Day 3 Notes & Interviews
Saturday, July 26
Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, Maryland
Interviews Below With:
Thailand: Ariya & Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong Phatlum, Onnarin Sattayanbanphot
Spain: Azahara Munoz & Carlota Ciganda, Belen Mozo, Beatriz Recari
United States: Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer
Japan: Ai Miyazato, Sakura Yokomine, Mika Miyazato, Mamiko Higa
Sweden: Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall, Mikaela Parmlid, Pernilla Lindberg
Republic of Korea: Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu, Na Yeon Choi, I.K. Kim
It was no surprise that more drama unfolded on the final day of pool play at the International Crown on Saturday. But it was a shock to see the two top seeded teams from each pool forced into the wildcard playoff to decide the final spot for Sunday’s singles matches. It was even more surprising to see the No. 1 overall seed and host United States to not make it to the final day.
Japan leads all teams with 8 points and will be the No. 1 seed for Sunday’s singles matches. Three teams sit tied with 7 total points apiece (Spain, Thailand, Sweden). Spain earns the No. 2 seed for Sunday, having beat Thailand in their head-to-head matchups on Saturday. Thailand takes the No. 3 seed having been the higher seed than Sweden entering the tournament. Sweden will be No. 4 and The Republic of Korea take the fifth seed after beating the United Stated in the wildcard playoff.
The United States and The Republic of Korea found themselves in the third seed of their respective pools after the conclusion of pool play and faced off on the 16th tee for the sudden death-playoff. Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu stepped forward as representatives of their respective teams.
“Honestly, it's always hard to beat the Americans, especially in the United States,” said Ryu. “A lot of American fans are in here. Lexi is a long hitter and I thought that she easily can make it in two on the par-5. So obviously I was pretty scared before I was going into the playoff.”
Park and Ryu both made birdies to defeat Team USA after Kerr birdied and Thompson made par.
“It is disappointing,” said Kerr. “Especially to go in a playoff and have it come down to one hole and total score. So it's just disappointing, but we got to take the positives away from our play the last couple days and hold our head high.”
The format for Sunday will be singles match play with a total of ten matches played on Sunday. Each country will play one singles match against every other country. The team with the most points over all four days of play will win the International Crown.
NO MORE HOSTING DUTIES
The Americans headed into this week not even having the thought of missing out on Sunday’s singles matches, but after being forced in the wildcard playoff and losing to The Republic of Korea, that horror became their reality.
“Honestly, the first time I thought about that was on our cart ride up into the media center,” said Lewis. “I never thought that we wouldn't be playing tomorrow. It never really even crossed my mind until we were driving up here. I don't know.”
Lewis and Paula Creamer needed to halve or win their match on Saturday with Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot to clinch a spot for Sunday’s final round. Thompson and Kerr beat the Jutanugarn sisters 3&2 to give the U.S. six total points.
The final match of the day went all the way to the 18th hole, only one of two matches to do so on Saturday, and Creamer and Lewis failed to convert on their long birdie putts. After all four players made par, the U.S. was forced into the wildcard playoff which they eventually lost.
Although they won’t be competing on Sunday, the entire group agreed that the competition elevated women’s golf as a whole.
“I think the International Crown generated a lot of interest by the media, a lot of interest by the fans, and I thought it was very good for our Tour,” said Kerr. “It was a different, fresh kind of an idea and concept. I think our Tour needs this kind of an event where we can include a lot of different countries, because we are such a global Tour. I'm going to walk away saying I thought this event was pretty cool.”
WEATHER FORECAST MOVES UP START TIMES
With bad weather forecasted for Sunday afternoon, the tee times for the final day of the International Crown have been moved up. The first singles match will now tee off at 11:30 a.m. ET with the final pairing teeing off at 1:00 p.m.
Due to the change in schedule, the final matches of the International Crown will be available to watch from 1-2:30 p.m. ET on GolfChannel.com and live TV coverage will take place from 2:30-5 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
JAPAN ON TOP HEADING INTO FINAL DAY
With a 3&2 victory by Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine Team Japan earned its seventh and eighth points of the competition to move into first place heading into the final day of the International Crown.
“It was huge two points I think that we took today,” Miyazato said. “Wow, it was just a really tough day out there. Na Yeon and I.K. played really solid and I thought we were going to play 18, another 18 holes today or something. That match was really tough.”
Undefeated heading into the final day of fourball, the Japanese squad dropped it first match of the competition when Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato fell to Korea’s Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu putting extra pressure on Ai Miyazato and Yokomine who delivered in the clutch with the victory over Na Yeon Choi and I.K. Kim.
The Japanese duo trailed by one at the turn but quickly turned the match around on the home half by winning four of the first five holes to go three up. The charge was led by Yokomine who holed out for eagle on 10 and then went birdie, chip-in eagle, birdie, birdie on the first five holes of the back nine. From there, the Japanese pair halved the next two holes with pars to take the 3&2 victory.
“It's been just amazing,” Ai Miyazato said. “It's an amazing feeling. We're having this super great experience so far. It doesn't matter how we're going to play or not, it's just a great atmosphere and we have seen good crowds on the golf course. It's an amazing feeling playing for my country.”
The four Japanese golfers are confident heading into the singles competition but are still appreciative of the opportunity to represent their country.
“I know it's going to be a big day tomorrow, but still, I'm just really happy that I'm part of this team and I'm playing for my country this week,” Ai Miyazato said. “I just really appreciate that we could have this opportunity.”
Team of the Day - Pool B
Sweden went into the final day of fourball action needing a big day as they were tied for last in Group B and the pairings of Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall and Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid delivered earning four points and easily getting into the singles round.
“Both of us played really well,” said Nordqvist. “It's been a long time since I enjoyed myself this much on a golf course. But we were playing really well and I'm just very happy and proud of my team today.”
Lindberg and Parmlid got the Swedish team on the board first with a dominating 7&5 victory over Australia’s Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright, the largest margin of victory in the International Crown thus far. The duo won the first three holes with birdies and never looked back on their way to the victory.
“It was just so nice to put some points on the board, because obviously we hadn't our first two days,” Lindberg said. “It really felt like we deserved it after our good golf yesterday. So just, yeah, we were so determined to go out there today and just get those two points, because we knew we were playing great golf.”
Nordqvist and Hedwall also put in an impressive showing over the Aussies winning 5&3 over Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee. The duo made three consecutive birdies from holes 6-8 to break open a tight contest and cruised the rest of the way.
“Well, obviously, today it really helped because we knew we needed the two matches. It just made us happy,” Hedwall said.
SPAIN IN THE CLUTCH
It doesn’t get much more clutch than what Belen Mozo did Saturday. Needing a full two points to ensure entry into Sunday’s final round after Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda won 6 & 5, Mozo and Recari entered the final three holes all square with Candie Kung and Teresa Lu.
“Well, I think if you know me, you know that I live for these moments,” Mozo said. “I just get very excited and I love it. I just embrace those moments, because I don't know, I have so much passion that I enjoy it.”
And she proved the talk wasn’t hype. Despite being the lowest ranked member of Team Spain, she shined the brightest when it mattered most, chipping in for eagle on the par-5 16th to take the hole after Teresa Lu had made birdie.
“I just didn't think about my technique. I just saw the ball flying, took a big breath and went with it,” Mozo said. “It was a pretty nice shot.”
Added Recari: “That was just an incredible boost. We were like, you know, so motivated and two holes to go and we finished it, and it was fantastic out there.”
They were able to finish it again because of Mozo. It wasn’t for a lack of effort from Chinese Taipei, either, as Teresa Lu poured in another birdie on 18, but Mozo holed a 10-foot birdie putt to match and guarantee Spain the win and the entry into Sunday’s finale. Mozo’s birdie falling was particularly crushing for Lu, who had just completed a phenomenal day with seven birdies and an eagle on the day, but it wasn’t enough because of Mozo. On the back nine alone, Mozo made four birdies and an eagle, but no birdie was bigger than the one on 18.
“I just wanted to do it,” Mozo said. “The chances of going in were maybe not so high, but I don't know, you know, you can always believe and dream. So I dreamed about it and it went in.”
The sweep came a day after Spain was swept by the Americans, but all along, the Spaniards knew it would take an upset to beat them. That’s the confidence they came in with and that’s the confidence they took into Saturday’s matches.
It would be a huge upset if we weren't up here,” Recari said. “Even though we're competing against the other seven best countries in the world, we unconsciously, I don't know if the word is 'expect,' but if you were in there, I'm going to repeat what Azahara said, we would be like, what? What happened if we weren't in there. It would be a great upset for us.”
Shot and Putt of the Day
With her team in the playoff vying for the final spot in the singles finale of the International Crown, Inbee Park’s drive split the fairway but fell well behind her fellow competitors on the par-5 16th hole. The former Rolex Rankings No. 1 didn’t let the lack of distance bother her as she laid up to 70 yards and stuck her approach to five feet.
“It was the most nervous moment that I had in my life yet,” said the four-time major champion and 10-time LPGA tour winner.
With her playing partner I.K. Kim and USA’s Crisite Kerr in tight with birdie looks and Lexi Thompson in with a par, Park’s four foot breaker proved to be the difference maker as she buried the left to right breaker allowing Kim to clean up her tap in for the victory.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
As Pornanong Phatlum left the 18th green with a 1-up victory over No. 1 Stacy Lewis and Paula Creamer, one that ensured her native Thailand would advance to the final round Sunday, she had to look back over what might have been the greatest golfing day of her life.
Phatlum, the No. 28 player in the world, went to work early, recording birdies on the two opening holes to take a 1-up lead on the Americans. She recorded one more on the front nine and then really decided to take it to the Americans with birdies on the first three holes on the back nine. Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 pushed the Thailand lead to 2-up with three to play. Phatlum couldn’t muster anymore birdies over the final three, but her eight birdie Saturday proved enough as the Americans cut the lead to 1-up with a birdie on the par-5 16th but weren’t able to make a birdie on 17 or 18, ensuring Thailand would advance to the finale.
“Such a big win today. It was a really close match,” said Onnarin Sattayabanphot, Phatlum’s partner. “They also played really well today and Pornanong played amazing today on the back nine.”
Both Sattayabanphot and Phatlum ignored the growing crowd of Americans surrounding their matches. Sattayabanphot admitted to being a bit intimidated by the Spaniards in round one, but Saturday they stayed within themselves and focused only on their game. It worked and now Thailand – many prognosticator’s guess as the winner – heads into Sunday’s single matches with four other countries with a host of momentum.
“I tried to ignore all the crowd and all the loud noise from the gallery and then just try to play my game and try to support my partner,” Sattayabanphot said. “We kind of talked more on how we're going to play each shot or how we're going to play the puts and stuff. I think that went well.”
If Sattayabanphot’s partner plays Sunday like she did against the Americans, Thailand can go ahead and chalk up one singles point on Sunday.
PORNANONG PHATLUM, ARIYA JUTANUGARN, MORIYA JUTANUGARN, ONNARIN SATTAYABANPHOT
KELLY THESIER: Good afternoon, everyone. We would like to welcome Team Thailand into the interview room. A big 1-up victory for Onnarin Sattayabanphot and Pornanong Phatlum over Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis. Secured their spot on Sunday in the singles. They capture the No. 2 seed in Pool A and the No. 3 seed overall for Sunday.
First off, ladies, congratulations. You've made it to Sunday play. Pretty impressive accomplishment. First off, Moo, you guys really had to battle there to get that victory and that meant the difference between going into a playoff and not having to go into a playoff. How big was that win for you?
ONNARIN SATTAYABANPHOT: Such a big win today. Then it was really close match. They also played really well today and Pornanong played amazing today on the back nine.
KELLY THESIER: You guys were matched up against Stacy Lewis who is the No. 1 player in the world. Is it different when you're playing against someone of that caliber? What did you guys do to motivate yourself for that match and get yourselves ready for that?
ONNARIN SATTAYABANPHOT: Well, I think the first day we kind of were scared of Spain. Then we kept looking at how they played. So today we tried to just play our game and take one at a time and just try to do our best. So today I think that it went well.
KELLY THESIER: Moriya and Ariya, you guys now are playing on Sunday in singles matches. Was that the goal all week to make sure that you got to Sunday? Now how are you guys talking strategy for what you guys are going to do in your singles matches?
MORIYA JUTANUGARN: For the singles matches, we're just trying to figure that out right now what we're going to do. The first three days, they helped a lot, and also we had a good match. Today we played pretty good just like not very good on the first like couple holes. But after that, we just came back.
KELLY THESIER: All week or actually the whole time leading into this event, everybody had been talking about Team Thailand. Other players were saying you guys were a team to be feared. That you might be kind of the underdog pick to win this thing. How do you like your chances tomorrow to actually walk away and be the first team to win the International Crown? Anyone can answer that.
ONNARIN SATTAYABANPHOT: I think we have a good chance. We don't really talk a lot, we don't do trash talking and stuff, but we would like to take that crown trophy back home tomorrow.
KELLY THESIER: Moo, yesterday you said when we left this press conference when everybody asked how you would fare against the USA, you said, Just come watch. We watched and you guys did pretty well. Do you think everybody should just come and watch tomorrow and see how it goes?
ONNARIN SATTAYABANPHOT: I guess so, because the Americans are knocked out right now, right?
KELLY THESIER: Knocked out the No. 1 seed. That's a pretty impressive accomplishment. Ladies, any shots that you remember from today that you ladies thought were really important in the matches. Any shots or any particular holes that really stuck out as key for you guys to have that win?
MORIYA JUTANUGARN: To me, the key is we were more like a team and we worked out pretty good. They were close and they worked out pretty good today. We had to talk, and we had a couple good birdies. I had some long putts on 13, 14? On 14. So I won that hole. We were still tied on some holes when I made birdie.
KELLY THESIER: When you guys are done with this, what do you hope that people know now about Thailand golf? What do you think people will learn from watching now and knowing about how good the golfers are coming out of Thailand? Do you hope now that people will see? I know there haven't been a ton of players on the LPGA Tour in the past from Thailand. Do you guys hope that you're representing what golf is like now there, all of the talent that's coming up? Do you hope you're showcasing that this week?
ONNARIN SATTAYABANPHOT: I think. So I think there's a lot more good players back home. I think in a few more years, I think it's going to be more great players coming from Thailand.
Q. How did you stay so calm today when it was so exciting with the cheers for the Americans and all that. Why are you so calm? Were you excited?
ONNARIN SATTAYABANPHOT: I tried to ignore all the crowd and all the loud noise from the gallery and then just try to play my game and try to support my partner. We kind of talked more on how we're going to play each shot or how we're going to play the puts and stuff. I think that went well.
Q. On behalf of the Thai country and the Thai people here in the U.S., we are proud for what you did today and hope you have the crowd tomorrow. Good luck for tomorrow.
KELLY THESIER: Well, thank you very much, ladies. Wishing you the best of luck tomorrow in your singles matches.
Q. Many congratulations on a very dominant performance today. After yesterday, being beaten by the American team, how did you turn it around?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: We just talked of the things we didn't do quite right yesterday. We lost the 7th hole yesterday and we kind of got down on ourselves and that's not how normally we are. We normally are very cheerful. We learned from it and we said from the beginning, Let's just give it our best. No matter if we're down or whatever, just keep heads high and that's what we did today. We played really well and made lots of birdies.
As partners, we played really, really well. So that was really fun to be out there.
Q. I noticed on the 11th green you guys had a bit of a head-to-head with your caddies and looked at the scoreboard. What did you look for and what were you trying to figure out from that?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: We want to play tomorrow, so we were looking at our teammates, what they were doing. We just wanted them to win and let's see if they can play good and we can play tomorrow, because we really want to play match play tomorrow.
Q. Is it going to be weird maybe having to root for America to win their matches?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: No, we're going to root for whoever we have to root for. So we want to get through. So whatever has to happen, it's good.
KRAIG KANN: Thank you for being here in the media center here at the International Crown. Team Spain is here and a pretty good day. Azahara Munoz, Carlota Ciganda, Beatriz Recari and Belen Mozo. Let's start with the two players to my left. With Azahara and Carlota, 6 & 5 victory over Yani and Phoebe today.
Boy, what did you have for breakfast? This is a pretty good day for you all. Start with you.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: Yeah, we didn't have the best day yesterday, and we were talking the things we didn't do right or we could improve on. So we talked about it this morning and we said just from the beginning, no matter what, we're going to keep our head high and just give it our best. Whatever happens, happens.
But like yesterday, we kind of had the feeling that we were a little stressed out about it. Like as soon as we miss a putt or as soon as we miss a shot, we were like getting stressed out.
So today it was the opposite. We played so relaxed and right from the beginning we just kept making birdies. So it was a pretty easy day for us out there. We just had a lot of fun.
KRAIG KANN: Carlota, your thoughts on the change from yesterday to today and how well you played.
CARLOTA CIGANDA: Yes, as Azahara said, we were very relaxed compared to yesterday and I told her, Let's have fun today, let's be relaxed, try to hit the best shots we can, and then whatever happens, is good. We can't do anything else than just hit all the shots.
It was a lot of fun because we started playing really good and, of course, making lots of birdies and we had a great time.
KRAIG KANN: Get some comments from Beatriz and Belen in your match, victory over Candie Kung and Teresa Lu and the thought process you all had standing on that tee today, perhaps feeling pressure or disappointment from yesterday, although in looking at you guys you looked pretty relaxed to me.
BEATRIZ RECARI: Yeah, no, I think we were so motivated from yesterday. We were really upset that we didn't get any points. And that you don't mess with us. You know, it's like we got very upset.
So we just told yourselves, Okay, let's take all four and then it's in our hands. And it was unfortunate that she started incredibly strong for eagle on the first and then made birdie on 2.
But we played great, so Belen made a great birdie on 3 & 2, then I made a good birdie on 4. So we got it right back to all square and it was just a very tight match. We were playing great. Teresa was playing unbelievable. She was 7-under after 11. But that's tough, but we stayed patient. We were 2-under after nine and so we, on the 10th fairway, we said, Okay, we have nine holes to go, let's just keep on playing the way we're playing, smart, aggressive.
Belen holed two great birdies on 10 and 11 to square the match, and then we were able to get it to all square again after 14. I think that gave us a lot of momentum because we got it to all square twice on the course.
Belen, she chipped in for a great eagle on 16, so that put us 1-up and that was just an incredible boost. We were like, you know, so motivated and two holes to go and we finished it and it was fantastic out there.
KRAIG KANN: One comment from Belen. Raise your hand if you've got questions. Belen, your thoughts on the day. I honestly don't think you've lacked for confidence this week. You seemed quite excited about the opportunity and you must feel great sitting here right now knowing you're in tomorrow.
BELEN MOZO: I feel great. I couldn't be more blessed to be playing with this group of ladies up next to me. I love them all. I think we're a great team. Like Beatriz was saying, after yesterday's result, I guess I went to bed not feeling great about it. I was still so upset when I was sleeping. I couldn't really sleep.
I woke up and I said, You know what? It's not like you played bad, so stop being negative. You have one day today next to Beatriz. She's playing amazing.
So I just wanted to redeem myself, even though we didn't play bad. But I don't know why I started thinking so negatively after yesterday's result. I was so pumped up about today. And even Teresa started eagle, birdie, that was not going to bring me down. I went for it.
I love being under pressure. I love walking into the last four holes being all square and having our chance to win the match. I just live for this. I was waiting for that moment to come and I embraced it and we ended up winning the match, which is great.
KRAIG KANN: I've got a follow-up for you later. But let's take questions.
Q. Can you walk us through the chip in, Belen, and the putt on 18. Where were you? What were you thinking? Did you hit the shots you wanted?
BELEN MOZO: Well, that chip was not the easiest chip in the whole world. I just took a deep breath and I actually was thinking about my brother, because he's a great short-game player. He gets on my nerves every time we play because he always says, You know how to do it, stop messing around.
And then I was like, You know what? Just do it like you do it in the practice rounds like he always says you can do it.
And I just didn't think about my technique. I just saw the ball flying, took a big breath and went with it. It was a pretty nice shot.
Oh, the birdie on 18? I don't know. I wanted to finish up cool.
BEATRIZ RECARI: No, no she told me it's like, Okay, make that par so we can finish with birdie.
And I said, All right.
So, yeah, that's exactly what she told me. So I was like, yeah, done.
BELEN MOZO: I just wanted to do it. The chances of going in were maybe not so high, but I don't know, you know, you can always believe and dream. So I dreamed about it and it went in.
Q. Beatriz, you guys were such a big part of the Solheim Cup team and now playing as well as you have, can you just put in perspective how this group, your fellow golfers, how much you've elevated golf for women in your country.
BEATRIZ RECARI: Well, it means a lot. I think that women's golf and Spanish golf in general is in such a good moment that we felt that it was a great first chance. We had to represent our country on a professional level. I think I speak on behalf of all of us that we thought talking about it, it was a great motivation to fight for it and put Spain up there where it belongs.
KRAIG KANN: Belen, let's go back to you. You were not at the last two Solheim Cups. These players here have been there. What is this stage like for you?
BELEN MOZO: Well, I think if you know me, you know that I live for these moments. I just get very excited and I love it. I just embrace those moments, because I don't know, I have so much passion that I enjoy it.
The fact when I saw those girls, they were done and they were walking with us just brought so many good memories from when we were playing junior golf. We always did the same. It didn't matter who won, we were always there for each other. I just loved it. It was like in the past, you know. It was all of us again together, just enjoying and living our dreams.
So I just loved it. I loved when I saw them on the par-3. I said, Come on, let's do this. Let's do this together.
And we did it.
KRAIG KANN: Beatriz and Azahara, would it be fair to say that you all expected to be playing on Sunday or would that be too much of a stretch to feel you were that confident coming in here?
AZAHARA MUNOZ: I don't know if you could say we were expected to, but for sure we would be very disappointed if we weren't. I think the four of us are good enough to be playing on Sunday.
But every other team is really good, too. But we didn't have a great day yesterday. Thankfully we had a really good day on Thursday and today. Yeah, I think we are definitely good enough to hopefully give it a run tomorrow and get the crown.
KRAIG KANN: Beatriz?
BEATRIZ RECARI: Yeah, I'm just going to repeat what Azahara said. It would be a huge upset if we weren't up here. Even though we're competing against the other seven best countries in the world, we unconsciously, I don't know if the word is 'expect,' but if you were in there, I'm going to repeat what Azahara said, we would be like, what? What happened if we weren't in there.
It would be a great upset for us. So that's why it is an incredible motivation for us to fight for our country and to make sure that we were tomorrow in that position to take the crown.
Q. You guys all mentioned it, you were incredibly down yesterday, especially getting around 18 green. Did you get together last night, did you have dinner, and who said what to whom?
BELEN MOZO: We played ping pong until very, very late. Spanish style. You know.
AZAHARA MUNOZ: We all went to the team room and had a beer and lots of laughs and played ping pong and nothing. I mean, we didn't do anything out of the ordinary. Actually, everybody got the families here, so it's kind of hard to get together. Yesterday was the first day that like we all went downstairs and it was a lot of fun doing something simple, but it seemed to work. So I think we'll be playing ping pong tonight, too.
KRAIG KANN: Congratulations on advancing out of your pool and best of luck tomorrow. Thanks for coming in.
Q. There's going to be a playoff here. You guys played great today. Cristie, you really came out focused.
CRISTIE KERR: I mean, there's really just no time to mope after a mediocre or bad shot, there just isn't. They're just too strong a team that we're playing against and we tried to keep the pressure up.
Q. You guys kept the pressure up all day. Lexi from 10, 11 and 12, or 11, 12 and 13, with an eagle in there and putting great. Going into this playoff system, if you guys stay the same, would you guys go out there or have you talked about it or what's going on? Any strategies?
LEXI THOMPSON: We're going to talk about it. We don't know of anything yet. We're hoping that we halve this match, if not win it, so we don't have to think about it.
CRISTIE KERR: First things first. We're feeling good, so if they want us to go, we're ready.
CRISTIE KERR, LEXI THOMPSON, STACY LEWIS, PAULA CREAMER
KRAIG KANN: Welcome to the press room here at the International Crown. Pleasure to have in Team USA. Got to my far left Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, and Cristie Kerr. Let's work our way from the most recent and backwards and get thoughts on the playoff and the feelings of potential emotion out on that green.
Start with you, Cristie.
CRISTIE KERR: Well, first thing I want to say is I'm proud of these girls. Proud to be their teammate. Thursday was a hard day for us and it ended up being kind of the thing that kind of bit us in the butt. It wasn't yesterday or today, we all played our hearts out.
It is disappointing. Especially to go in a playoff and have it come down to one hole and total score. So it's just disappointing, but we got to take the positives away from our play the last couple days and hold our head high.
KRAIG KANN: Lexi, your thoughts on the playoff.
LEXI THOMPSON: Like Cristie said, we had a rough start to the tournament the first day, but we fought hard the second day and today. We definitely have to take the positives out of it and I just got an unfortunate break on the playoff hole, but I hit two great shots.
CRISTIE KERR: Two great shots?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah. Two bad breaks, yeah.
But we switched up a few pairings. I think that we'll take the positives out of it and look forward to other team events in the next few years.
KRAIG KANN: Paula and Stacy, let's get your thoughts on the match that became quite pivotal down the stretch. Your match with Phatlum and Sattayabanphot, won 1-up. Stacy, your thoughts on the match and what went right, what went wrong, and ultimately how it was decided in your mind.
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think on both sides, it was just a well-played match. Both teams, we both gave ourselves a lot of birdie opportunities, a lot of looks at it. I thought Paula and I actually played a little bit better today as a team than we did yesterday.
But Pornanong just went crazy there on the back nine on us. If she wasn't hitting it to gimmie range, she was making a 20-footer. And we had plenty of opportunities, though, we had the par-3, 13, we had two putts in there that we probably should have made one of those. We had a couple other good looks coming in, too. So it's certainly disappointing, because we played a lot better than that outcome.
