October 23, 1994
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WEST VIRGINIA
BETH McCOMBS: On the European side we have Helen Alfredsson and Alison Nicholas. You two won your matches on the European side. Helen, why don't you start out with general comments about your match against Betsy.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I felt I played pretty well today, especially the first 9, 10 holes. I putted pretty good too. Betsy didn't have her best day in putting today and it is tough. I mean, she is a great player and obviously I was very happy to win, but it is different ways you can win it, and you know, I was happy for my points. But you would like to win when the other one is playing the best too. But, I mean, I can't really complain about my game, so... God, I am babbling on here. I don't know what to say. The bottom line is I won and I played pretty good. So...
BETH McCOMBS: Before we go to Alison, you all want to ask Helen questions? Have any questions for Helen?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yeah, I was really pleased with my matches. It was a bit unfortunate on 14 when Patty's caddy kicked my ball and she incurred one stroke penalty. I felt I played really well. I was one under. I didn't really think about playing better, just thought about playing the golf course because I didn't think I would take it back if I thought about all the wins and Hall of Fame, so I just went out and played the course. It's a great played day and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Q. How did was it under a leaf or --
ALISON NICHOLAS: On the fairway? Well, there were a lot of leaves about, but I was just walking up. I think he was looking at Patty's ball in the distance she didn't hit it particularly well and didn't go very far. I don't think he expected it to be just in the front of the fairway, to be honest with you. I only just got on the fairway. I wasn't really looking and then my caddy shouted to him Carl, Carl, and then he it was too late. He turned around, but he still kept walking forward.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Goal. Soccer. That was --
ALISON NICHOLAS: Soccer.
Q. How long did you say that was?
ALISON NICHOLAS: 14.
Q. You won the hole?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yeah. I mean, I think I would have probably won it about 2 strokes.
MICKEY WALKER: I think it has been a great week for the Europeans. I think maybe some people thought that Dalmahoy was a freak result and I think there has been some wonderful individual and team performances from the European players, and I think it has been a great week. I mean, we are disappointed, but we have had a great week. We have had a lot of fun. We have had a great time and we look forward to the next match.
Q. Through the day, I think Europe was up in five matches or certainly up in four with -- did you think you were going to win at that time? I am sure you're aware of the score.
MICKEY WALKER: The question is, was I aware of we were up in about 5 matches at some point during the day and did I think we were going to win it at that point. I had a real feeling that it was going to wind up an even match. I had a feeling we would win 5 points today and, yes, I mean, I really thought we were going to retain The Cup. And there were several sort of key matches like Lotte's match, Laura's match, Trish's match which it looked as if we were going to win those matches and we sort of just lost out in those three matches. I mean, a couple of others, but, no, I mean, I really thought we had a great chance to win and we just were outplayed. The Americans really played well.
Q. How does this Solheim compare to the previous two in terms of galleries, course, just overall organization?
MICKEY WALKER: Well, going back to 1993 when we played the inaugural one at Lake Nona, there were very few spectators. I suppose, you know, American people, why would they want to turn up to watch their top players who they can watch most weeks of the year because I don't think they had much respect or knew much about the talent in Europe at that time. It was a very one-sided match, there is no doubt. It was also put together at the last moment. We really didn't know the match was going to take place before four, five months before it actually took place. So there were very few spectators at Lake Nona. It was a very low key affair compared to this one. I mean, this one has just been enormous galleries, hundreds, literally, of the world's press. Television all across the world and -- I mean, it really has been the showcase of women's golf, I think. So, I mean this one has been absolutely enormous. Dalmahoy has been in between. I would imagine that each match will just get bigger and bigger.
Q. Mickey, you have just said it's a showcase of women's golf. So from a European point of view, the tour is nowhere as strong as this one over here. Do you think that is doubly disappointing because we lost 13, 7?
MICKEY WALKER: I am sorry. I don't understand the question.
Q. Do you think it is more disappointing from a European perspective that we have lost by 13 to 7 because this was a showcase for European golf?
MICKEY WALKER: No. I think what is really important, you know, the things I am about to tell you we let off today. One match was even going off into the final day and a lot of the matches went to the 17 or 18th hole. So there is no doubt that -- this is a contest and on paper, regardless of what results Europe achieved, the Americans are stronger. We have the best golfers in the world, but they definitely have more strength and depth. There is no argument with that. Any one of the European team I am sure would agree with that. So, I think it speaks enormously for the team spirit and the belief and the feeling that we have as a team, that we have achieved the results in the three matches that have taken place. I think it is absolutely incredible what we have achieved, and I think we should all be proud of it.
Q. Do you think therefore what, that the changes planned for next time will make it harder, easier or just the same?
MICKEY WALKER: I think that European women's golf is still in its infancy, really. The tour's only been going since 1979. People like Helen have only been playing in America for a very short time and I think our top European players are improving. I mean, there has been a radical improvement this year in a number of the European player's games which is easy to see by the results, and I think players such as Helen and Laura and Lotte, Annika, I am not just picking out the Swedes, I think the win that Alison had today -- I think Alison is a tremendously talented player who is capable of winning; being a winner in America as well as in Europe she has proved. But I think maybe she hasn't had the belief in herself that her talent deserves, and I think beating Patty today will give her a huge boost. Maybe she will believe that she is -- she can go out and really do well. But I think we have so much talent in Europe and so much young talent that the amount of improvement that we can make in the two-year spell before the next match is enormous. I mean, as we proved between Lake Nona and Dalmahoy and, no, I think on paper, again, you would say the changes have to favor the Americans, but we are going to have more strength and depth that we have and I think it will be a very good contest at St. Pierre and I think with the home-crowd advantage, we really have a genuine chance of bringing The Cup back to Europe.
Q. Do you think made a big difference (check question)?
MICKEY WALKER: I think it made a difference, yes. The question was being -- being the away feel make a big difference. It certainly made a difference. I mean, home support, I think, is important although we have fantastic support. Obviously our supporters couldn't outswing, outclap the American support, and you wouldn't expect that when you're away from home anyway. That is fine. It is great. They should enjoy supporting their team when their team win.
Q. You are going to be captain in two years, do you think?
MICKEY WALKER: If the team wants me, I will be captain.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah. (Thumbs up).
ALISON NICHOLAS: Indicating numbers up.
Q. Do you think the galleries were fair this week?
MICKEY WALKER: Yes, I think they were quite noisy and I think they were fair. I think there was a lot of good banter. I have personally got about 30 members of the golf club, where I am a professional out here supporting the Europeans and talking to them. They have had great banter between themselves and the American fans, and as I say, if the Americans weren't noisier than us, then they really weren't supportive of their team. There would be something seriously wrong. So we are happy. We are happy for the Americans and happy that they have enjoyed seeing all of us play.
Q. Alison, do you think next year, the 1995 season, you will play anymore tournaments in the United States; will we see more of you?
ALISON NICHOLAS: Yes, probably. I am probably going to play a little bit more than I have over the last two years. I am not exactly sure how many at this stage of the game because I haven't seen any of the schedules, but I am happy to play a bit more, yeah.
Q. Mickey, when you said that the changes in the form will favor America, could you elaborate on that, please?
MICKEY WALKER: I -- we did vote on something the other day, or I think we did. So, maybe I should -- it is confirmation before I say something about it.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: What is in here? (Indicating her soda).
MICKEY WALKER: I think there was -- the changes are that there will be 12 people in each team, that there will be a series of four matches, four foursomes matches, four four ball matches each day. So four people will sit out each of the matches. And it was discussed and I believe it was voted on that everybody, every member of the team had to play in at least one of those matches.
Q. One of the four series?
MICKEY WALKER: No, one of the -- I mean, as I say, I am not 100% sure because we were trying to -- we had an awful lot of discussion in a short period of time, but I mean that certainly was put forward, that I know the Solheim family would be keen to have that happen, every one of the 12 players had to play at least once each day.
Q. On Sunday it could be 12 matches, then 12 singles?
MICKEY WALKER: Yes, there will be 12 singles on the final day.
Q. But they won't all play in the foursome matches will they?
MICKEY WALKER: No, we only need 4 foursomes and 12 people. Four people will sit out each match.
Q. Is it that fact that you think favors the Americans or the mere fact that you are playing 36 holes a day?
MICKEY WALKER: The question was, is it the fact that we are playing 36 holes a day that I think favors the Americans. I think, again, there is no question, there is no argument that the higher the number of the team the more it's got to favor the Americans. And we are getting stronger all the time, but they do have more strength and depth. I mean, our top players are the best in the world. Again, there is no argument with that.
Q. Did you vote against this?
MICKEY WALKER: I don't know if I should say, but what do you think?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Rhetorical question.
Q. I thought the Europeans had the vote when it was in Europe?
MICKEY WALKER: This was at meeting that we had this week. I know what you are saying.
MICKEY WALKER: No, we are in America and this Solheim Cup hadn't taken place, so...
Q. Could I ask Helen and Alison how they view the prospect of playing 36 holes in one day?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I guess we have to start hitting the treadmill soon. No, I think that would be pretty good. I would -- I have been voting for 36 holes all this time. I think four matches each day or five matches is not enough. I think it is -- you have a different strategy and I think it is good. Match play, in general, is not as tough as regular stroke play and particularly four ball and foursomes. It is a little bit less mental extraneous. So, I look forward to playing 36? Do you? Good, no?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I have to get on the treadmill like you. I am -- I look forward to that. I think we are particularly strong in the foursomes, that will favor us. Maybe a little bit younger too, 36 holes. Whoohh. (Applause).
Q. Would you comment about Dottie Mochrie, about the way she has played? Would you talk to us about Dottie Mochrie and how she played; her attitude, anything like that?
MICKEY WALKER: I think she is an intensely serious competitor who wants to win very badly. She wanted to be a member of the winning team very badly. She didn't enjoy the experience of being on the losing team at Dalmahoy and she played magnificent golf. She plays arguably -- I mean, you know, the scores in the matches this afternoon, but I know for a fact that she was 7 under par after 14 holes, that is phenomenal scoring by anybody's standards. Nobody is going to live with that. So you have to admire her and she is very intense and totally gets into what she is doing and she is more intense about how she goes about her golf than some of us.
Q. Is she too intense for herself?
MICKEY WALKER: She is a great player. She is one of the best players in the world, so it works for her. We all have our own personalities. A lot of people think Alfie should change, and I think she should carry onto what she is doing. It is pretty successful. And Dottie is successful. So you are not -- if you said to Alfie you can't speak or enjoy yourself on the golf course, I mean she won't be the player she is. If you said to Dottie Mochrie you have got to laugh on every hole, she wouldn't be the player she is. So...
Q. Did you feel her behavior was contrary to the spirit of the matches?
MICKEY WALKER: She is a very intense competitor who wants to win.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: They are looking for quotes.
MICKEY WALKER: We are all different in the way we go about that.
BETH McCOMBS: Any other questions? Thank you.
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