The Solheim Cup
County Meath, Ireland
Sept. 23, 2011
Day one notes and interviews
The 12th staging of The Solheim Cup teed off Friday morning at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland. The Alison Nicholas-led European Team took a 4 ½ to 3 ½ point lead over Rosie Jones and the U.S. Team following eight matches of play on a cold and windy day outside Dublin. The Europeans are looking to avenge three consecutive losses to the U.S. in Solheim Cup competition.
Friday morning Foursomes recap. The U.S. and European Teams battled to a 2-2 draw through the Friday morning Foursomes matches at The 2011 Solheim Cup. The American duo of Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie claimed the first point of the event with a 2&1 victory over Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist, but Europe struck back with a 3&2 win by Catriona Matthew and Azahara Munoz over Texans Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford. Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome defeated Karen Stupples and Mel Reid, 1 up, after winning three of their last four holes. In the morning’s final match, Suzann Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson defeated U.S. Assistant Captain Juli Inkster and Brittany Lang, 1 up, after Pettersen rolled in a birdie on the 18th hole.
Friday afternoon Four-Ball recap. Team Europe took control early on Friday afternoon, covering the scoreboard with European flags in every match. Caroline Hedwall and Sophie Gustafson gave Brittany Lincicome and Vicky Hurst a rude awakening with a 5&4 win to start the afternoon scoring. The tide started to turn for the Americans when Paula Creamer made birdie at 17 and Morgan Pressel made birdie at 18 to win 1 up over Mel Reid and Laura Davies to give the U.S. Team their first point of the afternoon. At nearly the same time, Christina Kim birdied 16 followed by a Ryann O’Toole birdie at 17 which led to a half point against Catriona Matthew and Sandra Gal when the teams split 18. Suzann Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist added a 1 up win over Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie to finish the scoring in what could have been a disastrous day for the U.S. Team. Europe leads the USA, 4 ½ to 3 ½, entering Saturday morning’s Foursomes matches at the 2011 Solheim Cup.
Of note… The U.S. and European Teams were tied after the first session for the first-ever time in 12 editions of The Solheim Cup… Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie are now 2-0 as a team in Solheim Cup foresomes play with both of their victories coming over the European team of Anna Nordqvist and Maria Hjorth (2011 – 2&1; 2009 – 1 up)… Kerr and Wie were the only duo to pair up twice on Friday in both Foursomes and Four-ball… Cristel Boeljon was the only player on either team who did not play a match on Friday… Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome are now 1-0-1 as a team in Solheim Cup play following their 1 up victory versus Karen Stupples and Mel Reid in foresomes play on Friday. They previously earned a half point in 2007 four-ball play… Long time friends Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer found themselves teamed together yet again in Friday afternoon’s four-ball match. The duo was previously teamed together at the 2007 Solheim Cup where they halved their match with Trish Johnson and Laura Davies. The duo took the lead early in their match, but needed clutch birdies at 17 and 18 to win 1 up today… Laura Davies needs a half point to tie Annika Sorenstam as all-time points leader in Solheim Cup history… Of the nine players who participated in both the morning and afternoon sessions, Paula Creamer, Sophie Gustafson, Catriona Matthew and Suzann Pettersen were undefeated… Pettersen is now tied with Beth Daniel for sixth all-time in Solheim Cup history with 13 ½ points scored.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome U.S. Captain Rosie Jones to the interview room. Europe currently leads 4 and a half to 3 and a half after the first day of play at the 2011 Solheim Cup. If you would, just give us a quick review of the day, and how you felt it went for the U.S. Team?
ROSIE JONES: I think it went really great both morning sessions and afternoon sessions. Well, the morning session started off pretty good, pretty fast for the U.S., but turned fairly blue midway through it.
And with a lot of heart my team came back. Team USA came back with some win good wins right towards the end there, and Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, they just played really great today and just kept the momentum going.
Both of those matches, and not only ‑‑ I know they weren't playing together, but those matches just meant a lot to be able to pull those out, because we were behind. They're our big players, and we need those players to win, so that was really important. It added motivation and momentum going into the afternoon.
Then it started to slip a little bit on that front nine and going into the back nine. It wasn't even until about 15, 16, 17 that Team USA started to come back and make a move. It was really, really exciting golf to watch. Ryann.
O'Toole played all day with Christina Kim, to watch Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel bring it in at the end and make those putts on the last 17th and 18th holes.
I just can't give these girls enough for digging it out when they really needed to to really be able to dig it out when they needed to. Even the last match that they lost, Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr were down 3 at one point, but they never gave up. Even when they were 3‑down, they still had the walk, they still had the talk, and they knew that they could possibly come back. It's that kind of fight that really makes this team great.
I'm really proud of the 3 and a half points that we have. I think it's a great start with day one. We did real well on foursomes this morning. It could be even better tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Can you take us through some of the groupings this afternoon? You put Paula and Morgan together, and they squeezed out the first point. Then I think Christina and Ryann pairing, second out turned a few heads in the media center, I know, and amongst the fans. Can you take us through those first two?
ROSIE JONES: Yeah, I'm really kind of surprised about that. You have two personalities, you know, kind of fire and trouble is their nickname. There's just a lot of energy there.