KRAIG KANN: Paula, your thoughts on your match this afternoon.
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, we went against a team, she almost holed it on No. 1. So we knew it was going to be a -- right off the bat we're giving her, just, Here you go, nice shot. Nice birdie.
And the next hole, they make a bomb. And then the third hole...
I mean, it's just one of those things where they definitely had the rhythm the whole time. We kept fighting back, fighting back, and when they had a birdie opportunity, they capitalized a little bit more than what we did.
I know I missed a putt on 11 and Stacy made a great putt on 12, and then we both had looks on 13. I could have made my putt on 14. So on. 15, she hits it to a foot and that's a difficult hole and give that one.
But they played great and we knew they were going to. They're sneaky like that. They're just good players. It was unfortunate, but it was a really good match.
KRAIG KANN: Get some hands up and some questions. I want to get a comment from Stacy and Cristie, before we take our first question, on simply the fact that Korea and the United States, the two top seeds, ultimately are the ones that end up in a playoff like this. What does it say about the format? We talked a lot about that in the beginning and there are only eight teams. So let's start with you, Stacy.
STACY LEWIS: I don't know if you want to know what we think of the format right now, but...
Well, first, the format's hard. It's only two matches a day, so there's only opportunity for four points a day. It's best ball, which with best ball, you can throw rankings and all that kind of stuff out the window.
It's just crazy to think that we're two points out of the lead of this thing and we're not able to play tomorrow. So that's really what's the most disappointing part about the format.
But it's the first year of this event. Nobody really knew kind of how it was going to fall. We just wish we had an opportunity tomorrow, because I think that we really could win tomorrow if we had an opportunity to play.
KRAIG KANN: Cristie?
CRISTIE KERR: I totally agree. Like she said, it's a first year event and maybe they will look at tweaking some things in the future, because with eight points up for tomorrow, I mean anything can really happen.
But, hey, there's going to be winners and there's going to be losers, and we're on the losing end this time. We played our hearts out. We just didn't have our day on Thursday. No sour grapes here at all. Just have to take this as a learning experience. We got some good Solheim Cup experience out there, too, with some different pairings.
KRAIG KANN: Take some questions.
Q. For Stacy, did you feel any extra pressure today, knowing that this is a home team, home field advantage and what if the U.S. isn't there tomorrow to make it? Did that enter your mind?
STACY LEWIS: Honestly, the first time I thought about that was on our cart ride up into the media center. I never thought that we wouldn't be playing tomorrow. It never really even crossed my mind until we were driving up here. I don't know.
But I don't think we felt pressure by any means. I thought that it was great to have the fans out and all. It was really cool the way they pulled us through there and it was cool to hear the roars from what they were doing ahead of us, and they were really trying to get behind us.
So I just wish we could have used that home field advantage a little bit more.
Q. Is there anything you know right now that you would tweak for next year in terms of the format?
STACY LEWIS: Just the way all the points have fallen. I think that everybody, every team should be playing on Sunday. I just think it's too bunched up with the points to really kind of -- I mean, I think first and last is five points apart, which, I mean, that's not very much in this format.
So I think that's the only thing you tweak in it. Maybe look at the playoff we had today, keeping it as a best ball and not using that second ball, maybe doing something different there, just I think purely because I know the fans out there didn't understand what was going on.
PAULA CREAMER: They were going to the next tee.
STACY LEWIS: The fans were walking to 17 and So Yeon is over there making her putt. So the fans just didn't quite know what was going on there and so maybe look at that, too.
Q. Whoever wants to take this, the Americans obviously are re-surging, you've all been playing very well. But when you look at back-to-back Solheim Cups and now this, the natural question is what isn't translating in the team events?
CRISTIE KERR: Well, a loaded question there.
STACY LEWIS: Do you have the answer?
CRISTIE KERR: I don't think I do have the answer. No, I mean, I think you have to look at the overall body of work and what the Americans have done the last couple years on Tour, especially this year. You have to look at that. Match play's a different animal. It's very serious competition. It's a fun event, too. So we have to keep that in mind. Germany is just a year away. So we'll see what happens there and you can write about it when it happens.
STACY LEWIS: I think we learned a little bit on Thursday. I think we learned that we had to be a little bit tougher and to support our partners out there. I think that's something that all of us are going to take into Solheims and this event in the future. I think we did a better job of that, though, the last two days, supporting each other better and just being a little bit tougher. Just making some key putts, that's really in match play that's all it comes down to.
CRISTIE KERR: And also I think I learned that the comfortable pairings are not always the best ones. You need to find the chemistry and the spark between your pairings to kind of egg each other on.
PAULA CREAMER: What are you trying to say there?
CRISTIE KERR: No, I'm saying -- all right. Paula, you know I love you. If you're used to playing with somebody and you played with them a lot, sometimes routine is routine. Mixing things up is great. That's what I meant to say. You know that.
Q. Lexi, walk us through the decision to putt on the playoff hole from down below the green.
LEXI THOMPSON: My ball was in like the back of a sand divot, so, I mean, pretty much my wedge would have dug in and it would have been a duff automatically.
STACY LEWIS: There was no other option.
Q. Stacy, any of you, did this remind you a little bit of like March Madness where you're the No. 1 seed, you have the best record, body of work, but it doesn't matter in a competition like this? I mean, we see that every year with the basketball tournaments with the lower seeds. Did it have that feel at all to you?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it definitely did. We said at the beginning of the week, the seeds don't matter. The rankings, the world rankings, they don't matter. Especially best ball more than anything, because you can have a bad hole and your partner can keep you in there.
So it kind of had a crazy feel to it, I'm sure. But it made for great TV, which that's what we were trying to do. We're trying to get a fun event. We're trying to get a lot of people watching us, and I think that we succeeded at that for sure.
KRAIG KANN: Paula, do you have any thoughts on that, as far as it feeling like college basketball format and the seedings going in, etcetera?
PAULA CREAMER: I didn't go to college, but...
STACY LEWIS: Do you watch basketball even?
PAULA CREAMER: All I can say is I think that it is a great event. I think it brought a lot of excitement. There's going to be changes, for sure. Unfortunately, we aren't playing tomorrow. You had the two top seeds in a playoff. That happens in a lot of sports. Not necessarily the best team on paper wins.
I think it's just such a hard one right now because we are only two points out of it and it came down to a playoff. The format was different in the playoff than it was in the normal tournament, things like that. That's a learning experience.
But it doesn't take away the day that we had yesterday and it doesn't take away the way that we played. We just grinded our way as much as we possibly could in every match that we had.
Q. I asked this question at the beginning of the week about this course and how it sets up and does it setup like a Major Championship. Now having played it for three days, did it have a feel of a Major, not necessarily the tournament or the event, but the course? Can you see a major, a Solheim Cup coming back to a place like this?
PAULA CREAMER: This is an awesome match play golf course. It is. I couldn't see a full field out here. I don't think we would get around very fast. But it's an awesome match play course. The pins, the way that they set it up was great for best ball. It would be a little bit more difficult if it was alternate shot. The rough was penalizing. Fairways, you know, it's a little bit different grass than I think we're used to. The greens were tricky. So, yes, but I mean the format that we played, I think it was perfect for that.
KRAIG KANN: Anybody else need comments from any other players on that question? Are you good? Okay. Four more questions, and just so you know, there won't be a lot of time for individual stuff afterwards with these players, so please ask your questions in here. Questions?
Q. Paula, that was very dramatic, great TV. For a player who has won a U.S. Open, been in a lot of Solheims, could you compare what the feeling was like out there at the end compared to the other big events you're in?
PAULA CREAMER: The fans today were great. It felt like a Solheim Cup in a sense with the people screaming 'USA.' They were so much more into it the last two days. I think it was just a learning experience for them on Thursday as well, and probably the people that watched it on TV or heard us say it, they got more involved.
But I mean we were grinding. You're trying just as hard there as you are in any tournament, if not more. You're playing for your team, you're playing for your country. But the feel was there.
Like you said, the golf course makes it that way, too. You can never let your head down, you got to keep going, keep moving. But as in relationship to the atmosphere, I don't think it will ever get to Solheim Cup level, just because of the tradition and the past history of that. But I think it will be right up near it. In several years from now it's going to be a huge event for every country.
Q. Especially for Cristie and Paula, your thoughts of how anxious you are to play in this event again and also to the next event's at Rich Harvest Farms where you've been part of a winning U.S. Solheim Cup team, how much would you look forward to coming back and hopefully improving your luck at that facility?
PAULA CREAMER: I've always said I love playing on team events and just being able to be with the best players in the world and playing with them as your partners and just watching it. But, yeah, I've been so motivated since the last several Solheims, it's just tough losing those and coming in here. I don't feel like we lost by any means because I think that we did a good job. We played hard.
If we were playing tomorrow, we wouldn't even be having this conversation, but I think that as a team and as the other Americans, others sitting watching us right now, I mean, we're very motivated. Germany is going to be coming up soon and then Rich Harvest Farms.
Q. So they told me tomorrow you could choose your own walk-up music when you come out. I'm curious what you guys were going to walk out to?
PAULA CREAMER: I think I was going to be American woman. By Lenny Kravitz.
STACY LEWIS: I hadn't even gotten that far.
LEXI THOMPSON: I had Head Strong by Trapped.
CRISTIE KERR: I think I'm torn. Just kidding. No, I like the song I walked up to today, New York State of Mind. I live in New York part-time and, I don't know, torn between Walk It out or Walk It In, whatever that song is.
KRAIG KANN: Cristie, I actually didn't allow you to answer the question about Rich Harvest Farms. Did you have any comments on that?
CRISTIE KERR: I don't even remember the question.
KRAIG KANN: It's okay. Then we'll move forward. Go ahead. In the back.
Q. Lexi, your second shot on the playoff hole, if it sticks there, we're not even talking about you guys not coming back tomorrow. You are coming back. Will you be thinking about what might have been if that shot just didn't roll back down the hill?
STACY LEWIS: We're not going to let her think about that.
CRISTIE KERR: No, I think we're going to answer for her on this one. No.
STACY LEWIS: She hit two great golf shots there and she did exactly as she was supposed to do.
CRISTIE KERR: She was the best player. I think she was the best player the last couple days. I mean, it was so much fun to watch her play.
Q. I'm wondering are you guys going to come out here tomorrow, are you going to watch? Also, who do you think may win this?
CRISTIE KERR: I got an eight-month-old baby. I'm going to take care of him and change some diapers.
KRAIG KANN: Lexi?
LEXI THOMPSON: I have no idea what I'm doing tomorrow.
STACY LEWIS: I have no idea.
LEXI THOMPSON: I'm just --
PAULA CREAMER: I think we're still kind of realizing we're not playing.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, we're still absorbing it.
STACY LEWIS: I think we'll watch and see the results. I don't know if we'll come out. But really, I mean, the points are so close, I mean anybody can win, really.
CRISTIE KERR: Who would we root for if not ourselves?
STACY LEWIS: I mean --
Q. Based on what you've seen so far, who do you think?
STACY LEWIS: It's really hard to say. I don't know. You look at Taiwan swept us, we swept Spain, but then Spain swept Taiwan. So I mean, what does that tell you? Nothing, basically.
So it's really, really -- it's so up for grabs, the points are so close that I don't know. I don't know if there is a favorite for tomorrow.
CRISTIE KERR: Like Stacy said, everything is so bunched up and so close, maybe they do need to look a little bit at the format. Because if everybody was playing, everybody would be close and it might even be more exciting if nobody knew what was going to happen. I mean, that would be such great TV.
KRAIG KANN: Final thing before I let you go. We'll start this way and go straight down. You sat here a few days ago before the event even began with probably interesting expectations or maybe none at all, not knowing what the event was going to be. Aside from the format conversation, your biggest take away and the overall excitement of the event, or what you'll leave town with about the International Crown.
CRISTIE KERR: I think the International Crown generated a lot of interest by the media, a lot of interest by the fans, and I thought it was very good for our Tour. It was a different, fresh kind of an idea and concept. I think our Tour needs this kind of an event where we can include a lot of different countries, because we are such a global Tour. I'm going to walk away saying I thought this event was pretty cool.
LEXI THOMPSON: I would definitely agree with that. The LPGA is such a global Tour and it's not just USA against Europe like Solheim Cup is. It's seven other countries. To play this format and match play, I think it got a lot of fans interested.
Even watching since day one as the fan base grew over the last few days, I mean, it was amazing to see. I think this tournament has a great future ahead of it.
STACY LEWIS: Well, I thought that it was a great first year. I think the coolest part for me was to be able to see Yani out there, representing her country. And the Australians, they didn't have the opportunity like we do at Solheim Cup. So I think we succeeded there. It had a different feel to it than Solheims, but it had a good feel to it.
I think it's an event that has a great opportunity to grow over the years, and I was just honored to be on Team USA the first year and can't wait to play with these girls again.
PAULA CREAMER: I would say that was the coolest trophy, the crown, that is awesome. I wanted to wear that crown. But it definitely makes us all want to be on the team again, for sure. That's the thing I take away is, like what Stacy said, it's not quite the same feel as the other one, but it's not the same event. It's not the same type. It's not the same style as Solheim Cup. It's its own, its own event.
It does bring in these other players that come out to Solheim to watch and to be helpers on both teams. It brings them and they get to represent their countries. We're very lucky that we're from the United States and we do get to do this a lot more as professionals.
I know amateur-wise there's a lot of team events that they play on, but it was just nice to be able to see that. And the girls from Thailand, things like that, I think that that's pretty cool. The thing I take away from it most is it's tough losing, but I think we learned a lot as a team, taking that into Germany.
KRAIG KANN: Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, thanks for being a part of the first ever International Crown. We appreciate it.
MIYAZATO, SAKURA YOKOMINE, MIKA MIYAZATO, MAMIKO HIGA
KRAIG KANN: A lot of smiles up here on this stage for Team Japan. They clinched the top spot in Pool B with one of their victories today. We have got Ai Miyazato and the rest of Team Japan sitting here. We'll take some questions. I would like you to get hands raised if you have any.
But let's just start with some big thoughts on the victory. I'm going to start right down the line for you Ai. You and Sakura, with your victory today, what did it mean for you? What does it mean to be advancing into the singles tomorrow?
AI MIYAZATO: It was huge two points I think that we took today. Wow, it was just a really tough day out there. Na Yeon and I.K. played really solid and I thought we were going to play 18, another 18 holes today or something. That match was really tough.
But Sakura, she hit so many good shots out there and she got two eagles on the back nine and that was huge. It just kept the rounds going and that's why we got the two points, I think. It's because of you.
KRAIG KANN: For those who don't know, before I ask Sakura for some comments, could you share with everybody here just what type of player she is, because there are a lot of folks --
AI MIYAZATO: Sakura?
KRAIG KANN: Yes.
-- that are not familiar with her game except what they have seen on TV this week.
AI MIYAZATO: Okay. Are you guys ready for two hours or something?
I know her a long time. But she is always like laid back, even on the golf course or off the golf course. It doesn't matter. She's always like really the same, calm person. She's not too excited.
KRAIG KANN: She doesn't look too excited right now.
AI MIYAZATO: No, right. But she's really happy girl. She's always smiling. Even when she made a mistake on the golf course, she's still smiling and saying something positive.
What else? And she's tiny, but she can hit it long with the driver and she can putt, and her chipping is amazing. So she's just a great player, I think.
KRAIG KANN: Sakura, do you have some thoughts on your play over the last few days?
SAKURA YOKOMINE: First day we played well and then we won. The second day, we started down and then not a big down, but then came back with all square. That was good.
And then today I thought about it against Korea, so I thought about it, that the game would be long. But we both played well, so that would be good for tomorrow as well.
KRAIG KANN: Mika, playing tomorrow and what this opportunity means to you to be able to advance to Sunday and to have a chance to win the crown now.
MIKA MIYAZATO: After three days playing with Mamiko, I really had fun. Then for tomorrow, we're not playing together. We have been doing so well, we played well for the past three days, so we will continue playing the best of our play.
KRAIG KANN: Any questions?
Q. For Ai, looks like we're going to have the top two seeds in the wildcard sudden death playoff. Does that say something about maybe the overall LPGA? There's such a close margin between say the 1st place team and the 8th place team coming in here that it's really wide open and there was no real favorite.
AI MIYAZATO: Well, it's only eight countries this week. I thought that it's going to be really close to each other. It wasn't really expected that we could take eight points this week because we thought against any country, it's going to be really tough. If we could get one point every day, that would be great, I thought.
I don't know the other players, how they felt this week, but still it's really tough matches every day. I know we tried our best and the other countries did the same thing.
But it's just match play. Match play makes a huge, huge difference than normal, normal tournament. So everyone feels a lot of pressure on the golf course and they're using a lot of energy. Sometimes you try your best, but it just results don't follow. So you have to accept it and move on.
It's just a tough week overall.
KRAIG KANN: Get some thoughts from you on the week. Three days are now done and tomorrow you'll play for the crowns and the trophy. What's it been like over three days for you? What's the experience been like? Can you put that into perspective for us?
AI MIYAZATO: Yeah, it's been just amazing. It's an amazing feeling. We're having this super great experience so far. It doesn't matter how we're going to play or not, it's just a great atmosphere and we have seen good crowds on the golf course.
It's an amazing feeling playing for my country.
I know it's going to be a big day tomorrow, but still, I'm just really happy that I'm part of this team and I'm playing for my country this week. I just really appreciate that we could have this opportunity.
KRAIG KANN: One final question and you can answer it on behalf of everybody. Where are you all going to dinner and will there be any good fun tonight? Maybe ping pong or anything else?
AI MIYAZATO: Just straight going to the bed for tomorrow, I think.
KRAIG KANN: Going to bed?
AI MIYAZATO: Yeah, we did some table tennis yesterday, did a competition, and we went to dinner and we had a great time. But we're just so exhausted, so we need to rest for tomorrow.
KRAIG KANN: Tomorrow will be an exciting day.
Congratulations on advancing out of Pool B and good luck tomorrow in the Sunday singles. Team Japan.
Q. Anna, another fast start and you didn't let up. Did you guys feel like you had the momentum going right from the start and kind of just went with it?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Both of us played really well. It's been a long time since I enjoyed myself this much on a golf course. We got off to a really good start, Minjee made a long putt on 2 and then I countered with a 15, 20-footer to stay in it. Then we made another couple birdies there.
But we were playing really well and I'm just very happy and proud of my team today.
Q. You guys went 4-up on the 8th hole and kind of stayed 4-up, 4-up, 4-up. Was there any time where you thought, All right, let's close this thing out, and you really wanted to?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: We just tried to keep going. We saw what happened to Australia yesterday, so we didn't want to take anything for granted, just try to win the next hole. I think we did that well.
Q. How much did that match yesterday, seeing Australia kind of get caught up to, being 6-up, is that kind of it's-never-over-until-it's-over mentality?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: No, it can happen to any team. I just think that we tried to ride off the momentum we had from yesterday. I'm really proud of Pernilla and Mikaela because they played so well yesterday and they lost. So I'm just very proud of them for fighting. I saw they were 3-up after three holes and I knew that they were there to compete today.
Q. Were you guys watching score boards to see how they were doing?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Oh, yeah.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Oh yeah.
Q. Have you been doing that all week?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I have. I always look at the leaderboard. The same in team events.
Q. Seeing the other team doing so well, how much does that help?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, obviously, today it really helped because we knew we needed the two matches. It just made us happy, I think.
Q. Plans for right now? Go hit balls? Go eat? Go relax and watch the rest unfold?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, everything else is out of our hands right now and there might be a playoff. If it will be, we'll be ready.
Q. Are you going to wait to find out?
MIKAELA PARMLID: It will be a Christmas surprise.
Q. Did you do that with your other two?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah.
Q. So tell me what it felt like playing pregnant. I mean, has your balance been better? Has it been the same? Any pleasant surprises, because you played awesome?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah, it's a bit different with generating power, okay? So that's the big difference. Once I changed a little bit, I was like, Okay, this is how I can generate power now. And then I played with it.
Q. What did you discover? What was the secret?
MIKAELA PARMLID: The secret is I generate it with my legs much more. Because I don't really have any stomach muscles to support it.
Q. No core?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah, no core.
Q. Can you feel the baby moving when you're playing?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Oh, yeah, you can feel it.
Q. Is it ever distracting?
MIKAELA PARMLID: No, because I'm so into it.
Q. You don't feel it?
MIKAELA PARMLID: When I'm walking. When I focus on it like that. If I don't focus on it, then I don't feel it.
Q. So when did you technically retire?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Oh, I guess I haven't really retired, but I was pretty sure in December. I said, Okay, this is my last tournament in Dubai.
Then I didn't really do anything. I didn't pick up clubs for three months. Then I got into this event. The reason was, last year I was one spot out of Solheim Cup, and I always wanted to play these team events. Suddenly, I was one spot in. It was just funny. They came up with a tournament.
Q. Different team?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Different team, but same thing. So I just couldn't say no. So that sparked my motivation. That's all it is, it's just motivation. So if I'm really motivated and really think it's fun, I love playing golf. So it's been a great journey since.
Q. So what do you think you'll do after this?
MIKAELA PARMLID: I don't know. Like that's funny. Now I'm having so much fun playing golf, I have a whole different attitude. I just enjoy it.
Q. Because of this event?
MIKAELA PARMLID: This event and since I took a different attitude towards golf, towards competition, and towards everything in life.
It's just helped me as a person to enjoy everything and love what I do. And whatever I do, that's the most fun. I mean, I choose what I want to do. Now I think this is a great thing. So I probably will come back to the U.S. if I continue to play.
Q. Try to play the LPGA again?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah.
Q. When they called you up and said, Hey, you qualified for the International Crown what did you know about this event?
MIKAELA PARMLID: I didn't know anything. I had no clue. I didn't know anything. So I went on line and I looked it up really quick and I was like, they called me from the LPGA saying I was in the Swedish team and they couldn't get ahold of me until like the last day to or two days last to get to register.
Q. Where were you? In Siberia?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Well, yeah.
I guess my LPGA e-mail had gone into my spam. So I didn't get any of the e-mails.
Q. So that's what happens when you're retired?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah. So I didn't know. I really didn't know. If I would have gotten the LPGA e-mails, I would have known about this event, but I didn't.
Q. So you just made it in the nick of time?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah.
Q. So then this course is hilly. How did you prepare for it?
MIKAELA PARMLID: I asked Pernilla when we were in England and she said, it's a really hilly course. And that's when I said, Okay, I got to walk.
So I took my dog at home and walked a lot more up and down like, because I thought that would be my biggest issue, actually. So I've been playing great golf the whole spring, so it was just in the beginning it was hard to even pick something up, because I guess your body produces more blood. I mean, you get out of breath for very little things. So that's what I had. But now it's fine. I mean, your body can do way more than you ever expect it to.
Q. So tell me how you two decided that you would be together the whole time? How the team figured out?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: We kind of said that whatever we start with, we should just stick with, because it feels like you can bring momentum from one day to the next, just a familiar feeling every day you go out. And with Anna and Caroline, obviously, a great combo at the Solheim Cup, and then I'm the one that has met Mikaela the most, because I played more on the LET the last few years than Anna and Caroline.
So I think that's pretty much what we based it on, just that we got to know each other more than she's gotten to know Caroline and Anna. So it was pretty easy.
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah, I thought it was an easy choice. Because they are such a good Solheim Cup team.
PERNILLA LINDBERG: And we felt like, yeah, we could compliment each other pretty well.
Q. You guys both played well yesterday, you just had a tough opponent.
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Exactly. And the first day, we started off a little slow. But really from the start yesterday to the end today, we have been playing some great golf. It would have been so nice walking away with at least one point yesterday, it felt like we kind of deserved it with the golf we played.
If we had played any other team yesterday, I mean, we would have beat them. But that's match play. I think when you play against great players and they're playing well, you kind of just brace yourself as well. So that's what's fun with match play.
Q. So scoring is a little confusing the way they have done it this week. Do you remember how many birdies you had each of you yesterday and today? I know you had an eagle.
MIKAELA PARMLID: I think I had six birdies and an eagle yesterday. Six or seven birdies and an eagle.
Q. And what did you have?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I was going to say I thought you had five and an eagle and I thought I had two. Because I know we were 9-under as a team and Korea was 10-under.
MIKAELA PARMLID: So maybe it was five. Yesterday it was in the newspaper, you know.
Q. Well, the scoring is off. That's why I'm asking. So five and an eagle.
PERNILLA LINDBERG: And today I birdied 1, you birdied 2. You birdied 3. I birdied 5. You birdied 11. I birdied 12. And then I was given my putt on the last one there on 13.
Q. Pernilla, what does this win mean for you guys today?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: It was just so nice to put some points on the board, because obviously we hadn't our first two days. It really felt like we deserved it after our good golf yesterday. So just, yeah, we were so determined to go out there today and just get those two points, because we knew we were playing great golf.
Q. Your husband's name?
MIKAELA PARMLID: C-a-l-l-e.
Q. And then?
MIKAELA PARMLID: M-o-r-c-k.
Q. And then the kid's name and age?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Emmi, E-m-m-i, and she's turned three yesterday. So we'll have a birthday later.
Q. You're busy right now. Did you Skype with her?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah, I Skyped with her.
Q. Did she have a party?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yeah, she had a little party with just the grandparents.
ANNA NORDQVIST, CAROLINE HEDWALL, PERNILLA LINDBERG, MIKAELA PARMLID
KRAIG KANN: Thank you for being here. Got Team Sweden here in the press room. After, I would say, a pretty terrific day overall. Mikaela Parmlid down to the far left, we have got Pernilla Lindberg, Anna Nordqvist, and Caroline Hedwall. Let's start with those down on the far end about their match, a 7 & 5 victory. All part of a day that clinches you a spot in Sunday's singles.
Mikaela, I'm going to start with you. Tell us a little bit about the day and how it all went your way.
MIKAELA PARMLID: Pernilla made an amazing putt on No. 1, and that kind of started us off. So then I birdied 2 and 3, so we were 3-up after three holes.
And Pernilla, walking down the first fairway, she goes, Okay, now it's our turn. Let's keep this going and hammer them down from the very start.
So we played such great golf yesterday and so we knew we had it in us and we just kept going. So it was really fun.
KRAIG KANN: Pernilla, you did have a fantastic day today. Let's get your thoughts on that, and then I would like to go bigger picture with you on kind of the ebbs and flows of the three days in this format and wondering if you're in good shape and maybe you're not in great shape and now you're in really good shape.
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, what was the first part of that?
KRAIG KANN: First part is, to just talk about what you did to be part of a 7 & 5 win.
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, we played so well yesterday. Obviously, we didn't walk away with a point. So we just kept saying we couldn't be too upset with ourselves. We shot 9-under together in the best ball yesterday. So we knew we had great golf in us.
We went out today and just kept going at that pace from the first hole. We just never really let Lindsey and Katherine into the match. When we got to 1-up, we wanted to get to 2. When we were 2, we wanted to get to 3. That's kind of how we kept going all day.
The next part of the question, over the last three days, obviously, Mikaela and me as a team, we started off a little slow on Thursday. We just didn't really get it going. Then it's funny with match play, I think when you play against really good players and they play well, they bring the best out of you, too.
So Yeon and I.K. played just a little bit better than us yesterday, but they kept pushing us. So that really got us going and then we kept going at that pace today.
KRAIG KANN: Anna and Caroline, a victory for you as well today, 4 & 3. Those are two pretty decisive victories for Team Sweden. What went on last night, Anna? What did you guys talk about? Was there anything said specific motivation or a game plan of any kind?
ANNA NORDQVIST: No, we didn't really say much last night. I was very proud how Mikaela and Pernilla played hard yesterday. The Koreans put on a good show and they did, too. They ended up losing on the 18th green. So it was just a matter of them keeping the momentum.
When I saw they were 3-up after three holes, I knew we were all right.
KRAIG KANN: Your thoughts, Caroline, on the competition thus far and how you played.
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, I think both Anna and I played really well together. It's been a good four-ball matches. Just the first day we just couldn't make any putts, so that made the difference yesterday. Then also today, we made a lot of birdies.
KRAIG KANN: Get some questions.
Q. Mikaela, a hundred days ago you were, in essence, out of the game. Now you've put together two or perhaps the most impressive performances of this inaugural event. How does that make you feel and does it make you rethink your decision earlier to retire?
MIKAELA PARMLID: Yes, it makes me question things. Yeah, it sure does, because it's really about motivation and the joy and balance in life. Yeah, it makes me question things. So maybe we'll see. I'm not retired yet.
KRAIG KANN: At least for one more day.
Let's talk about tomorrow specifically. When the week began, you didn't know if you would have that chance, necessarily, to get to Sunday. Everybody wanted to be amongst the five teams, but you're there. Anna, could you share some thoughts on this team and how you feel and how you felt over the three days of competition to get to that point.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Well, I'm really impressed with the way this International Crown has been hosted. It's hard going into it, knowing it's the first one. I know it will get compared to the Solheim Cup.
But it's been three really fun days and we have had a lot of fun as a team. It's just a fun format. We're obviously very happy to make it to tomorrow. I believe in all of us and kind of talked a little bit about who is going to play what country.
But there's going to be four tough matches out there tomorrow, and all of us, we're just going to try to get as many points for Sweden as possible.
But I really believe in this team and I'm very fortunate to be part of it.
Q. Now that you guys have advanced to Sunday, it's a good time for you to be able to reflect on the event as a whole. Happy with it? Anything you would change?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Well, I think it's been fun. It's a fun format. We'll just see tomorrow how it's going to be done. It's a team event and we'll just see how it is to play in singles.
I guess we're going to be pretty spread out tomorrow, so we'll see how that is. So far I think, it's been a lot of fun and an exciting format.
KRAIG KANN: Pernilla, this is probably one of the biggest stages you've ever been able to be a part of. You don't have that comparison to a Solheim Cup. What's your perspective on this event?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I think that everyone kind of came in with an open mind, because it was the first, it is the first International Crown event. But everything has been over like my expectations. We have been so well looked after. The format has turned out to be very exciting. Everyone is right there in the mix going into tomorrow. It looks like we're going to have a very exciting playoff.
I mean, it kind of keeps building on the great LPGA season we have had. All the drama that we have had all year, it's just been so good for women's golf. I really hope that that's what people back home in front of the TV set have seen this week, too.
Q. Caroline, the fact that you haven't lost a match since the Clinton administration, do you think that somehow intimidates people and does it give you an edge before you ever tee off?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I don't know. I mean, maybe, yeah, because if I had played someone that hadn't lost a match for a long time, yeah, I would be a little intimidated.
But at the same time, I mean, it kind of puts a lot of pressure on me, too, because people just expect me to win all the time now.
I love match play. I love match play when I'm winning. I hate it more than anything when I'm losing. So that kind of helps me to just really dig deep even if I'm down in a match. So, I don't know. I mean, I'm just trying to keep going.
ANNA NORDQVIST: She's not planning to lose any time soon either.
KRAIG KANN: I'm going to make a first tee observation. Having been there up close to all eight of the countries and the players over the last three days, the music's playing. There are a lot of people cheering. There's a pretty exciting atmosphere.
Your team, to me, is the most interesting to watch walk onto the first tee and conduct themselves over the 10 minutes that you're there before you tee off. The two players on that side, you seem to be very loose and very fun and smiles all around and just so glad to be a part of it. And trying to get a smile or anything out of you two, you are all business, all the time.
ANNA NORDQVIST: We're competitors.|
KRAIG KANN: It's completely different compared to the other team. So I want to get your thoughts on that and I want it hear what you have to say. Then I want to hear what you all have to say before I let you go.
Go ahead, Caroline.
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I think it's just Anna, and I, we are probably, we're just so focused on what we want to do. So I hear the music, but I focus on what my task is. Yeah, I think I smiled a little bit walking up.
KRAIG KANN: Okay. Anna?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I hate to lose so bad. So once I come up on the first tee, it's go time. So I think we do have a lot of fun and I do think we smile, but we're focused and maybe that will intimidate our playing partners on the first tee, too.
KRAIG KANN: Pernilla, am I correct in my assessment of this team?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I think so. And there are different ways to play golf and win matches. They have their way, we have our way.
No, but I love the music on the first tee. It's just made me feel really relaxed. I've had a hard time standing still to the music. I've been humming along. It's just made me feel really relaxed and I just managed to put a nice swing on on that first tee shot every day, just because I am so nice and relaxed. That's the way I want to be when I tee off.
MIKAELA PARMLID: I'm just here to enjoy it. When I enjoy it the most, I play the best golf. And what's not to enjoy? I mean, that's really my view on things right now. Having kids at home and things, I'm blessed to be here competing at this level and making all these putts and having so much fun. So I'm enjoying it.
KRAIG KANN: Well, congratulations to each and every one of you. If you like the music, you'll probably enjoy tomorrow quite well as well. Hopefully we'll be able to say hello on the first tee, Anna and Caroline.
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I'll bring my smile tomorrow.
KRAIG KANN: Thank you all for being a part of it. Team Sweden.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
SO YEON RYU, INBEE PARK, I.K. KIM, NA YEON CHOI
KRAIG KANN: Ladies, thank you for being here in the press room at the International Crown. We have Team Korea here. To my far left is Na Yeon Choi, I.K. Kim, Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu. The first thing that comes to my mind is, as you all sit here, you look exhausted and drained. I mean, you're going into the finals tomorrow to play singles. Na Yeon, are you okay?
NA YEON CHOI: A little tired.
We had a pretty long day today. Especially Inbee and So Yeon, they played really great in the playoff, Sudden death. I think me and I.K., we still played well. But Japan, they played so well, we can't control that.
So, yeah, I mean, we have to play one more day tomorrow, and hopefully we can take a good rest tonight, and then come back with a great confidence.
KRAIG KANN: I'm going to start with the most recent thing that happened, then I'll work my way back to the matches. Let's start with the playoff, you all and the United States. So questions to you, So Yeon and also Inbee. I think it's fairly amazing that the two top seeds end up in a playoff fighting for their Sunday livelihood. Your thoughts on that, first of all, and then we'll get into the specifics.
SO YEON RYU: Honestly, it's always hard to beat the Americans, especially in the United States. A lot of American fans are in here. Lexi is a long hitter and I thought that she easily can make it in two on the par-5. So obviously I was pretty scared before I was going into the playoff.
But today, our match was finished at the hole 15, then Inbee told me, This is what we have left over. We haven't played 16, 17 and 18, so we're just playing good golf.
