somehow home crowd probably will only help her.

Q   There was talk a few weeks ago, whenever it was with Tiger where a fan called, somebody called and said hey, the line or whatnot.  What's that like as a golfer out there knowing that, hey, there could be a fan that kind of sees you on TV and calls and says hey, you dropped it somewhere.  Is that something you have to pay attention to knowing that there are cameras on you and that a fan could kind of police what you do?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  You know, we're all out here.  We're all playing by the rules of golf.  I think the rules of golf are bigger than all of us together.  I think the game of golf is bigger than all of us together.  We're all trying to do our best to kind of play by the book.  I don't think anyone is really trying to do something wrong or take advantage of anything in either way.  And unfortunately, I mean, everyone is human.  We all do mistakes.  We see some groups, some players are more likely to be more on TV and, like I said, it happens that we do mistakes.  If that's the case, you probably get the right penalty for that. 

But that being said, I don't think it's something we're worried about.  Like I said, the rules are there to help you if you use them in the right way.  But I'm not sure if it's the right thing if you can have spectators calling in penalties on players or creating misunderstandings.  I mean, what happened with Tiger at Augusta, is that the right thing?  All he's doing is trying to do the right thing at the time, and it's up to the rules officials to kind of then judge if that's the right thing or not.  So I'm not a big fan of that.  It's the same if you play any other sports.  You can play soccer, you have line referees, they call it if the ball is in or out.  You don't have spectators calling, oh, that was in.  In the replay we can see it's in.  You see it more of it in action sport, I think it's kind of part of the rules.  Like in tennis, you have the camera that you can kind of get three calls a match to see if the ball was on line, out or in.  I think it's just a part of the game.

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

THE MODERATOR:  All right.  The person on my left hardly needs an introduction, but it's my pleasure to introduce Rolex Rankings No. 2 and University of Arkansas alum, Stacy Lewis.  Thanks for coming in today.  I know you've had a lot on your plate this week, so just talk about some of the things that you've gotten to do being back in Arkansas.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it's nice being back.  I don't get to come back as many times as I would like anymore just because I've been so busy, but really this week hasn't been that busy compared to everything else I've been doing this year.  This week actually feels pretty easy.  So I don't know if I'm just getting more comfortable with everything, but it's nice to be back on a golf course I'm comfortable on and have a lot of good friends here.  So it's a relaxing week.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about the AJGA event that you were doing this week.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it's the second year of the tournament, the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior Open.  We had a lot of things this year and they're actually finishing up today.  I'm going to go out after I finish this.  So I hosted a barbecue for the kids last night and we did a little Q&A and they had some pretty good questions.  The parents asked questions, the kids got into it towards the end.  They kind of started asking, what do you think about belly putters  what do you think about lining people up?  What do you think about slow play?  So we had some fun there.  But it's cool to be able to give back and the kids really seem to enjoy having me out there.
 
THE MODERATOR:  What's it like being back in Arkansas and getting to play an LPGA event in front of like a hometown crowd?
STACY LEWIS:  It is a hometown crowd.  It's not like hometown.  It is hometown for me.  It really feels like home.  And I've said it before, nobody else on tour has this.  I mean, I don't think we have any other stop where you get so many people just pulling for one person, and it's really cool for me.  I know all the players kind of joke about it that they always know where I am on the golf course and they always know when I get to 17 and 18.  So it's just a really cool week to show off Arkansas to the world.  And, the players, everybody else, they love coming here.  So it's a good week for everybody.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about the 17th hole.  I know in years past you have led the Calling of the Hogs.  Will that be happening again this year?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I've actually been telling them I think for about three or four years now that they need to move the tee up there.  So they finally listened to me and it's going to be cool.  We're going to see a lot more birdies.  We're hitting probably 9‑irons to 7‑irons into the green.  So you'll definitely see a lot more birdies, it will be a lot more fun.  They sent out a note to all the players to have things to throw out into the crowd, kind of have fun with it.  We want to make the hole loud.  I know the tournament staff is a little worried that they've sold too many tickets and it could get too rowdy, so it should be fun.

THE MODERATOR:  Will you be tossing anything out?
STACY LEWIS:  I do have some ideas in my head.  I can't give away my secrets yet though.

THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for Stacy.

Q   How is the pressure of being No. 1 affecting you this year?  I know you've had a busy schedule and it's been hectic more or less being No. 1.  How have you dealt with that?
STACY LEWIS:  I feel like I've dealt with it fairly good.  There's definitely I think more than anything it's more demands, more people wanting your time, more extra things to do.  I've done a good job though of making golf the priority.  My practices, when it comes to starting a day, my number one to start every day is when am I going to get my practice in.  Then if I have time for everything else, I do it.  So I feel like I've done a pretty good job of that.  The hardest part is you go to a tournament, everybody expects you to win every week.  They expect you to play well and that's ‑‑ in golf you don't do that every single week.  So you've really just got to realize, I'm not going to play perfect.  When you do get hot and have those weeks, you've got to take advantage of it.

Q   Stacy, Inbee having the kind of season she's had, what is that like for you and your mindset just trying to focus on your game and not worrying about what she's doing?  Has that been a difficult thing to keep your focus on?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, you're definitely watching what she's doing because she's doing something special.  Inbee has played great this year and it's a little frustrating because I feel like I've played really well but it's gotten overshadowed by what she's done.  All you can do is take care of yourself, and then whatever happens from that happens.  You know, golf you play in cycles.  You play good for a few weeks and you play bad for a few weeks, play good for a few weeks.  That's just the way it works.  So I'm just trying to get back on that upswing at the right time.

Q   Stacy, does your approach change when you're playing a three‑day event versus a four‑day event?
STACY LEWIS:  Not really.  I mean, definitely a three‑day event you can't have a poor round.  You've got to get off to a hot start.  You've got to ‑‑ you just can't shoot yourself out of it one day.  A four‑day event, you've got some more time to make up for a bad round, but three days you've got to be on.  And this golf course you've just got to stay patient on.  You can make birdies, but you can also make some big numbers, so it's staying patient this week.

Q   Stacy, two questions for you.  First of all, is this like another Major for you?  Do you put extra pressure on yourself when you come to Arkansas to try to win?  And then what was it like to play with Gabby and what advice did you give to her?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, for me this tournament, it's right behind a Major Championship.  It's my biggest event that I want to win beside a Major, and I think the last few years I've definitely put a lot of pressure on myself that I wanted ‑‑ really, really wanted to play well.  And I've learned from becoming No. 1 and over these last few months that you can't play that way.  You've got to just go over there and take care of every shot and you can't control what anyone else is doing.  So I feel like I have less pressure on myself.  I'm putting less pressure on myself this year.  And then today in the Pro‑Am playing with Gabby, you know, we played nine holes on Tuesday too.  That was actually the first time we played together.  I'd seen her play in a college tournament, but I'd never played with her.  She's going to be a good player.  She's very solid.  She's young.  So we were on the course just kind of talking about course management, just kind of showing her where the pins were going to be and what holes to kind of go at, what holes not to go at.  It was just a little bit of strategy out there.  You could tell she was a little nervous at the beginning, but by the end she loosened up and had a little bit of fun.

Q   Stacy, I'm from The First Tee of Fort Smith, and I know that I have superstitions.  Do you have any superstitions or rituals before you play?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I'm not too ‑‑ I don't really have a lot of things.  I guess the only thing I really do is I mark my ball with a quarter.  Doesn't matter what quarter it is, but it's just a quarter.  But beside that I try not to get into any rituals because something always seems to throw it off.  So I can't be too relying on that.

Q   I'm also at The First Tee of Fort Smith, and I'm getting to the age where I need to pick a college.  So I was just wondering why you chose the University of Arkansas?
STACY LEWIS:  I was recruited by three schools and I went on visits to Arkansas, Kansas State, and Louisville.  And my first thought was I want to go to a school where I'm going to play on the team.  I don't want to go there and be sitting at home every week while everybody else is playing.  So I wanted to go where I could play.  And then I came to visit Arkansas and I just fell in love with it.  I love the small town feel.  I love how supportive the community was of the university, and I just told my parents on the way home that it felt right and that's where I needed to go.  So I don't know.  It wasn't really one thing.  It just kind of all came together for me.

Q   Stacy, you mentioned that there's no other player that kind of goes through what you go through in this tournament.  What is it about Arkansas that's different?  And also is it any more difficult for you knowing you're kind of representing a state both professionally and personally every day of your life I guess?
STACY LEWIS:  I do.  I feel like everywhere I go there's Arkansas fans.  I mean, we were in Australia this year and there was a guy walking around with an Arkansas shirt on.  So I do feel like I'm carrying that torch around.  I actually practiced with Jeff Long this morning.  We were talking about it, and he made a good point.  You know, if you live in Florida, you have some people that are Gators, some people are Dolphins fans.  They have different teams.  Everybody seems to have a different team.  But when you're in Arkansas, you ask somebody who their favorite team is, they say the Razorbacks.  And I think that's what makes this place different.  There's one school, there's one team that everybody here cheers for, and I think that's what you see out on the golf course.

Q   Stacy, we're going to ask you two things.  After the LPGA Championship you said you felt like you played pretty well, just hadn't been able to score well.  I wonder if you feel like your game is really coming around at the right time.  And then second, how have you learned to manage the emotions better for the bigger events, especially when you have sort of almost an extra Major with this event?  How have you learned to handle those emotions and channel them the right way?
STACY LEWIS:  I do feel like my game is coming around.  I played really good the final round in Rochester, and I've had my coach in town all week.  We're just sharpening things up.  I really, I don't want to early call anything, but I really feel like I'm moving on the right track.  We have a lot of big events coming up, but I feel like we're definitely moving the right way.  The golf swing is feeling a lot more comfortable.  Now it's just making a few putts here and there.  And then the second part, managing emotions, yeah, that's probably my nemesis.  It's something that is very hard for me.  I actually took something from watching Justin Rose win the U.S. Open was, when he made a birdie, he was happy but he didn't get overly excited about it.  When he made bogey, he had probably the same reaction.  So that's how you win major championships, that's how you win big tournaments is keeping those emotions steady whether it's good or bad.  And that's, you know, looking to the Open next week, that's my biggest goal for next week is how level can I stay.

Q   Stacy, you talked about the 17th hole.  There also have been some other adjustments on the course.  How do you think you've acclimated to the new adjustments so far?
STACY LEWIS:  I mean, the course looks great to me.  I don't really know of any other holes that were adjusted.  They like to move tees around here quite a bit.  Move some of those par 5s up to make them reachable certain days.  So I don't know, I feel like I've played so many rounds here that I know this place.  No matter what they do with a tee box or a green, I feel like I know it.

Q   (Indaudible) ‑‑ changing putters, and is it fair to say this maybe is the best you've been putting coming into this tournament?
STACY LEWIS:  Oh, for sure, over the last year is definitely the best I've putted.  Putting is so much confidence though, that's all it really is.  And when you play well and when you win, you're putting good.  You're seeing the ball go in the hole.  That's what putting is.  So I don't know, it was fun, we were out in Denver last weekend playing some alternate shots and everybody wanted me to read their putts for them.  We had some fun with that, and they were all asking me questions about putting.  So I don't know, I guess I don't always consider myself the best putter but I guess everybody else does.

Q   Stacy, change the subject a little bit.  I know you've played with Lydia Ko some.  I just want to get your thoughts and impressions of what she's doing at such a young age.
STACY LEWIS:  Lydia Ko is so impressive.  I played with her the final day when she won in Canada last year, and that back nine she played was world class.  It was the best back nine of a big tournament like that I've ever seen.  And to be only 15 years old, I mean, that's even more impressive.  So she's a great player right now and I'm interested to kind of see what happens for her over the next few years, whether she decides to turn pro or not, kind of see what happens.  But I hope for her sake that she can be a kid for the next few years and then maybe come do this later.
 
THE MODERATOR:  You mentioned you were able to go up to Denver to practice on the Solheim Cup course?
STACY LEWIS:  Yes.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about Solheim Cup.  Suzann was in here earlier talking about how the teams are starting to come together.
STACY LEWIS:  Yes.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about the Americans and how the American team is coming together.
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I'm really excited about the team we have coming together.  We have some young talent that I will be interested to see what they do on the big stage like that, but I think Lexi, Jessica Korda and Lizette Salas are all going to end up being on the team.  And then Morgan played great at Wegmans.  I expected Morgan to play well.  I said at the beginning of the year, I said, Morgan will figure it out and she will be on that team because she loves the Solheim Cup more than any other event.  So we have such a team that's so motivated.  We were devastated by the loss in Ireland, so it's going to be awesome.  Colorado is going to be awesome.  They're ready for us to come.  So we're only a few weeks away.  So I know Laura Diaz is counting down.  I think we're at 52 or 53 days, something like that.

Q   Another Solheim question.  Juli Inkster said one of the advantages she had is she played college golf.  She played on a team, sort of that feeling, even though it's so individual of rooting for somebody else and sort of understanding that.  Do you think that sort of gave you an advantage also because that's actually becoming a little more rare, the college players.  We're going to have a lot of U.S. players who have never really played on a team and you did for four years?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I mean I think it's a huge advantage to have played on a team or some sort of team format.  You know, Lizette Salas said she's never played like some alternate shot or anything, but she played college golf for USC.  So just having the experience of being around the other girls and seeing how a team works and how you can support your teammates even when you're not playing.  There's a lot of things, you know, Meg has kind of talked to me about it.  She said you're coming there as a top player, but don't feel like you have to be that person.  You have 11 other people that will help you.  And you can do a lot of other things to help your teammates other than playing good golf.  So I don't know, I definitely think the team stuff helps, but Jessica Korda played a Junior Solheim, Lexi's played Junior Solheim, Junior Ryder Cup, all that kind of stuff.  So they have so much experience at being about in those big events, I don't think it's a really a factor.

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Lewis, Stacy, Pettersen, Suzann

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