The Solheim Cup
County Meath, Ireland
Sept. 21, 2011
Red, White and Favored?The 2011 Solheim Cup is set to kick off this Friday and if history is any indication as to how this week will unfold, Team USA might be poised to bring the cup back to the U.S. Talk this week has centered around who the favorite is, and while players from both teams are claiming to be the underdogs, history leans toward the U.S. Team as having the advantage.
The Solheim Cup began in 1990 at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida pitting the United States vs. Europe in head-to-head competition. The U.S. Team has had the upper hand over Europe winning eight out of the 11 Solheim Cups played including the last three consecutive years. The last time Europe hoisted the cup in the closing ceremonies was 2003 when they defeated the U.S. 17 ½ to 10 ½.
The largest margin of victory for Team USA came in the inaugural 1990 event when they defeated Europe 11 ½ to 4 ½.
Rosie readies. Of all her experiences as a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team – seven appearances, an 11-9-2 record, sinking the winning putt in 2002 – being the Captain ranks at the top for Rosie Jones. “This week is really something special. I've been working on it for the last two years, and you know that every single thing that's happening around the team… you've had some part of doing it.” From pairings, to speeches, to making sure her rookies are ready for battle, Jones has plenty on her mind as she readies her team for what is expected to be a tough fight
Ask the Captains: Who is the favorite this week?
Rosie Jones: Well, I think both teams are very strong. There is a lot of depth on both sides of the cup. Any time you're going overseas, you feel like you're at a disadvantage because of the crowds and the amount of fans the Europeans can have, and the momentum that the Europeans can gain from those crowds. But you also ‑‑ but we're confident. We feel we've won here in 2007. We've won here another time when I was on the team in, I think, '96, and there is a possibility. There is always that possibility. But we don't come in here, looking better on paper, assuming that we can win.
Alison Nicholas: Yeah, I think we've got a strong team. We've got some very, very good players. We've got nine wins this year from my team. And I think we have got a team that has strength and depth. But I would never underestimate the Americans, because I still, on paper in the world rankings, we are the underdogs slightly. So we never underestimate them because they're very competitive, and they've got a very, very good side.
Match-Play Queen… The “Pink Panther” is trading in her trademark color this week for the red, white and blue.
Making her fourth Solheim Cup appearance, Creamer’s persistent attitude and determination to win has carried her to an undefeated record in singles competition ranging back to the PING Junior Solheim Cup. Prior to turning professional, Creamer competed in the 2002 and 2003 PING Junior Solheim Cup and the 2004 Canon Cup. In all three competitions combined, Creamer went 4-0 in singles competition with a lowest margin of victory coming at the 2002 Ping Junior Solheim Cup where she won 3&2.
Coming into this week’s Solheim Cup, Creamer holds the best record in singles play on Team USA. She is currently undefeated boasting a 3-0-0 record and has earned and impressive 10 points for the Stars and Stripes overall.
“I love playing against somebody else,” said Creamer. “You're not playing the golf course this week, you're playing your opponent, and there is nothing better than going out and just grinding out pars to win matches, grinding out birdies.”
This year’s Solheim Cup captain, Rosie Jones, recognizes Creamer’s accomplishments in previous Solheim Cup appearances and will rely on her heavily throughout the week.
“She loves teaming up with different players,” said Jones. “She loves to represent her country. She just uses that as an energy. She thrives in it. She's a great Solheim player, and she happens to be playing very well right now which is a plus.”
The dynamic and tenacious 25-year old has been playing well as of late recording four consecutive top-20 finishes prior to this week including fourth at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola.
Several other members of Team USA also hold undefeated records in singles play including Christina Kim (2-0-0), Brittany Lang (0-0-1), Morgan Pressel (2-0-0), Michelle Wie (1-0-0) and assistant captain Sherri Steinhauer (2-0-2). Juli Inkster also holds the record for most points earned in singles play competition with 6 ½ points.
Making History…LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Juli Inkster is making history this week with a duo of amazing feats. For the first time in Solheim Cup history, Inkster will pull off the amazing task of juggling playing for Team USA while serving as assistant captain.
Playing comes easy to the 20 year LPGA Tour veteran but Inkster admits coaching is the more difficult task of the week.
“It's been quite interesting trying to do both,” said Inkster. “I'm not sure I recommend it, but it's been a great experience working with Rosie and Sherri and learning that side of it. I think the playing part is easier, but you need that part for the playing part to make it all work.”
Along with serving duel roles, Inkster is playing in her ninth Solheim Cup which ranks second in the history of The Solheim Cup behind Laura Davies (12).
Since the 1992 Solheim Cup, Inkster has earned 18 points for her U.S. squad – the most in team history – and holds a 15-10-6 overall record.
PING Junior Solheim Cup…The PING Junior Solheim Cup, which was played at Knigthsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Co. Meath, Ireland, concluded on Wednesday with the United States retaining the cup.
“I’m not sure I can begin to put into words how I’m feeling right now,” said the American captain, Meg Mallon. “I didn’t know these kids very well at the start of the week. I knew their records but it wasn’t until I watched them play that I worked out what they could do.”
The U.S. went into Wednesday’s single matches trailing Europe but rallied to finish the tournament tied at 12-12. The PING Junior Solheim Cup began in 2002 and the U.S. now leads Europe 3 ½ matches to 2 ½.
Both teams will stay in Ireland for the rest of the week to attend the Solheim Cup and cheer their teams onto victory.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain, Rosie Jones, to the interview room. Eight‑time member of the Solheim Cup team, including the inaugural 1990 Solheim Cup, an 11‑9‑2 all time record with 12 points scored in the competition, and you sank the winning putt for the U.S. Team in 2002. Of all those things, does Captain rank at the top?
ROSIE JONES: Ranks at the top, it sure does. It's quite an experience. The first Solheim was really a lot of fun, new experience for all the players. Winning, making the winning putt was huge. There were a lot of great putts that week, and to have all your teammates and your captains standing at the top of that green when you come off and getting the big congratulations there was a lot of fun.
But this week is really something special. I've been working on it for the last two years, and you know that every single thing that's happening around the team has something to do with ‑‑ you've had some part of doing it. Whether it's the clothing that they're wearing, the players that are finishing the team with your picks, the things that we're eating, places that we're going, it's been a lot of fun preparing for this.
THE MODERATOR: Can you talk about now being here in Ireland after two years of anticipation? Is it what you thought it would be, is it different, can you explain that feeling?
ROSIE JONES: Well, the weather is exactly what I expected. You know what, it's been a really action‑packed week already: A lot of golf, a lot of activities outside of golf, and everything that I remembered of playing my seven Solheim Cups. We know that. We're prepared for that. We're trying to reserve our energy a little bit to get ready for the matches starting Friday.
