December 9 – 15, 2024
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Interview

Read a transcript of the post-Round 2 interview with Lexi Thompson and Rickie Fowler.

Lexi Thompson & Rickie Fowler

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Q. In with 4-under 68, pretty good score in foursomes, one of the best today so far, but how would you describe that round? It looked pretty volatile on the scoreboard.

RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, there’s no pictures on the scorecard but there might have been some pictures on there today.

LEXI THOMPSON: Definitely. We thought it through a little bit coming into today, but we made two bogeys and ended up shooting 4 under, so we’ll definitely take it with alternate shot.

Like Rickie said, we haven’t really played each other’s ball too much, but they’re pretty similar, so going into the rounds we weren’t worried about that factor, which is nice. I just try to get them in the fairway. He’s hitting his irons amazing and he rolled some really great putts out there, so overall solid for us.

Q. Did you think about the strategy before you started? And you, Lexi, taking the even numbers for the majority of the par 3s there, is that part of the plan?

RICKIE FOWLER: It worked out good, she made a 1.

Not necessarily. I think Lexi’s played the most here. I think one of the things that she wasn’t too excited about, the first tee shot, but I knew she’d be fine there so it was literally kind of a coin flip. I ended up basically being on the odds.

Yeah, I think you could kind of look at it either way. I think it almost evens out in a way, par 5s, who’s hitting second shot. I think she did get maybe three of the four par 3s.

Yeah, if you told us that we were going to shoot 4 under today in alternate shot, because it was a little breezy earlier, I think we would have taken it.

Q. Just talk us through the ace, Lexi. Yardage and the thoughts when it was in the air and what it looked like to you?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I had 158 hole, a little breeze in. I mean, not much, it was pretty dead towards the end of the round. Ended up taking my 7-iron, which is my like 62 to 65 club, and backed up two club lengths from the tee marker and just tried to hit like a 3/4 hole.

RICKIE FOWLER: Never left the flag.

LEXI THOMPSON: I was just hoping it was the right number and it ended up being a perfect number.

Q. This seems like it’s the more stressful of the formats of the three days.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yes.

LEXI THOMPSON: Agreed.

Q. Do you have any sort of hard fast rules on how to tackle it, like never say you’re sorry or anything like that?

RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, you can. You’re going to hit bad shots. I told Lexi out on the first, just like don’t worry about me, just play how you normally would. I mean, you try and just keep each other comfortable. Obviously don’t want to put your partner in a funky situation, but it’s bound to happen in alternate shot.

It’s one of my favorite just because it’s one shot at a time literally. You don’t hit the one before or after. It’s a grind because you’re trying to put her in the best position, she’s trying to do the same for me. But I hit a couple putts by that she had to clean up for me. Just the way it goes.

Q. Does that make it more fun and more gratifying in a way to shoot 31 on the back like you guys just did?

LEXI THOMPSON: I guess in a way. We both played solid golf. He hit some amazing iron shots and made some really great putts, especially starting around 9. We kind of just made the turn of things there.

But it’s definitely more gratifying. We played solid golf and we just knew that we had to just put ourselves in the fairway for each over and give ourselves looks for alternate shots. Pars are good and birdies are great, so you just have to give us the opportunities.

RICKIE FOWLER: I think it can be, yeah. The hole-in-one kind of helped. It can be the most gratifying, but also the most stressful depending on how it’s going. If you play well in alternate shot, it’s the one you can make up ground. Tough to do a day like yesterday in a scramble, you have to make birdies, where if you make a bunch of pars and throw on some birdies you can actually cruise up the board.

Q. Lexi, 11th ace, where does this one rank in terms of excitement and just how quality was that golf shot?

LEXI THOMPSON: Definitely up there, probably one of my highest because I’ve only had about 4 in competition with crowds, with a good amount of crowds, so there was a lot of people around that tee box. It was nice to high five everybody and hear all the cheers. I can’t wait to watch the video of it later probably. Definitely a good feeling. I mean, hitting a golf shot or making a putt and just committing to it and seeing the shot at hand and really just pulling it off, it’s always a great feeling.

