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September 17, 2015

Cristie Kerr

Lexi Thompson

St. Leon-Rot, Germany

MODERATOR: Welcome again, everybody. Joined by two members of the Team USA on a tight schedule with the Opening Ceremonies coming later this morning. Rolex World No 15 Cristie Kerr is making her eighth Solheim Cup appearance this week, and Rolex World No. 4, Lexi Thompson, making her second Solheim Cup appearance. Thanks, both of you, for being here.

Let's start with the impressions of the golf course and maybe how it fits each of your individual styles. Let's start with you, Lexi

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, the golf course, it's a great layout. It's obviously playing a little longer now due to the rain. But it's a very pure golf course. It's in great shape. Rough is up thick. It definitely rewards good ball-striking.

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I think the layout is great. It is a shame we're getting all this rain because late Monday and Tuesday it was in perfect shape. It is what it is, though. Hopefully it will dry out a bit and I think we all really like the golf course. The greens are rolling really true, even yesterday with all the rain they had yesterday. So it will be a good test.

MODERATOR: Cristie, seven past Solheim Cup appearances for you, should be, I would say, enough to give us an understanding of how a player successfully paces themselves, or maybe unsuccessfully does it, leading into Friday, with all the different things you have to do, trying to get enough holes in, et cetera. How do you do it and is there a recipe for success?

CRISTIE KERR: Well, I mean, I played 18 holes on Tuesday, knowing the forecast wasn't going to be that great. And then played nearly all of them yesterday, as well, with the forecast being what it is today. So I think the key is just playing up early in the week and then try to get some rest with the matches coming up. And I think that the most important thing for Team USA will be just keeping our rhythm for these matches, because everybody tends to get amped up. If we can keep rhythm on short game and shots and just no doubt about where they're going to go, we'll be great.

MODERATOR: Can yu follow-up on the rhythm? Just define that for us.

CRISTIE KERR: Rhythm in golf is very important, especially on short game and putting. It's the pace, the speed. Just got to -- for whoever has played golf out there, you know how important rhythm is.

MODERATOR: Because of the magnitude of the event?

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, the magnitude of the event. It just makes you more amped up, you have more adrenaline going through your system. And nobody, even the other team, is not really going to feel that until tomorrow. One of our goals has really been to try to just keep our rhythm this week.

MODERATOR: You went 1-2-0 in Colorado. That was a Team USA loss that week. You played two fourball and one singles match as a rookie. What was your biggest takeaway? What was the one thing over the past two years you've thought about most that lives with you?

LEXI THOMPSON: From Colorado?


LEXI THOMPSON: Just overall, that whole experience, the Solheim Cup, representing your country, there's no higher honor than that. I got to play in team events as a junior and amateur, and it was amazing experiences for me. But to play in that Solheim Cup at Colorado Golf Club was a huge honor. I mean, unfortunate loss. But we tried our best, and that's all we can do. But we have a little bit more fire behind us this year to go win it.

MODERATOR: Another question from me before we get to the first one. Can you guys give us a sense of team? This is basically the same team from the last go around, and so far everybody that's sat up here from Team USA seems to be a real positive, you either win together or lose together, and not much has needed to be said, really. What are your thoughts on the team?

CRISTIE KERR: It is the same team, but it doesn't feel like the same team. Everybody's said it this week. It just feels like a different team. It feels like we're all more bonded, more meshed.

Hats off to Juli, she's done a great job with us so far. To get a different feeling, even having the same players, we only have one different player, that's hard to do. So I think that -- it just seems like our chemistry is better this year.

MODERATOR: Any explanation as to how she's been able to accomplish that?

CRISTIE KERR: I don't know, but I'm going to try to write it down for the future if I'm ever captain.

LEXI THOMPSON: Having only one different player on this team is pretty amazing. But like Cristie said, we have a great bond. I don't know what it is, I don't know if it's -- it definitely has to do with Juli being our captain and the vice-captains that we have. I mean, just the whole team bond we have this year, words can't even describe it. We all get along with each other and we're always rooting each other on.

Q. For both of you, really. Lexi, with you, with Brittany, Michelle, Gerina, you're all bombers, you've got to love this rain, right? It's going to make the golf course play longer?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, we like it in that sense. But I'm sure they'll move a few of the tees up on a few of the holes. Yeah, we do like it. But we don't like playing in the rain. But hopefully we get good weather for the next three days. We'll see how it goes.

Q. Cristie, players that can bomb it like that on a golf course like this, do they have an advantage? Disadvantage?
CRISTIE KERR: Length is always an advantage on a long golf course, and having a lot more speed out of the rough is a huge advantage. Like on whatever hole that was yesterday, Lexi hit it in the rough. And she hit this great shot out. She hits down on it a lot more, she's got a lot more speed out of the rough. I think that will be an advantage with some of our players. I plan on hitting it straight so I don't have to be in the rough. Just keep it in the fairway. It's all about rhythm.

It's hard to predict a favorite either way. I think we're really just putting our work hats on this year, and going to go out and get the job done.

Q. Cristie, particularly you, given your experience, and the fact that 11 of the 12 from last time are here, is there a sense of a mission of redemption about this Solheim Cup?
CRISTIE KERR: I think definitely it's on everybody's mind. But we are very similarly, as a team, focused on what we need to do to play well for ourselves.

To win the Solheim Cup, it doesn't matter about an individual effort, you know. Lexi could go undefeated. I could go undefeated. But the team -- everybody's got to play well to win. So we're very singular in our mindset of going out and putting our work hats on and getting it done.

Q. But does what happened in Denver add an extra incentive?
CRISTIE KERR: Winning on foreign soil is always an extra incentive. What happened in the past is in the past.

Q. One other thing, just in terms of the dynamic for team golf for America, obviously the Ryder Cup is over this side of the pond. The Walker Cup came over this side of the pond last week. In terms, again, of motivation for the women's game in America, does this bring added significance to the Solheim Cup?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I definitely think so. It's such a global sport now. When I first came out on Tour, there weren't that many European players, let alone good European players. The game has really grown globally. I think the Solheim Cup and these kind of competitions really build the game and that's kind of what we're here about. Everybody wants to win, but it's an exhibition to grow the game. So I think we're going to go out, we're going to take care of our jobs and let the chips fall where they may.

Q. Cristie, as compared to two years ago, even though it's the same team, you do seem much more workmanlike. I don't want to say subdued, but certainly more singularly focused, perhaps not so amped up. Is that a reflection of Juli? Is that something that the entire team has gathered and said we're going to do this?
CRISTIE KERR: I think it is a reflection of Juli and our assistant captains, Nancy Lopez and Pat Hurst and Wendy Ward, they're all assistant captains and they've all played on Solheim Cups.

This year, no matter what happens -- we hope we have a ton of fans out there, but obviously the odds are against us as far as the fan count. We're just going to let it roll off our shoulder this year, and not let things get to us or bother us. We're going to have amazing sportsmanship from our team. And we're just going to go out and take care of our own deal.

At some point you can't let the pressure outweigh your ability to do your job, and I think that's what we're all focused on.

Q. You two seemed to pair well together at the Crown last year. Can you talk about, should we see you two together sometime this week, why you guys would make a good pairing?
LEXI THOMPSON: We'll see about the pairings. We don't even know who we're paired up with yet. We do make a great team at International Crown. But Juli is picking all the teams and all the matchups. So we'll wait and see.

CRISTIE KERR: We practiced with every player on this team. We kind of have an idea, but we won't really know until Opening Ceremonies.

Q. Lexi, two years ago, in Denver, you had your first Solheim Cup and you were really playing in front of the home crowd. This time it will be a little bit different. What's your expectations on that?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, of course it will be a little different here in Germany, probably not as many US fans over here.

In Colorado, I was definitely pretty pumped up to play in my first Solheim Cup, and hitting that first tee shot was an amazing feeling.

But I'm definitely -- we're all pretty serious about this year and we're ready to bring our A games and work as a team and do as well as we can out here and just see where it goes.

Q. Cristie, can I ask you how different the Solheim is as a competition from the first time that you played? This is your eighth go at this. The scale of the event, and how you said it's an exhibition to promote women's golf, it must be different than the first time you played it?
CRISTIE KERR: Honestly, it's not. You still get the butterflies. You want to play so well. Yeah, you put pressure on yourself, but I think the experience of having eight now gives me perspective. And I feel like I played pretty well the last couple because I know that to play well, I can't put that much pressure on myself. And I think that's what I've been trying to impart to our teammates is don't let the situation become bigger than hitting the same shot you hit every week.

So it's a different competition because you're playing for your country, you're playing for your teammates, but on the same time we've got to keep our eye on the prize.

Q. I walked in a little late, you might have said this already. What do you take away from Evian and what do you take away from how well you played that week coming into this week?
LEXI THOMPSON: Evian is a big week for me, and everybody, being the last Major Championship of the year. It's a big week. To go over there and play well and come in second, I tried my hardest the last day, Lydia was just on fire on that back nine. But just taking a lot of confidence going into this week on just how well I hit it and the putts that I made. It helps out a lot. But I'm just going to go to this week, focus on doing my routine and stay in the moment.

MODERATOR: Cristie, you guys are the last American players to come in here. I want to give you the last word on the sense of Team USA. You're the most veteran player on this team, next to Juli Inkster, who is the captain. What's Juli been like? You've played for a lot of captains and what's your sense of this team in specific?

CRISTIE KERR: It's pretty amazing and I'm a little bit of a cheese ball in that I like inspirational quotes and things. And there are two quotes that I really take away from what I've looked at the last couple of days. Joan of Arc actually said, We were born to do this, be not afraid. And the second one is is by Babe Ruth, you just can't beat the player that never, never, never, never gives up.

MODERATOR: We will close with that. Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson, thanks for being here. Good luck in the Solheim Cup. We'll see you at the Opening ceremonies.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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