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September 16, 2015
St. Leon-Rot, Germany
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to the 2015 Solheim Cup. We welcome in two members of the Team USA, with a combined nine Solheim Cup appearances between them: the Rolex Ranked No. 35 player in the world, Angela Stanford, and the Rolex Ranked No. 14 player in the world, Brittany Lincicome.
What is it like out there? What is the course like and how have preparations been?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: The course is awesome. It's in such good condition. Taking divots in the fairways or hitting balls on the range, it's like a dream come true. It's where you would want to practice every day of the week. The grass is so pure and been untouched for so long.
We got to play the back nine today. We played the front nine yesterday. It's definitely wet, there was a lot of standing water out there. It's a really fun golf course to play, and it's nice to be one of the longer hitters.
MODERATOR: Angela, what's it been like for you out there on this golf course?
ANGELA STANFORD: About the same. It's in really good shape. The grounds crew here have done an amazing job. The greens are about as pure as we've seen all year, probably since the U.S. Open, KPMG, so they've done a great job getting it ready.
For them, unfortunately, it's just been a lot of rain. There's more standing water on the back than the front the. But it looks great.
MODERATOR: I want to send everybody rushing for their social media platforms. I need to know --
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Is that why we're in together?
MODERATOR: That's just convenient. You guys posted something on Instagram. You apparently lost a bet of sorts. It looks like there's a little fun in the team room. What is going on? Angela?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, so, I did not know that Alison Lee really does not like country. She hates country, and I felt like this was a problem. So I told her, like we should like switch songs per day. You give me a country song, you give me a rap song, and whoever was watching us the first day, our eyes were the same. I was listening to hers, and I'm like, oh, my.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: And it wasn't the edited version.
ANGELA STANFORD: And she was listening to mine, and she was like, oh, my.
So we got on the first tee and Bam and I were playing Michelle and Lee, and that was the bet. Alison said, well, whoever losses has to do the whip.
MODERATOR: The what?
ANGELA STANFORD: The whip. That's the song, I guess. I don't even know it was the right name of the song. I don't remember the green, because I was standing in the back. And Alison chipped in on us on No. the 9.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Alison said all of us have money, let's play for something else. And she came up with that. I was like, oh, boy, and then she chipped in.
MODERATOR: How would you rate your performance on the Instagram video?
ANGELA STANFORD: I think we did okay, because we didn't have any time to prepare. I had fortunately watched Jimmy Fallon, the way -- his rendition of it. I had that in the back of my mind. And Bam did -- so really there was no prep time.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I was kind of caught out of the blue, I thought we were going it to practice before we went in front of our whole team and caddies and the junior team and captains.
MODERATOR: Last two Solheim Cups for the United States haven't exactly gone as planned for you all. You've both been there for both of those Cup appearances. What's the takeaway? What is this team -- which is almost the exact same team as the lasting go around -- what do you take from that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You know, it's golf. It is what it is. And the European team has so many awesome players on it. We just haven't had our A games, I guess, the last couple of years.
And this year we're kind of changing it up a little bit with Juli leading us. We're not doing the face painting and the ribbons and all that rah rah stuff. We're going to let our clubs do the speaking. We're going to go out there and hopefully handle business. It's tough. The European team has a very strong team, as do we. It's golf, whichever way it falls, it falls.
MODERATOR: What was your takeaway and what have you thought going into this week?
ANGELA STANFORD: Obviously, like Bam said, the Europeans have gotten a lot better. Their last two teams were amazing. Just the golf has gotten so much better on both sides. The competition is just so good. They've played great the last two times, and they make a lot of putts. And they're just -- like Bam said, they're just strong. So we just -- we have to make some putts. That's really it. I wouldn't say that -- I just think that's it. That's kind of what she was getting at. It all comes down to who gets the ball in the hole the fastest and they have lately. It should be hats off to them. It shouldn't be we're playing bad. We're not playing bad. They're just playing a little bit better.
Q. Stacy was in here yesterday talking about how Juli has made the mood a lot lighter. Can you talk about how that's impacted you personally and if you feel that the tone is a little bit different this year than years past?
ANGELA STANFORD: I think because we know Juli so well, I think that's been -- probably, if I could put my finger on it, that's been kind of the element that's been a little bit different because we're used to seeing Juli week in and week out, so we joke with her all the time. And we know when she tees it up -- I got out of the bus last week to go warm up and she's like, hey, let's play for dinner. She's always wanting to beat somebody (laughter).
