TRANSCRIPT | Stacy Lewis, 2020 Vic Open, pre-tournament press conference

KATHIE SHEARER:  Stacy, it’s been quite a year or quite a time since you had your little girl and now I hear that you’re fighting fit and ready to go.  You managed to go back to the tour at end of 2019. STACY LEWIS:  Yeah. KATHIE SHEARER:  And now you’re back on tour full time […]

KATHIE SHEARER:  Stacy, it’s been quite a year or quite a time since you had your little girl and now I hear that you’re fighting fit and ready to go.  You managed to go back to the tour at end of 2019.


KATHIE SHEARER:  And now you’re back on tour full time or as long as motherhood takes you?

STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  Last ‑‑ the whole ‑‑ I guess really the last 15 months has been pretty crazy, just having the baby and then trying to get back into it, get my body in shape.  Then she’s travelling with me, so last year was a challenge.  Then I got hurt at the end of last year and wasn’t really able to finish out the year the way I wanted. 

So that’s a lot of the reason why I’m here.  Obviously I’m excited about this event, but I just ‑‑ I feel like I played two tournaments since September, so I need to play some golf and come down here to some good weather and some great golf courses.  I haven’t been to Australia I think in five years, so fun to be back.

KATHIE SHEARER:  And what did you think of the golf course today?  How did you play?

STACY LEWIS:  The golf course is awesome.  I love how different it plays every day just depending on the wind.  I played a few holes on Monday and it was impossibly hard, and today was a little ‑‑ or yesterday a little less wind, today even a little less wind.  I like this style of golf.  You can be so creative and hit all kind of shots around the greens and just a lot of fun.

Q.  (Inaudible) involved in the LPGA Tour seeing the rebirth over the years.  This event, like to get your thoughts on that.  Is that part of the motivation for coming down here?  

STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think what we’re doing this week is really important.  I think ‑‑ I hope this tournament sends a message across the world to ‘let’s do more events like this’.  There’s obviously a lot of challenges with it.  You have to have two golf courses and the facilities and all that kind of stuff, but it’s really ‑‑ I mean, I’ve had a lot of fun this week so far.  I played a practice round with three guys yesterday and just doing it a little different than I normally do it. 

But I think we need more events like this and we need ‑‑ obviously we’ve got some of the top females here, but we need more of the top guys here to step up and say, you know, this is important.  It just sends such a great message for supporting men’s and women’s golf.  One of the guys I played with yesterday talked about how us coming on board has elevated their purse as well.  So I think it’s a win‑win for both tours.

Q.  Who did you play with yesterday?

STACY LEWIS:  I knew you were going to ask me that.

Q.  (No microphone.)

STACY LEWIS:  No, it’s just chatting up golf.  It’s nothing crazy.  I like playing with guys because they’re so creative and they see different shots and they hit different shots.  I think there’s five or six holes there where we’re playing from the same tees and it’s a completely different strategy, what they’re doing versus what we’re doing, but then at the end we’re making the same score. 

So I just think it should be fun to watch.  Hopefully we get a lot of people out here to watch and just to see the different ways you can play the game.  I don’t know, I really enjoyed it so far this week.  I really hope ‑‑ I think there’s talk of another one maybe in Sweden happening, but maybe it’s something we can do in the States.  I think that would send even a bigger message.

Q.  Do you play much golf with the guys at home?

STACY LEWIS:  No, not hardly at all.  The men’s PGA TOUR, we’re on opposite sides of the country, opposite sides of the globe.  You’ll see a few of the guys ‑‑ I lived in Florida for a while so you would see some of the guys there, but we haven’t had a team event with the guys in a long time.  I think ‑‑ I mean, I think it’s a win‑win for both sides if we can get something like that.

Q.  What’s your impression of what the guys think about playing alongside the women?

STACY LEWIS:  I don’t know.  The guys I played with yesterday were super supportive of it.  I could tell when I kind of walked up there they were like, “She’s going to play with us?”  But you just have fun with it.  I just think, I don’t know, hopefully maybe they learned a little bit playing with me, and they made a comment about how straight I drove it.  They were joking, they’re like, “Does golf get really boring for you,” things like that.  It’s just the different styles of golf that they don’t get to see either.  I think most of the guys here have really embraced it.  Like I said, we need more ‑‑ we need top players.  I know Geoff Ogilvy’s here and we need some top players to really step up and support this, especially if they have little girls, you know?  Let’s give this opportunity to your daughter.  That’s a lot of what motivates me now.

Q.  And your daughter, how has that changed things for you in terms of playing professional golf and traveling?  Is it difficult?

STACY LEWIS:  It’s very hard.  Everybody asks me what it’s like, I say it’s hard.  I think it’s two‑and‑a‑half full‑time jobs.  Raising a kid is probably a full‑time job in itself, then I’m taking her on the road with me.  I just ‑‑ I miss her when I’m on the golf course, so when I get done, I want to do dinner with her, I want to do the bath with her and do the little things like that because she’s growing up so fast. 

But it just changes your perspective on what you do.  Golf is gone as soon as I leave.  I mean, that is my last concern at night is thinking about my golf score that day.  Just helps put things in perspective of what’s important and kind of motivated me with my things off the golf course, kind of what I’m doing of trying to give more opportunities to women and to little girls.  I want things to be better for my daughter and I don’t want her to have to answer the same questions that we’re talking about today.

Q.  Who did you play with yesterday?

STACY LEWIS:  I knew you were going to ask me that.

Q.  The distance report from the USGA and R&A came out today. Have you seen anything on it and do you have thoughts in particular on this issue given that women aren’t often asked about this? 

STACY LEWIS:  I definitely think you’ve seen a difference in the last four, five years in distance on our tour.  I mean, it’s crazy how far ‑‑ I mean, how far some of these girls hit it.

I think, my perspective is the golf balls have gotten so much better that your misses don’t go offline as much, which allows you to swing harder at it and it goes straighter.  So the golf balls have helped the distance part and it’s helped just the freedom of being able to swing as hard as you want. 

And then the clubs obviously, that’s the biggest factor.  You know, I just ‑‑ the game has changed so much.  It’s literally go up there and hit it as hard as you can because your misses are going to be better that way.  I mean, I think on our side we don’t talk about it as much, but I do think something needs to be done.  Whether it’s a golf ball issue or a club or maybe a combination of the both, I do think something needs to be done because golf courses are going to become irrelevant here pretty soon.

Q.  Is the gap between the longest and shortest in women’s golf bigger than the gap between the longest and shortest in men’s golf?  

STACY LEWIS:  I’ve seen ‑‑ I’ve seen more players maybe that don’t hit it as far not being able to contend as much on our tour.  I just think distance is such an advantage.  I mean, if you can carry it 250 on the women’s side, huge advantage.  You’re carrying bunkers, you’re reaching par 5s.  Distance is such a big advantage. 

But you go to a golf course like this, distance is taken out.  Some of it is golf course design.  Do we make golf courses trickier to take away that problem?  I mean, I don’t know what the answer is, but I do think on the equipment side something does need to be ‑‑ needs to happen.

Q.  Who did you play with yesterday?

STACY LEWIS:  Dave ‑‑ they’re going to kill me.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Tom, Dick and Harry.  That will do you.

STACY LEWIS:  I know one was Dave.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Dave, Dick and Harry.

STACY LEWIS:  There you go.

Q.  Last one.  The change of perspective you talked about after having a child, has it sort of helped or hindered in terms of competitive golf?

STACY LEWIS:  Probably hurts a little bit, but I don’t think you think about that at all.  She’s the greatest little thing in the world.  I wouldn’t ‑‑ it was so hard leaving just to come here to play, but I wanted to play, I’m excited to play.  But it definitely hurts in your preparation and your time and the amount of time and your energy that you put into it, but it’s worth it.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Just a quick word about the Solheim this year, that you had an injury and you ended up almost being sort of a vice captain.

STACY LEWIS:  Yes, yes.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Did you enjoy it?

STACY LEWIS:  I did, I had a blast at Solheim.  I mean, I know I was hurt and in pain and all that and I didn’t get to play, but it was so much fun to be behind the scenes.  Juli (Inkster) was asking me questions all week.  I got an earpiece and so I got to hear everything that was going on. 

I’ll be a captain at some point, so it was nice to kind of learn of what needs to be done behind the scenes.  It was just such an amazing day for women’s golf.  To watch that all unfold and to come down basically to one putt, it was an amazing week.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Great.  Any more questions, ladies and gentlemen?  Thank you so much for coming.

STACY LEWIS:  Thank you.

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