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September 15, 2015
St. Leon-Rot, Germany
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome once again to the 2015 Solheim Cup. A couple of other members of Team USA, welcome in the No. 3 ranked player in the world and the Rolex Women's World Ranking, Stacy Lewis, and No. 32, Lizette Salas. Both members of Team USA in the last Solheim Cup, and back again this year.
Let's get some thoughts about the golf course. Two of your teammates were in here just a few moments ago. Rave reviews for this course. Let's start with you, Stacy.
STACY LEWIS: The course is awesome. It's really long, but other than that it's really good, in great shape. Pretty wet from all the rain we've had the last couple of days, so it's really -- I mean, somebody with length has a huge advantage on this golf course.
It's going to be a good test, though. You've got -- wherever you hit it, it's going to stay. So you can hit some good shots in there and hit it in there pretty close. But it's going to be pretty good, I think, for match play.
LIZETTE SALAS: Well, from the ten holes that I played, like Stacy said, it was pretty long. So I definitely have to -- players have to really practice their hybrids, their woods. That's me, right there.
But with the moisture and the wetness of this golf course, you can definitely just take dead aim at the pin whenever you have the chance to. And the golf course is in great condition. Just getting familiar with low points on the greens and knowing where to miss in case you do. Just kind of get a feel for it. It was really nice.
MODERATOR: Talk about the Solheim Cup experience. You've each had that experience. You've had it more than Lizette has. But if you were going to describe it to somebody who's never either been to a Solheim Cup as a player or a fan, what would you tell them about your experience, having been there and now round two for you, Lizette?
LIZETTE SALAS: Round one, nerve-wracking. I just broke down two years ago, and I don't even know why. Just the emotion, the adrenaline going. I'm just really sensitive. So I think that's why the tears came out.
But this year no more tears, just happy tears. To be ready and be aggressive, just straight out of the gate. So I'm much more prepared this year. We'll see how it goes.
MODERATOR: When you went into your room that first go around --
LIZETTE SALAS: It was like Christmas. It was awesome just to see all the red, white and blue and to be part of a team. It took me back to when I was at USC and we just got spoiled rotten. It was an amazing experience. And to be back here again for my second time is a dream come true.
MODERATOR: How about you, Stacy? You've been on a few of these teams.
STACY LEWIS: I compare it, I think it's like playing the 18th hole of a major over and over again. That's the kind of pressure you feel on every single shot on every single hole. And a lot of it, it's kind of self-induced, because you want to play well for your teammates. The hardest part about a Solheim is finding that balance of wanting to play well for your teammates, but also not pushing yourself too hard.
Again, to be one of 12, to think you're one of the best 12 players in the whole United States is a pretty amazing thing. The experience -- it doesn't get old of being with your teammates and walking into your room. It doesn't matter how many times you've done it, it's really pretty cool.
MODERATOR: Is it easier on the road than it is a home game?
STACY LEWIS: We were talking about it at lunch. I made a comment to her, see how much easier it is being over here? We get to actually practice during the practice round. There's not quite as many things going on, at least for us, here. It's just totally different. But in a way I think it's easier for us to just come over here and play golf and not have all the extra stuff.
MODERATOR: Every captain is different. Now this is only your second captain to play for, Lizette. You had Meg Mallon, and now obviously Juli Inkster. This will be number three for you Stacy, with Rosie Jones also being in the mix. Can you define for us what a Juli Inkster captaincy is like? Let's start with you, Stacy.
STACY LEWIS: You just hear Juli laugh so much. That's the thing I can't get over. You can hear Juli laughing from anywhere in the hotel or in the bus or on the golf course. I just think the amount of fun we've had so far this year, not to say we haven't had fun in the years past, but Juli has made it so light and so much fun. There's no pressure. There's no stress at all. I don't know, it's just been great so much. Juli is super competitive, and that, I think more than anything, is what separates her from the other captains I've played for is how competitive Juli is.
LIZETTE SALAS: Well, I think she said herself she's not the most organized person. But it's been working. She kind of just leaves everything up to us, whatever we want to do. She's just kind of very open, very -- she's hilarious. Like Stacy, you can hear her laugh from basically anywhere.
She's only my second captain, but she's definitely a leader. She is leading by example, but at the same time she trusts in each one of us and knows that we can -- knows that we can pull this off and play the best golf that we can. And I think that's what makes a great captain.
STACY LEWIS: She did forget her credit card last night. She warned us ahead of time.
MODERATOR: She left something at Golf Channel the night of the show.
Q. Does that mean you had to pay for dinner?
LIZETTE SALAS: Nobody else did. We had to drive somebody over to pay for dinner.
Q. Stacy, I love how you describe the pressure of the Solheim Cup. But given that the U.S. has lost the last two, how much greater is that pressure this week?
