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June 7, 2018

Elaine Farquharson-Black

India Clyburn

Sophie Lamb

Olivia Mehaffey

Scarsdale, New York

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the Great Britain & Ireland team press conference. To my immediate left is Sophie Lamb, and then to her left is Elaine Farquharson-Black, who's captain of Great Britain & Ireland. Next to her is India Clyburn, then Olivia Mehaffey. Elaine, if we turn to you first, can you talk us through some of the team preparations over the last week and what the team has been doing to prepare to get used to the conditions up here?

ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: We came out -- we should have come out Tuesday, but the plane obviously was delayed, and we came out Wednesday, and we've spent four days at Fenway Golf Club on the basis it was another Tillinghast course. I had decided that the greens and getting to know the greens and the speed of the greens and getting comfortable was going to be key to this week, and so we also took out short game expert Steven Orr, and he worked with the team. We did a lot of short game drills, short game practice. We've done that. Then once we've come here, we've carried on doing those drills as well as obviously the long game.

THE MODERATOR: Olivia, this is your second appearance in the Curtis Cup after being involved in the winning team in 2016. What's your approach like to this 2018 match compared to 2016?

OLIVIA MEHAFFEY: Well, two years ago, it was quite different for me. It was my first year, and the girls kind of took me under their wing, and I feel like that's my role now. Yeah, just kind of talking to the girls about what it's going to be like, get them ready for it. So I feel like more in a leadership role this time than last time.

THE MODERATOR: And India, this is your first appearance, but your sister Holly played in the Curtis Cup. Has she given you any words of encouragement or advice to prepare for this week?

INDIA CLYBURN: Yeah, we've just been talking about it like ever since the team got announced and stuff, and then obviously I have like experience from watching her from when she competed in two, so just taking it all in and then just -- I'll get some advice from her tonight and stuff, and we'll just see how it goes.

THE MODERATOR: Sophie, this is your first appearance, too. How much are you looking forward to playing in the Curtis Cup this week for the first time?

SOPHIE LAMB: Yeah, I'm excited. I mean, Olivia and Alice have just taken us all under their wings and telling us what to expect and stuff, so we're all just excited to get going.

Q. Why Fenway?
ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: I wanted a Tillinghast course. I wanted somewhere close to the hotel so we didn't have to move hotels, but I wanted somewhere that was similar, and I just asked the R&A to find me a Tillinghast course, so it was lovely. We got a great reception from them. They were very welcoming, and it was a good practice.

Q. How familiar were you with Quaker Ridge prior? When was your first visit here?
ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: I came over with my two boys in July last year, and I played myself with them, and then we came back in November for Thanksgiving with the squad, so we played here. I think all the members thought we were mad because they thought it was really cold. We thought it was quite nice. It was minus one. We thought it was quite pleasant. So yeah, so we've seen it a few times.

Q. And what were your impressions initially when you saw it?

Q. And the team, as well.
ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: You know, when I saw it in July, fantastic course, and the greens were incredibly slick, so I'd had that knowledge, which was why we spent a lot of time on the short game when we were here in November, looking at the shots that we thought might come up, and then we've obviously worked on that, as well. Steven came and looked at the course first, as well, so that when we were doing short game practice with him, it was kind of focused on the kind of shots that we think we might get around the greens.

Any other comments about the course?

OLIVIA MEHAFFEY: I just thought it was good to have played in November. Obviously it meant this week you kind of knew what to prepare coming up to it, and ideally for me, nationals was fast greens, a course very similar, same with the U.S. Open, so I feel like I've been quite well prepared. I think you kind of know what to expect. It's nice you can focus more on pairings and try different shots rather than trying to get to know the course. I think seeing the course before this week was definitely a really good thing for us.

Q. What else have you done in this greater New York area? What have you seen? What have you experienced with your team?
SOPHIE LAMB: We had a surprise trip from Elaine. We went on a speedboat tour, saw the Statue of Liberty, then the U.S. Team took us to the Stock Exchange, and we had a tour there, and then we went to the One World Trade Center, went to the top, ate dinner there. So yeah, it's been exciting.

Q. Elaine, what's your sort of philosophy on pairings and how these girls mesh and how you'll set them up for the next two days? What are you looking for?
ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: I could tell you but I'd have to kill you afterwards. (Laughter.)

My philosophy is that people play their best golf when they're relaxed, so we spent a lot of time together getting to know each other, and I'll put pairings together that I think are going to deliver a point. That was a good answer because I didn't answer it.

Q. Can you be more specific about the shots around the greens that will be unfamiliar --
ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: I'm not sure that they're unfamiliar, but it was ones that we felt -- hitting it -- the rough is different, obviously, from at home, so a lot in terms of opening the face so that they can cut it up, the lofts. They've got a lot of deep bunkers here, so practicing those shots, practicing -- heaven forbid if you've got to chip from above the hole. So those kind of -- and the ones -- so if you hit the front of the green and you ran back, so the chip up the green.

Q. Based on World Rankings, GB & I has kind of been labeled the underdog. Do you embrace that? Do you kind of like that role, knowing that you can kind of be a little under the radar?
OLIVIA MEHAFFEY: Two years ago, if I remember correctly, United States of America had every single player in the top 20 in the world, and we managed to win then. I mean, rankings are a great basis, but ranking may not matter on a week like this. Match play, people react to different situations. I think if you get fired up and you really thrive off match play, I don't really feel like ranking plays a part.

INDIA CLYBURN: I feel like there's always power in an underdog, like don't underestimate them.

Q. Could you speak to your relationship with Steven? How did that happen that -- how did that relationship start in terms of short game?
ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: He works with the R&A, yep, so he's a performance coach and has a special interest in short game, so he works with the R&A on developing various -- you might actually know more about his connection -- and he works with performance squads in England, as well, but he's a Scot.

Q. Was he involved in the matches in Ireland, too?

Q. This was his first time?
ELAINE FARQUHARSON-BLACK: Yeah. He's a Scot, so he's obviously going to be good. (Laughter.)

Q. For Olivia, what do you remember about your wide-eyed moment of your last Curtis Cup and the difference this time?
OLIVIA MEHAFFEY: I don't know, I think just looking back and remembering the feeling of winning, being involved in it all, the matches, it was played in Ireland, so it was my home, and all my friends and family were there, and you're just remembering those moments and the nerves on the first tee, everything about the whole week. It's just such a special week, and I know what it feels like to have been part of a victorious Curtis Cup team, and I want the rest of the girls who haven't got to experience that, I would love for them to experience that, too, because the adrenaline high and the emotions, and it's so incredible. There's nothing like sharing something with your team, and I think it's something that I'll remember for however long my career is any future. It's such a special moment, and I think that's a really special thing about team golf and getting to compete in this tournament.

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