|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
September 16, 2015
St. Leon-Rot, Germany
MODERATOR: Welcome to the 2015 Solheim Cup. We've got a captain and two of her shipmates on a very rainy, wet day out here. Good to have you all in here. Rolex Rankings No. 20, Michelle Wie, to my far right, making her fourth Solheim Cup appearance, and Rolex Ranked No 27, Alison Lee, making her first Solheim Cup appearance, in fact, the only rookie on the team, on either team.
Alison, we have to start with you. You've been the subject of a few questions in the past press conference. We want to know what your impression is of this entire process. Let's start with the moment you found out that you made this team, what did you think?
ALISON LEE: Well, obviously I've said this many times before, but when I turned pro in December, I made -- making Solheim Cup one of my top priorities, one of my top goals for the year. Playing in three Junior Solheim Cups in the past, and having friends like Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson, who I played with in the Junior Solheim Cup, actually playing in the actual Solheim Cup, it was definitely on the top of my list to make it on the team.
And I was really hoping for a captain's pick, but I was playing really well in the last few events to make it on the team through rankings. It was just amazing.
And I so remember when we were in Canada, and Juli and Michelle and I think Lexi were there to come and pretty much congratulate me. I was just in tears. And I was just so overjoyed. Definitely I was on cloud nine for the longest time, and I still am. But, yeah, just overjoyed.
MODERATOR: The bus ride from Evian, what was that like for you?
ALISON LEE: It was very interesting. It wasn't something I expected, I guess. But I don't know if I'm allowed to share all the details.
MODERATOR: You just opened up Pandora's Box, so go ahead.
ALISON LEE: But, yeah, it was definitely a lot of fun. And I got to get to know the girls a little bit better, obviously because I'm new and I'm a rookie, I didn't really know -- I don't know any of the girls on the team at all. I've played with Michelle a couple of times and some of the girls a couple of times in a few events. But, yeah, definitely the bus ride was a lot of fun. I got to know a lot of the girls a lot better.
MODERATOR: You walked into your room this week, wide-eyed, what was the impression when you saw the room?
ALISON LEE: Man, I just -- it was so cool having everything laid out there and super nice. And it really did remind me of when I played on the Junior Solheim Cup team and all those emotions and feelings came back to me.
But, yeah, this is different. Every day we get a new present in our room, it's pretty awesome. I think that's been my favorite part so far, having gifts every day. But, yeah, really cool.
MODERATOR: Sounds like you have a great captain. Juli, when she made your team, what were you thinking?
JULI INKSTER: I was ecstatic. It's always great to have a rookie on the team, some fresh ideas, some energy to bring to the team. And she also happens to be a pretty good player. So it was a win/win for me.
MODERATOR: Michelle, want to get your thoughts. Your rookie campaign was pretty good, 3-0-1. That was a pretty impressive situation. And you were a captain's pick. A little bit different than what Alison accomplished. What's it been like to have her on this team?
MICHELLE WIE: It's been awesome. I've seen her at the Junior Solheim. They would all come out watching us play. I think you were there in '09, weren't you? Yeah, she was there, too. I've known her a while, seen her at craft, and saw her grow up. It's so amazing. You kind of -- I think everyone on our team, it's nice to have a rookie on the team because it brings back the memories for us. It puts the whole experience into perspective.
It takes us back to when I was a rookie, how amazing that first moment that you walk into your room and you see the American flags, the American flag pillows, everything so decorated. You're a little bit nervous, will the team accept you, will you get along with them.
The bus ride over, we're a bunch of goof balls, so it was fun. It's nice to have her on the team. She's an awesome player. She played great this year, I think. She's going to be amazing.
MODERATOR: Want to get your thoughts, first, Juli, now that you've been here for a couple of days, how is the weather affecting any of the preparations? You look very serious today.
JULI INKSTER: Really? That's because you're to my left, you always intimidate me.
