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September 10, 2019
Gleneagles, Scotland, United Kingdom
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by TEAM USA captain Juli Inkster and vice captains Nancy Lopez, Wendy Ward and Pat Hurst.
Q. Does this affect some pairings that you already had in mind? Is there a ripple effect? Would it affect -- did you have to do a lot of reshuffling?
JULI INSKTER: We really didn't because Stacy and Ally, similar games, similar personalities. So basically I kind of just slid Ally right in there, and she's been great. So it's actually -- it actually hasn't been too much of a problem whatsoever.
Q. Speaking of that, would Ally have fit in the pod she's currently?
JULI INSKTER: Yes.
STACY LEWIS: For sure.
PAT HURST: Pat Hurst.
JULI INSKTER: Juli Inkster.
NANCY LOPEZ: Nancy Lopez.
THE MODERATOR: Juli, third time here at the helm of Team USA with the ladies at your side. What are some of your biggest takeaways from the last two times here now that you bring to Gleneagles?
JULI INSKTER: Basically every team is different -- and that's what I love about having the same camaraderie, the same assistant captains, because I think they're all very flexible. They can work with a lot of different players. And we all know each other, what makes us tick.
And so it's been different this year because we do have a lot of rookies. But I think so far it's gone great. We're missing Angel's clubs. That's an issue. But other than that, I think everybody's been great.
THE MODERATOR: Wendy, what's the dynamic between the four of you that really seems to click so well?
WENDY WARD: The dynamic.
JULI INSKTER: I think we're all different.
WENDY WARD: Probably so, yeah. That's probably how we complement each other, because if there's one thing that maybe somebody isn't comfortable with, the next person is picking it back up. This one's giving everybody hugs [referring to Nancy]. Pat and I are giving them a little kick in the rear. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we do that really well.
THE MODERATOR: Nancy, I know you're the hugger. Do you bring anything from your past captaincy to help Juli out, or what's your role?
NANCY LOPEZ: I just kind of take directions or instructions from Juli, whatever she wants us to do because she knows what we can do.
I captained all three of these when I was a Solheim Cup captain, so I feel I know them pretty well. But I like Juli to lead me because then if something is wrong it's her fault (laughter).
Just kidding. But I love these three ladies, and I think that we definitely are very bonded as friends and I feel like we kind of know what each other needs and I think Juli is a great captain for her to tell us what we need to do. I think we've all fall right into place with that.
THE MODERATOR: And Pat, you've taken over coaching roles at San Jose State. How much of this goes into that role and vice versa?
PAT HURST: San Jose is a little different than Solheim Cup. The Solheim Cup is more about the pairings, the pods, the team, putting who out with -- who with who. And San Jose State is more about life lessons and kind of helping them that way. They're two different things going on there.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Juli, just your thoughts on the golf course? I know you were here last year, but how it's set up the last couple of days? And also you spoke last week about the weather. You were worried the weather may be typical Scottish weather, but the forecast is good. Does that encourage you?
JULI INSKTER: We came here prepared for bad weather. If it's not, that's probably a bonus for both sides. But I think the golf course is in great shape. I know you guys have had a ton of rain. It's drained well. The greens are awesome.
There's a lot of risk/reward holes out there. It's a great match play golf course. I think it's a good second-shot golf course. And the greens are tricky. So I think you're going to see a lot of birdies; I think you'll be very impressed with both sides of golf.
Q. Juli, wondering what Team USA's mentality is going into the weekend in terms of there's a lot of talk about Team USA making it three in a row and the previous time the Solheim Cup has been held here in Scotland Team Europe have won. Wondering how much will that be on your mind going into the weekend in terms of how you strategize?
JULI INSKTER: You know, talk is talk. That's what you guys do. We need you. So talk a lot. But I don't think my team -- I have three, four players from last team, is that right? Four or five players just from -- so it's a whole new team.
They don't know that we've never won in Scotland, unless you guys tell them. And I think that's what's great. I think if you're a rookie, I think it's a lot easier to play away your first Solheim, because you're really not expected to win and you can go out there and play a little looser. You don't have the U.S.A. crowd pumping you up, and you just rely a lot on your teammates and your team.
I think it's easier to bond over here; you don't have a lot of outside distractions. So I think our rookies have been -- they're not rookies. They're veteran golfers. I mean, they're good. They're really good.
So, I think we're all excited to see how they do out there, you know? Because it is, it's a crapshoot. They could play great or they could not play great. But it's a team event, and we're really excited to have them on our team and watch them play.
Q. What's your worst "lost golf clubs" story, where your clubs didn't show up at a tournament?
WENDY WARD: She has a worst turned best.
JULI INSKTER: Hard to believe (laughter).
NANCY LOPEZ: I lost my clubs. I was playing with a set of clubs and I had another set that I was trying and Dee Darden was my caddie at that time, and he had my clubs in his motor home. And when I flew to Springfield, I didn't have my clubs.
And I did eventually get them, but I played with my new clubs and I ended up winning. So I had a good experience with that.
Q. How is Angel handling this whole scenario?
JULI INSKTER: It's been hard. I'm not going to lie. It's been hard on her because she wants to get out there. She's 20. She wants to be out there and be with her teammates. She's a strong girl. She has her own clubs.
But PING made her a set today. I think we've located them. So hopefully tomorrow she can get out there. And I think this course is pretty straightforward. It's not a lot of "trickness" to it. I mean, you do have to have, for her, some lines off the tee that she's got to know because of her distance.
But I think when we get the golf clubs. She doesn't have her clothes. It's a cluster. So I do feel for her because we've all been in that spot where we've lost our clubs, and -- I'm not sure the Ryder Cup has ever been in that spot but we've all been in that spot (laughter).
Q. Juli, I wanted to ask you about -- you told us about the construction vests that fits your blue-collar theme you've had in the past with the hard hats and lunch buckets --
JULI INSKTER: I haven't gotten those out yet. I'm giving them today.
Q. Am I giving something away?
JULI INSKTER: Just don't tell my team.
Q. My question was that blue-collar theme, players wearing Converse, your old Converse shoes, you liked that style at the opening ceremony in the past. Not having all the glitz maybe in the past. What's been the significance of that message to your team and how has that helped them?
JULI INSKTER: Well, I don't know. I don't know if it has. It's just kind of the way -- I just felt like we were getting away from the golf aspect of it. We were worried too much about the face paint and scrunchies and the nails.
WENDY WARD: I think scrunchies are out.
JULI INSKTER: I think Ally has one. I just wanted to get back to golf, be about the team and be about golf. And I think we've done that.
I think everybody's done that. I don't mind some glitz or whatever. But I thought it was important that really the first year to say, hey, it's work. We've made the team but we're representing the United States. And to represent the United States we're going to give it 100 percent. And I just felt like we weren't maybe doing that. That's kind of my take on it. I'm not a tough woman. I'm a pussy cat. (Laughter)
Q. Wonder if you could talk anything specifically to help your rookies, if you're like pairing -- not pairing, but having them play with veterans as they get ready?
JULI INSKTER: Not really. We've basically just put them where we thought they could succeed. We don't really -- I mean, we're really.
PAT HURST: We're doing our pod system again.
JULI INSKTER: We're not doing a veteran with a rookie. I'm going to send a couple rookies out there together. So they've got to grow up sometime. They've got to be a -- everybody's a rookie once. And I just happen to have six of them. So we're just going to throw them out there.
NANCY LOPEZ: I think they're playing well enough because I know being a rookie in anything, and probably you three would feel the same way, I wanted to show everybody how good I was. So I played really good.
And I know when I was captain I had three rookies and they were my best players. So I put them out there early and the press was all over me about that: Why are you playing your rookies? They're my best players. And I had to get them ready for singles on Sunday. So put them out there with the pressure, and they did great.
Q. What was the best piece of advice any of you were given when you were a rookie?
JULI INSKTER: I don't know.
PAT HURST: Number one --
WENDY WARD: I got the first shot in foursomes with Beth Daniel, and she looked at me and said, "You need to breathe. Your face is white. You need to breathe and have fun."
If you talk to any of us or any of the players, if you ask me what's going on in the team room, that's one thing Juli constantly says she says is you guys let's have some fun. We obviously came to win, but we're going to have fun no matter what. I really see this group truly embracing that. I know it can become a clichÃ© but seems like they're really enjoying their moment and taking everything in stride.
Q. With so many new faces, did the pod system come together as easily as the past, or was it a little more complicated this time?
JULI INSKTER: You know what, it actually came together pretty good. It all comes down to the captains picks, because you have 10. You've got two more. Where do you need help, where are you going to fill in.
And so I think we did well. But we'll see Sunday afternoon.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports