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September 17, 2015
St. Leon-Rot, Germany
MODERATOR: It's my great pleasure to welcome back to the interview room the United States team captain, Juli Inkster, and the European team captain Carin Koch. Before they announce the pairings for the mornings foursomes, we'll get started with a few brief questions.
Juli, can we just start, how is it going for you so far this week and the atmosphere in the team room.
JULI INKSTER: It's been great. The weather has put a little damper on the golf, but the other part has been extraordinary. We had a great night last night at the gala.
My team is ready to go. I think they were probably ready to go on Monday, but we had to wait a little bit. Hopefully the rain will let up and we'll get three nice days of golf.
MODERATOR: Your team also raring to go, now?
CARIN KOCH: They're ready. They've been ready.
But today ended up being a nice day for us. We all went and played a few holes and they had some fun on the course. We really didn't know if we could get out there at all today. To be able to go and have some competitions and some teams together, and some pairings that we wanted to see together, it was positive that we could even get on the course today.
MODERATOR: Now the big reveal. I'd like to pass it over to Juli to announce her pairs for the opening match at 8:00 a.m.
JULI INKSTER: At 8:00 a.m. we're going to be sending off Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer.
MODERATOR: And Carin?
CARIN KOCH: We've got Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen.
MODERATOR: For Match 2 at 8:15 a.m.?
JULI INKSTER: Okay. We will have Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome.
CARIN KOCH: For Europe we'll have Charley Hull and Melissa Reid.
MODERATOR: Match 3 at 8:30?
JULI INKSTER: We will have Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson.
CARIN KOCH: We will have Karine Icher and Azahara Munoz.
MODERATOR: Match 4 at 8:45?
JULI INKSTER: We will have Stacy Lewis and Lizette Salas.
CARIN KOCH: For Europe, Sandra Gal and Catriona Matthew.
MODERATOR: Thank you. If you have a question, please raise your hands and take the microphone.
Q. How is Alison Lee, and did you expect to put her out in the first morning foursome?
JULI INKSTER: I did expect to put her out and she's still sick. She just can't shake this stomach bug. They gave her an IV of fluid today, but we'll just see how it goes. She's going to try and make the Opening Ceremonies. She really missed the gala. She was really looking forward to that. I just figured if she wants to try to do the Opening Ceremonies that we'll try to give that a shot and see how it goes.
Q. Who was she going to play with?
JULI INKSTER: She was going to play with Michelle Wie.
Q. It appeared as though you had some very natural pairings based on nationalities: two Swedes, two Spaniards, two French, two English people. And the only two that you put together were the two English girls, Charley and Melissa. What was your thinking there, and did you consider putting them out based on their nationalities?
CARIN KOCH: We're all European. We're a team from Europe. And I don't think we really think about us as different nationalities that much. And we put together some pairings that we think are going to work out the best.
Q. Juli, with all the talk circulated about Paula, what does it say that you're sending her out right away with Morgan in the first match?
JULI INKSTER: Well, I have faith in her. I watched her practice for three days. She's hitting it great. She's excited. I wanted to get her out there and get her feet wet, so to speak. I have all the confidence in the world in her. It was a no-brainer for me.
Q. Carin, putting Charley Hull and Melissa Reid together, two quite young players. Did they ask to play together or did you suggest that they should play together? How did that pairing come about?
CARIN KOCH: I knew they both would like to play together. But just seeing them in practice, they just have a lot of fun together. They have good personalities that go together and their games go together. It was an easy one for me.
Q. Juli, how much additional pressure, if there is any, do you as the Americans feel given that the Ryder Cup is over this side of the pond. Last week the amateurs lost the Walker Cup, as well. Does that have an extra sense of responsibility for your team?
JULI INKSTER: Pressure is what you make of it. I think they're looking forward to the opportunity to play golf and to try to win. It's a lot of golf. The Europeans have a very strong team. We're going to have to play very well to beat them and everybody in my team knows that. So we have an opportunity to right the ship. And what we do with that is up to us.
Q. Just to follow up on that, given that you have 11 of the 12 who were beaten in Denver last time out, is there a redemptive message that you're using to fire them up?
JULI INKSTER: No, I'm not. I wasn't there. I don't think I have to stoke any fire with them. They're all competitive golfers. They're all professionals. If they didn't have any competitiveness in them, they wouldn't be in this sport.
This is a match between the Europeans and the United States. It's a game of sportsmanship and integrity. And we're just going to go out there and play some golf and have some fun and see what happens.
Q. Juli, just a couple of questions on Alison Lee. Would you be surprised if she played tomorrow afternoon?
JULI INKSTER: Right now probably not. I'm a little worried to send her out -- we've just got to see how it evolves. She thinks she's getting better, and as soon as she starts eating something, it doesn't sit well with her. Right now we kept her out of the morning matches. See how she does tonight and see if she can keep some food down.