But I think because we see that week in and week out I think that's been an advantage this time. And it's not anybody's fault, I think sometimes captains, they're not still out here playing, so we don't see them as much. And I think that's maybe the big difference is that we're more familiar with Juli.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, totally agree. Juli just has so much fire in her. Anything that she does, whether you're playing golf or playing ping-pong in the team room, she's so competitive and wants to win. Just the way she's brought us together. It's incredible to see all of us really coming together this year. I feel like I'm more connected with every single person on the team this year than the previous teams. We're getting along so good, whether it be on the bus dancing or us being silly and dancing. It seems to have a different vibe with Juli. We're really meshing. I feel a lot better than previous years.
Q. We've just had three of the Europeans in here, and they've won it obviously the last twice, but they insist that you guys are favorites. Do you think that is the case? Is it a game they're playing?
ANGELA STANFORD: I guess so. I don't know -- I've never met somebody who wasn't holding a trophy that said they were the favorite. I mean, I just think Super Bowl champion this year, when the Patriots start, they're still the champions. I wouldn't consider them underdogs. I don't think any team that hasn't held the trophy the last two times could be the favorite. So it's obviously their opinion, but I don't agree.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's not like we're in America, where we have all the fans rooting for us. That obviously is not on our side, as well.
Q. Is there such a thing as a favorite going in here?
ANGELA STANFORD: I don't think so. I really don't. People say, on paper. Well, paper doesn't play. So it's match play, anything can happen. I think on paper people say we are better. And I mean that's -- that might be factual, because you can look at numbers. But when you get out on the course it's golf and it's match play, and absolutely anything can happen. And you can't put on paper somebody's heart. It's hard to say there's a favorite or not.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That chin in didn't help yesterday.
MODERATOR: Each of you has won multiple tournaments on Tour, majors, as well. For you, Brittany, when you talk about players coming into something like this, people try to analyze who is playing better, who is the favorite, how do you handicap this. Is current form overrated when you tee it up on that first tee on Friday?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think so, because it's match play. I mean, being a longer hitter, being somebody who likes to go for the par-5s, even if I wasn't playing well going into the week or what have you, you could make a 10 on a hole and only be 1-down. It's a whole different mentality. We have teammates. If I'm having a hard time out there, I normally go to my caddie, but now I can go to somebody else on my team, and say, hey, I need something, help me, pump me back up. It doesn't matter. You lose a hole, you're only 1-down, you go to the next hole.
Playing good or bad coming into the week, I don't think is too much going to prove what the outcome is going to be at the end of the week.
MODERATOR: Would that be the same for records and past experience, having played? If you were 12-2-2 or 2-12-0 on your record, is that tossed out the window, as well? I'd like to ask each of you that question.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think so. I don't know what my record is. Could be bad, could be good for all I know, I don't even know. But I think more your confidence maybe going into the week, maybe if you're playing well coming into the week, maybe you'd be a little more confident.
But I think with how well we're getting along and interacting and playing practice rounds together and feeding off each other's energy, I think it's a totally different ballgame, and that all goes out the window and it's a new week.
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, I think the thing about experience is you know what to expect. This is a new venue. It's a new team. Every Solheim is different in that respect. But I feel like -- I know that this week can be exhausting, because you have to get ready on the course, but then you have to go get your hair done because you've got to go to the gala. There are just different things that if you've been here, you know what to expect and you know kind of how to plot your time. It's a different course and it's a different team, different year.
Q. When it comes to actually selecting partners come Friday morning, are you suggesting to Juli who you would like to play with or is Juli saying, hey, I think you guys should buddy up?
ANGELA STANFORD: I wanted to play with her.
MODERATOR: You haven't played with each other?
ANGELA STANFORD: I want to play with her because she bombs it.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, I think it's just we obviously are a little closer with some than others on the team. But I definitely told Juli who I would like to play with. But at the end of the day, it's definitely her decision, and whoever she pairs me with, I'm just honored to be on the team.
Q. She's listening to you? She's saying, hey, Brittany, you guys are meant to be, this is the way it's going to work, this is what I think. She's listening to you or is that the strategy she's taking on board?
ANGELA STANFORD: Juli has been great. She's been very up front about everything. She's like, you can tell me what you think, but ultimately it's my choice. You're going to go out and play with whoever I tell you to play with. I can take that from Juli, because I know she's listening to me, too. Sometimes you don't know if people are really listening and really taking your feedback. I know she's listening to us. So we trust that her final decision is what's best for us.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: She has a reason.