Q. For you, one of the longer hitters on tour, do you do that a lot, go a couple clubs behind if you’re in between numbers as far as tee markers go?

LEXI THOMPSON: I do it on par 3s quite a bit just to give myself 100 percent commitment on whatever swing I choose to do. If I’m in between I’ll go up a club and go back a few yards so that way it’s a perfect 3/4 instead of having to take even more off it. We’re that exact and it comes down to a few yards for us so it makes a big difference.

Q. You guys are wearing matching pink today and you wore matching outfits yesterday. How far in advance did you talk about the scripting for the week and what colors can we see tomorrow?

RICKIE FOWLER: It won’t be the same tomorrow. It was kind of a combo. We didn’t necessarily talk about it, but we’re obviously both with Puma Cobra and our rep there at Puma —

LEXI THOMPSON: Planned it out for us.

RICKIE FOWLER: — basically said you guys good wearing the same colors and stuff? I’m assuming she said yes as well.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, yeah. I just don’t have a lot of orange.

RICKIE FOWLER: We had the same color the first two days. Tomorrow we’ll be clashing a little bit.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. I’ll find an orange pin or something.

Q. How many aces is this for you now total?

LEXI THOMPSON: That will be my 11th.

Q. Rickie, the phrase “grow the game” is used a lot. How do you think this tournament might actually do that?

RICKIE FOWLER: It will be interesting to see kind of the after-effects going into next year, but I think one of the things is seeing the guys and the gals tee it up together and have fun and us just enjoying being out there together. It’s not something that you get to see a whole lot. Everyone’s used to watching either the girls out there on the LPGA play or the guys on the PGA TOUR play. So to have that kind of mix and match, I know now with kind of the stuff with like PGA Junior League and stuff like that there’s a little bit of that at the junior level. But yeah, it’s fun for us to be able to do it and I think people will see that from being out here or on TV.

Yeah, hopefully the kids are enjoying it. Yeah, this kind of being the first about go-round, I think we’ll see more after this week and see how the event continues to evolve.

Q. And a lot of local fans haven’t had the opportunity to see the women play in person up close. What do you think the average male player can learn from watching the LPGA?

RICKIE FOWLER: I mean, not to pick on the average male — no, I would say watching the men play or the guys that are some of the longer hitters on PGA TOUR, it’s not a spot that people can really expect themselves to be at. I mean, it’s kind of crazy speeds.

I think the game that Lexi plays out there, her being one of the longer of the girls is something that is a little bit more attainable for the average male golfer. And that’s not to knock anyone. Lexi pounds it as everyone knows and you see it on the stats. It’s still impressive to watch — I mean, watching Lilia stuff it there at the last.

Yeah, it’s different speeds, but you see that in sports across the board. I think for the average or normal golfer that’s something that they can maybe try and emulate or play similar to.

Q. Before you go, Cameron mentioned 31 on the back nine and the scorecard shows scores ranging from 1 to 6 just on the back nine alone. That’s pretty unusual. Do you think of that when you’re out there or do you just go through the motions or you’re not even aware of that?

RICKIE FOWLER: I think when we made the birdie on 9 it was kind of just like that finally got us going a bit. Then once we made a couple more, Lexi hit a great shot into 11, she had another good one into 12, I made a good putt. Just kind of got some momentum going. So at that point it’s not really thinking too much about score, it’s more just keep going.

LEXI THOMPSON: Exactly.

RICKIE FOWLER: Blew it a little by on, what hole is that, 14? I hit a little by, so I left her a bit of a —

LEXI THOMPSON: And I did it on 17, so that was fine.

RICKIE FOWLER: Yeah, you just start to build that momentum and ride that wave. Yeah, 31’s great, but we were trying to get more.

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