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September 10, 2019
Gleneagles, Scotland, United Kingdom
THE MODERATOR: It's a great pleasure to welcome Anne Van Dam, Bronte Law and Celine Boutier, the European rookies, to the media center.
Anne, obviously you played in the Ping Junior Solheim Cup in 2013 and were there to see Europe win in Colorado. How did that help prepare you? And can you believe that obviously you're here now playing in the Solheim Cup?
ANNE VAN DAM: I believe it more and more, but that was really like six years ago. But what I remember from that week, just watching them, was just how well they were playing and how big the crowds were. And I think here, in the practice round today, there were quite a few people out, so it was good to see and should be more and more over the next couple of days. That's for sure nice to be on the other side now.
THE MODERATOR: Is it living up to your expectations so far?
ANNE VAN DAM: For sure. The course is fantastic, everything around is organized so well. And just can't wait to get started.
THE MODERATOR: Bronte, you went to the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School and won back in December and it was being on this team, So it obviously means a lot to you. What's been the highlight of the week so far?
BRONTE LAW: The highlight... well, it's still early on in the week. Hopefully the highlight's coming at the end of the week. I think just to finally be here and representing Team Europe -- obviously made that one of my goals at the start of the year two years ago when I knew it was going to be here at Gleneagles, and really wanted to play in front of the home crowd.
And really excited to have lots of family come out to watch, friends and hopefully the UK comes out in force to support us.
THE MODERATOR: Celine, how have you enjoyed the week so far? What have been the highlights for you?
CELINE BOUTIER: I don't think there's like a particular moment that was like better than another. I think just overall just enjoying being in this atmosphere and being part of a team effort. I haven't really played in a team format ever since I turned pro, so it's been pretty nice. Just enjoying the week in general.
Q. Even though none of you have been on Solheim Cups before, the Europeans traditionally play more match play events growing up as amateurs than do Americans. Do you feel as though that is overplayed or is that something where you feel you definitely have an advantage?
BRONTE LAW: I don't think you can overplay and be ready to play match play. The more match play experience you have, the better you're prepared for going out there. So I would say the fact that we all have plenty of match play experience plays into our favor, and is something that we're probably going to lean on when we're out there on the course.
Q. Bronte, you've obviously played a lot of match play golf, Curtis Cups and so on. I'd like to ask the other two how much match play have you two played?
ANNE VAN DAM: The same as Bronte. We play at home our club competition in the winter which is match play all winter long. We play like all our European Championships, we play match play against each other. So all of even our -- even like Spanish Amateur, British Amateur, it's stroke play first and then match play afterwards.
So I think all of us coming from Europe, playing for the national teams, we've been playing a lot of match play and know each other for playing against each other as well on those things.
Q. The same, Celine?
CELINE BOUTIER: Same, yes.
Q. Bronte, you had a fantastic record at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland, in the Curtis Cup. Is that something you can project and help you this week with?
BRONTE LAW: Yeah, I think the fact it was against Americans obviously is something that it's going to help me this week. Couple of the girls I played against Curtis Cups on. And I have a good record in Scotland as well playing my first Curtis Cup. So I'm looking forward to kind of hopefully following in those previous food steps that I've taken.
Q. I know it's early in the week, but can you talk a little bit about the qualities you feel Catriona's bringing to the captaincy already?
ANNE VAN DAM: I think she's just very calm. That's nice for all of us. I think she trusts us just doing our own thing. She said, you guys don't need that much; just go out and do your thing. And I believe in you; the whole team believes in you.
I think that's been the easiest for me personally, just to not have like many talks together or -- we just have fun and trust each other enough that we know what we're doing and, yeah, that's it.
BRONTE LAW: I would say that she doesn't overtalk or arrange loads of team meetings or stuff like that. She gets to the point and says what needs to be said in as few words as possible. And that's something that a lot of great captains have as qualities. I think that's something she really does possess.
CELINE BOUTIER: For me also, I think she's very approachable and she makes it very easy for us to be honest and go to her whenever we have a problem or anything we can go talk to her and I think for me I felt like it was a very positive point.
Q. When Mel was in here 20 minutes ago she was saying that Catriona was very good at realizing the importance of rookies feeling comfortable on the team and no one feeling left out. Do you all feel very much a part of the team and is it straight away you're all being included in everything?
ANNE VAN DAM: I feel very left out (laughter).
BRONTE LAW: Yeah, right. I don't believe that for a second.
I think she does a really good job of that, definitely. I think obviously, as rookies on a team with so much experience, they obviously have a lot of memories, past memories together and they've spent a lot of time together.
Obviously we're coming into a team that has so many of these experiences, and she's made us feel like we're really a part of this team and that we fit in. And it's never been difficult for us to fit in in certain ways.
She's not like -- I don't know, she's not left us out at any point. And I would say -- she's done a good job with that.
CELINE BOUTIER: I think it's not just her, but everyone on the team, like even the players and the more experienced, have also been very welcoming and open.
Q. Laura was in here saying that she was surprised the Americans have been made favorites this week concerning you guys have home course advantage. I just wondered how you felt about that? Is that something that motivates you, something that bugs you? What are your thoughts?
BRONTE LAW: I'd love to know who said that we weren't favorites. But I think that's interesting. But, yeah, we have our home course advantage. I'd say we've seen the course before this week.
We have a lot of players that are playing really good golf right now. So I'm not sure what sort of information they're getting. But that's interesting.
Q. Wondering what the feeling is in the camp at the moment, and how much you're all relishing this opportunity and perhaps the challenge that you've got against the Americans?
