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August 6, 2017

Juli Inkster

Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Q. Must be a relief now that the team is finalized. Can we get your overall thoughts?
JULI INKSTER: Well, you can capitalize "relief" if you want. It was a tough day. Really tough day. I don't know if there's ever been so many people in the running for two captain's picks. I mean, I could have gone a lot of different ways. I went with -- kind of with my gut, and, you know, who I thought deserved a chance to play. I hope it turns out. That's all I can say.

Q. I know when we talked previously, you mentioned that there might be some rookies on this team, and can you just talk about each of your captain's picks, kind of how you see the team rounding together now that we're heading to Des Moines.
JULI INKSTER: Austin Ernst went to LSU, 25 years old. Been a good player. Has won once. You know, she's consistent. She's a really good ball-striker. Hits a lot of greens. I just felt last year, I felt like she was just on the outside looking in and I had to tell her no.

This year, she was the same kind of outside looking in. You know what, I just felt she deserved a chance to see what she can do. So I picked her, and the team -- the team wanted her.

Angel, an 18-year-old from California, just kind of -- she played a little bit on the LET last year. Kind of got her feet wet. Came over here and has played well. She's a big hitter. Sometimes she misses a lot of fairways but she's got a good short game and she's a good iron player, and she's fearless. If there's that right pin, she's going for it.

She played well at Lorena's match play. She made the semifinals. She played Junior Solheim Cup. She has some match-play experience. I think if I pair her with like a veteran, I think she'll do fine.

Q. Can you talk about, you have some rookies on your team but also some veterans. Do you look to those veterans to take those players under their wing a little bit?
JULI INKSTER: You know, I have a great veteran core crew with Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie. They are leaders. They lead. They don't have to be rah-rah, but they just lead with their actions, getting everybody organized, getting everybody where they are supposed to be. I rely heavy on them. Gerina Piller, also. They are the older players in this group, and I rely on them a lot.

Q. Talk to me about how, maybe what you see as some of the strengths of your team at Des Moines Golf and Country Club? What do you see being the strengths of your team now that you have that rounded into shape?
JULI INKSTER: You know, they are all great golfers. To make the team and to play as well as they did all year -- you know, Des Moines, it's right out there in front of you. It's not tricky. It's fairways and greens and making some putts.

And I think putting is going to be a big part of it. The greens are very undulated. They are going to be fast. You know, I think you're going to have to have some good ball-strikers to try to get that ball close.

Q. What was kind of your reaction when you gave your picks to the two rookies?
JULI INKSTER: Oh, they were ecstatic. Because you know, I really couldn't tell anybody, because the Rolex Rankings were always constantly changing. I didn't know if Lizette was going to get in or Lincicome out or Lang was going to get passed by points. I couldn't say anything to anybody and just led it ride out and that's what I did.

So I told Austin when she came to the course today. And I told Angel when she walked off the golf course today.

And can you print: I'd like everybody to wear red on Friday, white on Saturday and blue on Sunday. Red, white and blue. Red, white and blue.

Q. What do you think of Annika's picks today?
JULI INKSTER: I like them. You know, they are young, they are hungry. They don't know what to expect. Sometimes that's good not to know. You don't expect what you're expecting, you know.

So I think they are good picks by her. You know, they are hungry. They want to prove themselves, and I think they are good picks.

Q. You played so much against Annika as a player. What do you think -- how do you think she's going to be as a captain?
JULI INKSTER: She'll be great. She'll be very organized. She'll get her team ready to go. Every rock will be turned over, you know, and she will have them ready.

You know what, my team has got to know that. They can't come out flat. They have got to come out barreling away because that's the way the Europeans are going to play.

Q. It's been a decade now since she's stepped away from playing. When you look back at how well she did play for a decade or so, what's your biggest impression of Annika as a player?
JULI INKSTER: Well, she did it week-in, week-out. It's so hard to keep up that consistency. But she managed that. She was a great ball-striker. When she putted decent, she won. She was one of those once-in-a-lifetime players.

Q. Where would you put her ball-striking over the players you've played against and know about from history?
JULI INKSTER: She would be in my top three, probably.

Q. And going against you in this captaincy, not that you're not paying attention to details; of course you are. But you two are pretty opposite personalities, aren't you?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah (laughing) we are. We are. But you know what, I can't be her and she can't be me. So we've just got to be who we are, and I just tell my team, I want them to be who they are. Don't be anybody else.

Q. A couple players didn't make your team in the end by picks or points. It's going to be a little different not having a couple of those players there, isn't it.
JULI INKSTER: It's going to be real different. They are always the hardest people to tell, because I know they bleed red, white and blue.

But you know what, I had to go with people that I thought deserved to be there. You know, everybody's had the same opportunity to make this team. When it comes down to it, I didn't see a lot of form. I know Paula is starting to play better, but playing better over here and playing better over there are two different things.

You know what, I've got a huge amount of respect for them and I know they will be back. You know, this wasn't easy. Believe me, it was not easy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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