But for the most part, we're just doing a lot of team bonding, and sharing the experience and having a lot of fun.
Q. In terms of the weather, how much of a concern is it to you that this is more European than perhaps your players are used to in America?
ROSIE JONES: Well, it's definitely more advantageous for the European players. They play in this weather a lot more than we do. But on the other hand, we've had a lot of tough weather conditions this year on Tour. These players did not once complain about having to go out and play in it. Played a lot of holes today and yesterday in rain and wind and very tough conditions.
This golf course is a long walk. It's very tough, playing very long, and I've got great players. There is not one complaint out there about the golf course or the weather.
Q. Are your pairings set or do you watch the practice rounds and are you still formulating based on what you see?
ROSIE JONES: A little bit of both. I think there are some pairings that I've always been thinking about for the last four months. There's also some tweaking going along as we go in our practice rounds, changing. This golf course is set up a little different, and you kind of have to pair your players for this golf course.
We know we want to come out with a strong team on Friday morning, and even though I think every single team I put together will be strong, we want to pick up some points fast.
Q. Stacy Lewis is a rookie but doesn't really play like one on a weekly basis on the LPGA. Can you just kind of talk about how you view her role this week and maybe how much you think she'll play?
ROSIE JONES: I think you're right. Stacy, even though she is a rookie, she doesn't play like a rookie. She doesn't act like a rookie Solheim player. She's a very mature teammate. She's very confident. She's quiet. She's that quiet confident type which is kind of scary sometimes. She's a player I can put with anybody, which is very versatile. She's very accommodating for anything that we suggest.
She has good input to players and possibilities of opportunities to play with different players. It's really a great player to have, especially as a rookie young player. She's playing so good this year. Nine Top 10s, having a win at the Kraft, that's the kind of rookie that you want to have.
Q. You've seen Paula Creamer play in a lot of these Solheim Cups. Talk about what makes her tick and why she plays so well this one week of the year?
ROSIE JONES: I think she plays so well many weeks of the year. But this is one of those weeks that she really strives to show her stuff. I mean, this is really where you can really excel and express yourself.
She loves teaming up with different players. She loves to represent her country. She just uses that as an energy. She thrives in it. She's a great Solheim player, and she happens to be playing very well right now which is a plus.
Even if Paula wasn't playing well right now, she'd be playing well in the Solheim anyways.
Q. Ryann O'Toole played well under pressure to get your attention to make the team. She's been off her form since being named to the team. How is she doing, and what are you doing to maybe try to help her get ready?
ROSIE JONES: Well, she has had a tough time after the picks. Part of that is kind of having a little bit more pressure before the pick. Now it's pressure of having to prove yourself of that pick.
Any time you're a pick, whether you're Juli Inkster or Rosie Jones or Paula Creamer or Michelle Wie, and now Ryann O'Toole, I think there is a self‑inflicted pressure that you feel to really feel worthy of that spot and want to prove yourself.
Ryann was trying to prove herself right away. I think with all the attention that she got from the pick, it made it really tough for her to do that. Now she's had some time to really sit back and think about what she was doing, and now that she's on the team, she has a lot of support.
She has a lot of people around her that know that she's a great player, that have a lot of confidence in her, as well as I do. And that's building her back to where she was during the U.S. in Portland and to be that player right there and get that confidence back in to be an accountable player on this team this week.
Q. You mentioned the course set up earlier. Was there something surprising about it that you feel is maybe disadvantageous for you guys or helps you?
ROSIE JONES: No. This golf course is very familiar to our players. Several of them have come back over here, have been here for the Irish Open the last two years, very familiar with this golf course. This golf course is a Jack Nicklaus design and is something similar to what we play in the States.
It's long. We knew it was going to be wet and cold here. The conditions were going to lend to the type of golf that we would play and need. I think we've been preparing that. And I'll be preparing that in my pairings.
Q. On paper you look like the overwhelming favorites looking at the world rankings and the last three results in this competition. Do you feel like you're the favorites? Some of your players are claiming you're underdogs.
ROSIE JONES: Well, I think both teams are very strong. There is a lot of depth on both sides of the cup. Any time you're going overseas, you feel like you're at a disadvantage because of the crowds and the amount of fans the Europeans can have, and the momentum that the Europeans can gain from those crowds.
But you also ‑‑ but we're confident. We feel we've won here in 2007. We've won here another time when I was on the team in, I think, '96, and there is a possibility. There is always that possibility. But we don't come in here, looking better on paper, assuming that we can win.
We definitely know this is going to be a hard fight. Europe has probably one of the strongest teams they've had in a long time. We have a lot of respect for that. I have a lot of respect for Ali, and how she can captain the team, and expect our players to fight very hard to get another win.
Q. Are there players that you know right now will play all five matches?
ROSIE JONES: There are players that I know that have the possibility that could play five. Nothing is set in stone. We have a pretty good master plan, but we know that in a Solheim Cup, sometimes those master plans don't work and that we're ‑‑ as players, you always learn to adjust, and I will be the very same as a captain. If I need to adjust my plan, I will.
Q. Having had a couple of practice rounds now, where would you say the key holes are where the matches will be won or lost? Where perhaps a bit of a risk might bring you glory or disaster?
ROSIE JONES: Well, I think there are a lot of tough holes out there. As long as it's blowing like this and raining, then the par‑5s. If they move a couple tees up, then it makes the golf course really exciting. If ‑‑ there's always going to be some tough holes out there. 9, 17, it's just a matter of ‑‑ 18. You know, it's where they put these pins and what kind of conditions we're playing under. You can do a lot of damage on this golf course.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome everyone to the 2011 Solheim Cup. We have with us here three legends of the U.S. Solheim Cup team. On my far left, needs no introduction, obviously, the first ever playing Assistant Captain for the U.S. or European team. She also is the U.S. record holder in points earned, Juli Inkster.
JULI INKSTER: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Next we have Cristie Kerr who also has made a name for herself not only in the Solheim Cup, but with 14 wins on the LPGA. One of the top American players for the last ten years. And finally, Paula Creamer, undefeated in singles play in the Solheim Cup, making her fourth appearance. Juli, out of respect, we'll start with you.
JULI INKSTER: Oh, that's great. Thanks.
THE MODERATOR: If you would, just talk about being the first ever playing assistant, and how you actually came to be playing on this team rather than just captaining?
JULI INKSTER: Well, it just kind of evolved. I really never had any intentions of playing, but here I am. So it's been ‑‑ it's been quite interesting trying to do both. I'm not sure I recommend it, but it's been a great experience working with Rosie and Sherri and learning that side of it.