My team, I feel great about my team. The weather, nothing you can do about it. My team went out there and played a little bit. I feel like they know the course pretty well. We got some good practice in. We've gotten a lot of good rest in. So I think really everybody is just ready to go.
I hear it's going to rain tomorrow. I've got some charades planned and some heads up 7 up. We're going to have indoor activities. Everybody is going to bring their box lunch and we'll have fun.
MODERATOR: Sounds like fun, high tops down on the end. You're getting conversation about the wardrobe. How are you feeling, because that's been a big topic of conversation over the last weeks or months. What's your take on this golf course? Bam Bam thought it was perfect for her. That must mean you'd like it as well?
MICHELLE WIE: It's amazing. I'm so grateful to be here in this position right now. Juli and I have had a lot of talks this year.
JULI INKSTER: She's on a favorite list on phone dial.
MICHELLE WIE: I come back from the doctor and I get a talk call from Juli Inkster. It's really night and day. There are some conversations when I talked to Juli, honestly I told her I don't know if I could play or not.
But the past month, it really has been night and day. I played last week with no pain, knock on wood. And this week, too. So every day I've been really diligent about my rehab routine. That has been my number one priority. And I have a good routine going. I feel great as soon as I check off all of that stuff. And I feel great. I feel really good this week. I'm excited to be here. I'm just ecstatic to be here.
MODERATOR: Alison, ready to go five matches, just get this thing going on Friday?
ALISON LEE: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it's been a while since I've played that much golf. I've played more golf this year than I've ever played in my life. Yeah, just ready to go and we're all fired up, we're ready to win.
Q. Alison, I understand you weren't feeling so well this morning, are you in good shape now?
ALISON LEE: Yeah. I wasn't in the best shape last night or this morning. But I definitely feel a lot better than I was this morning. So just a little rest today and maybe a little tomorrow, since it's going to be raining and I'll be ready.
Q. Food poisoning?
ALISON LEE: I think, yeah, the symptoms show a little bit of food poisoning. But I feel a lot better.
MICHELLE WIE: She's a trooper, though, she came out on the back nine. We had a match set up. She showed up.
Q. What are the gifts you've gotten?
ALISON LEE: We got Bose headphones. We got little cute like lunch boxes from Juli.
Q. Serious one. Just curious when you first --
MICHELLE WIE: I get the serious ones now.
Q. No, this is for Alison. When you first remember watching Michelle Wie play on TV, I would imagine, and your impressions of her as you were growing up. And now that you're part of the team and you've gotten to know her more, maybe have her cellphone number now, how that's changed?
ALISON LEE: Obviously before I definitely looked up to Michelle so much. Her turning pro at such a young age and playing golf and going to school and finishing college. To be honest, one of the reasons why I wanted to stay in school is because I saw that Michelle was able to do it. So I thought, yeah, I love school and I want to do it as well.
And getting to know Michelle, I feel like we're really similar in some aspects, like we have the same thought process, I guess, for certain things. And we're closer in age. But, yeah, it's definitely been really cool.
Q. Juli, I remember at Rich Harvest Farms, when Michelle was playing her first Solheim Cup, and it was somewhat controversial pick, a captain's pick. She played really well. I remember afterwards you saying she's going to win before this year is out and she did win. What did you see about the effect that the Solheim Cup had on her that year?
JULI INKSTER: I think at the Solheim Cup, you really learn a lot about yourself. You learn a lot about your teammates. But I know, when I played in the Solheim Cup, playing in a major is a lot of pressure. But playing in the Solheim Cup is -- it's the level has been raised. I remember being able to pull off shots that I never thought I would be able to pull off and under that pressure. And I just thought if I can do that here, I should be able to do that on a regular basis in a tournament.
I just saw that in Michelle. I just saw some of the shots she hit at that moment were incredible. And I remember that par-5, I think it was like 15 or 16, I still remember it, and she just smoked an iron in there about 12 feet, and I'm like -- I probably wouldn't have been able to take the club back. And she just ripped it. And I still believe that she hasn't even scratched her surface yet. Once she gets healthy and starts playing regularly, I think there's a lot more in there that she's going to accomplish in golf.
Q. Michelle, do you feel happy at the prospect of playing five matches?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, yeah. Before Evian, I made sure I played 36 holes one day, just to see. I talked to Juli, I'm like, I'm good to go, you can play me as many or little as you want. Juli wants me to play five matches, I'm good to go.
Q. Feel healthy enough?
MICHELLE WIE: Yep.
Q. Just a few moments ago, Juli, Brittany Lincicome was in. She felt she's never felt so connected to a team as she has been this year because of you?
JULI INKSTER: That's nice.
Q. What is it that you feel that you have done? You have a wealth of experience playing in the Solheim Cup, but she said they just know you so well, the whole team do. What do you feel you bring? Nobody heard that before from the American side.
JULI INKSTER: I don't think -- I think they all know me. They all know my little quirkiness, and they all know my little strengths and weaknesses. I just try to be myself. I don't try to be anybody else. I really -- personally I really, really enjoy being around them. I just think it's such a great group.
We're all different. We all have different personalities. We all have a different way to think about things. But in the end, we are a team. And I just really feel like this team is really connected. I don't know if it's because of me or it's because of my assistants, Pat and Wendy, we're all kind of alike. Or it's a team. I think everybody is kind of more mature. They're older. They kind of get what this is about. It's not about them. It's about -- this is a lifetime experience in one week. And I want them to have a good feeling about this week.
And whether we win or lose, I want them to remember the bus ride. I want them to remember the team dinners. I think that's a huge. We had the Solheim Cup Junior Team last night. That's a big part about what this week is all about, whether it's me or I think it's just us. I think it's just really us that we like being around each other. And it's really good to see.
Q. Brittany did mention, as well, that this year we're not doing the hair, the nails, the face paint. Has that been something you said to the team to reign them in a little bit or is that something you learned from the last couple of years?
JULI INKSTER: I just think they're pretty much grown women. I don't know, I don't see a lot of grown women with face paint on. I want to get back to playing golf. They can have fun and they can do their nails and whatever, but I would like us to just play golf. If they do it during the year, if they do it at the U.S. Open and they want to do it here, fine. But if they don't do it on a regular basis, let's just play golf and get back to the basics. I think they were all okay with it.
MODERATOR: I want to follow up and get Michelle's take on this, too, about the camaraderie of this group. It's basically the same team from the last go around, adding Alison. Is that a benefit even though this was a losing team, so to speak, the last go around? Is it good to have the same collective group?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, yeah. Us, as a group together, I think because we had lost the last two Cups, we went through so much together. Winning is easy. Winning is always easy. I think losing is when you learn the most about each other, learn the most about yourself. And I think that's an opportunity where you can remember on and improve on. And this moral battle that we've been through for the last two Cups, we've been through a lot together.
So I think this time around, we're extremely supportive of each other. We have a lot of really good positive thoughts. I think Juli has done a really good job of understanding the needs that we have as players, trying to keep our routines, as she said, the same as in a regular tournament.
And Pat and Wendy have been great, too. As serious as sometimes it gets, they're a bunch of goof balls. So they always can bring a smile to our faces. And having Alison on the team is such a great addition as well, too. She's so easy going and always brings a smile to our faces. But, yeah, I think we're definitely -- we definitely have bonded.
JULI INKSTER: I think if we can get her to stop talking, I think it would be better. She constantly talks (laughter).
MODERATOR: Well, she'd make a good captain.
JULI INKSTER: She'd make a good captain.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about how this event in particular has helped you mature as a player? Could you go back to '09, and also even this last Cup and how it's changed you?
MICHELLE WIE: It's definitely -- I mean, like Juli has said, too, playing in a major, being in contention, I mean that's pressure. But I think when you play for your country, when you have to play for your teammates and you add in the pressure of the Solheim, those are pressure situations where you -- I get the shakes, you know. Like you get it sometimes, you go in, you're like, oh, God, you can't breathe.
There are certain situations where you don't ever come to that in other tournaments. When you play in the U.S. Open, like last year at Pinehurst, I definitely used moments from Solheim to help me get through it. You definitely learn a lot playing through pressure like that. And also confidence, as well, too, some of the shots I've pulled off at Solheim, it's definitely in my memory bank. If I get that nervous, that shaky, just thoughts in my mind, thoughts racing, and I can pull off a shot, then it just makes everything so much easier.
So I think that every Solheim, I just want to take one thing from it and learn from it and gain a lot of positive mojo from it. So I think that this week, it will happen.
Q. Do you have a shot you'd like to share with us that's in the memory bank?
MICHELLE WIE: My shot -- I have two. My one -- my first one was '09. This is maybe, in my belief, the best shot I ever hit in my life. I played against Helen in the singles match, the second hole, par 5, she hit it to six feet for a second shot. She chipped in on the first, I'm like, damn, this is how it's going to go today. I had a 5-iron and I stuck it to four feet. We both made the putt, and that had to be the best shot I hit.
And then last Solheim, chipping in from a pretty difficult situation was pretty awesome, too.
It's a fun week. It really brings out a lot in you. A lot of emotions. A lot of up and down. I think the one thing that I've learned from playing in Solheims, the last two Solheims, trying to handle my emotions, trying to be relaxed, just have fun out there, not to be dragged around by the emotions.
So you definitely learn every time. It's going to be a learning experience. I think Alison is going to have a really fun time with it. It's a fun week.
MODERATOR: Juli, are you a nervous captain right now? Do you have butterflies going? Everybody says you're so laid back. But are you nervous?
JULI INKSTER: I really am not. Well, I'm nervous about my speech, no lie on that.
MODERATOR: Should we all be nervous?
JULI INKSTER: You should all be nervous. But, you know, I feel very good about this team. I know they're going to go out there and try as hard as they can. And that's all I can ask for. We've had a great time. We're having a great time. And come Sunday, if we're holding the Cup, great. If we don't, I'm going to take nothing but great memories from this week.
MODERATOR: Michelle, you just mentioned the Helen Alfredsson match, you won that match. That was part of a real big Sunday for Team USA, going into Sunday, and I brought this up with Brittany and Angela. The importance of a fast start or a very solid start on Friday morning -- I'm not asking the captain this question, because you'll talk about it, but I'm asking you, how important is it to get off to a good start Friday, not singles, given what's happened.
MICHELLE WIE: I'm going to quote what Joanne Carner said, she always tells us, birdie the first hole. That's all I'm going to say.
JULI INKSTER: That's good.
Q. Juli, knowing the players so well as you do, do you think you know now your pairings for Friday morning? I know you're not going to share them with us.
JULI INKSTER: I'll tell you right now. I'm just kidding (laughter).
Q. Do you think it will change between now and when you actually have to name your pairings?
JULI INKSTER: That's a good question. I have them in my head. I don't have them on paper, but I have them kind of what I want to do.
Tomorrow, it could be a wash out, and then I'll probably just write them down. But we're going to see how people are feeling. I'll talk to them. But, yeah, I have a pretty good idea what I want to do.
MODERATOR: Juli, finish this for me -- this will be a great week for your team if -- what?
JULI INKSTER: Can you guys help me? Is this a multiple guess? (Laughter).
This will be a great week, regardless. I mean, I just think the experiences we're going to get are going to be phenomenal. But it will be a great week if we make some putts. I think that's the bottom line. It's all about putting, getting the ball in the fairway and having some fun.
MODERATOR: Good luck with your speech. Good luck with the rest of the week.
Alison, congratulations on making the team. Thanks for being here.
Michelle Wie, thank you, as well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports