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SOLHEIM CUP MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 26, 2019
THE MODERATOR: Thank you everyone for joining us this morning. As you all have likely seen by now, the 2019 Solheim Cup team was finalized this morning with Captain Juli Inkster selecting Morgan Pressel and Stacy Lewis as her two captain's picks.
We have the three of them on the line. I'll start with one question for each and we'll open up to your question.
Juli, how about you kick us off. Talk us through your captain's pick selections and how you feel about team USA.
JULI INKSTER: I feel great about my team. Morgan and Stacy bring a lot of experience, a lot of great play. Both really good short games, very consistent players, and I think they can bring a little calming factor to my team, to our team.
I mean, another real big thing about that was the players wanted them. The other ten players all talked about that, and, you know, that's huge for me. I'm not playing. It's what my players want. To have your peers want you I think is a big compliment to both.
THE MODERATOR: And Morgan, just go over your reaction when Juli called you and told you you were going to be a captain's pick and how you feel getting ready for your sixth Team USA appearance.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, definitely super excited when I got the call from Juli that she wanted me on her team. It's a huge honor to play for Juli, to play for Team USA. And certainly, like she said, to have my teammates want me as part of the squad as well is definitely confidence booster. I feel like I've been playing really well, especially this summer.
Just really looking forward to getting over to Scotland.
THE MODERATOR: Stacy is joining us on the phone. You're coming back from maternity leave this year. How are you feeling now that you got the call and will be on your fifth Solheim Cup team?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I slept a little better last night. I been stressing a little bit the last few weeks. Just super excited to get that call from Juli yesterday. You know, just excited to go help the team out and do what I can do help all the girls and help Juli and make sure we bring this Cup back home.
THE MODERATOR: Great. We'll go ahead and open it up if there are any questions on the line.
Q. Hello everyone. Juli, question for you. You have a young unseasoned team, but Ladbrokes makes you the favorite to win. What do you make of that?
JULI INKSTER: Who does?
THE MODERATOR: Betting odds.
JULI INKSTER: Oh, you know, I like my team. You know, we haven't won in Scotland, but I really like the makeup of my team. My rookies, they might be unseasoned, but I think they're seasoned and can handle it.
We got a lot of players that just like to play golf and like to compete. They're not really there for the fluff. They're there to represent United States, and I'm really excited to have these rookies on my team. I think they're going to bring a lot to the team locker room.
I think as a rookie it's easier to play away. You don't get -- I think when everybody is chanting USA, USA, it can get a little bit overwhelming; when it's just you and your partner out there, I think you settle in a little bit more as a team.
Q. I want to ask all three of you since you all started your Solheim Cup careers overseas. What advice are you going to give to the rookie players in terms of being in a quote/unquote hostile environment?
JULI INKSTER: First of all, I want to say that I'm a little worried that you, I, and Ron, all picked the same people. (Laughter.)
Q. Great minds?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I'll let them go first.
THE MODERATOR: Morgan.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think one of the biggest things with playing away is you never -- most of us in golf have never really experienced anybody cheering against you. Not that it's rude or inappropriate, but you're definitely going to have people cheering against you playing over in Europe.
It's a weird feeling I would imagine for a lot of rookies. I know it was for me playing in Sweden. But I do remember on Sunday how quiet that golf course got compared to the first couple days. That's definitely our goal and something that the rookies will be able to experience firsthand.
But just controlling emotions I think is the big deal in the Solheim Cup. Whether you're a rookie or veteran, I think you still have all the emotions. For those experiencing it for the first time, it can be certainly overwhelming.
STACY LEWIS: I would add that I just think the more we can do to kind of get them ready for what they're going to experience and what it's going to be like. They don't know what the Solheim Cup is like in general. You don't even really have to compare it to what it is in the U.S.
They just need to know what the crowds are going to be like. I think it's so cool playing over there with all the songs and the chant and how early it starts in the morning and how the crowd can flip so fast.
Just the more we can get them ready for that kind of stuff I think ahead of time is just going to make their week easier and have them be more at ease so they can hopefully just go play golf.
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I think my job is I know when I was a rookie I wanted to get out on that golf course and I wanted play 18 18. Just play, play, play, play. I think my job is to say, Get out there and see the golf course, get your rest, you know, have some fun. It's not all about golf.
I just don't want them -- we're over there really five days before we even tee it up. I don't want them to wear themselves out before we tee it up on Friday.
Q. Thank you.
JULI INKSTER: You're welcome.
Q. Following up Bethan, Stacy and Morgan, and you too, Juli, could you give some memories of when you were a rookie or young player in the Solheim Cup where maybe a veteran said something or showed you something that was helpful for you?
JULI INKSTER: I don't want to go first because I have to think.
STACY LEWIS: I remember just my first match I played with Angela Stanford in Ireland. Things didn't go well. Neither of us played very well. But she never left my side the whole day. No matter how either one of us hit a shot. I think we lost like 6 and 5. But coming up that last hole we played she was right next to me the whole way encouraging me.
You know, I think that's what I took away from most of it. My best memory from that was we had figured out -- talked about who was going to play odds or evens and I said, I'll do odds. I didn't think about me hitting the first tee shot until I was walking to the first tee.
So I hit a horrendous tee shot. That was kind of the moment for me that I wasn't necessarily prepared for that I want the other rookies to be ready for.
MORGAN PRESSEL: That's funny. When I was playing odds I didn't sleep at all.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I didn't even think about it.
MORGAN PRESSEL: That's probably better. You got some sleep.
STACY LEWIS: There you go.
JULI INKSTER: I remember in Germany (indiscernible) hit the first shot and it was kind of somewhere around the fairway. So it's just around. It's good enough. I made contact. (Laughter.)
STACY LEWIS: Oh, gosh.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Even what's happening right now, I remember what happened in the team room my first time. I remember JoAnne Carner talking about how, and Judy, saying they put chapstick on their teeth so their mouth didn't dry out. I mean, it's just we all -- I remember listening. I don't know if I specifically asked questions or whatever. I just remember sitting around the room and listening to all the stories of these moments and memories and high pressure situations.
But also just fun together as a team. I think that's -- I'm sure what will happen again. Happens in every Solheim Cup. Hopefully some of those memories that we have and the stories we can tell from our experiences can help prepare them for what they have coming.
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, I think golf-wise I do also remember the team having a teammate there and it was just so cool to be able to talk to them. Also really having the caddies there and the caddies working together. Caddies are a big part of what we do. We like to include them in everything we do because they really get us through what we're trying to accomplish.
It's hard with the emotions and stuff. They try to keep us level headed. Only thing I remember is I think it was in Sweden was we had these cotton sweaters that when it rained they grew. They went from my waist to my knees by the time I got done with 18 and they weighed about 15 pounds.
That's the only thing I remember. (Laughter.)
STACY LEWIS: Oh, Lord.
JULI INKSTER: We've come a long way.
STACY LEWIS: Yes. The clothes are good this year, too.
Q. I have two questions. Start with Juli. The Solheim Cup kind of started with humble beginnings back in 1990, not that long ago, only 29 years. It's grown into this mega event now. How and why do you think that's happened so quickly?
JULI INKSTER: Well, I think, one, is the golf has elevated. I also think it's really cool now to be a woman and play sports. You can do it all: be a mom, a woman, play sports. I think, one, I just think it's a tradition now. I mean, every two years we're here to play. We've played some amazing golf courses. I think a huge step from the Solheim was when we got to play Muirfield Village in '98. That put us on the map.
And then this last year looking at Des Moines, how many people were there from all over Chicago, Minnesota, California, New York. We have Solheim groupies now. You have Ryder Cup groupies; we have some groupies. I can't tell you how many tournaments I go to, whether working for Fox or playing in a tournament on the LPGA, saying, We're coming to Scotland. And out in the middle of nowhere. That's awesome. I love hearing that.
It's gotten to be -- it's like a soccer match. It's fun. It's not golf where you have to have the golf clap. You can get out there and you can root. That's to me what the Solheim is about.
Q. And then Morgan and Stacy, you kind of were asked a variation of this already. Several rookies on the team this year. Both of you were also rookies outside the United States. Can you talk about how overwhelming like the anxiety is for your first shot ever in a Solheim Cup outside the U.S.?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I kind of talked about mine already. I didn't realize I was hitting the first tee shot until I was walking to the first tee. I mean, my hands were shaking. I don't know how I got the ball on the tee. It's unlike any other tee shot you will ever hit.
I think that's important that that's something we convey to all the girls, is that you're going to hit some of the worst golf shots you ever hit and some of the best golf shots you ever hit. So just to know that stuff is going to come out of nowhere and it's okay. We've all done it; we've all been there.
But it's just one of the coolest experiences we'll have playing this game, is standing on a first tee at a Solheim?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, I agree. I think there is also rookies that have wide eyes and don't know -- don't necessarily know what they're in for but don't have previous experiences positive or negative. They're feisty and fiery. I didn't have to hit the first shot. I was paired with Natalie Gulbis and she hit the first tee shot. It didn't find the fairway because we were all nervous. I was nervous standing on the tee.
But as a five-time Solheim Cup veteran the most nervous I've ever bun was hitting the tee shot in Germany. It's not like the pressure goes down because you have more experience. It's always there. That's your passion and pride and certainly desire to play well.
Q. Stacy, you said earlier on Morning Drive that you tried to stay out of Juli's hair the last week.
JULI INKSTER: She always does that.
STACY LEWIS: Come on.
Q. What was the last thing you said to her about the state of her game and how you felt about how things were shaping up?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I mean, I think I told somebody else in another interview, I said that throughout this whole process I think I've talked to Juli more about other players that I've talked about myself. But we talked after the British and just kind of -- I told her where I was at and how I felt, that I felt like I was trending in a good direction; felt like I was playing well; just felt good about things.
I kind of ran out the gas at the British playing four weeks in a row and traveling and all that stuff, but, no, I haven't been worried about it. I don't know if Juli has been. Obviously she wasn't, so we're good. (Laughter.)
JULI INKSTER: Exactly.
Q. So your recent stress was not quite knowing what Juli was going to do mostly?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, my whole goal, main goal this year for me personally was to make the team on my own. So obviously I was -- after I missed the cut I kind of readied myself for the fact that I wasn't going to be there because I didn't earn it. I didn't earn my own spot there.
So I really spent all Saturday preparing myself for the call that I wasn't going to go. All of a sudden Juli calls yesterday that I am going. It was all the emotions the last few days. But, I mean, it doesn't matter how you get there. I'm happy to be on the team.
Q. And Juli, is there a theme for this year like the lunch pail sort of thing?
JULI INKSTER: Oh, yeah, we got a theme. We got construction vests with the name on the back.
STACY LEWIS: Oh, Lord.
Q. Are you serious?
JULI INKSTER: We're still going to go to work, girls. There is work to do. (Laughter.)
Q. Are they orange?
JULI INKSTER: No. Are they orange? No, they're white with navy and they got some reflective gear on them. Stars on them. We're going to doing night golf in those; hit the shots from the Gleneagles' balcony; glow balls. (Laughter.)
THE MODERATOR: I think with that we're going to have to wrap up. Thank you everyone for joining. We hope you tune into the Solheim Cup just a few weeks now.
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