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August 15, 2017

Charley Hull

Mel Reid

Des Moines, Iowa, USA

THE MODERATOR: I'm delighted to introduce Mel Reid and Charley Hull making their third appearance for Team Europe. You practiced together this morning. Can you just tell us what you made of the golf course?

MEL REID: The golf course is in obviously good shape. It's funny, I would say that in the (indiscernible) it feels very soft, but it's kind of playing a bit firm. Earlier this morning they were kind of releasing quite a lot on the greens, but it's good. I think it's fun that the first hole is drivable. So, yes, for the crowds they're expecting I think it's looking in very good shape.

THE MODERATOR: Charley, what did you make of the golf course.

CHARLEY HULL: I think it's a good golf course. It's a lot different than Colorado a couple years ago, four years ago. But I like it, I think it's got a good feel to it, and I think starting off with a drivable par-4, it's a good way to start.

THE MODERATOR: We've all heard the potential of record crowds this week. Charley, you're part of Europe's victory in Colorado. How much are you looking forward to playing in front of a huge gallery?

CHARLEY HULL: I'm really excited. I think it's going to be a great week. I love playing in front of big crowds and I'm looking forward to it.

THE MODERATOR: Mel, you're known for being a bit of a (indiscernible) in the team room. Is there anything fun going on behind the scenes that we should know about or anything fun planned?

MEL REID: There's been a couple of incidents. I don't know if it's really appropriate for the press room right now. But, yeah, I mean it's good. I think it's already having a little of, I don't want to compare, but I feel like the vibe this year is good already, which is important. I think that straightaway we had a fun last night. We had a good team atmosphere going.

And I think this week is very important for us to get that as early as possible, because there are going to be record-breaking crowds, and I think that especially here it's going to be important to get that team environment because they're all going to be obviously a lot of people supporting America.

So, yeah, it's good. Yeah, I'm really happy the way that, I know it's only been a day but how the week is going so far.


Q. Friday night, what do you want to have happened to feel good about Europe's chances to take the Cup back?
MEL REID: Win every match. Friday it doesn't -- obviously you want to golf to a relatively good start, but Sunday is Sunday. There's 12 points at stake. As long as you're within touching distance anybody's got a chance.

You saw that at the last Solheim Cup. We were cruising and then the Americans came out fighting and they played exceptionally well on Sunday and we lost by a point.

And so that's also happened to us in Ireland. It doesn't really matter what kind of lead you have; if you're within eight points anything can happen. So you're just trying to, like I said, you're trying to get off to a steady start, get a few blue, a little bit of blue on the board. And Sunday is a completely different day and there's a lot of points at stake.

Q. How does 2015 motivate you guys this time around after the way things kind of played out that final Sunday?
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, I would say it motivates us quite a lot. We've got good memories from being back in America four years ago as well. I'm pretty excited for this week.

And I think what happened on the Sunday the last time around was, it's going to help motivate you a bit. Help a bit, you know what I mean? So that's one thing.

Q. What do you all think about the course? What do you like about it? What maybe don't you like about it, but what do you think of it overall?
CHARLEY HULL: I think it's a good golf course. I like it. It kind of suits me from off the tee and stuff, which I like. And I think you can make a quite a few birdies, but the greens are quite tricky. I feel like they don't break as much on some putts, putting out there, and then others broke really low. And they're quite firm. And I don't know, I think it's going to be a good match play golf course.

MEL REID: I think it's a better match play than it is a straight-play event. I think that the greens are extremely undulating, and honestly, 70, 75 percent of the green you cannot use, which is -- in match play that doesn't matter; it's actually quite firm.

The difference from it being stiff to actually having a very difficult up-and-down is so minuscule that in a match play situation that it is fun, and stroke play is not so much fun. For a match-play tournament, I think the course is exciting. Like we said, there's going to be a lot of birdies, but I think there's going quite a few unexpected bogeys as well. So I think it's good. And like I said, first hole drivable par-4, it's always fun.