I think the playing part is easier, but you need that part for the playing part to make it all work. I'm excited to get out there and play now and see what happens.
THE MODERATOR: Cristie, you've become a leader on this team over the last couple of events, and I know you've taken some of the younger players under your wing recently. Can you just talk about what it means to be here, and what it means to be able to share knowledge with other younger teammates?
CRISTIE KERR: It's great to be here in Ireland. It's going to be my sixth Solheim Cup. It's hard to believe that I'm already one of the veteran players on the team. I mean, it seem like yesterday I was just playing in my first one. Rosie Jones was actually my first Solheim Cup partner ever, and she was able to give me a lot of great advice playing in the matches with her and on and off the course, in Interlachen.
I'm just trying to give the younger players, rookies, confidence to know that they can play as great as they've been playing even in this kind of format, and that they can come to us for any advice or any questions they may have and that we're there for them and they're not alone. Just trying to give them confidence and help them to play their best.
THE MODERATOR: Paula, 3‑0 in singles, and you've become one of the most respected U.S. Solheim Cup team members. How do you feel here in Ireland, and how do you feel about the match‑up against Europe?
PAULA CREAMER: This is my fourth Solheim Cup. I was talking about it earlier today. I'm 25, and here we go. It's incredible, I think, the team that we have. The big thing about this golf course and this event is your match‑up and your pairings.
I think we all get along so well. It's things like Cristie's saying, doing dinners, and getting everybody to become one is something that I've learned in the past three Solheims that I've been on.
The records, just I love it. I love this format. I love match play. I love playing against somebody else. You're not playing the golf course this week, you're playing your opponent, and there is nothing better than going out and just grinding out pars to win matches, grinding out birdies.
Playing in Ireland, this is my first time over here. I just can't get over how nice the people are. They are just so supportive of all of us, and I think that's very nice when you are coming on foreign soil.
Q. Cristie, Ryan O'Toole talked about how you planted the seed in her mind that she could make the Solheim Cup team. I saw you practice with her today. Can you talk about the challenge she faces and how you have been mentoring or helping her?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, for sure. I had met her a time or two before the U.S. Women's Open this year, but I got a chance to play a practice round with her. We got on very well and talked about life on Tour and different issues in playing and not getting the rookies and younger players not getting to play that many tournaments and stuff.
I said it was hard. I said my rookie year I didn't get into a lot of tournaments, and you've just got to kind of play better and everything else takes care of itself. You're the kind of player with your length and dynamic game that we could use on our Solheim Cup team. Little did we know that she would make it this year.
She's a great player. She's a great girl, first and foremost. Yeah, it's been great to get to know her.
Q. Do you think women, the Solheim Cup ladies from America, are better than the men at being as one, as you've said, Paula?
PAULA CREAMER: I think that you can see when we're walking around, we're playing practice rounds, we have a lot of fun. It's kind of a difficult question. I think that we've made it our priority to become one. Our games, we all have control over that. But becoming a teammate and becoming a partner, there is a whole other strategy to that.
I think that we all have the same mindset. We love representing our country, not saying that they don't or the men don't, but really all two years we do things together. We try and make dinners. We try and make time because this is such a big week for us.
Juli or Cristie, I'm sure you can elaborate more.
JULI INKSTER: I think sometimes the guys get a bad wrap that they don't mesh. I think it's just a girl thing and a guy thing. Guys just ‑‑ girls like to chat and go out to dinner and braid each other's hair.
CRISTIE KERR: This is the first time I've had a braid in my hair in a really long time, and I didn't do it.
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, really, to me, it's two different things. I really think the guys get a bad wrap. I think they do get along. I think they do like playing for each other. It's just a guy's thing.
Q. Cristie, you switched putters last week. Can you just talk about that decision and what putter you'll be using this week?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, that was an interesting one by me, but it was in an attempt to get better. I'm always looking for ways to get better and improve my game. I've been playing so great and hitting it well, making a couple more putts a couple of weeks this year, and I walk away with a couple of wins instead of a second or a third or a fourth.
Sometimes golfers can be a little crazy. Sometimes you think well, if I switch putters and I can make those extra putts that it's kind of the magic pill. I'm just going to win. And sometimes it has the opposite effect and it kind of affected my whole game last week, and it's not the club's fault, obviously.
But I'm back to my old putter this week and putting great. So lesson learned, and I guess that proves sometimes golfers do crazy things to try to get better.
JULI INKSTER: Lock it in.
Q. Can you just remind us what you switched from and to?
CRISTIE KERR: I currently have an Odyssey Marxman, and I tried last week a Ping ‑‑ it's called a Wolverine. It's very similar to the putter that I won the U.S. Open with.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, that was the Crazy. Last week was the Wolverine.
PAULA CREAMER: Wolverine, Marxman, Crazy.
CRISTIE KERR: The Marxman is my heat‑seeking missile. That's what I called it when I first got it, and I won the first week with it so it's stuck.
Q. Juli, you've played a lot with Paula and had her as your partner in the Solheim Cup. Can you talk about what makes her tick and why she's so good in this format?
PAULA CREAMER: You want me to leave?
JULI INKSTER: You know, Paula has got heart. She's got spunk. And she loves the Solheim Cup. You don't have to get her all fired up. She's fired up as soon as she gets on the plane. Plus she's got a little bit of talent to go along with that, so that kind of adds up to success.
I really enjoyed playing with her. I think we're pretty comfortable with each other.
Q. How important will the mental side of the game be this week?
CRISTIE KERR: Mental side's huge. Match play is definitely more of a mental game than just playing and teeing it up four rounds in a regular tournament. You have to be ready to go right from the git‑go, and you have to have the right mindset to want to get your opponent down early and keep going.
It's definitely a ‑‑ match play is definitely more of a mental mindset, you have to have that to be able to win your matches.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, that's true. But you want to embrace that as well because you can use it to play better.
Q. In Solheim and Ryder Cups, it all seems to be tough for the rookies, and Europe's got five rookies this year. So do you think that makes you the favorites?
JULI INKSTER: Everybody says favorites and non‑favorites. You can't play on paper. You've just got to go out there and play. I think this is the deepest the European team has ever been. I think the rookies that they have on their team are playing very well. They have a lot of confidence. They've been playing well over here.
I don't know how you guys keep thinking we're favorites. We're going out there and playing like we're underdogs?
Q. The Ryder Cup last year was pretty soggy affair, and it looks like we're going some more wind and rain in the next few days. How does that affect the way you approach the match? Do you have a lot of experience ‑‑ I'm sure you do ‑‑ but do you think your team has more experience in bad conditions?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, no (laughing). We don't come over here and play in this. Obviously, today showed it. I don't know how many of their players went out and played, but we were all out there playing nine holes. Getting used to the wind, getting used to the rain, wearing rain jackets. Normally we have lightning storms and we go in. So for us it's an adjustment.
But we're all grinders. You grind it out if it's blowing 40 miles per hour or not. It's the Solheim Cup. We do have experience in the British Open and things like that. But like I said, at Solheim, you don't even feel it's raining. A normal practice round, I'm not sure we'd all be out there playing in this, but we have to do it for this week.
Q. Can I ask you collectively, what would you say is the status of ladies golf in the United States at the moment in relation to five years ago? Is it growing, is it standing still, or is it in decline? The second part of the question, how does your Tour relate to the club golfer? Is there a synergy there between you and is that growing as well?
JULI INKSTER: Well, our Tour has changed. We're a world tour now. We're global. We have a lot of diversity on our Tour. We play a lot overseas, which, that's just the way our Tour is heading. I don't think we're in decline at all. I think, if anything, we're going up.
The last few years with the economy and everything, it was difficult, but we held our own. I think that was a real test. I think our commissioner, Mike Whan is doing a great job. He's building a soiled base that he can grow from. And I think we have a lot of great, young players coming out that are playing very well, American and foreign players. I think it's good.
As far as the club thing?
CRISTIE KERR: I don't know how you answer that.
JULI INKSTER: I don't know how you answer that either. I think golf is down in the United States. I don't think there are as many rounds being played. I think with the economy and everything the way it is over there, I think the first thing people are cutting out is their fun, and golf is a luxury, it's not a necessity.
But I think you can say that pretty much around the world that golf is in decline a little bit. So we, as players and LPGA, PGA, Nationwide, Champions Tour, we've got to keep promoting golf because I think it's a great sport for young kids to get into. I think it teaches them a lot about life and a lot about growing up.
So, hopefully, the economy changes a little bit and we can get more youngsters out there playing. How was that? I thought that was great.
CRISTIE KERR: I thought that was great.
JULI INKSTER: I think I just nailed it.
Q. An easier question, Juli, can you talk about your sub when you're out there playing, Kathy Whitworth, what she'll be doing and how she came to be a part of this?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, so when I'm out playing, Kathy Whitworth is going to be the assistant captain. Rosie's very close to Kathy, and I just think it's such a great choice.
Kathy Whitworth is the goddess of golf. She's got such a calm demeanor about her whether you're 5‑up or 5‑down, she can come up to you and give you a little bit of a hug or a pat on the back and you just feel better.
Every player in this room has the most respect for Kathy Whitworth. It's great for the younger players to be around her and to get to know the history of the game and just to get to know Kathy. I think it's a win‑win situation.
Q. Paula, can you comment too?
PAULA CREAMER: I actually met Kathy when I was 14 years old at her event in Mira Vista in Texas. Ever since then we've kept in contact, emails, phone calls, everything. To have somebody like that on your side, it's incredible.
The stories. Just like Juli said, when you're in the same room with her, you feel better. I feel like I can go and shoot 54 after talking to her. She just has a great aura around her and the way she speaks to you. We have so much respect for her. Who couldn't? I mean, 88 wins, that's never going to be broken, and that's something that I think is more impressive, just her demeanor and the person that she is.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, definitely. If I had a comment, I was going to lead with what she just finished with. It's impressive the amount of wins obviously of all time. She is the greatest. But the kind of person she is, makes you want to become a better person and just draw upon that experience that she has, which is it's invaluable to have her as part of our team.
JULI INKSTER: And it's great for ‑‑ I consider them younger players, but, you know, to say that, to know who Kathy Whitworth is, and JoAnne Carner and Pat Bradley and stuff like that, and Marlene Hagge, and all of these people, the people that have made this Tour. It's great for the younger players to recognize that and to go up and thank them and acknowledge them because it means a lot to them, and it means a ton to us.
Q. Given the U.S. Team's domination at recent Solheim Cups extending back to 2003 and given the number of players who aren't from Europe or the United States at the top of the world rankings, do you think it's time the event was expanded to embrace international players on the European side and perhaps give you guys a better challenge to make the event more relevant?
JULI INKSTER: No, no. I think we need to leave it the way it is. You look at the past three Solheim Cups, it was close. It was close until the last day. We were behind a couple of those times.
I don't think we need to change it at all. I think this is what the Solheim Cups all about. I think we have like a Lexus Cup or something like that where we bring in the world players.
I think sometimes you just have to stick with tradition. I don't think you need to tweak things all the time. I think this is something we started in 1990, and I think it's something we need to continue.
I love the tradition about this. This is the way it needs, for me, needs to be played.
PAULA CREAMER: And I played on the Junior Solheim Cup team, and I remember when I was 16 years old and I came over. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to be on the big girl team. So even for juniors, being on a Junior Solheim Cup team, it's all about tradition. It's all about watching and that's what you want to represent and be a part of that. I think there is no way you should change history. Keep it going.
Q. Juli, you were 20, I think, in your rookie year, weren't you?
JULI INKSTER: No, I was 23.
Q. 23. So now you have winners at 16. So how do you feel about that ‑‑ well, Paula may have a slightly different view ‑‑ but how do you stop people thinking that they're too old at 20 to become pros or that they have to become pros at 16 or whatever?
JULI INKSTER: Well, I think everybody kind of peaks at different times. I didn't even start playing until I was 15, so that doesn't mean that I couldn't become a good player. Lexi Thompson, she's just a great player. I think every once in a while you get one of those.
Paula came out right away and played well, Morgan played well, and Aree Song, they came out early and played well. It's just different now.
When I was growing up, I really did not know what the LPGA was. It wasn't a goal of mine to play on the LPGA. I just kind of fell into it. Now these girls are growing up and they know what the LPGA is. They know they want to be a professional golfer. There are a lot of opportunities out there for them to become that.
We never had video. We didn't have academies. We just went out and played with the guys, so it has changed. Whether it's right or wrong or whatever, that's their dream. That's what they want to do.
Having two girls of my own, I want them to follow their dream, and having the opportunity to play on the LPGA because of the Kathy Whitworths and the people before us, they have that opportunity. You know, he think it's great.
Q. Cristie, Suzann Pettersen has been claiming you've been trying to set up a singles match against her for revenge for the loss at Sybase. Any comment on that and confirm it if it's true?
