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April 28, 2015

Austin Ernst

Lizette Salas


THE MODERATOR:テつ I would like to welcome Lizette Salas and Austin Ernst into the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout media center.テつ Thank you, guys, for coming in.テつ Now, this year, 2015, is actually a Solheim Cup year, so it's kind of a big fight to see who will get on the team for the U.S. as well as the European team, and we've got two members here that are really in the fight and really in the thick of it coming into the final few weeks of the season.テつ A little birdie told me that last week you guys actually had a practice round in California.テつ Can you guys tell me about that and if you knew about it?
AUSTIN ERNST:テつ Yeah, Juli had told us about it, that we were going to play Cordevalle, which is where the U.S. Open is next year, so it was cool to see that place, too.テつ And then basically we just played an 18‑hole, kind of played matches.テつ It was more just kind of getting to know each other and kind of having like a team dinner the night before and her just letting us know what's kind of to be expected for the year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Juli Inkster, obviously a Hall of Famer, great captain.テつ I know a lot of people are really stoked.テつ Lizette, you actually were on the 2013 team.テつ What's been different as you guys are getting prepared for Solheim Cup here with Juli?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Yeah, well, Juli is a more hands‑on, but she's yet really relaxed and really easy‑going.テつ She really wants to get a good grasp of what every team member is like, personality‑wise and as a golfer, and it's a completely different approach than the captain in 2013, which was Meg Mallon.テつ So she's just trying to match us as great as she can so we can get that Cup back later this year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Now, Austin, you mentioned last night they actually took kind of a field trip here in Dallas, a pretty exciting one if I do say so myself, but you had a little inkling on where you were going for the surprise dinner.
AUSTIN ERNST:テつ Yeah, I just kind of got to thinking about it, and then we were told that we wouldn't be able to drive there.テつ I thought, it must be a pretty important place if we can't drive there, so I just kind of had a guess where we were going, and I was right, that we got to go meet President Bush and Mrs.Bush.テつ It was awesome, probably the coolest thing I've ever done.
THE MODERATOR:テつ I would say so, going to meet the former president, George W. Bush, here in Texas on home turf there.テつ Lizette, did you have any idea where you were going when you stepped on that bus?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ I had no idea.テつ Everyone is like, oh, we're going to see the President.テつ I'm like, wait, what?テつ What's going on?テつ I kind of wish I had changed my outfit for that.
But it was‑‑ the special treatment, from the bus to meeting people who worked for him and just sitting across from him and sitting across from Juli and next to Pat, it was definitely a night to remember, and just listening to his stories, they're just amazing.
THE MODERATOR:テつ These are two champs from the 2014 season, Lizette winning Kingsmill and Austin in Portland.テつ Right now you guys are on the really strong push on getting on the team to represent the USA.テつ Austin, tell me a little bit about what it would mean to you since this would be your first Solheim Cup to get on the team?
AUSTIN ERNST:テつ Yeah, it would be a dream come true.テつ I got to represent the U.S. in the Curtis Cup, but this is the biggest honor we can have in professional golf, being able to represent the United States.テつ It would be a dream come true for me, something I really wanted to accomplish this year.テつ It's one of my top goals of the year, and hopefully I'll be able to compete on our team.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Lizette, having some experience being on the team in 2013, what are you kind of taking from that experience going into the final push, and what do you kind of hope will happen during selection time?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Just remembering that it's going to be a week full of emotion, a lot of ups and downs, and you just kind of have to pace yourself, starting when we get there.テつ We're just doing press conferences.テつ It's all just time‑consuming, and you have to go in there just thinking you have to play your own game.テつ I think the last Solheim Cup I was trying to adapt to everyone else's game so I could contribute in any way I can.テつ This year Juli has really tried to emphasize the fact that we just play our own game, everyone should just complement each other and not adapt, so that's what I'm really trying to take from the last Solheim Cup.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Now, this year in 2015, they're actually going to be over in Germany, so I don't know if you guys have traveled over there before, but playing overseas, it's going to be on European soil, what would it mean‑‑ the USA, whether you're on the team or not, what would it mean to you guys to bring that Cup back over to the States?
AUSTIN ERNST:テつ It would mean a lot.テつ We're definitely the underdog coming into this year.テつ They've won the last two, so we've got our hands full going over there.テつ We'll be in a hostile environment, but it'll be fun.テつ Hopefully we'll be able to bring it back.
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Yeah, the Europeans have been playing some great golf.テつ They're definitely a strong team depth‑wise, and there's just tons of talent there, but we're just going to give it everything we've got.テつ We know the talent we have, and we're just going to go out there and face‑‑ we're on enemy territory.テつ We're going to be facing a lot of European champs, a lot of red, a lot of yellow, so we're just going to go in there and play our kind of golf and hopefully bring back that Cup to the United States.

Q.テつ After having lost back‑to‑back Solheim Cups, how much of that will be a motivating factor?
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Well, being part of last year's team, losing for the first time in American soil, that really hurt, and I think that's what really pushed the American side to really be successful in 2014.テつ We saw a lot of Americans winning.テつ We saw Paula, we saw Michelle, we saw Austin, so many Americans finally breaking through and getting up on that leaderboard, it's really giving us that extra motivation to prove not only to the rest of the world but to ourselves that we can also be great contenders against the Europeans.

Q.テつ Juli has a couple of daughters that are probably your ago, so she'll have a mother's quality with you guys.テつ Do you think that'll be a help?
AUSTIN ERNST:テつ I think so, and then obviously Juli just being a great player.テつ She's played in many Solheim Cups before.テつ She's got that experience, and then she obviously knows how to handle a group of girls pretty well.テつ She's got two daughters that are ‑‑ I would say they're maybe our ages.テつ She can really relate to everybody on the team, whether they're 20 or whether they're 40.

Q.テつ What do you think of the course and how is it playing?
AUSTIN ERNST:テつ It's a lot softer than it has been.テつ In the past years it's been dormant still, so kind of a lot of roll‑out, been hard to hold the fairways.テつ This year it's very soft, so I have a few longer clubs coming in, but the greens will be a little bit more receptive, as well.
LIZETTE SALAS:テつ Yeah, just going on what Austin said, playing a lot softer.テつ The greens are in actually really good shape.テつ They're rolling really well, and I think with it being so soft, we can be a little bit more aggressive, especially with our shorter approaches to really dialing in and really get some birdies out here.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, guys, for coming into the media center, and good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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