Q. Charley, Juli Inkster was in earlier saying that she hopes that the big crowds don't heckle Suzann because of what happened on the Saturday. Just wonder if that's been a talking point in the team room and whether it's a concern, not just for Suzann, but for all the European players?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't think it was, because I find if I got beat or whatever, that would kind of motivate me even more. So it doesn't bother me.

Q. Has it been discussed at all in the team room?
CHARLEY HULL: No, I don't think so, no.

Q. Mel, is it something that -- anyone else you were concerned about on the European team?
MEL REID: To be honest, we are expecting American side to be very respectful. We're not expecting any heckling, like, within reason. But I think that we're there to embrace the crowd whether they're for us or against us, just embrace the crowd, be very respectful of the crowd.

That's kind of the main message that Annika is getting across to us, is just enjoy this week and there are going to be certain situations where you want to get a bit -- you're going to have a little bit of a hot head because you've got 190,000 potentially Americans shouting "U.S.A." at you. But you need to respect that and just accept that that's going to happen and the quicker you adapt to that, especially for the rookies on our team, the quicker they adapt to that the easier it's going to be when it comes to it on Friday.

Q. Juli also told us that one member of each team will be given the responsibility for giving putts and for conceding putts. Is that something that will make it a bit easier going forward?
MEL REID: Yeah, I mean, to be completely honest, I think 2015 was completely, it was just a mistake, it was a misjudgment. And I think we've all learned our lessons from both sides.

And so I don't think people will be picking up 18-inch putts anymore, that's for sure. But I think they're obviously going to mention it again in the rules meeting when we have that, I think, tomorrow, just be very clear about giving putts and make sure it doesn't happen again. Because on both sides -- it was a mistake, really, from both sides.

Q. How would you two describe Annika as a captain and sort of what her style is like?
CHARLEY HULL: She's been, you know, on the team as a -- what's the word.

MEL REID: Player?

CHARLEY HULL: Vice captain the past couple of years. So you kind of, I don't know, she's always been there. So you've got used to styles and stuff. It's not too different; she's relaxed and well organized.

MEL REID: I don't think there's any stone unturned with Annika. She's very thorough with her preparation. And that's kind of what you want as a captain. And obviously with her achievements, she's highly respected by every single player, and everybody that's even watching this she's highly respected.

So to have her as our leader is really an honor really for us to be representing her and Europe and our countries.

Q. If I could follow up on Annika, the fact that she was such a dominant player, won so many tournaments, is there any intimidation factor, given that she was so very good at what you guys are doing now?
CHARLEY HULL: Well, because obviously, again, she's been on the team whether as vice captain the last years so you kind of get used to her and not forget what she's done, but you just kind of get used to her whole aura around her. And she's just a down-to-earth, normal person, isn't she?

MEL REID: I think that because a lot of us have played with her and been around her so much, like, it's two words; she's just Annika. When I first met her she was always, you know, she had this aura and intimidating, whereas I've known her for so many years and she's, everybody knows her. So I guess it's just, she's now just Annika, which I think is exactly how she would like it as well.

Q. It's been a little bit more mild than typical Iowa weather. It's supposed to heat up by the end of the weekend. Has it been a nice surprise for you guys early in the week? And what's the heat do you do you to guys as the week progresses?
CHARLEY HULL: I got here just last night, but today is not too bad. I'm actually a little chilly at the moment. I was moaning because I didn't bring my jacket with me. But we get used to the hot weather because we're always over here in America. I don't think we'll mind it too much.

Q. What have you been able to experience -- obviously you just got here, so Mel what have you been able to --
MEL REID: Same flight.

Q. In that case, what are you looking forward to, outside of the hotel and the golf course, any planning you guys will do?
MEL REID: To be honest, this week is pretty busy. The only down time we get we just want to chill. Which is a little bit unfortunate. But, yeah, I mean as soon as we finish on Sunday we're flying out Monday morning, so straight to the next event in Canada. So unfortunately we won't get to do much. We experience a bit of corn yesterday. But that's about.

CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, a corn-dunking contest.

MEL REID: Corn-dunking contest. But that's about it, that's as much of Iowa we've seen so far.