CRISTIE KERR: I know she's been kind of spreading that message because she told me she was going to spread that message, so, there (laughing). But if I end up playing with her, it would be great. I can't think of anything better than the number one points earner for them and number one points earner for the U.S. playing each other and duking it out for the Solheim Cup and hopefully bringing it out for the U.S.
So if that's the way it's meant to be, that's the way it will be. The captains know what's best and where to put us in the lineup. That's more important than playing a revenge match or a grudge match. That's what we're keeping our eyes on and focused on.
JULI INKSTER: I think that is the greatest thing about match play. It's one day. You know, you could probably play ten times and Cristie would win five and Suzann would win five. It's just who's got it that day? And I'd take Cristie ‑‑ but, never mind (laughing).
THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome the European Solheim Cup Captain, Alison Nicholas to the interview room. Alison's leading the European team for the second straight occasion. She played for Europe six times from 1990 to 2000, has a 7‑8‑3 record, and earned 8.5 points for the team as a player. She was also an assistant captain twice, so a little Solheim Cup experience. So, Alison, would you just start by telling us how the week's shaping up for you?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Well, it's been a long, winding road to get here, and we're now here. Basically, just excited to be here as captain once again particularly on the home soil.
The players are having a great time. The girls just want to have fun, basically. They're just waiting a little bit until, obviously, anxious to get going. But we've had some great preparation. Obviously, the weather's a bit indifferent. If it rains much more, I think we'll need a yellow submarine, maybe to get the spectators around the place.
But we've been having a good time. Everything's working out. We'd just like to see some more sun, I think.
Q. Just in relation to the weather, are you concerned that ‑‑ there's heavy rain forecast for Saturday. Are you concerned this may go into Monday or are there plans? Are there contingency plans?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I think they have contingency plans, yes, because obvious that that may or could have been a possibility. We don't know. The weather forecast tends to change on a daily basis, so they'll be monitoring it. And if we have to go Monday, we'll have to go Monday.
Q. Is it an advantage for your players this weather?
ALISON NICHOLAS: It could be and it couldn't be. I mean, a lot of the players have played all over the world and are very experienced. Most of the best players in the world tend to adapt very easily.
Yeah, it could be in some ways, but I know that I've played in bad weather over in America, and the Americans seem to adapt very, very well. So that's a tough question in some ways.
Q. With five rookies on the team, what will you be saying to them before they go off, and is it your plan that they'll all get a game on the first day?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I'm going to tell you that (laughing)?
Q. I wouldn't expect to you name names.
ALISON NICHOLAS: Well, I'm not going to tell you. Basically, the girls, the senior girls on my team have talked to the rookies about what to expect. Some of the experienced caddies have talked to them too to know what to expect on the first tee. We've talked to them constantly.
I don't know whether I'm going to play them all on the first day yet. It depends how things go. But a lot of them have played on the LPGA Tour for quite some time. I know they're rookies to the Solheim Cup, but they're not actual rookies in terms of playing on the Tour and playing alongside the players that they're going to play against.
They're upbeat. They're so excited to be here. I think they're very, very good players.
Q. What memories do you have of your rookie year in the Solheim Cup and anything that was said to you before you came out that may have helped you?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Well, obviously, I played in the first Solheim Cup, so no one had ever experienced it before, so no one could give me any tips.
But I remember it to be so exciting, because you get so many gifts. There is such a lot going around. You get a good golf bag, and you go into your room, and it's like Aladdin's cave. You've got press conferences and TV bits.
I remember doing some TV conferences, and I haven't got a clue what I was saying because I was quite nervous, as you would be. But I loved the occasion. For me, it brought the best out of me. I love competing, and I actually played very well, actually, considering.
I think Laura and I won our first match ever or won the first ever match in the Solheim Cup.
Q. Several members of your team and the American side have said that this is the deepest team that they can recall that Europe has had. Do you agree with that? Can you compare this team to last time around?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yeah, I think we've got a strong team. We've got some very, very good players. We've got nine wins this year from my team. And I think we have got a team that has strength and depth.
But I would never underestimate the Americans, because I still, on paper in the world rankings, we are the underdogs slightly. So we never underestimate them because they're very competitive, and they've got a very, very good side.
Q. Is it the deepest?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I would say so, yeah.
Q. Alison, could you tell us about what you're wearing to the dinner tonight and was it your decision that everyone would wear the same?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yes, it was, actually. We've got some lovely outfits from Paul Costelloe who has designed them specially. And it's gone down very, very well with the girls. They love it. Do you want more information?
Q. No, I wanted to know did you have the choice of having individual designs?
ALISON NICHOLAS: We decided that we've always gone with the same because we're a team. So that was just the sort of thing that's happened throughout the Solheim Cups I've been involved in.
Q. To all dinners?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yes.
Q. Now tell me what is the worst thing you ever had to wear and what do you think of this one?
ALISON NICHOLAS: What is the worst oh, I can't remember. I might ‑‑ oh, I'm getting old. I've got very limited remembrance skills these days. No, I don't think there's anything I've worn to a gala dinner that I haven't liked. It might have been slightly different, but it's been always fitted by the seamstress, and so I've never really had a problem.
Q. But didn't that Mrs. Doyle, didn't she give you jumpers that you couldn't fit into or something?
ALISON NICHOLAS: No, it wasn't the jumpers that we couldn't fit into. What happened is you're not allowed to have logos of the company above a certain size because of, obviously, the Solheim family and Ping, and there were these massive logos on the jumper so that's why we couldn't wear them.
It was nothing to do with the fact that they didn't fit, yeah. But, no, we've got Abacus on course clothing and Paul Costelloe for the gala dinner and the opening ceremony. And the girls love every part of it. Both companies, well, Abacus, the company have done an absolutely fantastic first‑class job. And Paul Costelloe or Costelloe as they say in Ireland, has done the design of superb clothes for the team, and it's just quality.
Q. What color is it?
ALISON NICHOLAS: It's dark blue, and also it's been made to measure for the players. So some of us are wearing little jackets, some are wearing pashminas.
Q. It was very close obviously two years ago. What do you think you learned as a captain them that you might do different this time? What extra experience do you have yourself?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Well, yeah, obviously I've done it before, so I know what to expect, so that helps. I think last time, you know, you have meetings with other captains and talk with various different people on how things go that week and what to expect. But until you actually experience it, it's two different things. I've got that in the bank.
I don't know if there's anything I did. I mean, there are a few little bits and bobs that I didn't feel I did as well as I should have done. But on the whole, I felt I did a reasonable job, but, unfortunately, we just fell short. We didn't hole enough putts, I don't think. But that's just the way it goes.
