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Lexi Thompson & Bryson DeChambeau - December 6, 2016


DAVE SENKO: Well, Lexi and Bryson, thanks for joining us. Maybe just get us started before we open it up for some questions. Your thoughts on playing this event for the first time?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, well, it's an honor being here as a rookie. I don't think there's been a rookie that's played yet. To have Lexi here as my partner playing in this event, we did it back in the CVS Charity Classic and we had a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. We shot 63 the first day. So we have a good chance to compete out here and hopefully win.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, it's a huge honor for me being only the second woman who's played in it and following Annika, that's quite an honor. She's always been a role model of mine. And to get the invite from Greg Norman, that's pretty amazing. But to be here with Bryson and get paired up together again, it'll be a lot of fun.

DAVE SENKO: How did this all come together? I know you mentioned the CVS charity classic.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think Mr. Norman and then Bob Philion kind of had a hand in that. They're obviously tied with this tournament and they thought it'd be a good idea to do that.

Q. I guess what did you learn playing with each other at the CVS that you can apply this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I've never played with Bryson before before that week and just seeing his game, just the amount of talent. I obviously know he's very talented, but to see the shots that he can pull off and the distance that he has off the tee is pretty amazing. I mean, I saw some of the sickest golf shots around the green, it was unbelievable. There were definitely some good ones. But we learned each other's game and we just had fun out there and it'll definitely help out this week, I would think.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, just being comfortable with each other's game, especially hitting from the same tees and whatnot, is going to be huge. I think making sure this week we play the right shots off the tee. The right player plays off the right tee every once in a while. That's going to be a huge advantage. Well, I think looking at it that way, it's going to be an advantage for us and we can look at it as a disadvantage or an advantage, right? So what I'm trying to do, at least in this situation, what we're trying  well, what I think we can try to do is look at it as an advantage. Being able to say, hey, we're going to plan it out properly so if my wedge game's good, which I know it is, like I did at the CVS Charity Classic, I can get up and down from anywhere if that's an issue. But like hitting off the tee on 9 and 18, getting her down there where she has an iron in to play and knowing that from the CVS Charity Classic, what she can do, is actually going to be a benefit this week to us.

Q. Lexi, how much of an advantage, you've played here before, does that give you, just familiarity with the golf course itself?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I played here a few weeks ago, so just getting to know the golf course, and I've played here in years past as well. Just getting to know the greens and the different breaks and knowing the firmness of them. It's playing pretty similar, except the yardage. The yardage definitely is going to be playing a little different. And it all depends on how windy it gets, too. If it was the wind direction that it was today, it will definitely play a little bit longer on a few of those holes.

Q. What's the difference yardage-wise?

LEXI THOMPSON: I would say we played 65. I don't know what they're playing it this week.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think it's like 72, 71.

LEXI THOMPSON: Probably around there.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I have no idea. That may be completely wrong. Is it 73? Well, there you go.

LEXI THOMPSON: 65 to 73, so a little bit of a difference.

Q. Can you just share your opinions on an LPGA and PGA TOUR event teaming up to do like kind of a team event like this and the impact it would have on the game?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Personally I think it's awesome having a female compete on the PGA Tour. I don't think it's an issue. If she's long enough, she can perform. She has a great ability to hit her irons close to the pin. There's no reason why you shouldn't have that opportunity.

I know Annika did it and I think that Lexi has a great opportunity, especially playing in this event, to do it one day. I don't know if you want to or not. I think that would be pretty cool, I think. It's great to have some diversity and get some other things flowing so that we can get more attention on the PGA TOUR. That's what it's about, it's about growing the game and seeing other people, not just men can do it, too, at the highest level.

Q. Just following up on that, I know that's something Commissioner Whan has talked about as part of the alliance. When I talked to Brittany Lincicome about you playing, she was like, oh, yeah, when I grew up I used to be the standard bearer at the J.C. Penney Classic and I was looking forward to playing in it. Do you think just having an event like that where it's pretty much PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour for the whole field, not just here, and there would be something that ties into what you're just talking about?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I think it's a huge benefit. Anytime that you can have somebody from the other gender playing in the same field, I think that's not an issue at all. I love it. I think that's going to be great for the game.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I think so as well. To have a team event, golf is such an individual sport, which then if you bring men and women together as a team format, I think that will grow the game tremendously. It will grow a bigger fan base and grow a lot more hype for the tournament as well.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I also think for the LPGA as well, it's going to grow a lot of hype for that as well.

Q. Lexi, for you, what's the mood out here this week, is it business as usual or is it intimidating at all?

LEXI THOMPSON: The mood for me? I've been excited for this tournament ever since I got invited. I love coming here to Naples. I have a lot of family that comes over and watching me at the CME. To be here is obviously a huge honor, so I'm just going to go out there and try to enjoy it but play well, too. Definitely want to show that I've been working on my game and working hard.

Q. Bryson, just talk a little about the way you approach the game and where did that come from with the  I don't know, you know, this is a short press conference, but how did you learn how you could use what you do use and how you could apply it and make it work?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, so I found out on Craigs List actually  no, I'm just kidding. No, when I was growing up I loved math. My teachers saw that I loved math and they kept giving me harder and tougher problems in fifth and sixth grade, and I was always in the advanced stages of it. Kind of like a reader that's reading at the seventh or eighth grade level, they're always testing them and that's kind of the same thing that my elementary school teachers did for me and I just kept pursuing it. I love numbers, I love understanding things. Eventually got me to the point where as I was playing golf, I wanted to understand golf more, and as that played out, I started understanding that physics would allow me to understand the game a little bit better. Ever since then I've just been transitioning to trying to understand the game a lot more so I can play the game better, so I can have a better skill set, perform on the golf course.

Q. Lexi, what was it like playing with somebody like that at CVS and how's that going to be this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: I think Bryson knows I'm a little different than him on the golf course and how I think. I'm a feel player, I just go out there and just see my shots and just do it. I don't know.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It's not a bad way to do it. Either way.

LEXI THOMPSON: Everybody's different.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Everybody's different.

LEXI THOMPSON: Exactly. He's great at what he does and the way he does it obviously. Yeah, I just go out there. I know how he is, so I think we just know each other and play our own game and just root each other on.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, we root each other on and try to push each other to do better. That's honestly what it is in a team format. It's not about trying to change anybody or doing anything like that, it's about working together to perform at your highest potential and that's really what we're doing.

DAVE SENKO: Thank you.


About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 180 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California–based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $733 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016.
About The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
The Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples is renowned for its exceptional personalized service, inventive cuisine and luxurious accommodations, with panoramic views of the adjacent Greg Norman-designed Tiburón Golf Club. The 295-room Mediterranean-style resort, ranked as one of the top hotels in the U.S. by U.S. New & World Report is home to a pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman golf courses at Tiburón. The course is the host location for both the annual PGA TOUR Franklin Templeton Shootout, held in December and the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship, held in November.  

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