You put a new Solheim player, a rookie player in there with Christina Kim, you have to have the right kind of player that can play with Christina Kim and really exceed. I knew that Ryann had that personality that can go in there and fire each other up, bring it when they needed to, and they showed a lot of fight.
They were 2‑down going into 15, 16, and with the big birdie on 16 with Ryann, I mean, there's never any give up. In both of them, you could see it in them that they really believed in each other and they believed in this team and that's what's really important.
THE MODERATOR: And Paula and Morgan birdied 17 and 18 to pull out a point. Can you just talk about that match?
ROSIE JONES: Yeah that's at the point when we're like totally down and blue, the whole board was looking blue. You know, those guys play together a lot. They're good friends. You know they're never going to let each other down or give up on each other, and that was really, really fun to watch them. Paula to make that putt on 17, and then Morgan pretty much outdrive everybody on 18, which is incredible and stick it in there and make that 20‑25 footer for birdie.
That's what these kids have. They never say no. They don't give up. They fight to the end, and it's really what's fun about this competition.
Q. Even though Europe lead after day one, you could have had a whitewash loss in both sessions. You were three and a half to a half down in the advanced stage of the foursomes, and down in all four matches in the afternoon. Do you think psychologically the American team might be a lot happier tonight because you're bang and touch, and Europe missed the chance to take a big lead?
ROSIE JONES: Well, it's not over until it's over. That's why they put all 18 holes up in there. Even though you can be 1 or 2‑down going around, you have to play yourself all the way around. And that's why I give this team so much credit is because they don't give up, they don't like to lose. They know that there's a certain amount of golf that you have to play, and sometimes it's the clutch that wins it.
You come down to the end like that, we just showed a lot of heart, a lot of heart today when we needed it.
Q. Over the last three Solheim Cups, I think it's 24‑12 to the United States in singles. So the more you keep it within range going into those singles, do you feel you have an advantage even if you trail by two points, three points?
ROSIE JONES: Absolutely. The last two Solheim Cups, I believe, at least in 2005 when I was there, and in 2009, I know were both even going into the last day of singles. And we do have a really good record in singles. So that's always ‑‑ yeah. I want to be up. I don't want to have to look for a cushion.
I'm not really comfortable being behind at all with this team. This is a strong team. We're on a very long golf course. There are a lot of heavy hitters there that are playing really well. I want to be right with them and leading going into Sunday because you never know what's going to happen.
Q. Can you just give us an idea how inexperienced your team are in those sort of conditions?
ROSIE JONES: Well, our players play in a lot of weather. They play year round over in the States and we play in the northern part of the country in Canada. Even though we haven't played recently in a lot of bad weather or cold weather, they do have several tournaments where they're putting on layers and playing. It just probably hasn't been recently because it's just finishing the summer season.
But I think the coldest weather they probably played in was at the British Open when they were here, and there were a couple of days we were putting gloves on and stocking hats.
That's what I love about this team. They don't complain, not one complaint today. Oh, it's raining when they went to go warm up, or it's going to be windy.
I told everybody that was teeing off in the afternoon, it's going to be really windy this afternoon, knuckle down, be patient, stick to your shots, commit to those shots. Don't get carried away with a couple of bad shots. They're going to happen.
You know, they just stuck with their game and kept believing in themselves and they were able to turn around, weather‑permitting, they were right there with the Europeans.
Q. Christina and Ryann weren't showing particularly good recent form. So was there anything that you communicated to them coming here?
ROSIE JONES: Well, I've been talking with Ryann quite a bit, because I know she's been under a lot of pressure, a lot of scrutiny since the pick. You know, I know that she has ‑‑ I know that she has a lot of talent. I know that she was lacking a little confidence.
We've had some conversations in the past couple of weeks about that, and I knew, and I was pretty confident that once she got here and felt this team camaraderie, the support system that comes with Team USA, that she would feel pretty comfortable and able to really just let it happen and be that player. This is the type of stage that she enjoys. She likes to be up front in a big arena. It's suitable for her.
She still looks humble in that, but she's handling it, and she did a great job today. Really, really fun to see a new Solheim player come out and hang tough and really play well in their first round of golf in the Solheim Cup.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on your 1‑up victory today. Morgan, great birdie on the 18th hole. If you guys would, quickly take us through the day from start to finish, and most notably, your match this afternoon. Paula?
PAULA CREAMER: The morning match or just this match?
THE MODERATOR: Just the whole day.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Um, well, we got off to a good start. Both matches we were up early. It was a definite four seasons out there, that's for sure. I mean, it was so windy when we made the turn at the turn of the second match. It was a completely different golf course. It was like when we went out and practiced one windy day here.
But I played great. I played great both matches, made a lot of really good putts. It's fun when you have two different partners and both are your good friends. Watching the putt on 18 was pretty much one of the highlights of the day for me.
THE MODERATOR: Morgan, can you take us through the 18th hole? You set yourself up and then you had the opportunity to win it. What was that putt like? What was that hole like?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, it was kind of funny, because when we walked up to the fairway, I hit it past both of them, well, all three of them. I hit it past you too (laughing).
PAULA CREAMER: Thanks.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I looked at Laura, and I said, Laura, you better watch out. Don't mind my golf ball way ahead of yours. I had a chance. They both hit a good shots. I didn't hit necessarily a great shot, but I gave myself a putt.
In match play they say first one in. And Paula hit a good putt down there for par, so I knew I could give it a run, and it went in. It was my turn to contribute.
THE MODERATOR: Given the amount of blue that was on the scoreboard all day, how nice did it feel to get that point for the U.S.?
PAULA CREAMER: It was very important. Both times I told Morgan walking to 17, I was 1‑down. I said we're not losing. We're halving. Obviously, you want a win, but a halve is just as big as a win.
When we got up on to the 17th green, we saw Michelle and Cristie fought back to All Square, and we said we'll do the same thing here, and we did. The putt on 18 to get a full point was huge.
Q. Did you think it was rather a good match the way it ended?
PAULA CREAMER: Laura played great. I haven't seen Laura make so many putts today. It was fun to watch L.D. play well, too, because everything she did, she did well. We had to make birdies on top of birdies. It was a good match.
That front nine, either way, it could have gone ‑‑ it was just overall, like I said ‑‑ and Melissa played really well, too. When she had to, she made some really big putts.
Q. So it was a very big match to win against those two?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, of course. Laura is the queen of Solheim. She's the person that her team looks up to and you see that. It's a big match. It's always, especially being first out too. You kind of set the pace.
Q. You've obviously got a very good record in Solheim Cup, but your putting today was sensational. Would that rank as one of your better days of putting?
PAULA CREAMER: It was a great day. I made putts when I had to, whether it was in the morning for big par putts or this afternoon when I had to make a birdie on top of a birdie.
And that's the Solheim. When you have to do it, you grind it out no matter what. You find it inside of you to make it.
Q. What was the crowd like today, and secondly, is the weather an advantage for Europe, do you think?
PAULA CREAMER: For Europe? Oh, yes. We don't play with mittens. We don't do any of that kind of stuff. Constantly taking jacket on and off, swinging in layers. We don't have that really, so it is an advantage to them, especially playing in the wind. We don't really do that that much either, these kind of shots.
The crowd was great. Early on, there was a lot going on. I think that everybody was very respectful for both teams. I've said that coming into this week. The people here in Ireland are great. They love golf. They love watching good golf.
Europe obviously has the advantage of being here at home or being on home soil, but our USA fans were right there with them, chanting against them, which is great to hear for us.
Q. Just wondered if you guys have any idea why the pace of play was so slow?
PAULA CREAMER: Because it's blowing I think 35 miles per hour and there's lots of decisions to be made. Unfortunately, we've been battling that this whole year, slow play. I think we all need to be a little bit harder on each other and say, hey, got to pick it up.
But we want it so bad we're not going to make a mistake, because we're trying to play a little bit faster, but the pace is a little bit too slow.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think we played in 5:20 this afternoon, a foursome.
PAULA CREAMER: That's a normal threesome for us.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think that's pretty quick, especially in these conditions. I was actually surprised when we got to 18, and it was only 5:20, I thought it was actually longer than that. But it's because you're out there for so long, the wind takes a lot out of you.
Q. Can you just tell me about the day?
VICKY HURST: Long day. Brittany and I we started out good, like ham and egging it kind of for the first couple of holes. Made a couple of good putts, hit some great shots, both of us.
But I mean, they were just ‑ Caroline and Sophie ‑ they were a great team. I don't know how many birdies they made. They made some awesome clutch putts. But that's the way it goes, I guess.
Q. So it's your first match at Solheim?
VICKY HURST: Yeah, it was awesome. The first tee was awesome. It was a great experience. I got off the tee on the fairway, so I was happy about that, so it was very exciting. It was a great moment, I think. So, yeah.
CHRISTINA KIM: Between the two groups there were 13 birdies out there if I'm not mistaken. There is no question that Ryann is extremely talented. She proved herself at the U.S. Open. She proved herself in Portland.
And, you know, she's just a little rookie. She's just a baby. So we played together in some of the practice rounds, and she strikes it. There is no question about it. Me, it's Solheim, baby.
RYANN O'TOOLE: No, you've got to give this one credit, because without her I wouldn't have played as loose as I was and as energetic, and really getting into every birdie putt, every good shot hit. She was there when I fell.
CHRISTINA KIM: You never fell. Look at you, you can't fall, stone body.
RYANN O'TOOLE: I went into the bunker, but this one's steady. She put it on the green and allowed me to go. Kind of being the last one to hit sometimes and having her secure the pars, it makes it a lot easier for me to swing away.
CHRISTINA KIM: I didn't do that on the first though.
RYANN O'TOOLE: You were good.
RYANN O'TOOLE: I don't know how a Solheim rookie plays. I just know how to play my game. I don't remember those three missed cuts. I just know what's here, how I'm playing, what just happened and what's in front of me. You can't ever live in the past like that and dwell on it, otherwise you'll not move forward.
Q. Can you talk about the putt on 17?
CHRISTINA KIM: I misread it.
RYANN O'TOOLE: 17, I think part of me knows it's do or die, and if we're going to have a chance at winning this match, you know, I had to make it.
