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September 10, 2005

Nancy Lopez


Q. Nancy, some general comments about today.

NANCY LOPEZ: It was an exciting day. It was I mean, it was just a great day. My players played so hard, and they never gave up, you know, even Christina Kim and Pat Hurst took them to the 16th hole, and they were down for a while. They weren't going to give up. They were fighting hard.

I'm just real happy with the day. The Europeans are playing really well, and my players are playing really well. It's going to be exciting.

Q. What are your feelings going into tomorrow all tied up?

NANCY LOPEZ: Great, I love the pairings. I already called my team to let them know what's going on. They were thrilled.

Q. Would you like to go over the pairings one by one?

NANCY LOPEZ: First pairing is with Sophie Gustafson, Juli Inkster will be playing her. I think it will be a great match, and Juli's playing very well.

Laura Davies and Paula Creamer, I think Paula's really pumped up. Laura's played very well and made a lot of putts this week, and I'm hoping Paula just would be a little bit better than Laura.

Pat Hurst is playing great, playing against Trish Johnson. You know, I was really trying to go strong early, and well, strong all the way through. I do not feel like any of my players really are not strong. You know, I have players that are strong players who are consistent, players who hit it long, players who are consistent in the fairway. I have everything on this team.

Laura Diaz and Iben Tinning, I think will be a great match. They didn't win, they missed a few putts, that happens, but she played well. Ball striking was great. I watched her.

Christina Kim is fired up. She's going to play the other little rookie. Of course, Laura Diaz and Iben are both with child, that's going to be kind of a neat little plus there.

Beth Daniel and Annika Sorenstam. Annika is a great player, and I think this is the time for Beth Daniel to go out there and show everybody what Beth Daniel is all about. I think she can play this game, and that's why I chose her to be on this team.

Natalie Gulbis is playing great, played great today. Maria has been playing well, it will be a great match.

Wendy Ward is very consistent, playing well. I think Catriona Matthew, very consistent also. It will be fun to watch that one.

Michelle Redman, I think today was a great day for her. She played really well and hit a fantastic shot on the 18. Unless you have been here, I saw the shot she had, the pressure, you just that's what you have to do when you have that kind of pressure, and when you hit that kind of shot, you have to pat yourself on the back. Michelle really needs to do that. She's going to play against a tough competitor, Carin Koch, who's made a lot of putts.

The putter can always get cold sometime. Cristie Kerr, I put her there to bring up the end, Cristie, Meg and Rosie. I felt if I had three points to make up, they could do it at the end. Cristie is going to play the other little rookie they have, and I think she'll do very well.

I think Meg against Karen Stupples will do well, and Rosie Jones and Suzann Pettersen, if it came down to the last point, I think that would be an awesome match there.

Q. Open it up for some questions.

Nancy, today was just it was so close, it was so intense, all of these matches going to the 18th green. I mean, just an overall this day, how I know, how wiped out do you think your players will be, or do you think this will energize them for tomorrow?

NANCY LOPEZ: I think they're energized. We're going to go back and relax and have dinner and go to bed. They have held their head high, and the first day when we were behind two points, you know, it didn't phase them at all. They were all up, and I didn't see anybody hanging their head. I didn't hear anybody saying they were disappointed. I told them, I said, "If I ask you, 'Did you give me 100 percent?' that's all that matters," and that's how they feel.

They're playing their hardest. I didn't care if they were five down, five to go, they were going to try to win every hole going in. That's what I wanted from them and they're giving that to me.

Q. You emphasize team so much. Are you curious to see how some of them will do, especially the younger ones, out there on their own, as much as this team has just been so unified throughout, and really leaned on each other, especially the first two days? Are you curious to see how some of the younger ones will respond tomorrow when you're out there on their own?

NANCY LOPEZ: These young players on my team, they're incredible. Their attitude, they're feisty, they're leading the group, to me. They are right there. They listen to everything the veterans say. They they just have enthusiasm, and to me, you know, it's just a each one of you, you have the veterans and you have the young ones, and they just feed off of each other. They have been great.

They come to us for knowledge. We come to them because they're exciting, and they're just great players, and it's been fun. It's a great experience.

Every time we have been together, we have taken pictures, and we've eaten dinner together, always laughing. We really have we leave golf at the golf course, and I think that's what's part of the team, and you can go to whatever you're doing next and be together, and golf is kind of out of our mind when we get home.

They're all resting and enjoying the time they're having as friends. I felt like I accomplished what I wanted to with this team in the past two years, which was to make them know what team what a team was really like, and I think that they feel that.

I think they feel support from each other. You know, as I said, you always have different personalities, but I don't think we feel that way anymore. Everybody has blended well together and it's been so much fun. I'm just so proud of them the way that they are.

Q. Nancy, the frequency with which you've used your rookies and the position you've put them in, has the transition kind of begun to that generation of players, do you think, with the Solheim Cup?

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, they're going to be on many more teams, not just this one, and I mean, they just played so great. You know, I was asked the first day about putting all my rookies out, but they're the future of the LPGA Tour, and they're not going to have any greater pressure. I felt like I was going to warm them up quick and see what they could do for me, and, you know, they played great.

I mean, Paula lost a couple matches and she was so mad. I loved it. It was great, because I knew the next day she was going to she played great, they just beat my team.

The Europeans have played very well. They're not giving up either. It's going to be a fight, and I think my team, like I said, I think they have the heart to win this.

Q. How much, Nancy, do you think a motivating factor would be that, you know, Rosie has already said she's retiring, Beth is 48, Meg, Juli, this very well could be their last time out?

NANCY LOPEZ: I'm sure that motivates them very much. I know when Rosie told me, I guess it was the year I was chosen, maybe a few months after, I knew I was going to be the Solheim Cup team Captain, she said she was going to retire next year. I said, "No, you're not. You've got to play on my team." Rosie Jones, I think, is the backbone of any Solheim Cup.

You've got all these great players, and I think even you look at Rosie Jones, and I'm sure people say she's getting older, she can't keep doing this, but she turns it on. When she has to do something, she does it, and she works hard. It doesn't come to her on a silver platter. She works hard. With her neck and back causing her problems earlier, last year especially, you know, I mean she wanted to be here, and she truly believed this would be her last Solheim Cup.

A victory here for her, for Beth, Meg is still going to play for a while. For Inkster, you don't know how many more years they're going to be out here, I'm sure they're motivated. Players like those I named, they're great players, and that's just one more thing that they can add to their cap in what they've done.

Q. Having said you put your rookies in to warm them up and give them plenty of chances, do you think Europe is going to be at a disadvantage in that the two French girls and Karen Stupples have only played one match? And the flip side, the fact that Annika, Laura and Catriona have played every match so far, so they might be quite tired?

NANCY LOPEZ: That's true. I have played a few five times, but you kind of have to ride the horse that brought you there. And when they're young, they seem to recover quicker the next day. I think that they sleep and get up and they're charged up again. I mean, it may be a disadvantage for them, but they still have the other players.

They're very strong, and we have to beat them also. So, you know, they may be nervous tomorrow, because when they have to stand over a putt, knowing they have to win a point, it may be very difficult for them to do that.

Q. Nancy, given the US historically has done better in singles, are you happy with the tie right now?

NANCY LOPEZ: I'm very happy with the tie. Like I said, the Europeans have played very well, and my team has played great when they were down. They came back. I know a couple times we were up and we went down, but, you know, that just happens. I think sometimes we get a little tentative and don't just crush them the way we should.

I have total confidence in my team. I just know what goes on in our room every night when we get together. It's awesome.

Q. Any other questions? Thanks, Nancy.

NANCY LOPEZ: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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