STACY LEWIS: I don't know, I mean there's pressure whether you've won two in a row or lost two in a row. I think there's pressure on the Europeans, just like there's pressure on us. I don't think that's an issue. I think it's more the pressure we put on ourselves. We haven't really talked about winning it, you know. It's more just about us doing our thing and playing golf, because that's all we can really do. The pressure of winning it, we're not even really thinking about that.
Q. I wanted to ask you both, Paula Creamer is obviously a star, she's established a reputation, but yet she's not on her normal form. Just what are you seeing in how she's handling things and what do you expect from her?
LIZETTE SALAS: Well, from what I see, I think she's just putting in the work, for sure. I think we all just expect the Paula Creamer that you've seen in various Solheim Cups, just making clutch putts and making the shots that she needs to pull. She's here for a reason and that's why Juli picked her. And we're all excited for her to be on this team. And she's a great asset. She's a great leader. She's someone that I look up to.
This is my only second Solheim. But, yeah, she's definitely earned her spot. And she's taking it very well. She's not putting extra pressure on herself. It's like a normal Tour event for her, that's what I see. And I don't think she's putting that much pressure on herself.
STACY LEWIS: I talked to Paula, we talked quite a bit since she was picked. She hasn't read social media, she hasn't read what anybody has been writing. She's keeping it low key. She knows she needs to be here and we want her to be on this team.
I like where her head is. Just from what we've talked about, her head is in the right place. Her golf is there. I played with her the last couple of weeks before the picks, and she was trying so hard. She was trying so hard to hit the perfect golf shot every time. I said just go play a lot of golf these next few weeks. And I think that's what she's done. I think her head is in a good place. I think she'll be fine.
I told her, too, she can be -- she was picked because of her experience. I'm trying to get her to kind of share stories and share experiences to help the ones that don't have as much experience. Because that was part of the reason why she was picked, too, is because of the experience and leadership. So just being a little bit more encouraging there to everyone else.
MODERATOR: Can the enormity of a Solheim Cup pull you out of perhaps not playing your best golf a couple of months going in?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, totally. I think you look at -- not that Michelle was playing bad when she's picked. But the last couple of years Michelle Wie has been picked, and it's kind of led to other things. I think it can be a confidence builder for someone to take a chance on you and believe in you and believe that you can help this team. And you've got 11 other people who believe in you, too. I think that can help your confidence, too.
MODERATOR: Brittany Lang was talking about the feeling of being chosen, almost even more positively than earning it on picks. The captain sees something in you and says she needs you.
Juli basically has the same team back from a year ago or two years ago, take away one player. You all have a bond, win or lose, at a Solheim Cup, and you walk away with that. Can the bond perhaps be stronger in that you lost the last time around because this is the same team, when you're kind of in your private moments at a team room or whatever you're talking about at dinner. Thoughts on that?
LIZETTE SALAS: I think that defeat in Colorado really not only made us disappointed but really encouraged us to play better golf these past two years.
And in 2014, we saw a lot of Americans win, like Paula, Michelle, just to name a few, Lexi, of course. So that really just gave us the push to show that we can play some good golf.
Yeah, we do have the same team. We have a strong bond. But I think with Juli being the captain and her being out there with us on Tour just makes it even stronger. I don't think anyone can break us from the bond that we have. We are like 12 sisters. So it's been a really fun experience.
STACY LEWIS: I think the team -- it's the same team, but I think it's a much more mature team. It's a team that we understand each other better. We understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. And there just seems to be a little bit more a sense of calmness, if you agree.
In the team room and everything, there's not as many things going on. Everybody just kind of accepts everybody for who they are. It's really been amazing to see everybody come together. We all have that common goal. We all know what the goal is here at the end of the week. And we all want to do whatever we can to help the person next to us play their best golf. It's a different feeling this week, but it's still pretty much the same team.
Q. As you were answering that, I remembered early in your Solheim career, I remember you got paired with her. You said I learned so much from Paula. Do you remember that?
STACY LEWIS: It was in Colorado, actually. We got paired together, I think it was Friday afternoon. We got up big in our match and then kind of lost it down the stretch. I hit a bad chip shot and we lost this hole, and I kind of stormed off the green. She kind of yelled at me, hey, get back over here and kind of set me straight a little bit. Just to see where her head was mentally in that moment, what she was thinking about and how she kind of handled all of that, that's what she needs to share with these other girls.
I always tell her, how do you make so many clutch putts. You look at all the highlights, Paula is always making putts at Solheim. I'm like, how do you do that? That's what I keep asking her. Whether it builds up her confidence or not, I don't know. Mentally she's so good at this thing, I think if she'd share that with everybody else, and she has been, I think it would help a lot.
Q. For both of you, I'm wondering how Juli's example of being super competitive, yet the funny one in the room and light at the same time, how that's impacted you personally?
LIZETTE SALAS: I think from being one of the younger players, experience-wise, I think it's showing me that I don't have to take it so seriously all the time, that it could be not only a remarkable experience from the golf side but on the social side. And yeah, go ahead and do your work, but at the same time you have to enjoy the moment, enjoy the process that we're going through. And that's her thing, when it's business it's business. But when it's fun, you can let loose and have some fun with your teammates and your caddie. So that's what I've learned.
I think my first Solheim I tried to do so much, I tried to exceed my normal routine. And by Sunday you don't know how your body or your mind is going to react to certain pressure situations. So having a captain that is part business and part fun, that's me. So I really enjoy having the leadership of Juli.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I've learned a lot from Juli so far. Just, one, we're both super competitive. Probably, I mean, probably too competitive, both of us. But just that part. She understands me and gets me just because we're both that competitive. And she's helped me kind of learn how I can be a leader with the team and lead by example and do all that kind of stuff.
So she definitely keeps it light, which is always good for me. I need that every now and then. I tend to take things too serious. She's definitely helping, I think, keeping everybody light. Like I said, it's crazy the amount of laughs, the whole bus ride, everybody was standing up and talking and laughing. I've never seen anything like it. I was like are we going to have a rest here or what's going on? And six hours of it, too. It's just been really cool how light she keeps things. But when it's business time, it's business. Let's get it done. But other than that it's let's enjoy this thing.
MODERATOR: This is a question you probably couldn't have answered a couple of years back, but people say winning a LPGA event is great. For some it's the pinnacle of their career, they might not win another event. But a Solheim Cup is truly everything. If you listen to Paula Creamer talk about it, you might hear that. Is that a fair assessment now that you've won an LPGA event and also been part of this? What is that like for you personally?
LIZETTE SALAS: I think the Solheim just passes getting that first win, just from being on a team, from all the experiences, all the ups and downs. Yeah, getting my first win was remarkable, but that's an individual accomplishment. To be on a team where 12 people come together and have the same goal and at the end of Sunday, you're holding up that trophy, that's something even more remarkable. Because everyone has a different story. Everyone has a different style of golf. Everyone is so different personality-wise, whatever you want to call it. But they get the job done. And that is something that's really rare to find.
And to have the right combo of having the right captain and the right teammates put together, it's just -- you can't even describe with words. And to not only have that but to have my parents here is just really, really special.
MODERATOR: Stacy, how are you different in '15 as a player and a person than you might have been in '11 or '13?
STACY LEWIS: I'm completely different than '11. You know, I came to my first Solheim Cup not having a clue what was going on, yet I was the No. 1 points getter, and people were looking at me for everything. I don't know what we're doing in the next hour. It was different there.
And then I think I've come here just a little bit more relaxed, kind of knowing more what to expect. The biggest thing for me is I can't try to play perfect golf this week. I've got to play normal golf and do what I do and I'll be fine. But I just feel a lot more relaxed this week, I think that's the biggest thing.
Q. Juli made the comment that she kind of wanted to see some of the hoopla, maybe some of the -- I don't know, face painting, that kind of thing, toned down. What does she really mean, and how has she communicated what she means to you guys?
STACY LEWIS: It's just being more mature is really what it is. I think everybody's grown up. I think we're past, hopefully everybody is past all the tattoos and the face paint and all that. Paula is still wearing her hair ribbons and all that. But other than it's just growing up little bit and knowing that you don't need to go crazy and get the crowd going all the time. We've come here with a mission. That's basically what it is, wouldn't you say?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah.
STACY LEWIS: Very straightforward, this is what we're here for. We're not here to pump up the crowds and do all that, we're here to win this thing. It's more business-like. But I think at the same time, everybody has grown up a little bit and I think we're past all that.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I think Juli said no more of this rah-rah stuff. And I was, like, okay, we're not cheerleaders, so none of that face paint or none of those tattoos. It's definitely toned down quite a bit since the first Solheim I was at. And I think it's a lot of excess energy that's used on trying to put a -- where do I put this tattoo or does this ribbon match this outfit. None of that. We go out and handle our business and play the best golf it that we can. And I think it's working.
MODERATOR: Brittany Lang walked off this podium and said -- I simply asked her the team room with like the game room. You guys have a game room? So I said who is the best? She said, are you kidding me, it's me. And it's not even a question that she's the best at all games. Is that a fair assessment?
STACY LEWIS: She's the best at everything.
LIZETTE SALAS: She thinks she's the best at everything. I don't know, apparently -- they say my caddie is really good. Surprising.
STACY LEWIS: The caddies have been getting into the racing game. The racing game is harder to get started because it's all in German. They say they'll have it down by the end of the week. If you need confidence, just go to Brittany Lang.
MODERATOR: That will help this week. Best of luck this week, thank you very much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports