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August 16, 2017

Emily Pedersen

Madelene Sagstrom

Des Moines, Iowa, USA

THE MODERATOR: Delighted to have Madelene Sagstrom and Emily Pedersen with us, both from the Nordic region. I'll start by asking you how did it feel to be picked by Annika just a week and a half ago?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: It's a dream come true to get picked. This is something that every girl golfer dreams about when they're growing up. So it's a dream to come true to be here and excited to be here for the week.

THE MODERATOR: Emily, how did you feel when Annika gave you that call?

EMILY PEDERSEN: I was obviously very happy as well. I was dreaming about this since I started playing. And I played in the Junior Solheim and kind of experienced it there, so I was really happy to get on the real team.

THE MODERATOR: How did that experience help to prepare you for this week?

EMILY PEDERSEN: I still think it's a lot different. It's a lot bigger, this. But obviously I kind of knew what was going on. I just prepared like I always prepare, I guess.

THE MODERATOR: Is it living up to your expectation so far? Are you having a lot of fun in the team room? What's going on?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: It's a very natural and just fun environment to be around. It's been building up all week, so it's kind of starting off slow and then you're building it up day-by-day. So I'm taking it slowly, but I think it's starting to hit me soon. I'll be excited when the matches start on Friday.


Q. Rookies have sat where you've sat in years past and said, no, I know what I'm going to expect; I've been in this situation before. And they get on the first tee and they have no idea. Have you talked to anybody about what it's going to be like when you walk out on that first tee? And what have you done to prepare yourself for what it's going to be like?
MADELENE SAGSTROM: What I have heard is -- what everybody keeps saying deep breaths, deep breaths, deep breaths. It's going to be loud, I'm assuming. And hopefully a lot of singing.

But I enjoy the audience. I enjoy people watching in general. So, I think it's going to be fun. I'm obviously going to be nervous. But just take my deep breaths and enjoy the situation that we're in and take it from there.

EMILY PEDERSEN: I guess everyone says you can't really prepare for it because there's nothing like it, they say. But I'm guessing, like, try to take it all in. And, yeah, deep breaths and hopefully hit the ball.

Q. Along those lines when you guys step up on the first tee of a tournament, how nervous are you? And where do you think that level will jump to Friday morning?
EMILY PEDERSEN: I usually don't get really nervous. A little bit. But I'm normally pretty confident and pretty relaxed going into a tournament. I probably will be a bit more here because it's obviously different with people cheering for you or not cheering for you. But I hope it will be fun.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I enjoy the nervousness. It's kind of like I want to keep those butterflies. I believe it kind of puts you in a different edge when you're ready to go with something you want. I'm looking forward to the butterflies, the ones I'm striving for. So I'm very excited about that.

I was out watching the juniors when they teed off Tuesday -- was it yesterday -- and I got to the tee and I was, like, pumped up because they were playing and I was, like, I can't imagine what it's going to be like. For us, this is probably going to be a different level. But it was a fun start.

Q. What's it like having Annika Sorenstam be your captain? And what kind of team does she run? How strict is she for you guys?
EMILY PEDERSEN: She's cool, Annika. I mean, obviously we're both from the Scandinavian -- I mean for me she's always been an idol, and a lot of the players are on the team. So it's fun to be a part of. And it's fun that we have each other, I think. It's good.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Yeah, for me, growing up Annika has always been one of my biggest role models being from Sweden. It's a big honor to be able to play for her and represent her team.

And she's having a very open environment. She's very -- communication is a huge part of our team. We're all having a good time and everybody's enjoying hanging out with everybody. So it's a good team. We have a lot of good connections. It's just an honor to play for her for sure.

Q. Kind of a three-part question. Where were you two years ago when this was going on? It sounds like, Emily, you were there with the Junior Solheim Cup in Germany. You were there?
EMILY PEDERSEN: No, I played in Colorado four years ago.

Q. Okay. Where were you two years ago when this was going on? Where were you one year ago? And are you here more quickly than you thought you would be?
EMILY PEDERSEN: Two years ago I had just turned pro and I had just finished high school. So it was very hectic for me that year. Obviously I did not expect to get on the team that year.

This year, I was really hoping to get on to the team. I mean, it's a good surprise, but we're both players that have shown good strength, I think. So I think it's good we're on the team and I'm really happy that we are.

Q. Where do you think you were about a year ago?
EMILY PEDERSEN: A year ago, I guess I was just playing tournaments, striving to be a better golfer, working hard on things, and just trying to be the best I can.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Two years ago -- I remember, like, waking up early to turn on Solheim Cup from Germany on my TV in my room. I just was about to finish college, my last semester of college. So I just turned pro and I was kind of in between what I was doing.

I didn't really have a tour to play on, so I didn't really know what my future was holding. I was in between places, what was going on, just trying to finish up my degree.

A year -- year and a half ago I started playing pro golf, basically. So at that point I was really questioning what I was doing -- am I going to be good enough for this?

And a year ago I had achieved a lot of good things and I knew I was going to be out here. I was on the LPGA for the year after, and I had the hopes of playing in this year's Solheim Cup.

So I guess I had played really good golf for the first six months of my professional career. So I had the goal of giving myself a chance to play in the Solheim Cup, and now I'm sitting here.

Q. When you turned on the TV, was it in a college apartment?
MADELENE SAGSTROM: Not a dorm room, but I had an apartment with a few friends at that point. So just waking up early and getting the inspiration, like where do I want to be. So it was fun. I was trying to cheer them on from the U.S. in my apartment.

Q. You guys have both mentioned that this experience will be different than anything you've faced so far when you're used to stroke play, you both have represented your country in other ways. But this week, being on the course, what are some of the things that you initially noticed that kind of got you internally excited for the week?
MADELENE SAGSTROM: First of all, I think we're both very experienced with match play. We played a lot from both the Danish and Swedish national teams. So we know what it's like to play as a team and have that experience together.

So I think it's more you look at the course in a different way. You know it's one hole by hole, stroke by stroke, so it's not as intimidating in my point of view. I try to see where I can take advantage of my strength, and I also just trying to figure out a good game plan for the week.

And depending on what I get to play, I just have a good mindset about all different kind of games that we're going to play. So it's a very -- I see a lot of opportunity watching the golf course.

EMILY PEDERSEN: I agree. I think I'm quite an aggressive player normally, but I try to see where I can be more aggressive here and where can I get some advantage and where can I take some chances that I might not take in stroke play.

Q. Is there anything like the giant flags, anything that -- or maybe your bags, the fact that you have your country and your name on each of them, is there anything tangible that you've seen this week that's totally unique to anything of the past?
EMILY PEDERSEN: Yeah, I mean, we don't usually dress the same. So just the fact that we all look the same and kind of get that team feeling is very special, I think. I think that's the most special part, really, so far.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: When I got my water bottle with my name on it and the Solheim Cup thing, and I was, like, yes, now it's really happening, it's really happening.

Q. The fact that you're here for the first time but you're doing it with a group of rookies together, does that have any value? Do you have a camaraderie as a group of rookies in the team?
EMILY PEDERSEN: Not really. I mean, it's cool that there's a lot of rookies, and Georgia and I have grown up together. And Madelene, we've not a played a lot of amateurs together, but we played together as rookies this year. But not really, we try to be a team, all of us, and I don't really think we separate as rookies.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: No, we all played golf, a lot of golf. We've played golf our entire lives. So, it's not anything different to what we normally do, it's a different stage, obviously. But I feel like everybody's got each other's back. And we might bring something to the table that the more experienced players not anymore, like, we're excited to be here. And I think everybody is bringing their personalities out and just doing their own thing.

But I feel like we're kind of fit in the mix. We might ask more questions than some people. But that comes with it.

Q. Madelene, golfers are so famously focused and don't want to know what the leaderboard looks like and don't want to think about anything else other than the next shot. Do you envision yourself this weekend scoreboard watching at all with the team aspect?
MADELENE SAGSTROM: I've always said that I don't watch scoreboards, but unfortunately I do sometimes. Most of the times I do watch it. But I feel like I'm probably going to watch and just see where we're at.

It's going to be a tough week to figure everything out anyways. So I want to have a good idea where we stand, so I know what to do, and just I like the pressure. Pressure is good. It's what we play for. We want to feel the pressure, to be important for the team. So hopefully I'll see some of that.

EMILY PEDERSEN: Yeah, I mean, we talk a lot about golf being where you switch on and you switch off. And I mean as long as you're good at switching on when you hit the shots, I think it's okay to cheer for your team and look at the scoreboards. Hopefully you see a lot of Europeans being up in matches. Yeah, pretty chill, I guess.

Q. Intermingling with this team, who has the toughest accent to understand when you're trying to talk to each other and get a feel for one another?
EMILY PEDERSEN: Charley, I guess.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Charley speaks fast. I think we struggle with keeping up with her speed. But everybody's really good with English, so I think we all communicate well.

Q. Annika said earlier she's leaving it up to the players on who they get to play with. Who do you guys look for? What do you look for in a playing partner? And have you told Annika who you would like to play with?
EMILY PEDERSEN: Yeah, I mean, I personally look for someone who has got a lot of fire and can be, like, very supportive. Because I think they'll get some nerves out there as a rookie and you want to do your best. And I kind of look for someone who is kind of the same as me, aggressive and very firish.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Yeah, it's always fun to play with someone you have good chemistry with. You want to feel relaxed out there and just enjoy it out there. And for me now, I'm getting to know all these girls pretty well. So it's coming up to I would enjoy playing with anybody.

Depending on what kind of version, what kind of, whether we play four-ball or alternate shot, I think it depends a little bit game-wise. I would probably want to play with someone more similar to my own game. But other than that I would enjoy playing with all these girls. We have a great team and we just have a lot of fun together.

Q. What do you both think of when you think of Annika, and what inspiration is there in that?
MADELENE SAGSTROM: Annika for me is a huge heart, huge heart for the love of golf and for the growth of women's golf. And she's been very involved in women's golf for a long time. And the things that she has achieved in her career is truly inspirational to everybody.

She's done something that a lot of people would like to do one day. So for me it's always been her drive to get better and her sticking to the process of doing everything but she's always done it with a smile. So that's something that really inspired me.

EMILY PEDERSEN: I agree. She's very inspirational. She's very supportive. And obviously she has been through most and a lot and has done very well. So she can teach us a lot of things, which is very cool. And she's nice to be around. And communication on the team is really open, which I think is great. And it helps me personally relax a bit more, and I think it helps the rookies a lot.

Q. What do you remember about -- you said you watched it two years ago on TV. What do you remember about Sunday? What feeling remains about the American finish and the record finish?
MADELENE SAGSTROM: For me, it kind of makes me hungry, like I want to go out there and just try to just play good golf. I know it wasn't the finish that the European team was looking for in 2015, but we all go out and do our best every time.

We can't really (indiscernible), tell what the outcome is going to be. So I believe that they went out and did their best, and I think that's what we're going to do this week, too. So we just hope that we have the odds in our favor this week instead.

EMILY PEDERSEN: I agree. I don't have any more to say, I guess.


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