ANNE VAN DAM: I think it's been very relaxed. What I said, from Catriona on, but also the teammates, all the helpers, all the caddies, I think it doesn't matter what table you sit at night or in the morning, everyone's just having a good time and it's been very relaxed and not much stress so far. So it's been going really well.
And I think we're all just excited to stick together and do what we're good at, is to really stick together and don't let anything affect us from the outside.
Q. We hear that Catriona has been showing you some motivational videos. I'm just wondering if you could tell us a little bit about that? And perhaps the quiz night, what's that all been like?
ANNE VAN DAM: I think a lot of us were crying last night.
BRONTE LAW: No, I don't cry.
ANNE VAN DAM: Well, I was for sure (laughter). You weren't?
BRONTE LAW: No.
CELINE BOUTIER: Everyone but Bronte was crying. (Laughter).
ANNE VAN DAM: She's the tough one on the team.
Q. Anne, I'm curious how much do you think your length is an advantage here, and what particular holes?
ANNE VAN DAM: I think on a lot of holes. They're not many holes where I hit a 5-wood or 3-wood off the tee. Because it's playing that soft, I can hit driver on a lot holes and basically stop the ball in the fairway where it lands. I think that's a big advantage not to have to kind of guess how far the ball is going to roll out and stuff like that, especially towards the par-5s. It's, for me, very easy to reach all the par-5s in two, hit long irons into par-5s, some 5-woods.
That's, for me, going to be a big advantage, but also for some to hit like a 3-wood or something like that in there. I think on this course for sure.
Q. What does Laura Davies bring to the team room as a vice captain?
ANNE VAN DAM: Good ping pong player.
BRONTE LAW: What doesn't she bring? She brings everything.
Q. Can you elaborate?
BRONTE LAW: I mean, she's obviously one of the greatest British golfers to ever step foot on these grounds. So she has -- she's so laid back, which is something that I always admire about her. She brings a sense of calm, I think, to the team.
And she has lots of great stories but she also provides a lot of banter which is something that's good in some stressful situations. She'll kind of break the ice and let you feel you feel a little more relaxed, which I think is a really good quality to have.
Q. Just wondering if you have any superstitions or rituals that you'll be carrying out before the weekend. Both captains were in, had their nails done, I think, in the Team Europe colors. Is that something you'll be taking part in as well?
BRONTE LAW: No, I don't have any superstitions.
ANNE VAN DAM: Look at our nails.
BRONTE LAW: No nails, nothing.
CELINE BOUTIER: No superstition.
BRONTE LAW: She just likes to have nice nails.
Q. The Americans lost one of their more experienced players with Stacy Lewis, replaced by Ally McDonald. Have you talked about that as a team and what you think of Stacy being out and Ally coming out?
BRONTE LAW: I don't think it makes that much of a difference. Obviously you have to go out there and win your match. It doesn't really matter who you're against. It is what it is.
Q. Four questions ago, Anne, you said you can hit driver pretty much everywhere here. In a normal LPGA event, how often do you have to keep driver in the bag?
ANNE VAN DAM: Not that often. I still like to hit driver basically everywhere I can. It's maybe, like, say, two or three holes where I have to take a little bit back. But especially here where it's being so soft, it's not an advantage to not hit driver.
Q. Can you throw some light on the characters in the team room? Who is the joker? Who is the quiet one?
BRONTE LAW: I'm really quiet (laughter).
ANNE VAN DAM: Biggest joker is sitting in the middle.
CELINE BOUTIER: I think Suzann is pretty funny.
BRONTE LAW: Mel thinks she's funny. Don't tell her I said that.
Q. Catriona, when she picked Suzann, obviously she wanted it for the players on the team, do you feel that's the case already in the time you've been here?
BRONTE LAW: Yes, absolutely. I think Suzann is a legend at Solheim Cups. And she's someone that is definitely a really important part of our team and will definitely go out there and do what she does best.
Q. Bronte, you said it doesn't really matter who you play, you have to go out and win your match. But I think you played Ally McDonald in a four-ball match at the '14 Curtis Cup. Do you remember anything from that match and can you speak to what type of player she is?
BRONTE LAW: I don't know. Did I win?
Q. No, you lost.
BRONTE LAW: Yeah, that's why I don't remember it. (Laughter).
Q. It has the potential for a bit of pressure on the first tee. I understand you've been getting a bit of advice, has anybody sort of given you some advice on how to deal with that, or do you just go enjoy the experience?
ANNE VAN DAM: I think the biggest thing is they said you have to experience it yourself. They all have their tips or things they experienced, but they said for us everything is personal. So just go out there and experience yourself. We've all played major championships, won tournaments. So we know how to deal with pressure. Of course the first tee is going to be like no other. The grandstand is huge, and it's going to be really loud. But I think we have to realize like probably 80 percent of those people sitting there are rooting for us. So I think that's going to be a big key this week. Crowds are going to be big, but most of them will be behind us. So I think that's going to be in the back of my mind going forward.
Q. Do you have many friends and family coming?
ANNE VAN DAM: Yeah, a lot of them. If you see the biggest, tallest people in the crowd, they will be my family.
Q. Bronte, I don't want to bring politics into sport and wherever, but in the ultimate kind of European unity this week, does talk of Brexit or whatever come up among golfers and things like that, just out of interest?
BRONTE LAW: I wasn't planning about talking about Boris Johnson this week, that's for sure. But I don't really know that much about politics in the UK, to be honest. But, yeah, we have great team chemistry. So maybe Boris can get us a deal.
Q. Any views on that, Anne?
ANNE VAN DAM: Me? No.
BRONTE LAW: Do you know who Boris Johnson is?
ANNE VAN DAM: No clue.
BRONTE LAW: Exactly.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports