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August 16, 2017

Karine Icher

Caroline Masson

Des Moines, Iowa, USA

THE MODERATOR: Delighted to introduce two members of Team Europe, Karine Icher and Caroline Masson. How excited are you to be here this week, Karine?

KARINE ICHER: Very exciting. It's a big week for everybody to be on the European team. It's the goal every two years, so we hope to play as the best that we can. And we'll see and have fun, and no regrets at the end of the week.

THE MODERATOR: How about yourself, Caroline?

CAROLINE MASSON: Obviously very excited to be here. It's always a huge honor to come here and represent Europe this week. And we're just looking forward to a great week.

It's going to be a huge Solheim Cup with a lot of people watching and big crowds. And obviously that's great for the American team, but that's great for us, too. I think we all enjoy that a lot. It's going to be a fun week.

THE MODERATOR: You played together or practiced together this morning. What did you make of the golf course?

KARINE ICHER: It's interesting. Obviously around the green and on the green are going to be the key this week. But challenging hole, two par-5s in a row. It's not going to be easy to find odd and even numbers in alternate shots. So a lot of strategy, I think, ahead.

CAROLINE MASSON: I think it's a great golf course. Very exciting for match play. I think we start off with the first hole where some players can actually go for it and it's a good risk and reward hole. A lot of par-5s, so that means a lot of excitement, especially in match play.

And it looks like a ball-striker's course. But I guess in the end it all comes down to the putting like always. And very challenging greens. And, I think, yeah, in the end whoever can make more putts on these greens is probably going to be the winner.

THE MODERATOR: Do you think it will favor one team over the other?

CAROLINE MASSON: I don't really think so. I mean, obviously it helps if you can hit it long, but I think both sides have players that can hit it really far. And everybody's got plenty of length to be okay on that golf course. So, yeah, I don't think so.

I think actually it's a real golf course. The team that plays the best and strikes it the best and putts the best is going to win. And I think that's what it's supposed to be like.

THE MODERATOR: Obviously a change in the team. You've now got Catriona playing with you. What did Annika say to you when she told you the news?

CAROLINE MASSON: Just told us that obviously Suzann is not going to be 100 percent or even close to that. So, yeah, I feel terrible for her. She's a huge part of our team. She's a very accomplished player and a great teammate. But so is Catriona. So I think we're lucky to have such a great alternate.

Suzann is going to be there to support us. She's going to be the vice captain now. It's fun to just have somebody like her out there and feel her presence. And Catriona is just a super solid player, I think exactly the player to come in kind of last minute and play for the team.

So, yeah, it is what it is. Injuries happen. And I think Suzann, it was a really brave move of her to admit she's not 100 percent and she puts the team first. And I think that's what it's all about this week.


Q. Curious when the last time, as you've played in Solheim Cups before, when was the last time you were as nervous on the first tee as you are the first time you tee it up with the Solheim Cup?
KARINE ICHER: Well, I think no matter how many Solheim Cups you play, or Ryder Cup for the men's, first tee is still the first tee. And you're still nervous. We all know that.

So the more you play the easier it is. But, of course, when you're a rookie, it's a little bit more difficult. But even for someone who played 10 Solheim Cups, it's hard.

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I mean, the same. I think it's a good thing, though. Being nervous is not necessarily a bad thing. It's just, I think there's two ways you can take it. You can be nervous in a bad way and nervous in a good way. And I think we're all going to be excited to be there and just enjoy the atmosphere.

Q. With the record crowds expected to be out here, what does that make the first tee atmosphere like for you? And what do you tell the rookies to handle that atmosphere for themselves?
KARINE ICHER: Just to try to be themselves and be extremely focused. If you just focus, like, 200 percent on your target, I mean, you have a good chance to hit a good shot and to avoid all the pressure around.

Then it's fun also to have like crowd and screaming your name or singing or dancing. I mean, it's part of Solheim Cup. It's completely different. And we are on the woman's tour, we're not on the men's tour, so we don't get to use a lot of people like we're going to have this week. But at least every two years we have people who cheer for us or cheer for everybody and just want to see and watch nice golf.

Q. Has Annika said anything to you about what to expect from the galleries? I know you already played in the U.S. before, but is it a different approach to when you're playing in Europe?
KARINE ICHER: I don't think so, no. It's just play -- make more putts and just be focused on your game. And if you start to be, like, looking around and get nervous about the people, or, I mean, it's going to affect the game for sure. So, yeah, she told us just to do exactly the same as we do every week on tour, and at the end it's what we have to do is just play golf.

Q. Do you scoreboard watch this weekend? I know golfers normally don't look at the leaderboard. But while you're on the course, will you be looking to see what everyone else is doing?
KARINE ICHER: Yes, a little bit, yeah. I mean, it's easy because it's like colors. It's red or blue. So you can easily see from far like if it's red or blue. But I think all of us are going to have a look, yeah.

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I think so. Either way it can just motivate you. If you see your team in front, you can really get going, feel like a little relieved. And on the other hand, if maybe you're down a little bit, I mean, it gives you some extra motivation, too, to make some birdies.

So I think it's a team event, and of course you have to focus on yourself and focus on your next shot, and I think we'll all be able to do that. But it's fun to see how everybody else is doing, and you want to thrive off of that.

KARINE ICHER: And even if you don't want to look, you hear. Even if you don't look at the leaderboard you know exactly who is leading, especially here.

Q. What do you guys do for fun outside of hotel and golf course? Is there anything you guys have had a chance to do, whether it's just explore Des Moines or just some team-bonding stuff?
KARINE ICHER: We have ping-pong. We have a few things to do at the European room. But I think everybody tries to rest as much as possible and to get more sleep. And during the night -- last night we had -- two days ago we had a quiz, so it was fun. So, yeah, we try to get, like, a good spirit around the team and to have fun.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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