home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 7, 2018

Virginia Derby Grimes

Jennifer Kupcho

Andrea Lee

Lucy Li

Scarsdale, New York

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us today for the 40th Curtis Cup match press conference with the USA team. We have captain Virginia Derby Grimes, we have returning player Andrea Lee, Lucy Li, and Jennifer Kupcho here with us. Virginia, talk a little bit about the preparation, starting with the practice session a few weeks ago and then this week, as well.

VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: Yeah, well, it all started back in December with a session where we invited 12 players, and you always invite a few extras, and so it all started back in December, and moving forward, a team was chosen in early April. Those eight players, we came here in late April for a practice session and a bonding session, and it was a very good session. Weather wasn't too good, but we had a lot of bonding time, and things went really well, and it definitely helped us out, getting to come together to be a team.

THE MODERATOR: Andrea, talk about your last Curtis Cup experience and what excites you about this week.

ANDREA LEE: Yeah, I had a great time in Ireland a couple years ago. It was a great group of girls. We obviously wanted to win, and it was a little disappointing that we didn't, so coming into this week, we're really motivated to try and win the Cup back. I think we have a really great group of girls, the best players in the U.S., so I think it'll be a really fun week. I'm excited and looking forward to it.

THE MODERATOR: Lucy, you became the first 15 year old to make the team since Lexi Thompson did. Talk about what it means to make the team and what you can learn from your fellow teammates.

LUCY LI: Yeah, it definitely means a lot to have made this team. It's been my goal for like a few years now, to represent my country. It's going to be really great, and to be able to learn from like Andrea, who's already played in this once, and Mariel, and just to learn how you play an event like this and how you carry yourself around.

THE MODERATOR: Jennifer, talk about the team camaraderie and the team unit and how that's going to help this week.

JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think all the girls get on really well. We just have come out of our different colleges, and I think that helps a lot to bring different personalities, and we don't have any drama, and we all just want to do the best that we can.

THE MODERATOR: Andrea, what does it take to win the Curtis Cup?

ANDREA LEE: I mean, it'll take a lot, obviously, and match play is a different format from what we usually play, and anything can happen. It's just going to be really fun, foursome and four-ball is not a format that you get to play all the time, and you really have to rely on your partners and just have a lot of patience and really fight out there because anything can happen. It can go either way. We're just going to take it all in and do the best that we can.

THE MODERATOR: Jennifer, straight out of basically the NCAAs, which was match play format, as well. What do you like about that format?

JENNIFER KUPCHO: My team actually didn't make it to match play, but I love match play. I always have. I think it's just great because you can just focus on one hole and just kind of go into it with that attitude and just do the best you can on each shot and each hole.

Q. Lucy and Andrea, because of the schedule change, you guys are coming straight off the U.S. Women's Open up here. Can you describe the experience of last week and how the transition has been coming into this week?
LUCY LI: Yeah, I got here Monday, so it's been kind of a hectic couple weeks. Definitely learned a lot from last week. You know, this is kind of similar, like the courses, and they're both really hard. So I think for both courses, you really need to have a lot of patience because you're going to make mistakes, and I think that's going to be really the key to this week.

ANDREA LEE: For me, I got in last minute as a first alternate, which was really exciting, but also came off the NCAAs the previous week, so that was a really quick turnaround for me, and I'm still in school, actually, this week. I have finals next week, and I'm like, oh, God. It's been really fun. The U.S. Open was a really great learning experience. I didn't really play well the first day and missed the cut, but overall, just being out there and being able to learn from the pros is always a really special opportunity. I haven't played in the Open since 2014 at Pinehurst, so I obviously wasn't going to turn it down.

But yeah, it's been a hectic couple of weeks, but I'm just taking all of it in and learning from every experience and just looking forward to this week.

Q. Virginia, from your captain's seat, what's your perspective on the four players who did play the Open that are playing this week?
VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: Oh, I don't think they've missed a beat. Coming in, the two that came in Monday, you know, we sort of gave them the option of -- you know, you can come in any time you want to on Monday. If you want to sleep in, you can come in on a later flight. That's fine. We had a big day going down into the city, to Wall Street, and to the Trade Tower for dinner, and they both wanted to be on that first flight out and be here with the rest of their team members.

I don't think we've missed a beat by that.

Q. Virginia, the few times that you've gotten to see the girls, meet the girls, what you know about them and how they play, do you have any thoughts on how you might go about pairings or maybe have you picked Juli Inkster's mind? Wondering about your thoughts there.
VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: Yeah, having been around the girls, again, it started back in December, and once we had the team announced and the announcement came out, we had a questionnaire that went out to each player, and we got a lot of feedback from practice session, and a lot of what we did at practice session was very good and got a lot of positive feedback. Just the mixing and matching of players, just really mixing them up, and there was a lot of positive feedback from that. So it was good. It was real good.

Q. Do you feel like most of your girls, you have a lot of options --
VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: Yeah, we have a lot of options.

Q. In speaking with your team, Virginia, how much match play experience do you have totally on this team, and what have you talked to them about?
VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: They've had a good bit of match play. I think we've talked about it some. But they've got some experience. They play more of it over across the big pond, but we're beginning to play more of it. But these girls have played -- especially I know junior golf, I know there's a lot of events that they've played, so they've got the experience. And again, just got to be patient, and you've got a partner, and talk it through with your partner. That's why it's so important who you pair with -- more so in alternate-shot, personalities. They've got to be compatible.

Q. Prior to your April meeting, had you ever been to Quaker Ridge previously? If you hadn't, what have you heard about the facility, and what did you find out after you got here about the golf course?
VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: I had been here before April. I was here last summer in August, so I got to see the course.

Q. Was that your first time?
VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: That was my first time was last summer, and didn't get to play the course, but got a good feel for it. You know, just kind of hearing people talk about it, and of course I kind of Googled it up and read a lot about it, so there's a lot of history behind this place, so I think it's going to be really good.

Q. To the team, had you ever been to Quaker Ridge previously?
ANDREA LEE: First time.

JENNIFER KUPCHO: Well, not this week. We were all here --



Q. Andrea, since you've done this before, when do the nerves kick in, and when does it kind of become golf again?
ANDREA LEE: Probably tonight at the opening ceremonies. I mean, we're all just kind of itching to get out there. We've been here for a few days now, played a lot of practice rounds and all that stuff, getting to know our games better with each other and finding out who's compatible in alternate-shot and four-ball. But the nerves will definitely kick in tonight when the flags are raised. It's always an honor to represent our country, and it's going to be really fun. Really excited for tomorrow, and I can't wait to get out there. I'm sure we all are.

Q. Does it carry over onto the golf course?
ANDREA LEE: It'll take a couple holes. Yeah, I'm always nervous on the first tee shot of any tournament, but I think being nervous is good. It means you care. Yeah, it's just going to take a little bit to set in, but it'll be fun.

Q. Andrea, I'm curious, you go to Stanford, which is pretty demanding academically. How many classes do you have to have finals for next week, and how do you manage Curtis Cup and trying to get your preparation for finals?
ANDREA LEE: Yeah, well, I planned a very light quarter for myself because I knew I'd be really busy with nationals and potentially making the Curtis Cup team. I had no idea that I was going to make the U.S. Open, as well, so that was an extra week there, so it's been three weeks back-to-back-to-back. I mean, it's fun. I mean, it's the life of a student-athlete. I'm hanging in there, barely, but yeah, I have one final exam next Tuesday morning, and I have a final paper due Monday, and then I have a take-home final due Monday, as well. So I'm like trying to fit it all in there. But it'll get done.

Q. What are the classes? What are the subjects?
ANDREA LEE: One is a history class. One is kind of an extracurricular like business class, and then a renewable energy class, which has like some math and physics in it, which I'm personally not very good at, so hopefully I'll pass that one.

Q. What did it mean to have Michelle Wie come out yesterday?
LUCY LI: Oh, yeah, it was so fun. When she came out and watched us, I think we were all really pleasantly surprised by it. And then when she made us do that bet, that kind of got us going again. We were so excited. Which we won.

ANDREA LEE: On the last five holes she made us do a little match, and the loser had to dance to the song of the winning team's choice, and it was pretty funny.

Q. Any losers up here? Not in life, but --

Q. What was the song?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: What was the name of the song? It was a Backstreet Boys song. "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.

Q. When you look at foursomes pairings and four-ball pairings, how do you, based on your experience as a Curtis Cup player, what are you gauging in terms of your practice rounds as you're observing players, besides the feedback you get? How do you assess who's good at one versus the other or maybe both?
VIRGINIA DERBY GRIMES: Well, to me, four-ball, you're playing your own ball, and it's a little easier. Foursomes I feel like you've got to have personalities that click and maybe similar games, and you get along and you stay positive with each other on that format. And four-ball is -- we have a little more variety, so we can choose. And the more you play, you just kind of -- it just kind of comes together. It's a puzzle, and sometimes it's amazing, especially with this group, how that part has come together.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297