The girls fought hard, and they played with their hearts, with passion, and I'm sure that they'll do the same this week. All we need is a little bit of luck and a few more putts to drop.
Q. You touched a little bit on the fact that some of the experienced caddies have talked to the players, specifically the rookies. How important is it with the caddies to sort of help them and the input they give to the team?
ALISON NICHOLAS: The caddie's role is huge. Me as a professional golfer, my caddie was part of the team. He was a crucial part, absolutely. From an encouragement point of view, psychologically they can help you keep on track. Their sense of humor, sense of fun, sense of perspective is huge.
I think most of my top players would agree that without them, we couldn't do a lot of things on the golf course that we do because they help us tremendously. That's why I've tried to include them, make them feel special. They're a great bunch of guys, and they are very, very important to every player and to the team as a whole.
Q. Where do you think the matches will be won and lost? Are there any particular holes where you think the risk or reward or we'll see action?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I don't know. I could predict something. I have absolutely no idea where they'll finish, but I should think it will be around 16, 17 and 18. Traditionally that's how it's gone, particularly the last few matches it's gone down to the wire, hasn't it? A lot of matches have gone down the last few holes, and they're tough holes.
16 is a great par‑3, so that could be a clincher in lots of ways. But actually where they're going to end, I couldn't be sure, obviously.
Q. Not having seen the course yet which is why I ask, are there ones earlier in the course where you expect if you're trailing by a couple you would take a bit of a risk to go for glory?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I think maybe the four balls when you've got two balls in play. I think there might be some opportunities to go for par‑5s in two or tricky shots that you wouldn't take on in a straight play situation or if you didn't have two balls in play. Other than that, not really.
Q. Suzann was very adamant earlier that Europe could win this game. Do you sense that confidence having spent a couple days with the players now?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yeah, absolutely. They're up for it. They've lost the last three matches and they want to win the cup back just as the Americans want to win as well.
They're all competitors. They're ready. Hopefully things go our way. I believe that we can bring the cup back and so do a lot of the girls.
Q. There's never been an Irish member of the Solheim Cup team. How important do you think this will be in encouraging girls into golf in Ireland and perhaps seeing a professional girl as a viable possibility?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yeah, hopefully it can inspire youngsters to play the game. We've got a lot of young players. Hopefully we'll have a lot of young spectators, because I think they're allowed in, aren't they, free of charge under a certain age. And, hopefully, that will encourage them to start playing the game.
Yes, we haven't got an Irish member of the team. However, the Junior Solheim Cup has just taken place, and you've got the Maguire twins who were in that. So hopefully that would have inspired a lot of people. I'm sure there were a lot of crowds watching there. I don't know.
But it should, hopefully, if we get a lot of young people to come and watch, particularly girls. We've got some great golfers and great role models that they can learn an awful lot from.
Q. You mention role models, and I believe it's absolutely spot on. How important do you think psychologically for women and girls to be a part of the game and be able to improve?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yeah, to play the game, you keep fit. It helps you from a mental perspective, makes you tough. I think it's a great game to play.
Q. Do you think women have a stronger mental game than the men do?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Not necessarily. I think we're different. I think we're slightly different. We handle things different, but I think they're just as good in a different way.
THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome three of Europe's five Solheim Cup team rookies. We have at the far end, Christel Boeljon, Sandra Gal, and Caroline Hedwall.
So Christel made history as the first European team member from the Netherlands in the history of the Solheim Cup, And Caroline is a true rookie. She's won three titles in the Ladies European Tour this season, And Sandra will make her Solheim Cup debut having earned a selection from the captain, Alison Nicholas.
So, Christel, if you could start by telling us what it means to you to be making your debut on the European team?
CHRISTEL BOELJON: Well, it means a lot. This is what I play for. You know, to play in these kinds of events, the Solheim Cup, the majors. To be a part of this team is an honor and I'm enjoying every moment, and this is one week I'll never forget.
THE MODERATOR: And the same question to Sandra, please?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, obviously it's a huge honor for me as well. Growing up, it's one of the dreams as a little girl. You look at the Solheim and it's one of the weeks you definitely want to be a part of. I was so excited when I got the call that I'm going to be one of the wildcards.
Here we are. It's Solheim Cup week, and I think we have a really good team, and we're all very, very excited.
THE MODERATOR: Caroline, what does it mean to you to be part of the Solheim Cup team?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Like Sandra and Christel said, it's a great honor to be here. It's been a dream since I was a little girl watching it in Sweden, so it's just great to be here.
Q. Were you actually waiting for the call whether you were to be a wildcard? Just exactly how did that work? You sat looking at the phone waiting for it to ring?
SANDRA GAL: Well, yeah, you've just got to let it be and wait for the call, you know. I was hoping she'd call me Sunday night, but I didn't know what the news would be. Definitely I thought I had a good chance because I've been part of the couple of team meetings we had before and the uniform fitting.
I did win earlier in the year, but you never know how the captain's going to decide in the end. So it was an anxious waiting for the call, yeah.
Q. Who has taken you under their wing so to speak this week and initiated you into the team surroundings and set‑up? How has that made you feel?
SANDRA GAL: I have been, Catriona Matthew, and Maria Hjorth, and all the veterans have been so supportive in answering all our questions whether they're stupid or just curious questions, kind of preparing us for what's ahead in this week. Just basically explaining it's a very busy week, and you've got to take it all in.
We've also had some great support messages from some of the European players from Sam Torrance and Bernhard Langer. Those have been very exciting when you get a note on your locker. It means a lot to us.
Q. Sandra, can I ask you about your Irish caddie? He's from Cork. First of all, can you understand his accent?
SANDRA GAL: It took me about eight months to understand his yardage (laughing).
Q. Can you tell us how you met him and what he brings to your game?
SANDRA GAL: Say that again.
Q. How did you meet him first of all, and how might he help you this week particularly in Ireland?
SANDRA GAL: We met on the LPGA. He caddied for Sherri Steinhauer earlier last year. I parted with my caddie when he parted with her, and we've become very good friends since then. It's very, very special to have an Irish caddie on the bag, particularly this week.
He's going to have a lot of fans coming from Cork, a lot of his friends. A couple of buses from his golf club, and I think his support is just going to be tremendous.
Q. Christel, can I have a word about how it feels to be the first Dutch player to play in the Solheim, and are there a lot of Dutch fans over or just the reaction back home?
CHRISTEL BOELJON: Yeah, it's great. It's very special. I've had great support from everyone back home. I have my family and friends coming, every one of my management team. I get loads of messages. There is a lot of attention in the media as well. Yeah, I can only hope I can make my country proud, yeah.