Q. Since you just got here, how many rounds do you need before you feel you put the peg in for the first hole and you're comfortable and ready to go?
CHARLEY HULL: After you play 18 holes at a golf course you know where you're going to hit it. It's I know what to do. But we played 16 holes today -- or 15 holes. We have three more holes to play because of the rain delay. We'll probably play another nine and then a few more again the next day, just getting a feel, once you know the golf course, I'm kind of ready for it anyway.

MEL REID: I think because we travel so much anyway. And me and Charley, we live in England, so we travel back and forth over to the states a lot.

I guess over time you just get used to how your body reacts, how your body works, and you just learn to adapt very quickly. But by probably tomorrow afternoon we'll be fine.

Q. Can I ask about strategy on that first hole? If you're playing together in the four-balls, you're both long enough to reach, what's the feeling? Do you put one in play and then somebody else goes for the green, or do you both go for it?
CHARLEY HULL: Haven't really thought about that yet. We're just (indiscernible) to hit it.

MEL REID: I'd probably just go for it anyway. If you miss it, it's quite an easy up-and-down, relatively.

CHARLEY HULL: And if you miss it, like, you're only going to be one down. It's the first hole.

MEL REID: I think that -- I mean, I don't know, but I mean, I would like to think that I would go for it every day, just purely because -- I don't know, I just feel like if you're going to miss it, you're better off missing it closer to the hole than you are laying it back and having a wedge in. For me, I would rather make birdie from closer to the green.

Q. You guys are talking a little bit about strategy. How has the mentality changed for you guys in these formats versus playing a typical stroke-play tournament?
CHARLEY HULL: It does a little bit. But I'd say I'm, like, I go for a lot of pins in straight play. So it kind of suits me in a way. Don't have to change the game up too much.

MEL REID: Exactly the same. I'm quite an aggressive player. And you might go for a couple of par-5s that maybe are kind of touch-and-go, in straight play that you wouldn't necessarily go for, whereas you would in match play. And you probably putt a little more aggressively, but you're not really -- you're just trying to make as many birdies as possible without any consequences. That's probably the only difference. Doesn't matter if you make a 6; you're trying to make a 3. That's probably the only difference mentally that you're going to get.

Q. With these crowds expected to be the way they are, what's that mean to you guys to see the support for women's golf and the continued support of your sport right now?
CHARLEY HULL: I think it's pretty cool. It's great to see massive crowds around us. And it's good. It needs to be that out there as it's a big event, because it is a big event. And to have big crowds as well, it's going to be pretty awesome.

MEL REID: I have a lot of friends who play sport professionally, women. World Cup -- England just won the World Cup in cricket. And they're now playing the rugby. Just finished up in football.

And I feel like women's sport is really moving forward, and maybe not as quickly as we'd like, but the crowds we're expecting this week is probably one of the biggest women's sporting events that you're going to get.

I have friends at home that they know that I play golf but they love watching the Solheim Cup. That's the only event they watch every two years. So that is what this tournament is about. It's about getting people that wouldn't normally come and watch to be interested in it and really get involved in it. And this is why we do what we do. We work extremely hard and feel like we don't get the recognition we sometimes deserve.

So when we're expecting crowds like this, that's why we do it. We try and put our sport out there and make it as enjoyable for people to watch as possible.

Q. Going back to David's suggestion that one of you might not -- one of you might play safe at the first and the other have a go for the green, I would love to know which of you would agree not to go for the green.
MEL REID: Neither of us.

CHARLEY HULL: We had an argument there -- you go for it, I'm not going for it.

MEL REID: I would say we're both very similar players. We're both aggressive and just know that it wouldn't even come into my head to probably lay up on the hole. We haven't even got numbers, I don't think, on that hole to lay up. So unless if I have a driver.

Q. Charley, you set a record four years ago playing at 17. Angel Yin is not too much older than you. What advice would you give her on how to handle this stage at such a young age?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't know really. She's obviously proved herself already. And so she is herself a good player. I just go out there and hit it. You shouldn't feel too nervous on that first tee shot, because I didn't. It's just one hole.

And take it all in. Just take it all in. That's what I did. Or kind of. I just hit it down the fairway. I remember it was the best feeling ever.

Q. What was your reaction to Paula's name being in the envelope as the alternate, and how is she viewed on your side even when she's not playing her A-plus game?
MEL REID: To be honest, we don't really speak about it. Paula is a very established, not just a player, but a very established Solheim Cup player. I wouldn't really pay much attention to the form she's in. I have no doubt she's going to turn up and play well.

This is what is so good about this tournament: You don't necessarily need to be playing great going into this. Form doesn't -- it's not necessarily the best players that bring you the most points on the team.

So I think she's very close to getting in. She's probably not at the season she wanted. But like I said, I wouldn't put it past her to have a fantastic Solheim Cup. And we're quite aware of how good she can be and how much she loves this event as well. That's probably the only thing we're aware of.

Q. Are there any concerns within the team room regarding injuries? We saw a couple of people taking it easy today. We know it's Tuesday, it's practice still, has that been addressed?
MEL REID: You can answer that one.

You know, there's a couple of things. But we just gotta see how the next few days are. I mean hopefully we're going to have a fully fit team. There are a couple of injuries. But nothing I don't think to stop them from playing, if that makes sense?

Q. How comfortable would you feel with an assistant captain subbing in for somebody?
MEL REID: Are you talking about Beany, Catriona?

Q. Yes.
MEL REID: Listen, Catriona is, again, a fantastic player. To be honest, she was close to even getting on the team, so if worse comes to worse, and last resort that Beany has to step in, that's not a problem for us. She's one of our experienced players and she's a great player and she's an integral part of the team already. So if she needed to step in, I don't think any player would have any problem with that.

Q. I didn't mean to put you on the spot?
MEL REID: That's fine. You did fantastically. Thank you very much. It's good.

Q. Typically golfers don't look at the leaderboard when you're playing. The Solheim Cup, do you watch the leaderboard?
CHARLEY HULL: On the Sunday, I did. I usually do. And then as well in the first few days we do. But I think on Sunday it's more important, especially if you see the blue go up in front, it gets you going, doesn't it?


CHARLEY HULL: We did it last time, didn't we?

MEL REID: I think it's important to look at it if there's a lot of blue on the board it gives you motivation. If there's not, it still gives you motivation -- you need to put your finger out and make sure you get some blue on that board. So it all kind of filters down, and all the players will be looking at the leaderboard this week for sure.

Q. Who has the hardest accents for you guys to understand on your team?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't know really. I mumble a lot don't I?

MEL REID: Honestly probably the Brits. We talk quite fast. Jodi has got a bit of an American accent going, which we're not happy about. She says things like "trash cans," two words. We don't even listen to her.

But to be honest probably us Brits because we speak extremely fast, especially me and this one. Us talking to each other.

CHARLEY HULL: Last night, you didn't even know what I was saying, did you?

MEL REID: I don't know what you're saying half the time.

CHARLEY HULL: I was sleepy. It was coming out of my mouth and my brain wasn't registering.

Q. Can you talk me through the experience of corn dunking last night? And is that how you imagined all of Iowa being?
CHARLEY HULL: No, that was -- so basically it was me and Mel -- who else -- my caddie, and who else? Ali and Mikey. We was all having, it was us as a team playing charades and having quiz night, and ours was the smallest team, and we got into like a playoff, so the playoff had to be a corn dunking, wasn't it?

MEL REID: And I got nominated for the physical activity, which was corn dunking. I obviously wasn't prepared for it. I had a white T-shirt on which wasn't a good look, basically.

CHARLEY HULL: And we won.

MEL REID: Yeah, the champion we won.

CHARLEY HULL: I contributed.

MEL REID: I might as well have swum in it. I would have been less sweaty, I think. That would have won the wet T-shirt contest as well.

Q. When you heard the contest was being held in Des Moines Iowa? Had you ever heard of Des Moines?
CHARLEY HULL: Iowa (indiscernible). I thought, how cool? Another place on the map, isn't it?

MEL REID: I can't even follow that up. Yeah, I've never been to Iowa either. So, yeah, it's always fun to go somewhere new.

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