Q. Just curious, both of your thoughts on a player like Caroline Hedwall, who is not in very good form right now and really hasn't done a whole lot outside the Solheim Cup, but has been so formidable in the Solheim Cup. What have you observed happening to her in Solheim Cups?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: She's a dangerous one. You could say that about a few players on our team that maybe were captain's picks that weren't playing well coming into the week or what have you. But it's Solheim. It's just a different like aura about it. It's so much different than any other week on Tour. Solheim obviously gets her fired up and this is what she lives for. This is what we live for. It's just a different ballgame. It's totally different.
ANGELA STANFORD: It's a different animal. You don't know what drives people, what motivates people, what gets them going. Maybe she loves match play. Maybe she hates stroke play. I don't know. She obviously loves match play. And it might be if everybody told me that you really aren't cutting it and you're playing bad. I'd be like, all right, fine. Keep saying it. It's kind of like that underdog thing. Keep saying that we're supposed to be the underdogs, we're not supposed to win. I think it puts logs on the fire. I think it's just a mentality thing.
Q. I'm just curious your impressions of Alison Lee and how she's fitting in with the team. Has she come along? She told me last week at dinner, she was really quiet at Evian. She couldn't contribute to any of the stories. Has she kind of come out of her shell?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I had never played with her before until Canada this year, until a couple of weeks ago. I played with her the first two days. And she was such a pleasure to play with and so much fun. She is a little bit quiet, especially with her caddie and Jason on the bag. He's been here, a veteran. She's definitely coming out of her shell more and more each day that we get to play. I would say she was a little bit quiet in the beginning, but now she's been awesome to have on the team.
ANGELA STANFORD: How could you not be quiet with this group? She can't get a word in. But she's been great. Again, I didn't know much about her. And I've been overly impressed. First impressions usually last the longest. And the thing that I keep thinking about this kid, nothing phases her. And she's just good.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: The junior team did come over last night and she had a lot to talk about with them.
ANGELA STANFORD: Coming out of her shell, that happened last night because the juniors showed up. My highest compliment from her is that she's not arrogant. I think she knows she's good and she knows what she's capable of, but she doesn't make you feel like you're smaller than her. She handles it really well. And that's been a joy. It's been a lot of fun to be around her because I think she appreciates being here and she wants to be here and that's been cool to see.
Q. Just from a personal standpoint, does this feel like an extra amount of pressure than usual, given the last two losses? Do you feel that way personally?
ANGELA STANFORD: No. I think you get to a point where you're like, well, you know -- what are we going to do try harder? What are we going to do, care more? We have the last two times and it hasn't worked out. And I think that's what Juli has been about. You guys are trying so hard. You're not doing what you usually do. So what are we going to do? Worry about it more? I think it's kind of one of those things that everybody is so done thinking about what's gone wrong that it's like let's do something right. I think that's like we're just ready to win.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, totally. I was going to say, just careless. Let's go take a nap. She made me play 18 holes today. I totally agree. Just go out there and one shot at a time and just going to enjoy it. We're on the Solheim Cup team. There's not a lot of people that can say that. Win, lose or draw, it's such an honor to be here.
MODERATOR: Brittany, you'll be a great captain some day, naps for everybody, no practice.
Angela, the importance of a quick start for Team USA on Friday. Take you back to '09, the last time U.S. had that big victory. It was 8-8 going into Sunday and the United States won the first three matches in the singles, you won 5&4, so you put the team in a good place, helped do that.
But this is Friday, and given what's happened the last two go arounds, is Friday magnified this time for Team USA?
ANGELA STANFORD: I think people will magnify it. One way or the other, it's going to be blow out of proportion. I remember thinking about this, the best thing for us to do is to stay patient, whether it's good or bad. If we jump out in front, I don't think we can get overly excited because obviously the European team is really strong. They're not just going to lay down. I think as long as we don't go overboard, whether it's we're down or up, I think as long as we stay patient and keep plodding along we'll be okay. But if we do that, we magnify, or we jump out to a large lead or we're way down, I think it's going to make it worse if we get emotionally tied into it.
MODERATOR: You started the year not at the ANA Inspiration, you played a few tournaments, but you won a major championship the beginning of this year, your year started off so, so well. What would it mean to have that thing to your right to kind of end your year?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That would pretty much be the icing on the cake. Like you said, it started out really well. And it's been ho-hum since then.
To be able to hold the Cup and to have the party and the fun party we had last Sunday, I remember the first couple go around that I had, would really mean a lot. It would mean -- it would kind of tie in the whole season, even though it all hasn't been great. This win would be like winning another major.
MODERATOR: Wish you both the best of luck, Team USA, as well. Thank you for coming in.
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