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May 25, 2016

Hailee Cooper

Kaitlyn Papp

Streamsong, Florida

Q. Kaitlyn, Hailee, congratulations. The 2016 U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Champions. We'll start with you, Kaitlyn. How does it feel? Has it even sunk in yet?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think it sunk in on the 19th hole. It was just crazy, and we were just so exhausted and we fought for so long, and we just hung in there for the whole match. I think it just hit me on the 19th green.

Q. Then, Hailee, how are you feeling right now?
HAILEE COOPER: Same here. I mean, I'm really excited and I still can't believe it, but on the 19th green it was kind of a realization like, wow, we just did it after all these holes we just played, and after a tough match. So it was a great experience of feeling bad. It was awesome.

Q. What's it mean to be a USGA Champion, a national champion?
HAILEE COOPER: Oh, I can't even. It can't sink in. It's awesome. I mean, I would never think that I would be a USGA champion, and now we are.

KAITLYN PAPP: It's crazy to have my name as USGA Champion along with Tiger Woods and so many other great players. It's just unbelievable.

Q. And your high school mate, Kristen Gillman is a national champion. What's that going to be like when you see her when you go back to school finishing up?
KAITLYN PAPP: It's crazy. She and I are really good friends, and I know she was really pulling for us the whole way. So to be USGA Champion with her is awesome. And then Hannah O'Sullivan texted us after her match congratulating us on becoming USGA Champs, so that was really cool.

HAILEE COOPER: Because we idolize them. They're amazing, so it's cool to be with them now.

Q. Your name's going to be in the USGA Museum on a panel forever?

Q. When you come back with your kids, you can point to it?
HAILEE COOPER: That's me (laughing).

Q. I'm curious, down the stretch and on the 19th hole, was the challenge more physical or mental at that point?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think both. Because physically you're so exhausted, and mentally you just have to be tough and just fight through it.

HAILEE COOPER: Yeah, that was hard. It was two opposites. Physical was going down but mental had to be more tough at the hardest moment.

Q. I'm curious about the course, because we're from the local papers here, and I'm curious what your thoughts are of stream song as a course for a USGA Championship?
KAITLYN PAPP: It was beautiful.

Q. And if you've played many courses like this before?
KAITLYN PAPP: No, definitely not. This course was so different compared to anything I've ever played, and it was great for a USGA Championship because it's so challenging, and you really have to play your best in order to succeed at the USGA Championship. So this was a great golf course for this event.

HAILEE COOPER: Yeah, I've played in Florida, and I've never seen anything like it. It was a cool experience. It was in great shape and nothing I would expect. It was amazing.

Q. Since you're the champions, obviously you knew how to get around fairly well. In your mind, what were the keys to success out there, even before you got out there that you thought maybe you had to do?
KAITLYN PAPP: Just hit certain spots on the fairway. We both hit it pretty far, so we just knew if we hit our lines, we'd be good, and we'd give ourselves good chances to fire at some of the pins or get close to them and then help us with putts from there.

HAILEE COOPER: We planned really well. Like, hey, let's hit off this hill and bounce it into this so we have a better angle toward the pin. So we planned really well, and I think that helped our game a lot.

Q. How do you think this is going to affect your Games going forward, the confidence? I know most of your events are going to be individual events the rest of the summer, but how does that translate?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think the biggest lesson I learned was just staying mentally tough even when physically you're at your lowest, because you're just so exhausted. So after being able to fight through being tired and hang in there and win, it's a big confidence boost because I know we can do anything under any kind of conditions.

HAILEE COOPER: It's a huge confidence boost for the rest of the summer. We're both hitting it pretty well, putting well, so we're exhausted now for the rest of it.

Q. How do you think your fellow opponents will be the rest of the summer when they look at you? Do you think you'll be looked at a little differently now?


KAITLYN PAPP: They're really nice. It was great to play with them, and they're such good players and they're only 13 years old. It was a really respectful match. I'm sure this is a big confidence boost for them as well.

Q. I want to go back early in the match. First two holes you birdied both of them. Can you remember those birdies at all and tell us about what happened, or just the confidence you took away from those first two quick holes?
KAITLYN PAPP: The first hole was unexpected. I was about 25 feet away, and I was just trying to two-putt and it went in, so I was like, hey, I'll take it. Then the second hole I saw it just straight in and Hailee told me if you see it, just do it. And I made it. So that was definitely --

HAILEE COOPER: You saved me. I had like a six-footer there. I was kind of worried about mine (laughing).

Q. So you go up. At one point it gets back to 1-up, and then you're able to pull back to 2. Then on 14 it goes back to All Square. What's going through your head at that time?
HAILEE COOPER: I was thinking they got the momentum. They're going. They're going to be making more putts and hitting better shots, so we have to be more mentally strong and pull through that, kind of override their confidence with our confidence and equal it out.

KAITLYN PAPP: Honestly, I wasn't playing very well the past two holes. I was making really bad decisions. So as soon as they got to All Square I just told myself, okay, you need to get back to your game and try to make better decisions and get the ball closer to the hole. And the that much will go well.

Q. You had a prime opportunity there at 18. Missed a short little putt there, well, not short.
HAILEE COOPER: I read it, I saw it, and I was like okay, this is the line. I was nervous over it, but I was excited to putt it. I hit it pretty well. It was a little bit left of where I wanted it and it just didn't hit the right break I saw, so I just missed it to the low side. We made a par, and I expected her to make her putt, so I knew we were going to 19 after I missed mine. But Kaitlyn hit a nice chip to give me a chance for birdie.

Q. You actually putted it.
KAITLYN PAPP: Yeah, I putted that. Honestly, I didn't know what to do on that shot. It was so fast, and my dad was like, okay, just putt it. So I'd never taken so much time over a putt because I wanted to give Hailee a chance to make it. So I hit it within two feet and I was pumped.

HAILEE COOPER: Yeah, I knew she had it.

KAITLYN PAPP: It was so unexpected.

Q. Obviously, you're going to the tournament in Arizona this weekend. What else is left of the summer? Then there will be a lot of junior event this is summer?
KAITLYN PAPP: I'm going to Japan in about two weeks with the World Junior or it's like the Toyota Cup with two other girls and four other guys. Then I think we have a few AJGA tournaments, like Tournament of Champions and we have Wyndham Cup and Junior PGA and all those. So it's going to be an exciting summer.

Q. Trying to qualify for a girl's women or junior's amateur?
KAITLYN PAPP: Yes, definitely.


KAITLYN PAPP: It's my last year.

Q. You're in the top 70 in the world rankings so you could possibly get there. It's top 75, right?
KAITLYN PAPP: (Indiscernible).

Q. Pardon?
KAITLYN PAPP: If no one in the NCAA Tournament jumps me in the rankings.

Q. They play this week. Speaking of, you verbally committed to Texas, right?
KAITLYN PAPP: Uh-huh, yes.

Q. Are you ready for that?

Q. And you still have your senior year to go?

KAITLYN PAPP: I have one more year. I want to make it through so bad. I'm so excited to play for Coach Murphy and represent University of Texas. So all these tournaments leading up to college will help me get better and get me more and more excited for college golf.

Q. How about you, Hailee, what are you thinking about?
HAILEE COOPER: I don't know (laughing).

KAITLYN PAPP: She has time.

HAILEE COOPER: Yeah, I don't know yet. I don't know. I'm looking at University of Texas also. So I'm looking at some more schools in Texas and kind of looking around, so I don't know yet.

Q. How many letters have flooded your mailbox, and how many more do you think you're going to get now?
HAILEE COOPER: Probably not a lot anymore because now they've all -- I used to get a lot of them. You got a lot of them too (laughing).

Q. Once you kind of trim your list a little bit?
HAILEE COOPER: Uh-huh, I'm in the process of trimming and picking. So I don't know yet.

Q. It was a family affair this week with dads on the bags and I know moms and siblings supporting from afar. What was it like to share this experience with your dads?
KAITLYN PAPP: It was awesome because they work so hard to provide for our families and all, and to have them on the bag was really special. So we don't get along all the time.

HAILEE COOPER: Yeah, but they mean well.

KAITLYN PAPP: And they did a great job just keeping us focused and calm.

HAILEE COOPER: Uh-huh, they support us a lot. They come to every tournament they can, come to practices. I mean, they spend -- they even miss some of my brother's games for tournaments and stuff, so it's really special having them on the bag this weekend. Hopefully they know that.

Q. And you're off to Arizona, but you're off to Disney World now I hear, perhaps. Maybe? Oh, dad's in the corner giving me a face?
He's looking at his credit card going, oh, I don't know (laughing)?

KAITLYN PAPP: He's shaking his head, yes, I did.

Q. Have you been to Disney World?
HAILEE COOPER: I have a few times.

Q. Do you have a favorite ride?
HAILEE COOPER: We love Magic Kingdom, so we love everything there, Space Mountain and all that, and watching Be Our Guest, that's my favorite.

KAITLYN PAPP: Yes, we love that.

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