July 31, 1998
RHONDA GLENN: Represented by Barbara McIntire, two times Women's Amateur Champion, six time member of the Curtis Cup team. The next player is Carol Semple Thompson who is making an all time record tenth appearance on the Curtis Cup team. Next to Carol is Beth Baeur, the youngest Curtis Cup player this year. At the age of 18, Beth is our U.S. Girls Junior Champion and has won many Women's. And next we have Jenny Chuasiriporn, and Jenny just turned 21, happy birthday. And Jenny, as you know, was runner up in the United States Women's Open this year. Just wanted to ask Barbara to start: How do you think practice has gone this week and what kind of shape is your team in?
BARBARA McINTIRE: Well, I'm very pleased with the shape my team is in. The last two days, I think our games have really come together and I've seen a lot. I've seen a lot of great shots, a lot of good putts. I expect they are going to perform their best.
RHONDA GLENN: Carol, you are the veteran member of this whole match. What do you look forward to this week and how do you think the team is coming together?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well I think as far as personalities, we're a wonderful fit. I laugh at their jokes and they laugh at mine, which is nice. But I think our golf game has really come together in the past few days. We have had a lot of practice around a wonderful golf course. It couldn't be in better conditions and I think our game is going to be up to the task.
RHONDA GLENN: I understand that Robin Burke's husband, Jackie Burke has been helping you a little bit with your golf swing. Can you tell us about that?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Do you want details?
RHONDA GLENN: Sure, go ahead.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: No, he did make a comment or two yesterday. I'm trying to do what he told me. I worked a little bit on the practice tee and we'll see how it goes.
RHONDA GLENN: Well, Beth, the week is here, you are the youngest player. How do you feel about teeing it up with Jenny in the first match?
BETH BAUER: Well, I'm really excited. Me and Jenny have been playing really well all week and I don't know how we can go wrong. I think it's going to be a great show tomorrow morning.
RHONDA GLENN: Jenny, you face so much pressure in Kohler, Wisconsin. How does that compare to playing in the match this week?
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: I think this type of match is completely different, because I feel -- I feel like I'm playing -- I mean I am playing as part of a team and for my country. So gosh, it's just completely different. Whole new style of competition, match play and, I don't know, I think -- I think I'll -- I'll still play my own game, still have the same game plan and hope everything turns out as well as it did the last couple weeks.
RHONDA GLENN: Questions.
Q. I'm expecting that you young ones have gotten some good stories and good advice this week from Captain and Carol, and I was just wondering if you could share something that stuck out in your mind that perhaps they told you earlier this week. I want to hear the funny stories.
RHONDA GLENN: What about that little get together Wednesday night that you had? You must have heard some good stuff there.
BETH BAUER: I think the main thing all the captains were trying to tell us is just to try and play our best. They hung up signs in our rooms with certain sayings so maybe we'll revert back to some of our signs. I know one of them in our room says kick butt.
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: That is what we will be thinking all week.
RHONDA GLENN: Jenny, what about you? Do you remember any things you've been told this week, funny things or other signs?
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: Nothing specific. They have been sharing some of their stories from the past Curtis Cups and, you know, on Wednesday, most of the captains were just sharing what type of -- what type pressure, competition, what type situations they were in and how they came through. And those words of advice, I guess, I can't remember them right now but -- they are -- they were ^ school load so they were in there somewhere. But I think we'll take them into the weekend and hopefully take -- take their words of advice.
Q. Barbara, would you explain your decision -- to go with your youngest team as your first team tomorrow?
BARBARA McINTIRE: It would be very difficult to leave somebody out who almost won an Open Championship out of the first pairing, and Beth happened to win the last two amateur tournaments that she played in before the team was named so -- and they happen to be going to Duke together and playing on the same team. It seemed a natural pairing to me.
Q. Well, how does it feel to be sitting next to these young, young gals? It has to do something. This has to be a great upper for you to still be competitive and really get the job done?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, I hope I'm competitive. It's a great thrill for me to sit next to Beth and Jenny. They are terrific kids and they are kids, I'm sorry to say. No, actually they are young women. But we've had a wonderful time this week. I think the world of both of them. I think we have excellent golf games and I plan to give them a lot of advice tonight before the match tomorrow.
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: We look up to Carol.
RHONDA GLENN: That's nice, Carol, especially -- advice is easy to give.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I'll be out there cheering though.
Q. This is for Carol and Barbara both. You said this is a wonderful course. Is it because there's so much local knowledge or do you think it plays to the strengths of your team. And are there things that you've seen during the week that you think are going to be critical for your team to do Barbara?
BARBARA McINTIRE: I'd like to go first. I think it's very important to drive the ball in the fairway. That's the first thing. The second thing, it's very important to get the ball on the green. And you know -- if you hit fairways and you hit greens, you're probably going to fair pretty well in your match. I think this golf course isn't particularly going to play on anybody's strengths, it's just a wonderful tract. It's very straightforward. What you see is what you get. There aren't any tricky things about this place. The greens, maybe. Some of the hole locations during practice, but they are not going to be there during the time of the match.
Q. Carol, just, why you said a wonderful course.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well I like the course setup. I think there are long par 4s. There are short par 4s. The greens are tricky I think. I think they take some local knowledge. It's in perfect condition. I mean, the playability of the golf course is there and I do think that our team has all the shots that we'll need out on that golf course. I think it will be well-suited to our games.
Q. Barbara, how important is winning?
BARBARA McINTIRE: They say there's no substitute for it. But I think, you know there's a bit of pride involved here. The United States hasn't won this match since 1990 and we don't take anything for granted when we go out there to play this time. I looked at the pairings and the matches and I think they are all going to be -- there aren't any walk overs out there. I mean they are going to be very -- very tight I think. But it's very -- it would be just as important to Ita and her team to win as it is for us. But we haven't won in a while, and we'd kind of like to feel how that feels.
Q. Carol, comparing this to the other nine that you've played in, do you have any perspective of on where this fits in, the feeling that you have about the team about -- I'm just looking for a little perspective compared.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, I've had a wonderful time playing in all 10 matches -- well, I haven't played in this one yet, but I plan to have a wonderful time tomorrow and the next day. But I do think that some of the chemistry on this team is quite special and maybe that's from my perspective as an older player really enjoying the young players. I think with four young players and four more mature players it's been a terrific fit and we really have had such a good time. We've had so many laughs this week and the practice week we were here. So the time we've spent together has really been very special for me and I -- I would -- I'd love to play in another just because I enjoy the matches so much. But I really do think that the people are what are important in this and I've -- I really enjoyed Barbara and my players.
Q. Carol, did you do a week here in April, all the players?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: We were here for three days after the Women's Open, so that's about three weeks ago, I guess.
Q. And is that the only get-together you've had?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: That was the only get-together we had because our team was only named six weeks ago. June 13th, about the same time --
Q. Is there some rule that prevents you from gathering a squad earlier in the year from which the team could be chosen or is it a matter of logistics?
BARBARA McINTIRE: The rules of amateur status in our country.
Q. Prevent that?
BARBARA McINTIRE: Yes. Actually we were going to be here for four days to practice but Jenny kind of -- that kind of -- you know, I told the team Sunday night, I said okay, let's have a vote. What are we going to do? Are we going to Minneapolis? No, we are going to stay here and watch Jenny play and that's what we did.
Q. This is for Jenny or Beth. Being so young, are you guys -- do you guys feel the history of the Curtis Cup and if you're not quite as aware, do you think that might help you stay more relaxed during the tournament?
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: Well, I think -- yes, we are young and we haven't -- we haven't really -- we haven't probably -- we haven't probably been attentive to the -- to the past Curtis Cups as much as the amateurs who are a little more experienced. But I think we both realized the -- what's the word -- the importance of -- the importance of the matches and you know we're going to hold them -- we're going to hold them in our hearts forever as much as everyone else is going to. But being young, I think we've learned from just being with these, with the teams and just hearing about the past Curtis Cups, I think we realize how important it is for our country and our team.
RHONDA GLENN: Beth, would you like to address that also?
BETH BAUER: Well, I think exactly what Jenny said is pretty close to it. Just, especially with Carol being on the team, and her stories that she's told, you really do feel when you come here, the prestige of the tournament and how it really is an honor to be a part of this. And I know it's very important to all of us to win this Cup.
Q. Carol, you won the women's amateur, couple amateurs, played on nine previous Curtis Cup teams. Was there a bigger thrill than playing for your country or was winning the Wells Amateur the biggest thrill for you -- talk about that and maybe the experience of playing for yourself and playing for your country.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I don't think I've felt nearly as much pressure playing for myself as I have playing for my country. After I won the Women's Amateur in 1973, I went to the British Amateur in 1974 and managed to win that but I don't -- I don't remember feeling nearly the pressure I did later in the same summer of 1974 when I played in the first Curtis Cup match because I held both titles at that time, the U.S. and the British Amateur titles, I think I played No. 1 in all four rounds. I'm not sure I won a point. I may have halved a match, but I was so nervous for those four rounds it was -- it was very difficult for me. I had a great time but -- and we did win the Cup. But I think that playing for your country is -- is really above and beyond anything that an individual does. One reason we might mention, and a historical note, that only eight women have held both the U.S. Amateur and the British Amateur Championship at the same time. Two of them are sitting up there, Carol and Barbara McIntire, and the third of that is Louise Suggs, who is here this week. So we have three of the eight people in history who have managed that. Any other questions?
Q. Can you two talk about when you first met and how much you played together?
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: We first met -- I first met Beth when she was 13, I think is when she came out and she -- she beat us all, actually in the first tournament that I met her. But, yeah, we've played a lot and we've played quite a bit in junior golf up until I got into college. And the first time I met with her again was in the North-South in June, and I haven't played against her in about three years and there was a gap in there. But we've been great friends from the beginning. She obviously came to visit Duke and, you know, we've just been great friends this whole time so it's really fun. It's great to be able to share this with her and then you know -- and then also have her come into school with me.
RHONDA GLENN: Jenny, somebody asked earlier this week if business at your family's restaurant escalated dramatically.
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: Not dramatically. They are probably glad that it hasn't but it was -- it was a bit busy like the following week, week and a half. But, you know, it's -- it's died down a little bit but I think they are glad.
RHONDA GLENN: Barbara, are these pairings that you made for the foursomes tomorrow, are these pairings that you've had in mind for a long time? Did you stick with a plan or are these things that just sort of occurred to you overnight?
BARBARA McINTIRE: Well we, tried this
with -- we were here, though we didn't get much of a chance to try it. It's probably what I thought of originally, yes and I hoped it would work out and I haven't heard any complaints from anybody on the team, so I think it is working out.
Q. Barbara, you talked about the items that made Jenny and Beth a natural pairing of sorts. Is that -- are those the things you're looking for when you make your pairings or are you also thinking about how much their games compliment their prospective partner?
BARBARA McINTIRE: Well, probably personalities and games. I don't know that there's any magic way to make foursome pairings. I think that the people that we've paired together are -- their personalities are a little bit alike, you know, some are older, some are younger but I think they all -- they have all seemed to enjoy one another and I'm seeing a lot of high fives and I think that's all great, you know.
Q. Barbara, what is the art of captaincy?
BARBARA McINTIRE: Pardon?
Q. What is the art of captaincy or good captaincy?
BARBARA McINTIRE: I wish I knew that. I wish I could give you an honest answer. I think it's to take care of your team, to be sure that they know what it is they are going to do and when they are going to do it. And one of our biggest problems is what we're going to wear. I think that's always a problem. I think to be sure that they are happy, to be sure that we are clicking together as a team because this is not an individual effort. And I have a sign in my room that says individuals -- what does it say, something about individuals play well, teams win matches. And I believe that's true. As one of the captain said the other night a half a point means a lot so don't ever give up on that half a point. Those half points add up the same as the full points and I think just to -- to hope that these girls are going to gel together and -- when we were first here they had already done that. We had no -- we don't have any primadonnas on this team. We don't have anybody who thinks she's better -- wants to play all the time. I mean they want to win this as a team and -- and that's what I want them to do, too.
Q. This is a question for Jenny and Beth. Since foursome play is fairly new to both of you, would you talk about what your favorite parts of foursomes and your least favorite part of foursomes?
BETH BAUER: I think my favorite part of playing the foursome match, especially with Jenny is being a part of her game as well and watching her hit shots. There is a negative side to where maybe you might not hit an iron shot for nine holes or a put for a couple holes but I really enjoy working together with hitting shots because you're only playing that one ball and so you're both working together to hit it. I think we both had some experience before with playing foursome and other -- I know I have in other matches so that kind of helps.
JENNY CHUASIRIPORN: I agree with Beth. I think both our games compliment each other well. You know we hit the ball probably the same distance and I think we're able to give each other some good advice out onto -- out on the course. You know I think we're both very experienced match-play players. And you know it's -- I think we're just -- I think we're able to play our best together because -- just because our personalities are very fitting and we -- we put the same amount of pressure on ourselves and we -- you know we don't get down and we're able to keep each other in the matches. Plus, I don't know, it's nice if I miss a shot she gets to recover.
Q. Could I ask Carol and Barbara separately to that. Really, you've both played lots of foursomes. Is it a style of golf, a form of golf you would like to see more of; would you like to see it more widespread?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Think it would be great fun if we had more foursomes play in this country since I think it's so familiar -- unfamiliar to so many Americans. I think it's really a shame, but I do think it's -- for me it's a little bit of a different approach to the game. I do feel guilty when I hit a bad shot and my partner is forced to recover, so that's part of the mental hurdles that I have to overcome. I have to just play my own game, try to hit every shot that I'm faced with as well as I can. So I think that's another challenge that crops up in the -- this in this form of play so I think the game is too easy and we're always looking for challenges out there.
RHONDA GLENN: Barbara, you want to address that also?
BARBARA McINTIRE: I can't remember the question now.
Q. Would you like to see more foursomes golf?
BARBARA McINTIRE: Yes, I would. In the United States, we hardly ever play foursomes because I think everybody over here wants to play their own ball. They want to get it in the hole and have a score for themselves. I think that it would be enjoyable at country clubs if people would do this because play would go so much faster than what it does now on Sundays and Saturdays. But I think one of the reasons Americans don't play foursomes is because they are interested in shooting their own score.
Q. Carol, I'm wondering from all your previous Curtis Cups whether there's one match, one moment that might be especially memorable than any other?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Think you asked me that before, didn't you Rich? And I don't think I had -- One match. Well, I remember playing against Mary McKenna, I think in 1976 and I think she had -- we came down to the last hole, the 18th hole, and I think each match she had played she hit it into the ivy behind the club house on the green and unfortunately she hit it on the green in the match that we were playing in. So she ended up winning the hole and winning the match against me and I remember claping for her so it was -- it was really fun for me to see her play well because she had such a tough time on that particular hole. I think in two or three of the matches. But I think that's indicative of the spirit in which the Curtis Cup is played so that was kind of a nice memory for me.
Q. Carol, how competitive is this tournament -- are you still thinking about '96 when you go out there tomorrow?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Am I still thinking about '96, the match in '96? I don't think I'm thinking -- actually the match that keeps popping back into my head is '94 at the Honors Course, where I personally was playing in the last match and if I had been able to get half a point we would have won the overall match. So I didn't get that last half point and we ended up tying the match and therefore, the other side got to keep the Cup. So that's what keeps running through my mind. So I'm not -- not thinking quite so much about '96 but '94. So there is an element of wanting to win because we didn't win before.
Q. Carol, you've seen some teams come and go in the Curtis Cup matches you play in. How would you rate this team assembled this year compared to the rest that you've seen and any others that have come to mind just off the top of your head?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, off the top of my head, I would have to say that the team in 1976, which Barbara captained, was quite spectacular. We had some really wonderful players, Nancy Lopez, Beth Daniel. I think that team was particularly strong. This team I believe is -- maybe not equally as strong but it has some spectacular players on it who have a great future in front of them. And I have to go back and say that the chemistry on this team is especially fun and pleasant.
RHONDA GLENN: Any other questions? Thank you so much for being with us you handled that all equal very well. Well done and good luck tomorrow.
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