What I'm worried about is her strength and being able to handle not only the mental aspect, the physical aspect of -- she hasn't eaten at all in almost 48 hours. Your body -- that's a lot on your body.
Q. I know it's too late now, but you had provisions in place should Michelle not be fit to play. Did you ever contemplate replacing her?
JULI INKSTER: Michelle Wie or Alison?
JULI INKSTER: This kind of just came up. It's hard to get someone over from the States in time.
Q. But Juli Inkster is playing quite well.
JULI INKSTER: That's ain't gonna happen. I've seen that golf course. I don't want to hit a shot.
We're a man down right now, and everyone on the team knows it. Everyone has gone through it. I'm sure the European team has gone through this where someone gets sick or someone gets hurt. Like you say, everyone is going to have to step it up a little bit. Somebody might have to play five matches. I didn't want to do that, but someone might have to do that.
We're just going to play it by ear and see how things progress with her. I know she wants to play. I know I want to get her out there. She's a great player. I was planning on riding her hard. But these things are unexpected and you've just got to kind of roll with them.
Q. Juli, just going back to the previous point about the Ryder Cup and the Walker Cup, have you identified any reason why American golfers would struggle in team competitions? Because it confuses us. Or is it wrong to put that together, and it should be treated in isolation?
JULI INKSTER: I think golf is a funny game. You get momentum and things happen real quick. I think sometimes you try too hard. But how do you tell someone not to try? It's not like they go out there and try to lose. It's just sometimes the other team plays better and makes more putts. And it only happens once every two years, so there's a lot of pressure to get it done at that time. And I think sometimes we don't handle it that well.
Q. Carin, can I ask about the protocol if Alison isn't fit to play on Sunday. Is that something you'd consider?
CARIN KOCH: No, I had the stomach bug before, but I've played without eating for a few days. If you have to play, you go out and play. Of course, all of us are hoping that she would be fit to play at some stage before Sunday, and for the sake of the matches and to play on Sunday. No, I haven't thought of that. It's a long ways away to Sunday for me. She's young. If you young, you recover pretty fast. It would be worse if it was Juli or I (laughter).
Q. Carin, what do you make of that first pairings, you're putting your two best ranked players together, how do you see that first match?
CARIN KOCH: I just wanted a strong team to go out first. They played together before and they like to play together. They're both in very good form. So it was just a nice pairing to put on the first tee first. I think it might be quite loud there on the first tee and it's nice to have a couple of experienced players to just enjoy that moment.
Q. Same questions for Juli. It seems like the Americans maybe least favored player to play against is Suzann, how do you see that?
JULI INKSTER: I think my players love playing against Suzann. I always did. I don't think they have any qualms about playing against Suzann.
Q. Juli, I just wanted to confirm the player in the envelope in case somebody is hurt or sick, that player has to be submitted before the ceremony, right? That player definitely will not be in play, Alison will stay on the roster?
JULI INKSTER: Yeah, Alison will stay on the roster. We can't get our other player here.
Q. Just to follow up, how much does that disrupt months of planning, maybe, on who fits together best?
JULI INKSTER: Well, I mean, it's definitely a disruption. But, you know what, you just go with it. There's a lot of teams that have played a man down that have been successful.
It's like Carin says, she's young. I hope she bounces back. I just don't want her heave-hoing out on the golf course. It's not fun. And I've been there on that, too. I don't want to put her out there when something like that is going to happen. I want to put her out there when I feel like she can succeed and not have to play through what she's doing right now.
Q. You sort of answered the question already, but how tough of a decision was it to break up the successful paring of Nordqvist and Hedwall from Colorado?
CARIN KOCH: I'm going to keep getting that question all week from the Swedish press, aren't I? Well, we're only on the first day, so let's talk about it on Sunday.
Q. Carin, I wonder if I could get your take on this record of European team success. I think Paul McGinley did the hash tag template. Without revealing anything, do you think there is a template?
CARIN KOCH: We're just riding a good wave, I guess. It's a lot of positives. When you win the last one, it's positive. Like I said the other day, if I look back at the matches in Colorado, I look back at the pairings and there were so many wins. So it's nice to look back, and that's what the players have in their memories. So that's a nice way to ride. But Juli's team is going to be very strong this week.
And this is 2015. This is this Solheim Cup. It doesn't have anything to do with what we did in Colorado or Killeen Castle. Now it's Germany, it's raining. That's what we have to focus on and it's going to be a very tough task to go out and beat the American team.
Q. Could I ask one more question about Alison. There used to be a rule that every player had to play once before the final day singles?
JULI INKSTER: That's still in.
Q. That's still in? Thank you.
JULI INKSTER: But if they are sick and cannot play Friday and Saturday, they can play Sunday. Is that right?
CARIN KOCH: Yes.
JULI INKSTER: Look at me and the captains agreement.
MODERATOR: Thank you. We deeply appreciate the work that you do. Please respect the embargo until 6:00 p.m. Thank you very much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports