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July 22, 2014

Carlota Ciganda

Caroline Hedwall

Pernilla Lindberg

Azahara Munoz


KRAIG KANN:テつ Thank you once again for being here in the press room at the International Crown.テつ Great pleasure to have representing Pool B to my far left, Sweden, and we have got Caroline Hedwall and Pernilla Lindberg.
And then representing Pool A, to my immediate left, Azahara Munoz and also Carlota Ciganda to my immediate left.
I want to start, ladies, with some overall thoughts and impressions on this event.テつ I think each of you has taken part to some degree in us promoting and building this event over the last year and a half or so.テつ Now that it's here, what does it feel like to be a part of it?テつ What are your impressions of what you've seen.
Let's start down at the far end with you Caroline.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Well, I'm just obviously really excited to play for Sweden.テつ I've never done that before as a professional.テつ I did it a lot as an amateur, so it's just fun to represent the Swedish flag again and play on a team.テつ So I'm sure it will be a fun week.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Pernilla?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:テつ Yeah, of course I feel the same as Caroline about playing for Sweden.テつ I haven't had a chance to play in the Solheim Cup yet, the other three up here have.テつ So obviously I'm excited to be playing in a team event as a professional.
And then I think that the LPGA has done a great job promoting the event leading up to this.テつ I hope we're getting good response this week and have a lot of people coming out here.テつ The setup looks incredible, just the course and everything around the clubhouse and the merchandise and, yeah, it's going to be a fun week.
KRAIG KANN:テつ I'm going to save you for last for a reason here in just a second.テつ Carlota, you played Solheim Cup and you've played match play before.テつ What's this like for you?テつ What does it mean to have a shirt on that has Spain on it?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:テつ Yeah, for me it's great to be here and to be part of the Spanish team.テつ I love to play as a team member, and specifically to play with a friend like these girls.テつ So I can't wait start playing on Thursday and I love Spain and I'm going to give it everything.
KRAIG KANN:テつ You were the LET Rookie of the Year in 2012, for those who don't know.テつ Azahara, you were there the first day we ever announced this event.テつ Your World Ranking at the big press conference at the PGA Show, that was a pretty big day.テつ This has got to be a feeling as well.テつ What do you remember about that and all the build‑up and now this?
AZAHARA MUNOZ:テつ Yeah, I do remember like so many people came up to the PGA Show, and I was actually quite impressed of all the journalists that came out to watch.テつ Obviously that was a year and a half ago and the build‑up has been incredible.テつ Sometimes that could be disappointing, but actually, it's totally the opposite.
Just coming here, the golf course is amazing, already so many people are out watching.テつ Everything of like the team bus, the uniforms, I think all of us are super happy and really impressed with how you guys have put up this for us.テつ I think everybody's just so excited for the event and just can't wait for Thursday to come and start playing.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Pretty simple question from me for all of you, and then let's raise hands we'll get some microphones for you.テつ You'll always be able to say that you were a part of the first.テつ This is the first of something.テつ You couldn't necessarily say that with the Solheim Cup.テつ What does that mean?テつ I'm going to go straight down the table and start with you Carlota?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:テつ I feel very happy to be here with the Spanish Team and, yeah, to be in the first International Crown, I think it's something really nice.テつ This morning I was thinking when they were taking the picture, I was like, Wow, this is really nice to be here with all these great players and, yeah, feeling very proud, very happy.テつ And I just can't wait to represent my country.
AZAHARA MUNOZ:テつ I think the cool thing about being the first is that you don't really have expectations, you just, you don't really know what's going to happen or how it's going to be.テつ But I think now only being here for a couple day, after seeing all of this, I think you guys are going to have to keep up with doing a really good job.
I think it's really special.テつ Like Carlota said, taking pictures and all of that, it kind of remind me of Solheim Cup a little bit and it's just so cool to play on a team and I'm just super excited to represent Spain.
PERNILLA LINDBERG:テつ Just along the same lines as Azahara was saying.テつ I think that coming in with it being the first ever International Crown, you don't really know what to expect.テつ But everything so far has been over any kind of expectations.テつ And same as Azahara was saying before, too, just seeing the team bags with the head covers and the team clothes and you just get given all this stuff, it's just really cool.テつ And especially seeing the Swedish flag on there, because, yeah, even the European bags, it's the European flag, but now during this event it's going to be the Swedish flag the whole way.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Caroline, you were already part of a first.テつ You won every single match you played at the Solheim Cup, so now you get to be a part of another first.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Well, like she said, I'm just excited.テつテつ It's cool to be part of something that's played for the first time, obviously.テつ Hopefully this will become a tradition playing in this every other year.テつ And, yeah, it's just cool.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Let's take some questions.

Q.テつ Going to the Solheim Cup for a second, the similarities are obvious.テつ You're playing in a team environment, the uniforms, all that.テつ What are the differences in representing your country as opposed to representing your continent?
AZAHARA MUNOZ:テつ I think Solheim Cup it's very unique, obviously, because it's either you're with me or against me.テつ This week it's not the same feeling.テつ So many people out there are already saying, Oh, good luck.テつ And they're telling good luck to everybody.テつ It's just a little different.
When you get on the first tee, the first tee, you either hear 'USA' or you hear 'Europe'.テつ That's it.テつ Like I don't know what to expect this week, but obviously there are not going to be many Spanish people around.テつ So I'm not going to feel as supported or so much against me.テつ So that's a little different.
But at the same time it's just so exciting.テつ I think it's going to be so much fun.テつ It's only 32 of us, so that's small.テつ Small events are just very special and it makes you feel special.テつ So I think it's going to be incredible.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Well, obviously it's a smaller team, too.テつ We're only four members, so I think we just get a little closer than we do probably during the Solheim Cup, because it's 12 of us there.テつ It's just like Azahara said, its just a different feeling, because you're not going to have the crowds against you the same way as we had in Colorado last year.テつ But we'll see.テつ I mean, it will be an exciting week and hopefully we'll have some Swedish spectators out there.
KRAIG KANN:テつ That didn't seem to bother you that much in Colorado by the way.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Not really, no.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Just checking.テつ Just checking.テつ Other questions here?

Q.テつ For those of you who have the Solheim Cup experience, what advantage is that going to be to you over say the Australians or the Asian teams that haven't had that experience?テつ Is there an edge that you can pull on just in the team format or is it too different?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ I think first of all that we're used to playing match play, which I'm not sure all the Asians players, they probably haven't tried this before.テつ It's a lot of strategy in it.テつ I'm not going to tell them my strategy.
They might read this transcript.
But, so that's definitely an advantage to have played a lot of match play.
CARLOTA CIGANDA:テつ I think as Europeans, we play, as an amateur, the European Team Championship and it's foursomes and match play.テつ So I think we are more used to it than the Asians maybe.テつ But at the same time they are great players.テつ They are top players in the world.テつ So you can't really expect that they are not going to play good.
But at the end, I think it's really important to have a great atmosphere inside the team and be supportive of each other and just go out there and have fun.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Before we take another question, I want to bounce off something Caroline and Carlota said a little bit.テつ I want to go inside the team room a little bit.テつ You said only four players on the team, so that's a different kind of situation than having 12 and different countries represented.テつ What is it like inside Team Sweden and then I'll get the impressions of Team Spain.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Well, we just had dinner last night.テつ Pernilla and me and Anna, we have known each other for a long time.テつ And Mikaela we got to know her on the European Tour I guess because she came back and played there.テつ So we just had a nice dinner yesterday and we're probably going to have dinner for the rest of the week, too.
KRAIG KANN:テつ What do you talk about?テつ What did you talk about?テつ Where did you go?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ It's a Swedish secret.
KRAIG KANN:テつ There's a lot of secrets that you're keeping.テつ Pernilla can you shed some light?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:テつ I can just let you know that Mikaela thought it was nice getting away from all the baby talk at home.テつ Then I told her she can't really ask any of us three many questions about diapers or anything, so she said it was different getting into the golf world over here again.
But, no, we're just enjoying nice dinner, at Cheese Cake Factory last night.テつ We played together today and it's kind of cool that since it is such a small team, being able to play practice rounds all of us together.テつ So it was nice and it looked like we were all hitting the ball pretty well out there.テつ So it was fun.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Is there music going on in the team room in Team Spain, Azahara?
AZAHARA MUNOZ:テつ We don't have a team room.
KRAIG KANN:テつ There's one big team room.テつ That's true.
AZAHARA MUNOZ:テつ For us, it's super nice.テつ As them, we have always played together on the Spanish team.テつ Like for me, especially with Carlota and Belen, we are like super close, so it's so much fun to be with them.テつ Beatriz turned pro a little earlier than us, but we still played with her until she was 18.テつ So we got to play so many European championships together and it's just really nice now that we're all pros, to get together again and experience something like this.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Carlota, she's very experienced.テつ She doesn't share too much dirt.テつ Can you give us a little fun stuff about Team Spain.
CARLOTA CIGANDA:テつ I think I have the same feeling as her.テつ It's really nice to be all here together.テつ I don't want to say any secret.テつ And, yeah, we are all really good friends and always laughing, joking around, so it's great.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Questions?

Q.テつ Caroline, why were you so dominant in 2013?テつ Was it technical, tactical, emotional, physical?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ I think it was just mental.テつ I was so pumped coming into that week and it's such a great atmosphere playing.テつ Especially on American soil with all the spectators rooting for America, that just made me so pumped and I just had a lot of fun that week.

Q.テつ So you feel right here at home again.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Home again in America?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Yeah.テつ Yeah.テつ I like it here.

Q.テつ Following that up, what has the reaction been like since you went 5‑0 and what's that meant to you?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Well, that week obviously gave me a lot of confidence, because I played some great golf and especially under a lot of pressure.テつ So it was just a confidence builder and I'm still trying to find that game, though, in regular tournaments.テつ Hopefully I can find it and hopefully this week can help me with that, too.

Q.テつ The Olympics are couple years away, I think August 5 will be the two year out date.テつ You seem to all be excited about the team format here.テつ Do you wish the Olympics was more of a team element to it for golf or are you just excited to have that as an international platform for your sport?
AZAHARA MUNOZ:テつ I am super excited that golf is in the Olympics.テつ I think obviously we're golfers, but we're athletes and I know they do and Carlota, as well.テつ I mean, I watch every single sport when the Olympics are on.テつ And being part of the Olympics is something that I think it's everybody's dream.
So it will be extremely nice.テつ But I do wish it was a team event though.テつ Maybe have something individual.テつ But I don't know, I think playing as a team is so special.テつ Especially when you're playing for your country, it's kind of nice if you have maybe two or three on your team.テつ So that's something that maybe in the future will change, but so far it is what it is.テつ I'm just super happy that we're in the Olympics anyways.
CARLOTA CIGANDA:テつ Like Azahara said, I think it would be really nice to play as a team something, because golf is an individual sport and you're always playing yourself all the time.テつ So playing as a team, I think it's more special.テつ And, yeah, the Olympics, I think it's something that everyone, every athlete wants to go.テつ I mean, it's not only the tournament of playing, but also like the experience of being with every athlete.テつ You get to know lots of people and you can make friends forever.
So I think it's more the experience to go there and it's amazing.テつ So it's crazy in Rio, so going there will be a dream.
PERNILLA LINDBERG:テつ I think that just like they said, I think it would have been a great opportunity for golf, maybe to have it as a team event, because I think for people sitting at home watching the Olympics on the sofa that people that normally don't watch golf would maybe have a little easier time getting involved and cheering a team on compared to just individual people.
So I mean as Swedes, that's not used to watching golf, they would see Sweden competing in the Olympics as a team, I think that would be easier to follow.テつ So maybe it's kind of a missed opportunity there, but hopefully we'll still get some great coverage.テつ And like Azahara said, down the road, they might do something, something more.テつ But it's just going to be great to be in the Olympics for the first time.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ Well, growing up playing a lot of sports, obviously it's always been a dream being part of an Olympic games.テつ So I'm just really excited that golf is going to be a part of it.テつ I definitely want to make it to Rio.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Last question.テつ And by the way, Azahara, you and Belen did a fine job on trivia about Thailand who you'll be competing against.テつ There were a pack of people here watching that.テつ A lot of people watching that.
Only one country will wear the crown on Sunday night.テつ So I would like to ask each of you, what it would mean for you to be able to do that, especially in the first year of a competition like that, and what it would mean for your country as well.テつ So let's start with you, Caroline, and we'll come back this way.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:テつ I think it would just be a great honor and it would be a lot of fun.テつ Playing on a team and winning again, I mean we all really love winning.テつ So it would just be awesome wearing that crown on Sunday.
KRAIG KANN:テつ For you personally Pernilla?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:テつ I feel like I haven't really had the chance so far to show myself on the big stage like these three who have all played in the Solheim Cup.テつ So more me individually, of course it would be the biggest thing so far.テつ But like Caroline said, we're all competitors, we're all here to win, so it's going to be a tough week.テつ But, yeah, it would be huge thing for us to stand over the crown on Sunday and that's what we're working towards.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Azahara, Thailand, U.S., and Chinese Taipei in your pool.テつ So what would it mean for you to walk away with a crown Sunday.
AZAHARA MUNOZ:テつ It would mean so much, especially for a country like Spain that now obviously we have a lot of good male golfers and golf is getting more and more popular.テつ But female golf, still people don't really watch it.テつ I think people are getting to know us more and more now, especially after Solheim Cup.テつ So now everybody comes to support Spain and I think people are going to get really involved, and especially if we win the crown.テつ I think it's going to be huge for golf in Spain.
KRAIG KANN:テつ Carlota?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:テつ For me it would be a dream come true, especially playing with friends that you always played as an Amateur.テつ I think if you ask me, like if you want to win a tournament this year, this won or a LPGA tournament, I would say this one.テつ Because playing with your friends and as a team, I think it's really a great experience.テつ As Azahara said, I think for Spain it would be great, because women's golf is growing up and I think it would be great for the country.
KRAIG KANN:テつ To each of you thank you for coming in and to each of you good luck this week.テつ Thanks a lot.

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