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October 2, 2018
Incheon, South Korea
CHRISTINE LANCE: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Christina Lance; I work in Tour Media for the LPGA. It's my honor to welcome you to the media center for the 2018 UL International Crown.
Going to take a moment to introduce our No. 2 seed, Team USA. We'll start here with Jessica Korda who is playing in her first UL International Crown.
No, you're not.
JESSICA KORDA: Yes, I am.
CHRISTINE LANCE: Brain fade.
And so are you, Michelle Wie, also playing in her first UL International Crown.
Next we have Cristie Kerr playing in her third Crown with a record of 5, 2, and 0.
And Lexi Thompson, also in her third UL International Crown with a record of 4, 3, and 0.
We'll start with the first question for Cristie. I know as a team you played nine holes today; nine or 18 holes yesterday. How has the team building come along as you make your way around the golf course?
Oh, great. That got giggles all right.
CRISTIE KERR: The team building is going great. Wish I could build myself a foot taller so I would be the same height as the rest of my teammates.
CHRISTINE LANCE: Anything in particular you guys have been working on? You've played together many times. Anything in particular over the last few days?
CRISTIE KERR: We're just at this stage trying to learn the golf course and get used to playing together again as a team. It's an individual sport, as we all know, and we've had a lot of fun in the practice rounds.
No problem bonding on this side.
CHRISTINE LANCE: So Jessica, is there a different dynamic to the team playing without a captain? You're all veterans of Solheim Cups and Curtis Cups and you're used to playing with a captain. What's it like when there are four captains?
JESSICA KORDA: I think we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do coming into this week even. We had talked before, so really nothing changed. It's more of just us communicating, the four of us in a group chat, than anything else. That's really all it is.
But today we had a lot of fun. We didn't get to play yesterday, but today we had a lot of fun on the nine holes we did play.
CHRISTINE LANCE: Lexi, this is the first time the Crown is being held outside the USA in a country that is so golf friendly. What are you expecting to see this week once fans taking on the golf course?
LEXI THOMPSON: I'm sure there will be a lot of fans out there. There were some out there today, not so much following our group, but I'm sure there will be a lot people out there following each and every group, but especially the Koreans.
We're all looking forward to it. Everybody loves golf over here. A huge fan base. That's what we want.
CHRISTINE LANCE: And Michelle, before we send it out for questions, it's great to see you back, see you with a golf club in your hand. Haven't seen you on the course since the RICOH Women's British Open. Tell us how you're coming along and how you feel heading into the week.
MICHELLE WIE: I feel just so blessed to be here. Just coming in here with new eyes. Just so grateful to be here on this team with these girls, some of my closest friends.
Just to be in Korea. Really excited to be able to play. Really excited for the week to start.
CHRISTINE LANCE: About how long were you resting the hand and wrist, and when did you pick the golf clubs back up?
MICHELLE WIE: A week and a half ago. Yeah, I went to go see a lot of doctors; took some time off just trying to figure out what was going on. It was good. It was good to take some time off. It's always hard to in the middle of the season. It's never something that is easy. It was really hard on me mentally.
But like I said, I feel extremely blessed. I think you go through something like that and you kind of just realize that you take a lot of things for granted. Just not being able to do what I loved to do, it was very hard. But I'm just so excited to be back here playing golf again. Very excited.
CHRISTINE LANCE: Thank you very much, Amy, for your assistance this week. Thank you.
Open it up for questions.
Q. Hey, Michelle, can you walk us through the swing transitions that took place to compensate for the wrist and how have they worked out? Drives looked a little flatter today than I've seen in quite sometime.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, you know, it's just I just had to change things out of necessity. You know, when I started practicing I picked up a golf club and I couldn't swing the way I used to. I wanted to play in Asia and figure out what I needed to do.
I worked with my trainer, David, and we just tried to figure out what position doesn't hurt. Went there, and just trying to swing as pain-free as I can. It actually feels pretty good. Thankfully he I talking to David that thankfully I'm used to just ripping up my swing, so just another day.
But, yeah, it feels pretty good. Feels -- when I swing to this way it doesn't hurt. That's my main concern. Feels pretty good.
Q. Question for Lexi, and then if I could have a follow up. Lexi, you and Christie have become quite dynamic duo in Solheim Cups and I think Crown Cups; I think you're 8, 1, and 2 since you've been together. Can you just speak to what Cristie does for you and what makes that pairing work so well?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, we've been partners for a while now. We just make a great team, just how she is on the golf course. She's always there for me. If I hit a bad shot she's there pumping me up and giving me positive thoughts for the next shot.
That's what team golf is all about. You have to be there for your partner that's by your side, be there to pick them up and hit a good shot and pick them up when they need to.
I think that's what Cristie does amazing at; hopefully I do the same for her.
Q. Follow up for Lexi, too. You were very open this summer about some of the challenges that you faced in needing that month off. Have you felt comfortable on your return? Have you felt fully ready to be back?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I do feel ready. It's a work in progress. It's not something you can just change overnight. It's something that I'm working on.
But the needed breaks are what I need to feel like I have a normal life and be a regular 23-year-old girl. I needed that break from just golf in general and just get my mind right. It's definitely getting there. I feel ready on the golf course. My game is there. Been putting in the work.
So we'll see how it goes.
Q. Hi, Jessica. Could I ask you in your first Crown, coming to this golf-crazy country, what are you most looking forward to and what are your first impressions so far?
JESSICA KORDA: Well, I'm most excited to see how many people are going to actually show up. I heard they sold out of tickets so quickly, so I think that's going to be really, really cool to play in front of that many people.
Other than that, it's a team event. I'm really, really proud and happy to be alongside these girls up here. I haven't played in a team event in quite some time.
Missing out last year on Solheim was one of the hardest weeks of my life watching it. This was a big goal of mine. Being here and being able to play match play alongside these incredible three players up here, just really excited to be out here.
Q. Kerr, speaking of crowds, likely to be 30,000 people...
CRISTIE KERR: Is that me?
Q. Yeah. I'm sorry. There is likely to be 30,000 people out here, every one of them pulling for Korea. Is it more difficult to be in a situation where you have that many people with high expectations of you, or is there more pressure when you know that those 30,000 people are pulling against you?
CRISTIE KERR: Honestly, these four up here right now, including myself, I think that all of the pressure is on them this week. They're playing in front of their home crowd, and the Korean people can put a lot of expectations on the Korean golfers. The pressure is on them. We're going out swinging, firing, and we're going to keep it loose. We're not going to feel all the pressure that they feel this week. I can assure you that.
With that being said -- there is more -- not to say we won't put pressure on ourselves to play well for our country and for our teammates and ourselves. It's just going to be different. That's all.
Q. Question for Cristie. There is no captain this week, but you've been -- the Crown has given you more opportunities to understand the team dynamic. How much do you want to be a Solheim Cup captain someday, and how much have all the experiences helped shape the captain you'll be?
CRISTIE KERR: I definitely want to be a Solheim Cup captain one day. All of these experiences and playing under various captains over the years, I mean, I just hope that I can learn enough in all of these experiences to be a good captain for my players, win or lose.
At the end of the day, when you're captain all you can do is put the pairings together and try to inspire them as much as you can and the chips fall where they may.
Team events are a blast. Some of best memories I've ever had playing professional golf. Hopefully we can make some good memories this week.
Q. (Through translation.) It's been a while since you've played in Korea. What kind of play do you want to show your fans? We have eight strong teams competing in the UL International Crown. Which team do you think will win?
MICHELLE WIE: (Through translation.) It's an honor to be here and take part in this event. I have a lot of family and fans coming out to see me play.
As for who will win, I think that everybody is going to give it their best. I guess the best team will win. Our team will give it our best and have fun for sure.
Q. (Through translation.) Unlike the Solheim Cup where the U.S. is competing against Europe as a team, with this competition in the final round there is a possibility that Korea will be pitted again the U.S. team. What do you think it will be like for you to be playing against the Korean team in the final round?
MICHELLE WIE: (Through translation.) I'm actually both proud of both my heritage as a Korean American, so I'm proud to be Korean and also proud to be American.
Obviously, as I mentioned before, I expect a lot of family and friends to come see me play. I think it'll be a lot of fun. It's always fun to play in front of the Korean fans, and as I mentioned earlier, it's really an honor to be a part of this event.
I think that if Team Korea will compete against team Team USA on the final day, it will be more fun. I want to mention that I actually really, really wanted to make it on this team because it is not U.S. against Europe. It includes a lot of different countries, including Korea.
I think the UL International Crown is very unique in that way. I think that's it.
CHRISTINE LANCE: Thank you very much, ladies. Appreciate you taking your time. Enjoy the rest of your week and see you on the first tee on Thursday.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports