An Interview With: Stacy Lewis
Q. Stacy, you took a 1-up lead at the fifth hole and you never lost it. I mean that was a big victory for you. Six and 4. How did you feel about the way the match went?
STACY LEWIS: I felt I played pretty well. The way I was hitting the ball, I wasn't hitting the ball the best, but my short game really saved me and I played pretty consistent.
Q. Okay. And how about Ayaka, did she ever seem as if she was going to get back into it at any time?
STACY LEWIS: She had some good shots but just couldn't get the putts to fall and hit a few shots that were, if she would have made the putts I gave her a few opportunities to make the putts but she just couldn't get them in.
Q. Now, you're semi finalist in U.S. Women's Am Tour. You've never been this far before in a nationalchampionship. What does that mean?
STACY LEWIS: Oh, it's just awesome, just to have the opportunity and to make it as far is just crazy.
Q. Okay. Just crazy, did you say?
STACY LEWIS: Just crazy.
Q. You're from the woodlands in Texas. What sort of routine do you have with your golf and who is your teacher?
STACY LEWIS: My teacher's name is Cole Smith.
STACY LEWIS: Yes. And actually because I'm at school a lot, we don't really get to work most of it is over the phone. But my coaches at school help me a lot too. Definitely when I'm home for the summer working on my swing, my short game and all that kind of stuff.
Q. Where is Cole Smith located?
STACY LEWIS: He's at the Massingale Golf Academy. Course, about 20 minutes from Woodlands, called Augusta Pines.
Q. From the Woodlands, 20 minutes from the Woodlands?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah.
Q. In the same city?
STACY LEWIS: I don't think it's considered the same city. I think it's considered Spring. I'm not sure.
Q. Spring, Texas?
STACY LEWIS: Yes.
Q. What does your dad do?
STACY LEWIS: He does consulting for Teneco and travels every week. So he's taking a week off this week.
Q. He's up here with you?
STACY LEWIS: He's caddying for me.
Q. Your mom, does she work?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, she's a nurse manager at the hospital.
Q. Okay. Great. Questions?
How did you feel about your game coming into this thing. You've been playing pretty good golf for a while?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I've been playing well all summer and just have a lot of confidence going in. I don't know, just wanted to play well and see where it took me.
Q. How old are you?
STACY LEWIS: 21.
Q. What's the biggest thing you've won so far?
STACY LEWIS: Won the Women's Western this past year.
Q. Sorry, I didn't know that.
STACY LEWIS: That's okay.
Q. That's pretty good training for the Women's Amateur?
STACY LEWIS: Same thing.
Q. Who was the biggest player you beat at the Women's Western would you say the most well known player?
STACY LEWIS: When I beat Jennifer Hong in the finals, and she won the event the year before. So I don't really remember. It was a long time ago.
Q. So nerves don't seem to bother you? If you could do that in the Western and go this far in the Women's Amateur?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, once you're in the playing in the matches that are close a lot I don't think you're as affected by it as much.
Q. Are you a pretty calm person?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, very calm. Takes a lot to get me pretty excited.
Q. Are you excited now?
STACY LEWIS: I'm very excited.
Q. All right. Did Ayaka Kaneko's frustration seem to get to her more as the match went on? In the end did she concede?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, she conceded her because her ball went over the green and into the hazard so she would have had to drop again. So she conceded the match.
Q. Did she just get frustrated and then things crumbled with that?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah.
Q. Did she talk about it or anything?
STACY LEWIS: Not really. You could just tell that her confidence just wasn't there with the putter. And then when she would hit good putts they were limping out. So, I don't know, it's just the way it goes sometimes. It's golf.
Q. How are you perhaps a different golfer now than say a year ago?
STACY LEWIS: Probably just more relaxed on the course and not getting so angry, and definitely more confident and knowing that I can play with the top players.
Q. You are one of the top players, if you won the Western, aren't you?
STACY LEWIS: I guess so.
Q. When you say not getting so angry, was there a time where you would get angry? You say you're pretty relaxed doesn't take much to get you excited, but was that always the case?
STACY LEWIS: I would get pretty angry and slamming clubs and all that kind of stuff. And that didn't fly too well with my parents. So I that had to stop pretty quick.
Q. What did they say?
STACY LEWIS: They said I wouldn't be playing if I continued to do that. So ...
Q. So you just cut it cold turkey?
STACY LEWIS: No, definitely it took a little while. But I just realized that it's just a game and that I should be lucky, happy and lucky to be playing.
Q. If it's just a game, is this something you want to pursue as a career, or do you have other plans?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, definitely. I don't know, my back had surgery and I don't know how long my back's going to hold up and I'll be able to do it but definitely as a career. I don't know, we'll see.
Q. What kind of back injury did you have?
STACY LEWIS: I have scoliosis and so I have a rod and screws in my spine.
Q. What's the prognosis on that?
STACY LEWIS: Right now it's fine. It's just a little soreness here and there. But took, I had to take like six months off.
Q. When was that?
STACY LEWIS: That was the year before my freshman year of college. June of '03. And then I red‑shirted my first year of school because I couldn't play.
Q. June of '03. And you took six months off. So that is December?
STACY LEWIS: Started playing like the end of December.
Q. Did having those six months off, did that have anything to do with kind of the perspective of it's just a game and not ...
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, definitely. Just feeling lucky that I was out there playing. Because it wasn't, even after I had the surgery it wasn't for sure that I would be able to play again. So just being out on the course being able to play again was a gift and bad shots aren't so bad anymore.
Q. What were those first swings like when you?
STACY LEWIS: They were pretty scary. The ball would not go very far. But it took a while just to get to trusting that nothing was going to happen and it was fine. I just needed to swing at it.
Q. Were you working with Cole Smith at that time?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think I started working with him like right when - I think right when I came back, I'm pretty sure.
Q. It wasn't like there was a teacher who stuck with you through the whole thing?
STACY LEWIS: No, because I couldn't even for six months I couldn't bend or twist. So ... and they actually let me putt for three months.
Q. They did?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah.
Q. You say you've had a rod and screws in right now. Not to be - how big is the rod, how long?
STACY LEWIS: I don't know it's like; it's down like five vertebrae, basically. There's a rod and then the screws go into the vertebras like that.
Q. So you don't have any pain from it, though?
STACY LEWIS: No. Just occasional soreness here and there, but nothing too bad.
Q. So after three months they let you start putting some?
STACY LEWIS: Yes. So my short - that's how my short game of putting got a lot better.
Q. We've got three more reporters that just came in. Do you have any questions of Stacy? I don't know what you've already asked. I'm sure you ...
Q. We've talked about her back surgery and her temper and the fact that she's a calm person but she's pretty excited right now.
What's your dad's name?
STACY LEWIS: Dale.
Q. How about Arkansas, what have you learned there in that program that you think's probably made you a better golfer?
STACY LEWIS: Um, I don't know, my coaches have just, they really want us to work a lot on our short game and being able to get up and down. They don't necessarily worry about how well we hit the ball, it's more just get the ball in the hole and play.
Q. I'm sure you didn't expect it to be, I would think, this easy today.
STACY LEWIS: No, not at all.
Q. Just what was it like as far as having a big lead and playing like that?
STACY LEWIS: It's definitely a lot easier than I thought. And I like playing with the lead. It's a lot easier than with those 1, 2‑up. I don't know. I was just making putts and getting up and down, and she - you could tell she lost her confidence in there and just couldn't get the putts to fall.
Q. It all came down to putting for her basically?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think so. She hit good shots to get herself back in the match, I thought. And just they were limping out and short.
Q. So how is your back holding up?
STACY LEWIS: It's perfect. It's good. Only 14 holes today.
Q. That helped, right?
STACY LEWIS: Definitely.
Q. Was a day like yesterday - would your back feel a little worse after you play two rounds like yesterday?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it was a little bit sore last night. But you ice it and take some Advil and it's fine the next day.
Q. How much does your dad help you?
STACY LEWIS: Only when I ask him to. He's learned to kind of stay out of the way. And I don't know I think a lot of the putts out here are putts so I don't want him telling me a line and he might hit it harder than I would, so you never know. But a lot of the stuff I do myself unless I'm unsure then I'll ask him.
Q. Has he caddied for you very much. You told us he has taken the week off but has he done it in other events at all or ...
STACY LEWIS: Just mainly like the U.S. Open and qualifiers. The other tournaments he can't get off work that long.
Q. Katharina Schallenberg will be your opponent tomorrow. Have you played with her ever?
STACY LEWIS: No, I've never even heard of her.
Q. She's kind of new. You were both 2 over par, the way match play is today. What do you anticipate in this match tomorrow? What are you going to try to do?
STACY LEWIS: Just hitting fairways and greens and hopefully get some putts to fall. It will probably be close. She's obviously a good player. She's gotten this far. It will be close and I look forward to it.
Q. Thank you very much, Stacy. Congratulations and good luck tomorrow.