Q. We're expecting some lovely Irish weather this weekend, and possibly heavy rain on Saturday. Have you got much experience playing in very bad weather conditions and do you think that will help the European cause a bit more than it will the Americans?
CHRISTEL BOELJON: Yeah, I think every single one of us is used to playing in this kind of weather. We're from Europe, so the winters are cold. You know, we all played amateur golf and lots in England and the U.K., so I think we're ready and we're used to it.
We have a great clothing sponsor, Abacus, so we're all nice and warm, so I think we're ready, yeah.
Q. Caroline, can I take you back to the beginning of the season. Did you ever think you would be here and just talk about the wins you've had and how great of a season you've had?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, of course. In the beginning of the season it was more of a dream coming here than really a goal for the season. I mean, it's my rookie year, so I didn't really expect to be here.
But then after starting the season pretty well and getting a few wins, it was, of course, an honor to get one of the captains picks.
Q. A couple of years ago you won the European Nations Cup. Is there anything you can take from that experience that you're going to use this week?
CHRISTEL BOELJON: I think every win that you have is just something that you take from. It's always very special to win, and it gives you a lot of confidence. But I don't know what this week is going to be like. I've never played in one, so I'm not sure what to expect.
But playing on a team is nice. It's certainly something I've missed. When I was an amateur, we played a lot of team things as well. So I'm just looking forward to it.
Yeah, I'm not sure there's anything from the European Cup that I can specifically take. It's a win, so that's one of the things that means a lot, and probably means the most, yeah.
Q. Christel, I hope you take this as a compliment. Have you any Irish ancestry, and has anyone remarked on the uncanny likeness to Rory McIlroy? If he had a sister, you might be his.
CHRISTEL BOELJON: You think so? Wow. This is the first time I hear that, but I take it as a compliment. He's a great player, so hopefully I can be too. But, no, nothing in my family is Irish. No, I'm Dutch, for sure, yeah, yeah (laughing).
Q. Caroline, you have your twin sister on the bag. Was that something you planned before? What about your relationship because it's rather unusual?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Yeah, she caddied for me all summer. She was doing her internship for her major in the States. Since I played really well, I just wanted her to come back for this week, and they gave her the week off in the U.S., so it was nice.
Q. When you were growing up was there any particular player who was your inspiration or what inspired you to want to reach these heights?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, of course, Annika's always been a great idol for me growing up and having a great player from Sweden. But there are so many good players from Sweden, like Neumann, Hjorth, and Gustafson, so I've had a lot of idols to look up to.
SANDRA GAL: My biggest idol was probably Ernie Els, and later on Freddy Couples, just because I really loved the fluidity of their swings, but both of them actually just regarding their game and swing.
Who really inspired me when I came to the LPGA when I started in my rookie year was Lorena Ochoa. She's a really, really nice person and one that's displayed such great sportsmanship, that you see very rarely. I think, yeah, she's been one of my big idols, yeah.
CHRISTEL BOELJON: Yeah, for me there are a lot of people I admire in golf. I'm not sure if I have one specific idol. You know, I think it's pretty hard to focus on one player and say, oh, I want to swing like that, I want to play like that. I don't think it works like that.
But, of course, Annika has meant a lot to women's golf, so I look up to her. You know, we've got Tiger, of course, and there are a few other players I admire, of course, yeah.
Q. How important do you think the mental game will be this week?
SANDRA GAL: I think it's very important. You've just got to put your poker face on and go out there and have some fun. It's one of those weeks you've got to give your best. You're not just playing for yourself, you're playing for a team. So the team is there to back you up, but you've also got to give it your best to support them.
Q. Sandra, as a rookie, does it help that you have no history against America in this competition? Because we keep hearing that they're red hot favorites.
SANDRA GAL: I think it's a little bit of both, pro and con. I definitely don't have any ‑‑ like Christel said, I'm like a blank sheet of paper. I don't know what to expect. I'm just going to go out there and play.
On the other hand, I do compete with a lot of the Americans day‑in and day‑out in the U.S., so I do know a lot of the players and their games. However, this is a totally different format and different size of competition, so, you know, a little bit of positive and negative there.
THE MODERATOR: So we have Suzann Pettersen and Azahara Munoz in the interview room. Suzann from Norway, World No. 2 at the moment and the highest ranked player in the tournament. She also won the Ladies Irish Open here at the beginning of August by six strokes. She has a 9‑7‑5 record in Solheim Cup competition, with 11.5 points scored, and a generally good player.
Azahara from Spain is one of five Solheim Cup rookies on the European team who received a pick from Captain Alison Nicholas. She was second to Suzann at the Ladies Irish Open here last month.
Suzann, how's it feel to be back here at Killeen Castle after your win and what is the main difference this week?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: There is a huge difference this week. When I was here last week, it was all about me. This week it's all about the team. So it's quite a big difference. It's always good to come back to this place. Obviously, I had a good experience a couple of months ago. It was fantastic then.
The course is playing quite a bit different now compared to then, so, overall, it's just great to be here and finally be here because there's been a lot of bussing and waiting the last couple of years.
I guess this is my sixth time, so I guess I've been kind of controlling my emotions a bit leading up to this. I remember when I was a rookie, I couldn't sit still for the last couple of months leading up to it. I guess now you know what to expect and you just try to save your energy for the week because you know it's just going to be the best week of the year. We have a great team this year, so it will be a lot of fun.
THE MODRERATOR: And Azahara, how have you found the experience of being a rookie on the team so far this week?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: So far it's been great. Everything, since we got to the room and trying on all the new clothes and all the stuff we get, and everybody's taken really good care of us. So I was really excited to be here, but it's been even better. So I just can't wait for Friday and tee it up.
Q. Welcome back. The weather's slightly different than the last time you were here. How big a factor is that going to play?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, we've been chilling all day, so we're pretty rested up. Hopefully it doesn't get like this ‑‑ I think it's supposed to be pretty nice tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
So the good thing about our team is that we all know the course. We've all been here. We've all played our fair share of rounds here. We know how it's played. We've seen the course through dry conditions and pretty soaking conditions. So, for us, we can kind of rest up and recharge our batteries.
I think the Americans are desperate to get their rounds in and kind of get to know the place.
Q. Can you beat this American team?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I think this is the best European team I've been a part of. I think overall we have a very consistent team. I think you look at our rookies, I don't look at them as rookies. They've all been out on the main Tours and done well and they've all won. So I think this is the strongest team I've ever been a part of.
We have a great captaincy and two really good vice captains, so I think we're in pretty good shape.
Q. Is that a yes?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yes, we can beat them.
Q. Azahara, I know you're very excited about being on the team. Could you just talk to me about where you were and what you were doing while you waited for the phone call?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: I was in Canada, and I was going to the airport at 4 in the morning. So I got up at 3:30, and I had an email from Alison ‑ Call me before 1:30. No, before 9:00 Eastern time in New York, so I was freaking out, and I just called her.
She's like what are you doing calling me at 3:30, but I was actually awake because I had to go to the airport. I don't know, she kept talking and talking, but she didn't tell me you're on the team. Then finally she did, so that was pretty exciting.
THE MODERATOR: The pair of you are quite good friends, right? So have you embarked any of your knowledge to Azahara this week, Suzann?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Nothing. She has to figure it out herself. That's the way I got through it (laughing). No, just kidding.
No, they're all doing great. Like I said, I think they all feel pretty comfortable on the team. I mean, it's equally for us to make sure they feel good and for them to make us feel good. So I think every player is enjoying themselves at the moment. We can't really wait for Friday.
Q. How significant do you think it is, Suzann, in the overall context of the future of the Solheim Cup and Europe's part, the part that Europe plays in it, that Europe wins now and that we don't go ten years without a European win? Do you think it's important for the relevance of the event itself that Europe do this?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: That's a good question. I don't really think it matters, because all the Solheims that I've been a part of ‑‑ I've played six, and we won once of my six. But I must say every year it feels like it's so close. It really comes down to Sunday's single matches.
Even though the final numbers might look like it was a walk in the park for the Americans, it usually comes down to certain matches and once the final putt has dropped, the points keep counting.
So I would say every single one has been good, close calls for each team to have a chance to win. I think we need to play really well Friday and Saturday, and I think we've all got to go out on Sunday and just find something because we need to play good on Sunday to get this trophy back.
Q. If they've all been so close, why have we lost so many of them?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Unlucky. Unlucky. I don't know. Why have we lost? I mean, it's margins. Last year the Americans seemed to make those putts on the back nine on Sunday when we missed ours. So that makes the difference.
I think there is not one formula to how to win this Cup. But I think a good recipe for us to be at least maybe even or ahead of them going into Sunday, then try to ‑‑ I mean, all you've got to do is each one of us has to go out and beat one of those players.
I think all our 12 players, we all can take either one of them down. So we've just got to go out and believe in ourselves and believe we can do it. This is our best chance. We're on home soil. We have the crowds on our side.
I don't know, a little bit of luck. You don't win without being lucky, and you've got to risk for reward, so we'll see what it all comes down to.
Q. Suzann, with Annika Sorenstam being on the team this week, can you just tell me what it's like to be reunited with her having experienced playing with her and now seeing her with the team again?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's almost unusual for her not to be here, because she used to be my partner. But she has given me so many great memories from the Solheims. I've learned so much from her being on the same team and playing alongside her. She's a great asset to this team.
For all the younger players now coming up, for them to know that Annika's there for them. If they want to chat, if they want advice, just to share ideas, thoughts, I think she's a great asset to the team overall. Her experience and what she's done is phenomenal.
I think we've all had her as a role model too. So to finally have her here sitting next to you on the same team is huge.
Q. What about for you Azahara, is this the first time you've spent so much time with her?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Obviously, as Suzann said, she's a player that all of us look up to, so having her on our side is huge. You know that if you need anything ‑‑ like for me, if I want to ask any questions of how I'm going to feel on the course, she's the person to ask because she's been in so many, you know. So I think it's great for our team to have her.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I think everyone knows how she's been on the golf course, but as you get to know her with the regular shoes on, it's a little different situation and you might feel more comfortable being alongside her. I think it's just fantastic.
Q. The players who are primarily Ladies European Tour players, Hedwall, Boeljon, and Reid, can you tell us a little about them?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, Hedwall and Boeljon, as I call her, they play on the LPGA. They pretty much ‑‑ Caroline's played a couple. Bowl general's played 10, 12 tournaments this year, so we've been around her. Mel Reid has been dominant on the European side. Just came off another win last week, so she should be in good shape.
They're all very, very good players. Like I said, they're rookies, but they've won their fair shares on their own Tour, and they have experience enough to be able to handle this.
Q. How do you feel about your own game right now? How did you feel yesterday when you were out playing?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I feel great. I can't wait to start on Friday. It's kind of hard to sit around and just wait. That's almost the hardest thing throughout this week. There are a lot of duties that you have to, do and then you're trying to squeeze in whatever practice.
With experience, you know there is not going to be too much practice, so I tried to do as much as I could leading up to this. So I feel very good, very relaxed and just really trying to enjoy myself and get the crowd going.
Q. I wanted to ask how you got in your respective quiz teams last night and how was that?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Did you not see my picture?
Q. I haven't, no.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Oh, I tweeted a picture. You should see. You should see what the winning team looks like.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: I was the losing team. I'll show you how the losing looks.
Q. So who was ‑‑
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I was. I wasn't on the losing team. I'm blonde, but I'm not stupid.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Well, she finished third. Where is it?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: There.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: You want to see it?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Find me.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: That's how we have to go to the first tee.
THE MODERATOR: Can we describe it?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Yeah, I don't know what the winning team got.
SUZANN PETTERSSON: They got a spa day.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Since I don't need it, I got this. It's like wigs. How do you call that?
THE MODERATOR: Oh, everybody's wearing a sort of Irish hat, very tall, green hats. And so who were the winners?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: They're all losers.
THE MODERATOR: They're all losers.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: We're the underdogs. We're losers.
THE MODERATOR: Some of them are wearing blonde wigs.
Q. So you'll wear that tomorrow?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: To the first tee.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You won't believe how it looks with all our dresses on. With the wigs, it's going to look fantastic.
Q. Are you happy with the clothing that's been chosen? As two glamorous ladies, you're probably into your fashion and so on. Do you find the captain's choices of dresses acceptable?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Yeah, they're pretty nice.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Not bad nice, but it's pretty nice. We all look the same at least. The Americans will show up in 12 different looks. We all look like a team.
Q. You'll be the Stepford Wives?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Maybe, that's not a bad thing, is it?
Q. How important do you think the reaction of the crowd will be?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: To be on one's home soil, I think you get the crowds going on your side. You have the crowds as your 15th club in the bag. We need to get them going.
I know there are going to be quite a few Americans here I've heard. There aren't too many, but I think we'll be able to quiet them, I think.
Q. Just on the support, do you know if there's any Spanish support coming out this week?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Yeah, my parents are coming.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: That's two.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: That's two. People from my golf course are coming, and then I just found out yesterday that my boyfriend and a few of our friends are coming too, so I'm going to have a few out here.
Topics: Notes and Interviews