I was surprised at my shot into the green. I thought the wind was blowing significantly right to left and it was turning. It just held and decided to straighten out. So the fact that it held out there, I don't know. Good figure. I ended up making the putt.
CHRISTINA KIM: Go big or go home.
RYANN O'TOOLE: You've kind of got to take it as it lies and go from there. But I hit the perfect putt and it crept over the edge, so I couldn't have done it over.
Q. And you couldn't watch on the last hole.
RYANN O'TOOLE: I couldn't watch her (Sandra Gal) putt on the last hole. She got too close on 17, so I couldn't see it drop if it was going to. She's a good player, and a good putter, and she was clutch when Catriona was making it.
CHRISTINA KIM: My two bad shots, four rounds for four holes. That's impressive.
RYANN O'TOOLE: I have to give her credit, and think that she's going to make it.
Q. Did you watch the screen and watch Paula and Melissa (Reid)?
CHRISTINA KIM: I heard the point being won, and that was an incredible experience. I know that the girls were very quickly up, they were leveled and they got down. You had to fight, and you've got two of the most incredible golfers that you could have on your team in Paula and Morgan. They're an incredible partner. They've got an incredible partnership.
They're such close friends and they can read each other. They know each other so well. They're such fierce competitors. Both are championship winners you knew they were not going to go down without a Solheim fight.
Q. Do you want the same pairing together?
CHRISTINA KIM: I would love that. I'll be playing better tomorrow.
RYANN O'TOOLE: She handles me well.
CHRISTINA KIM: She's easy to deal with. Are you kidding? Look at these dimples.
Q. Talk about your day.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, we fought hard. You know, we got off to a rough start, and just couldn't really seem to get any momentum. And then all of a sudden they missed their par putts on 10, and it was like go time.
I almost made a long putt on 11, and almost made eagle on 12. We got back to level, and we never got up in the match. That was kind of the difference. We had a chance to tie it on the last hole, but it was a lot to ask to make a chip and a putt from that length in the dark. So, you know, we fought our heart out.
You know, but our team, you know, we got one and a half points out of the afternoon when it looked like it was kind of all blue up there. We have to take that into tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Welcome the European Solheim Cup Captain Alison Nicholas. Obviously the European team is leading by one point going into the second day. Could you just give us a quick review of the day and how you feel it went for the team?
ALI NICHOLAS: Yeah, you know, I'm really pleased. The players played with passion and a purpose I can only say well done to them. They absolutely entertained from start to finish, and I'm exhausted.
Long day, tough conditions with the wind. It was gusting a lot, and they fought hard with passion.
Q. Can you tell us about the play of Hedwall today? What did you think of that?
ALI NICHOLAS: Oh, yeah, great play. She played really, really well. You know, such a natural golfer. She's obviously set up this morning and went out firing on all cylinders this afternoon. She's brilliant to see. She's just a huge talent. I know she's got a great future in the game. This is her first year as a pro, and wonderful to see.
Q. Suzann said earlier that everything she saw today reinforced her opinion that Europe can win the Solheim Cup. Would you go along with that?
ALI NICHOLAS: Absolutely, yeah. All my players are up for it, and they're playing well. Suzann this morning, that putt on the last was truly, was class, you know. Quality personified, and a tough putt as well.
She had the hardest putt of the two down the hill, left‑to‑right slider. She's thought I've not holed one all day, so maybe this will be the one. And I had a little bit of a spit. I jumped up in the air rather high, actually (laughing). I think I got ‑‑ I got scared of heights when I leaped up that high. But, no, it was awesome. Fantastic stuff.
Q. (Indiscernible) was the only player that didn't play today. Can you give us the reason and don't you think it's going to mess up her confidence a little bit?
ALI NICHOLAS: I hope not. We're a team. It's never about one individual. It's about matching those pairings and getting experienced players to play with rookies. So it was just unfortunate, but she'll play tomorrow at some point. I know that she can go out there and play to her best.
Q. For all the satisfaction, is there any frustration that the margin of your lead could have been greater?
ALI NICHOLAS: Could have, would have, fantastic words, but you can't change anything. They tried their best, and that's all they can do. They gave a hundred. You can't change. You can't go back into the past. You stay where you are and we look forward. That's golf. And that's these conditions. It was tough out there.
Q. Can I ask about the mindset of Melissa Reid? She had a couple of disappointments today, and then 2‑up after 14 in the foursomes, and then 1‑up on the 17th tee in the evening. I mean, it's two pretty chastening losses, really?
ALI NICHOLAS: I wouldn't be that hard on someone like that, no. I think you're being a bit hard on her. She tried her best. She gave a hundred, and that's all she can do. I'm happy with her.
I think she's a great team member, and I'm sure she'll come out fighting back from those. She's a great kid. So give her some slack.
Q. Maria Hjorth didn't play this afternoon, and I know she's been having a cold. How is she, and why didn't you play her in the afternoon?
ALI NICHOLAS: Because everyone's got to rest. You can't play five matches around this golf course, I don't believe. I think it's a tough test. The conditions are tough, and it's tiring. We need to pace ‑‑ I need to pace my players.
Q. How is she? Is she better?
ALI NICHOLAS: She's fine.
Q. Sophie had a problem with her knee. Is she okay?
ALI NICHOLAS: Yeah, it was just the strapping. I mean, she has a strapping on her knee most weeks, and I think one of the ‑‑ on the left side it had come off and it was rubbing against the leg and causing some problems on the trousers, so they had to sort it down and restrap it.
Q. Can you give us a word about the crowd today and the atmosphere?
ALI NICHOLAS: It was great. I love the European fans to scream a little bit more. I do feel that they're a little bit shy, and I'd like them to really start being more vocal. I think, I don't know, it's maybe our nature in Europe and in this country to be a little bit shy, and I want them to come out of themselves and shout and scream for Europe a little bit more because I'm not hearing enough of that.
This is a home match. So I want to encourage everyone to scream and shout for Europe and give us some more oomph in the voice. We need some decibels out there.
Q. It looked as if the luck of the Irish seemed to be with the Americans today, holing some of these monster putts holing some of these monster putts. Do you think tomorrow you want some of that luck to come back to the European side, because a lot of European putts just slid by?
ALI NICHOLAS: Yeah, it's just golf. The Americans are good players. They do hole putts. We've holed probably our fair share as well. But hopefully we can hole a few more tomorrow. You know, I'm not sure it's necessarily luck, but it's a bit of skill attached to it as well.
Q. We saw some balls go into the water on the 12th. Is there especially tricky wind there's? Can you explain that?
ALI NICHOLAS: I didn't actually go down the 12th, so I can't help you on that one, didn't see the shots.
Q. Will we know your pairings for tomorrow?
ALI NICHOLAS: I can't announce them now. You'll have to go through Bethan.
BETHAN CUTLER: We'll print them out straight after this.
Q. You said that Mel can't be blamed because she gave it her best. But she had two very different conclusions to her matches. The Americans beat them in the afternoon, whereas the English probably beat themselves in the morning. What do you say to her after matches like that to sort of pep up her spirits again?
ALI NICHOLAS: Well, I saw her in the locker room, and she seemed perfectly fine. All you can do is look forward and ahead. You can't dwell on yesterday or today, because it's over, it's finished, it's done. You know, the most important thing for her is to focus on the next two days.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us, Caroline. Congratulations on your excellent 5‑4 victory with Sophie today. Can you just tell us how important that point on the board was for you?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, of course, it gives me a lot of self‑confidence coming into the rest of the week. It was just a great win. I think we both played really well, and that's good.
THE MODERATOR: What do you think that says about you in your debut appearance and the way you played today?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, I just loved the moment. It's been so much fun, and I'm just really enjoying myself out there. And I think that's why I can play so well. It's just great.
THE MODERATOR: An all‑Swedish pairing, how was it playing with Sophie?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: It was great. I think we have a similar game. Like I said, I think we played really well both of us, and that makes us a really good team.
Q. When did you know you were going to play this afternoon? When did Alison tell you?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, Ali told me to prepare and warm up, but I didn't know who I was going to play with until like 11:30 or something.
Q. What did you think of the pace of play?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: It was pretty slow, for sure. But we had a lot of rulings out there, and Sophie had to take some medical time off at number 7, because I think her knee was ‑‑ she wasn't feeling good in her knee, obviously.
So that's why we were behind a little bit. But we caught up, but it was still pretty slow.
Q. Could you tell us about how you felt on the first tee?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, of course, I was very nervous, but I really love those situations. I just enjoy it so much. Just I hit a good drive on the fairway, so that was nice.
Q. Can you just give us an idea of the atmosphere and the fans and the noises that are going around?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: It's just a great atmosphere. I love playing, and the crowd, they're so good. It's so much fun to play.
Q. Have you played in front of a crowd as noisy and supportive as that before?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: No, never.
Q. How did you deal with it then? How did you cope?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I just think it's so much fun, and I enjoy it, so it's not very hard to cope.
Q. Have you a personal shot of the day?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: That would probably be my hybrid on number ‑‑ the one before we finished, number 13. It was just such a good shot to that pin, too.
Q. What was the distance that you had?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I think it was like 170 meters.
Q. Is that how far you normally hit the hybrid?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: No, it was a pretty strong wind, into the wind, but it was a good hybrid.
Q. Congratulations, what a wonderful victory the pair of you. Rookie game for you, Caroline, but you didn't look like a rookie out there?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I don't know. I just tried to play my game, and we had a lot of fun out there, and we played well, both of us. It was a good win.
Q. With such a large victory, it must be beyond your expectations?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, I think we have a good team, and I think Sophie and I make a good pair. I'm not surprised we won.
Q. Talking about the margin of victory, but 2 points out of 2 today for your partner. She's taken some part in what's looking like a very decent leaderboard right now?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Oh, yeah, it's looking great. I hope we can continue to play well.
Q. So you think maybe you can increase the lead and get a bit more for you?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Yeah, of course. Tomorrow's a new day, and hopefully we can play well tomorrow too.
Q.How did you feel out there?
SANDRA GAL: I felt really good, actually. Having Catriona by my side gives me a lot of calmness and confidence because you know you can rely on her. And I think we played really well together. She made birdies, and I didn't play that well, and I made birdies and she didn't have a good hole. So I think it was a good match up.
Q. Catriona, to be fair, there must have been seven or eight birdies in that game on both sides. It was a hell of game and a tough afternoon, as well, wasn't it?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, in these conditions, I think we birdied every hole on the front nine. Yeah, I mean a halve match. They birdied 16, 17, obviously, we were disappointed being 2‑up with three to go.
But to make birdies on tricky holes like 16, there's not much you can do. I think Sandra played really well today, like she said, and I played not too badly on the front and kind of crumbled. And she helped me on the back.
Q. Like you say, there is not much you can do when they make birdies coming in, is there?
SANDRA GAL: No, I don't feel we lost the match. It was just a good game, good golf. And that's the result and we'll take it.
THE MODERATOR: We have Suzann Pettersen and Anna Nordqvist who just won 2‑up against Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie, earning one point for the European team. That was a pretty exciting afternoon, wasn't it? Would you like to start, Suzann, just your comments on your round this afternoon?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's been a long day, a lot of golf being played. It feels longer when you have to go through 18 both rounds. Very happy I had Super Anna on my side this afternoon. We went off to a very good start, kind of dropped down low for a little bit there halfway through, and then Anna made a fantastic last couple holes.
So I think it was a great team effort. I think the team was in good shape.
THE MODERATOR: Anna, you must be pleased with your performance today as well.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, absolutely. The afternoon match definitely gave us, the team, some momentum going into tomorrow. It was a fight out there. It was tough conditions. It's been a long day, so I think everyone is tired. It was just a matter of trying to hang in there at the end.
THE MODERATOR: What are your thoughts on the overall score line at the moment going into the second day?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Obviously, it's exciting. I think we came off to a good start. Everyone is in a good mood and can't wait for the weekend.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Our goal is to win every day, and we won today. That's a good start.
Q. From what you've seen today, does that reinforce your belief that Europe can win this Solheim Cup?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Absolutely. I think it was great a few of the rookies got out today. Caroline Hedwall and Sophie had a brilliant performance. It was nice to see Sandra Gal get her half point, and then I think Mel Reid and Laura kind of felt robbed there on the last from what I've heard.
ANNA NORDQVIST: And Aza won this morning. So I think we've had a good day, and I think Ali should be very, very pleased.
Q. At one point there was so much blue on the board this afternoon and in the space of half an hour it all changed. Were you conscious of this happening?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, not really. I saw there was a lot of blue. But knowing all these Americans, they're always managing to turn it around and sneak in a point here and there. Like I said, it doesn't matter what your teammates are doing, you've got to try to get your point and that's all you can do. Hopefully, they can take care of their business.
It's obviously nice to see blue on the board, but the points. You don't count the points until the match is over. I think we should be very happy with these conditions to actually play this well and get our fair share of points.
Q. Can you tell us about how the captains have been coaching you out there today during your play?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I mean, they've been coming up to us and I think just trying to keep us in a good mood. They have such big hearts and great fighting spirits. You see them out there, they smile, and you just want to fight even harder for the team.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You should see Ali when your match is going downhill or you start looking like it's coming to an end, and it's just enough to see her. She doesn't have to say anything, and that's inspiration enough.
When you see her, she's there for a reason. No words needed.
Q. What was the atmosphere like in terms of the crowds, the spectators, first Solheim Cup to start off?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: They were a bit quiet to start off this morning, well, obviously, 7:40, I don't know if I would have been here if I was in the crowd at 7:40.
I'm very, very pleased to see that many people come out. I guess this is a lovely day in Ireland. It hasn't rained, so, it can't get much better.
But it was a great atmosphere there during the end of the first rounds early on, and then all afternoon. It looked like it was packed, so fantastic to see.
Q. Can you just tell me about the day?
LAURA DAVIES: They played pretty well. I didn't play particularly well, and that was the difference.
Q. How do you feel going into the rest of the week?
LAURA DAVIES: It's going to be pretty close by the looks of it. Possibly going to be ‑‑ it looks like we might take a slight lead at the moment, but we'll see what happens.
Morning foursome interviews
Rosie Jones – U.S. Captain
Q. Interesting match, Cristie.
CRISTIE KERR: It was. We got off to a great start, and then they came back, and you know, holing out the bunker shot on 9 was so key for us.
It kind of got the momentum swinging in the right way, it went back their way, and we ended up getting it back.
Q. What do you say about your partner? Not only the bunker shot at 9, but a couple holes before that she was dead and just over the hazard on the par‑5 and hit a great shot in which you made a clutch putt?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think we work really well as a team. We hit shots and ‑‑ it's not going to go the way we want to always. But if she (Inaudible), obviously, we work well together.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, you have to do that. It's a difficult format. It's easy to try too hard and you have to remind yourself to just try the right amount and we did that.
MICHELLE WIE: It feels great. We had red going on the leaderboard, and I told Cristie, we're not going to let the red color go. We hung in there today. They put up a really good fight and we got lucky.
Q. There were shifts in momentum. Cristie, your bunker shot at 9, talk us through that.
CRISTIE KERR: I just knew with them being left of the green that we had to get that up‑and‑down. We couldn't really let it slip. (Inaudible) so I was able to pull that one out.
Q. Talk about Cristie's putt (Inaudible).
MICHELLE WIE: Stuff like that really helps. We work it out where I kind of get most of the irons. If I put it on the green, doesn't matter if it's 50 feet away or whatever, she'll make it. (Inaudible) so there are a couple of par‑5s, I guess, I can hit it a long way.
CRISTIE KERR: We ham and egg it.
Q. Did you get as much of a buzz out of this as you ever have being your seventh time?
CRISTIE KERR: It's my sixth time. Thank you. Not quite Juli Inkster yet. Yeah, always. This is an amazing tournament. The Solheim Cup and the Solheim family, they do so much for women's golf.
Q. How important was it, do you think, to get the momentum going?
CRISTIE KERR: Very important. You know, I think it sends a message to our team that we're ready to play, ready to come out here. All of the matches are going to be tough, but to get the first point is great.
Q. Which hole was the key hole for you today?
CRISTIE KERR: That hole‑out on the 9th hole, that was huge. That was a long bunker shot too, so, so unexpected, I'm sure, from the other team and from ourselves. You know, so to make that really was a shift in the momentum.
Q. What were your feelings after 15 going back after having the game for the match for a few holes?
MICHELLE WIE: It was frustrating. We played so well early on. Lost it, got up two again, lost it. We just kept patient. I think that was the key word out there, just not get ahead of ourselves. We just kind of grinded it out.
Q. What are you going to do now? Just take a bit of rest?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, going to try to rest and see what the captain has planned for the afternoon matches for us, because I'm not sure I really know quite what's going on yet with everybody else. I think I'm going out. We'll see.
Q. How do you think you played coming from the first hole, kind of a shaky start? You were struggling to get back on.
ANNA NORDQVIST: I think that we put pressure on them all the time, and we weren't really able to make the putts, the momentum putts. But I think we played great. They managed to have the luck on their side today.
Q. The weather held out for you. Are you happy with that?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, it's been great. The weather's been great and good conditions, good scoring conditions.
Q. Anything you have to work on for the rest of today?
ANNA NORDQVIST: No, absolutely not. The game is right there. So I just hope to play this afternoon and we'll see where it goes.
Q. Rest of the matches seem to be going well. So what do you think?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I think Europe's off to a good start, so that's all you can do.
Q. How impressed were you with Azahara's play?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, fantastic. You would have never known it was her first Solheim Cup. I missed a couple greens and she chipped them in, and kind of kept it pretty steady on the greens and that's what we had to do today.
Q. Obviously, helpful to have an experienced partner alongside you. What sort of things did she say to you as you were teeing off in the first place?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Our first hole was a little shaky.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Obviously not the right things.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: No, she just told me just keep it quiet. It's just one hole and keep it going.
Q. What are your thoughts on this afternoon? Do you know if you're playing?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I don't know yet.
Q. A little change in format from foursomes where you try to make a lot of pars, to then playing four balls and trying to make a lot of birdies?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, this afternoon we'll be a lot more aggressive, and this morning we were just trying to hit the greens and make pars, but we'll need to make birdies this afternoon.
Q. How did you feel this morning when you teed off?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: You know what, I thought I was going to be more nervous. I didn't play good my first hole, but I wasn't that nervous.
I actually quite liked the environment, like people cheering your name and saying Europe, so I was enjoying it.
Q. Have you ever played in any atmosphere like this before?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Not quite like this, not even close.
Q. And do you know if you're playing this afternoon?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: No, we don't know yet. It depends on how the morning goes.
Q. Topsy‑turvy game. Where do you think it all went wrong?
KAREN STUPPLES: It was those last two holes. Neither one of us hit the fairway on 17 and 18, and when we missed the fairway, we were completely ‑‑ I mean, there is no other way to describe it. It was just (Indiscernible), really.
I mean, it was unlucky. Mel's ball was unplayable at 17, and my drive ended up unplayable on 18. It was like you had no shot. You've hit a decent drive, it deserves to be at least playable, and that's really what happened. This 18th pin here is really quite stupid, So I don't know what that's all about.
Q. What are your thoughts for this afternoon? Where can you improve?
KAREN STUPPLES: For me, I don't know if I'm playing yet, but, if I am, I'm just going to keep playing how I'm playing, because to be quite honest with you I'm playing quite good, so what can you do? It's just golf.
Q. Is there any particular hole or group of holes maybe that's going to be a game changer in these three days?
KAREN STUPPLES: The last few holes. You've got 15, 16, 17 and 18, obviously that's the ticket. But you've got to play solid to get to them. Yeah, but you don't know what's going to happen, obviously, as this match proved.
KAREN STUPPLES: Yeah, it was. It was a good match. We got really unlucky on those last few holes to be quite honest with you. You miss the fairway by a little bit, and you have an unplayable lie. Yeah, it's a bit lucky.
Q. You were looking 2‑up through 4, and you saw the winner’s line coming up (Indiscernible).
KAREN STUPPLES: Of course it's frustrating. You have to try ‑‑ you know, we made a great par on 16, and then only to get really unlucky on 17. Not only with the shot to the tee, but then to go ahead and plug in the bunker then after that, too. You really have no shot to do from there.
And then here, again, you're on the fairway, and it's almost unplayable. What do you do? That's just frustrating. Yeah, luckily, we've still got more matches still to go.