So I got a lot of confidence from Inbee supporting me. I was going to try to just think about the playoff, just think about my play.
The other thing is, this tournament is playing for country, but at the playoff I was playing for Na Yeon and I.K. I just want to keep the really great energy for them.
KRAIG KANN: Inbee, your thoughts on competing against the United States for the right to play in the singles.
INBEE PARK: Well, it is very unfortunate that we had to play against the United States, because that was something that nobody really expected for us to be playing or to be seeing. I think that it was really tough because they're great competitors and they had a lot of fans that are coming out and watching them. They're great players. And losing is always tough to accept.
But it probably didn't really matter who we played against, we probably would try to play our best and just see what happens. But this time we were the lucky ones.
KRAIG KANN: One question for you, I.K., and then raise your hand we'll take some questions.
I.K., sitting on the side watching a playoff that you were not a part of, we saw that Na Yeon was pretty exhausted after her match. What were your thoughts? How difficult was it to watch these two compete and you have no say so in whether you're going to play tomorrow?
I.K. KIM: I was totally trusting them. They did such a great team, first of all. I think from now on, I mean, I'm probably going to go to all their playoffs, just to watch. It's just incredible to just be a part of it.
KRAIG KANN: Take some questions.
Q. Do you like the format and what does it say about the format that the top two seeds end up in a playoffs?
INBEE PARK: Well, obviously, with the foursome, I mean, just looking at the results, there has been a lot of upsets. So everybody probably expected us and the United States against each other in the finals. But obviously foursomes, I mean, four-balls bring a lot of upsets and a lot of birdies from every other country.
So I don't know. Next time maybe we can try to do it a little bit different. Maybe foursomes and maybe something that can really test everything. This was really good test and it was hard, difficult. But I don't know. Maybe something different so we can have it a little easier.
KRAIG KANN: So Yeon, let me get your take on the format, and also the fact that in the playoff, because this was brought up that both balls counted, I think there were a lot of folks that didn't necessarily know that. You knew that, obviously.
SO YEON RYU: Well, the normal four-ball, the format it doesn't matter who makes a bogey or double because if somebody makes a birdie or par, it's still okay. But this format was still counted, the two players, so it makes it really tough. Hole 16 could be the easiest hole, but either way also it's a really tough hole.
So when I was chipping, I mean, especially the third shot, it was really tough one. So I was just trying to make a par, I don't want to make a large number there. So I think that the playoff format is a really great format.
Q. For anybody who wants to answer, it seems like you guys have the second biggest number of fans out there. At least that's the way it seems. They have the flags out there. With the USA not playing tomorrow, do you feel like you're almost the fan favorite or going to have the biggest crowd out there?
KRAIG KANN: There was a lot of noise on the first tee for Korea.
I.K. KIM: I know. Especially they have two flags. Each one person has two flags, so it looks more. And Korean people can be really loud, too. So I don't know, but definitely we are so grateful that they came out and cheered for us. It's the first team and country event, and I think that it's very amazing how many people came and watched and cheered for us.
Also, a funny thing is, Na Yeon's friend came from Taiwan to watch her play. She's Taiwanese, but she's cheering for Na Yeon. And I think that's what we have here, because we all play on LPGA Tour for more than seven or eight years, and we have so many good friends and fans out here that cheer for us. I mean even though we're from Korea, they are very welcoming and warm.
We feel the same for LPGA Tour and the fans out there. Because it a great opportunity for us to come out and play, even though I grew up here. So I just feel very grateful.
KRAIG KANN: N.Y.C., your thoughts on the loud group of Korean fans at the first tee and throughout the golf course. Even in the playoff, there were a lot of folks out there yelling.
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, I was surprised a lot of crowds were waiting until the late time. I think a lot of people came from New York, they just drove to here and they're cheering for us with a lot of Korean flags. I think when we see that, we got a lot of confidence and also motivation from them. That's why we tried more hard, working hard, keep going. I think that everything is like kind of make us like some good stuff.
Q. For So Yeon and Inbee, both of you know what it's like to play in a Major Championship, down the wire in a playoff even. What did it feel like in a playoff today compared to in a Major in terms of nerves?
INBEE PARK: I think it's just really different. It's really hard to compare because we never experienced Solheim Cup or something like this big before. So it was something new to me because I always play individually, never really play for teammates or never really played for the country.
But I think it was really good experience because it's just something that I never felt before. When I was playing in the Major Championships, when I was just playing for my titles, it was just, I feel the pressure, I feel the nerves, but I think this time I just didn't feel anything. I was just so nervous.
I don't know how I played the hole. Yeah, I was just able to see the pin and that was it. I mean, I couldn't really hear anything or see anything. I don't know how I played that hole. It was just something new and it's good to have it under my belt.
So that will be a really good experience going into the Olympics and something, playing for country.
SO YEON RYU: When we drove to hole 16, Inbee and I also were talking about, you know, when I was going to U.S. Women's Open, I had a playoff, and I never felt this much nervous. Then, in fact, this is my most nervous moment in my life.
So, it's really memorable moment for me. So, I mean, I can't forget this moment. So it's really great. Kind of like just confidence. This is all about my country. Normally if I lose a playoff, everything is just for me and I can handle everything. But this time I have to think about Inbee, I.K. and Na Yeon and all Korean fans and all Korean people.
So I have to think about so many things. So that's the toughest part, and I think this experience definitely brings really great energy for all of my game.
Q. Inbee, can you tell us what you had in on your third shot on the playoff hole.
INBEE PARK: I had 70 yards playing up two yards, so 72 yards.
KRAIG KANN: One thing before you all walk out and head to tomorrow. You all sat here three days ago and talked about the importance of the crown and potentially winning this for your country. You've experienced three days of this competition. Obviously it would mean a lot to win tomorrow. But I would like to get your thoughts through three days of what this experience has been like for you and what the International Crown has been like. What would you take away? Let's start with you Na Yeon and we'll work our way down.
NA YEON CHOI: Well, the first day, actually before the first day, first hole, everyone was just so nervous and except me -- or, I mean, also me. Then after the first round, I talked a lot with I.K. about this format and this game, because we were so much caring about the results and losing for country, I think that we got so much pressure on ourselves, I think that's why we lost that first match.
Then the second day, we came back with a lot of confidence, and especially Inbee and So Yeon won a match on first day, that's why we can have more confidence from them, and also kind of like motivation from them.
So we had a really good game on the second day and we kept talking, that this is a great experience for future events. I really never played with a team for the golf game, but this is like really different, and I think I'm going to be really lonely tomorrow without I.K. on the course tomorrow.
SO YEON RYU: Absolutely.
KRAIG KANN: I.K.?
I.K. KIM: Me, too.
I'm just going to imagine Na Yeon is right next to me, probably. But, well, this experience has been fantastic, especially just bonding with friends. And we had the Lexis Cup before that was similar kind of format, but not like this pressure. It was more casual and we were just enjoying playing.
But definitely it's a new experience for me and I think for everybody.
Great job, Kraig, you know. I don't know how you made this kind of game up. The golf is just totally different than I ever played. I played golf for 15 years, but this is something very new. I think it's a new pressure and I think it's going to make us stronger as a person. I mean, the last three days were just totally different pressure and different kind of game. I think that I brought everybody's good luck, I think. It's just been fantastic and hopefully tomorrow will be the same.
KRAIG KANN: We're all glad to be a part of it.
I.K., Inbee, your thoughts?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I really agree with I.K. on that part, because this experience has been just really unreal. It's been fantastic. Yeah, I really think it's mostly building a friendship. Because all four of us were very close friends, but not this close, that's for sure. We saw each other's feelings. We saw each other's pressure. We saw every part of their mind.
So it's been something that we really learned from each other. And we always compete against each other, but this was something like team and for the country. I think, yeah, just something really different. So, yeah, I really am loving it this week. No matter what the result is, just really enjoying every moment.
Today's obviously a very tough day, but I played some good golf and hopefully we can bring the best out of it for tomorrow.
KRAIG KANN: So Yeon, your thoughts.
SO YEON RYU: Before we start this tournament, I didn't think I was going to be this much nervous. Then yesterday, we lost a game, then I couldn't even sleep yesterday night. I just kept thinking about it because I knew that I really don't want to go into a playoff. So, I mean we really need to win two matches if we don't want to go into the playoff.
So kind of like keep thinking about the golf in my bed. Oh, if I didn't miss that putt, I might go into not that much pressure, that kind of thing.
So it's totally new pressure, as I.K. and Inbee said. So I think this tournament makes me stronger and stronger. So I love this game and I really look forward to playing tomorrow.
KRAIG KANN: Each one of you is a big part of getting us here. You'll be a big part of tomorrow in the final day.
N.Y.C., I.K., Inbee, So Yeon, thank you very much. Congratulations and good luck tomorrow. We'll see you on the first tee.