Q. Finally (Indiscernible)?
KAREN STUPPLES: We both played really solid. It's just the nature of the game, and the foursome this week is particularly tricky. We can't beat ourselves up too much. We've just got to keep going.
Q. What a finish, Paula and Brittany. It was a really good finish, really good two holes. Were you expecting something like that?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, we're always trying to win our match out there, and just trying to get a halve. It was a crazy last couple of holes, but we just told ourselves even if we get a halve, that's all we're trying to do is get back.
We watched it go to 1, then all square, and to walk away with a win, we'll take it any day.
Q. How difficult were the conditions today, Brittany?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: They were pretty difficult. A lot of holes that played into the wind are crazy long. Even being one of the longer hitters out there, we had some long shots into those greens. It was playing tough out there, so hopefully the wind will calm down this afternoon.
Q. Do you know if you're going to play this afternoon?
PAULA CREAMER: I don't know. I haven't talked to the captain yet, but, hopefully. We'll see what happens.
Either way, we're pulling for USA. If we're out there, we're going to grind it out, if we're not, we're going to be pulling for them.
Q. We're here with Paula and Brittany, a 1‑up victory. Wow, what a match that was to watch and it had to be to play. Bang‑bang right out of the gate, and then what?
PAULA CREAMER: I know, my goodness, we did. We started off really strong with a good par on the first hole. But we grinded it.
It was a great match. Karen and Melissa were hitting some good shots and we were just scrambling for our pars. We came out on top. The last holes made us all look crazy, but it was a very good match.
Q. How much did you glean, Brittany, on the scoreboards out there? I know I saw Paula in your ear walking right close to you. What were you talking about between you and looking at the boards?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: She's very good at keeping me calm and kind of keeping me in the moment and not getting ahead of myself. We got down there for a bit, and she was just really good at pumping me back up when I needed it.
We saw the leaderboard, and every time we saw some red, it pumped us up a little bit more. But then there was a lot of blue. We just kind of fed off each other to play well out there today.
Q. Was there a key moment, Paula? It seemed like maybe the first clutch putt that went in seemed to be the one that really got you both going. Is that accurate?
PAULA CREAMER: I agree. I think so. After 12, we got away with a halve there. And we were just thinking, okay, we've got this many left. 13, do something on 13, and got that par‑3. I could hit a good iron.
But just, honestly, we're a good team with each other. We just kept saying, We're going to do this. We're going to do this even if it's a halve.
I guess that's the experience part of Solheim, a halve say big thing, and we came out with a point, which is even crazier. But that's match play.
Q. Brittany, Paula, great win. Obviously couple holes to play and the points were in the balance, but you pulled it through. How are you feeling?
PAULA CREAMER: Feeling really good. We definitely fed off each other's energy throughout those last couple holes and rallied back really well.
Q. And you've played one, I think, you've played one four ball match before. This is the first foursome you played. Were you surprised to be paired together or was this something you expected?
PAULA CREAMER: No, we've played so much together these last several weeks, it was bound to happen this week. We've played a lot of junior golf together. We've been in a lot of Solheim Cups together, so we know each other's game.
It was a good match. It's unfortunate this last hole made everybody look a little bit silly, but Karen and Melissa played great. We had to grind it out out there. And Brittany and I, like she said, we just tried as hard as we could. It's never over until it's over.
Q. You're obviously good friends. Do you expect to play a few more games together?
PAULA CREAMER: You never know.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, we'll see.
Q. Juli, Brittany, commiseration. That was one hard-fought match.
JULI INKSTER: It was. It’s tough to lose on 18, especially when your partner puts it in there. But we fought all day. I didn't hit my irons that great. Brittany drove the ball awesome. I was able to chip and putt a little bit and help the team out. But, you know, it's match play in a Solheim Cup.
Q. Brittany, what did you make of it in terms of conditions and the crowd and so on?
BRITTANY LANG: Oh, it was fantastic. Equal fans on both sides, so it was really good. Conditions were pretty good today. It wasn't too windy early on. It's still playing a little long, but, yeah, it was good out there.
Q. The sun even came out for you.
BRITTANY LANG: I know, it did quite a bit. It warmed up and it was a nice day.
Q. I suppose if you are going to lose a match, to lose to a birdie like that on 18, it probably doesn't ease the pain at all, does it?
BRITTANY LANG: No.
JULI INKSTER: No, it doesn't ease the pain. But she made a great putt. That's why she's Suzann Pettersen.
Q. How do you feel going into the afternoon?
ROSIE JONES: I think we had a good showing this morning, we had a little scary board there for a little while, but our girls hung tough and came back on one match and almost won that last match which we ended up losing, but it was pretty good. Really good. Showed a lot of heart there, so that's a good sign.
Q. Rosie, what was your strategy for the afternoon pairing?
ROSIE JONES: You know, we're getting our players out there that haven't played yet. I really want to get those new Solheim players out there, and let them hit away out here.
It's going to be a tough afternoon. It's going to get windy and be a tough golf course. We've got some length out there, but I've paired them up with in some gals that I felt like are good, solid fairway players. You know, just going to see how it goes.
Topics: Notes and Interviews