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September 10, 2019
Gleneagles, Scotland, United Kingdom
THE MODERATOR: We have Team USA, Morgan Pressel, Marina Alex, Ally McDonald and Angel Yin. Morgan is playing in her sixth Solheim Cup; Angel, second; Ally and Marina making their debuts. Ally, really glad to have you with us on Team USA. I know you've been part of the team since day one. But how special is it for you now to be a full member of this squad here?
ALLY MCDONALD: It means a lot. It was something that I was kind of aware of coming into the week, what kind of position that I was in and how Stacy was doing. So I came in mentally prepared to step in as a player or even as a cheerleader.
So I'm just excited. Obviously I didn't want it this way. And hopefully Stacy gets better ASAP, but I'm excited to be part of the team and hopefully I can contribute a lot.
THE MODERATOR: Morgan, I know you worked really hard to make your way onto this team. A lot of questions; it's a pretty young team. What advice have you been giving to your teammates, both veterans and rookies from your experience on the Solheim Cup?
MORGAN PRESSEL: For sure. I guess you've got to ask them what are they learning, I don't know. Are they listening, I don't know? (Laughter).
There's so much that goes into the Solheim Cup that it's so much different than any other tournament that we play all year, so really just talking about my past experiences, past experiences with other players on the team. Just kind of getting them prepared for the emotional stress basically; that's a little different than any other tournament we've played -- it's different playing for each other, playing for our captains, playing for our country.
So just kind of preparing them mentally for what's going to happen on the first tee on Friday. And the nerves never go away. So when I played in Germany, my fifth Solheim Cup, that was maybe the most nervous I've ever been. But I knew it was coming.
So it's kind of that, how do you prepare properly for especially for people who have never experienced it before. And then to see it through their eyes and how much fun it is to see it for the first time.
THE MODERATOR: Angel, I think you know what I'm going to ask you. Have you found them yet?
ANGEL YIN: No.
THE MODERATOR: What has the last couple of days been like, trying to call together a set, trying to find the right ones? But how are you feeling right now?
ANGEL YIN: I feel calm. I feel really calm. Just the last few days has just been -- I think I'd say it's been pretty smooth. Everyone on the team, staff, even on the European team they've been trying to help find bags for me because "bags" because I don't have my personal bags and my golf clubs.
So, I've just been stripping clothes off our teammates. I'd be like, I like that. Can I have? No, but you can wear. I'm, like, okay, thank you. It's been like that. (Laughter).
THE MODERATOR: If you go home with some extra clothes it's because you stole.
ANGEL YIN: Yeah, pretty much.
THE MODERATOR: Just making sure. Marina, over to you. It's been a huge two years for you. You got your first win last year. Now you're on your first Solheim Cup team. What have been your biggest takeaways so far since you've been here at Gleneagles? Is it what you expected?
MARINA ALEX: I don't think there's a more incredible venue for my first time. The grandstand is awesome. This golf course is so beautiful -- the backdrop, the hotel, everything. The convenience of being right here on site is incredible. And plus I've got an unbelievable crew around me. I couldn't have asked for better teammates.
Ally's been incredible stepping up. We're bummed about Stacy, and we all love Stacy. And she's still like an incredible force for us on the team even not as an active player, just having her here and her presence is super calming we're excited.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Morgan, has this group, this pod, got a nickname or a theme yet? And the second part of it is, you've experienced these pods now. How well do they work and what makes them work?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Do we have a pod name?
MARINA ALEX: I don't no, we're like pod squad.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We're pod squad. We're kind of boring. If we come up with a better one we'll let you know.
ANGEL YIN: Pod squad, fighting. (Laughter). There you go.
MARINA ALEX: We'll add the fighting?
ANGEL YIN: Pod squad fighting. (Laughter).
MORGAN PRESSEL: The pod system has worked really well. It's the third time it's been implemented, beginning in 2015 with our pod. It's just a comfort. You know what to expect. You know who you're going to be paired with. You know how to prepare going into the week.
Juli is very open with us about that. I think that also, even just beyond the pods, is really what has made her a great leader and really prepared us well to play. And I get to hang out with these awesome ladies. So in that sense it's just a lot of fun.
Q. Angel, how has your practice been affected so far by not having your set of clubs? And also were most of your team uniform, you said, was on the personal bag or no?
ANGEL YIN: No, no the team uniform is here. So I have clothes -- golf clothes, just not everyday clothes. Like small things like socks. I've been asking the staff and staff has been giving me socks. It's nice. I don't have to wash it every night in my sink with some soap.
Regarding my practice, I haven't been practicing, but I've been walking the course, making my preparations so when I get my clubs I will be ready to go out and play a practice round, practice and do everything that I need to do to prepare for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Q. Are you surprised that you're not the only one that's lost bags, or lost their golf clubs?
ANGEL YIN: I'm surprised I've lasted this long, but I'm not surprised that I'm the only one that's lost their golf bags.
Q. There's two -- a player on the other team.
ANGEL YIN: I'm currently the only one. So I've won this race. This is good. (Laughter) this is a good sign for --
MORGAN PRESSEL: Win for Team USA.
ANGEL YIN: Team USA won this one. Victory, 1-0.
Yes, I've lost my clubs multiple times. Like when I played Evian earlier this year I lost my clubs.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We all travel over here a lot and it's frequent. It happens.
ANGEL YIN: We're just trying to win -- winning in life.
Q. This event is huge, the Solheim Cup, and you mentioned the nerves that you might feel, they never really go away. But as a team, as a collective, how will you control that emotion and those nerves come, as you say, going into that amphitheater on the first tee and the grandstands? What do you think will be the biggest challenge this week in Scotland?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Nerves are going to be there. Whether you're a veteran, a rookie or anywhere in the middle, when you walk through that tunnel out on the first tee and hear all the chanting and all the excitement, there's no experience quite like it.
But, like I said earlier, you know what to expect. You know how to prepare for it mentally. Emotionally you know you might not get as much sleep Thursday night after -- opening ceremonies is always so exciting and leaving me on such a high, but just embrace it, really.
That's kind of been the message that we've given to the team is embrace it. Know that it's coming and have fun with it because at the end of the day this is a wonderful exhibition and a great show of golf. And just go out there and have fun.
Q. Is there anything going on in the background in terms of what you do in your down time and how you prepare for the weekend?
MORGAN PRESSEL: We don't have much down time. I think most of us are kind of going through our usual routine other than talking about strategy and things like that and maybe testing different golf balls for alternate shot.
But other than that I feel like we're going through our usual routine to prepare for a tournament. And I mean we all do it every week; it's just a little bit different doing it this week as a team.
Q. What do you expect from the Europeans?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Expect great golf. Expect a good fight for sure. They're here on home turf, ready to go. We'll be 100 percent prepared for their best game that they can throw at us.
Q. Ally, Stacy's been injured for about a week and a half and so it's not as though this happened instantaneously. How have you prepared yourself mentally for the "maybe," and what did she say to you today when you guys were walking around the golf course?
ALLY MCDONALD: Juli called me on Thursday afternoon to make me aware. I was planning on coming anyway, but was probably looking more into mid-week. But when Juli told me what was going on, it was important to myself as well as everyone else to be here and be ready to go.
So as far as preparation, I was already practicing and gearing up and getting ready for -- if I didn't tee it off this week, getting ready for Indianapolis in a few weeks.
In that sense, I was ready to go, but more importantly I was excited to be here and be part of the experience even if I didn't get to. But, yeah, certainly we just want Stacy to get better. And I'm going to do all I can for the team.
Q. What did she mention to you today as you guys were out walking around?
ALLY MCDONALD: She just lended a hand on some of the approaches she's had through the years with alternate shot and kind of strategy with how to prepare, odds and evens. And yesterday, obviously, when kind of we had an idea what was going on, she was just giving me advice and telling me to take it in, same thing, Morgan said with all the rookies this year is just to take in every moment and embrace it.
We're going to do our best to represent the United States and try to bring the trophy back.
Q. Angel, what's the one item that you miss the most from your personal bag?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Your driver?
ANGEL YIN: Yes, my driver. My driver head and my shampoo -- and my shampoo and my toothpaste. Those are very important things to me.
Q. Your set of golf clubs, I guess, is a bunch of different manufacturers, is that the case?
ANGEL YIN: Yes, a lot of different brands, but PING pulled through today and got me a set. So maybe this is time to switch to one brand. It's a sign.
Q. Are you going to try them out today?
ANGEL YIN: Yes, we got it all set up so we're ready to go. If the clubs come, the clubs come. If not, I still have a set to go and play in the tournament.
Q. Ally, can you assess your game as it translates to match play and what past experiences can you draw on in the format?
ALLY MCDONALD: I was a part of the 2014 Curtis Cup team that brought home a win in Missouri. So I do have some match play experience. And as a member of a team, I've always been very involved in team sports. So I've played other sports. But I just love the team atmosphere.
We tee it up on a weekly basis playing for ourselves and representing more than ourselves this week. It means a lot. And especially wearing red, white and blue for your country adds another meaning behind what we're doing and it just adds a little bit more excitement, I think.
Q. What parts of your game do you think or your approach to your game translates well to the format?
ALLY MCDONALD: I think we all like to say that we're pretty strong. And we've talked through kind of game plans. And as a whole I feel like if my partner felt better playing odds, then I could step into evens. If my partner felt better stepping into evens, I could play odds. So I feel like I'm pretty versatile when it comes to that. And it's kind of feeling out the golf course and what makes us more comfortable. I'm ready to take on either part.
Q. Morgan, and Angel, because you've both played for Juli already, what about Juli rubs off on her teams and then for the first time what would you guys like about Juli to rub off on you?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I think Juli's just her whole personality and the ease that she brings to the team room. It's a tough tournament, the Solheim Cup. We all put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We want to play well. We want to win the Solheim Cup. And Juli kind of reminds us just go out there, do your thing, you know how to play golf. She brings so much experience obviously.
She's played nine Solheim Cups, has been captain now the third time. She's been around it for a very long time. And I just think her personality really in the team room as a leader kind of puts us all a little bit at ease and she's the queen of having fun. And there's definitely no shortage of fun that we have as a team.
ANGEL YIN: I'd say that there's a lot of people, there's 12 people playing in this event. And she's able to take care of every player individually. And if you have a problem, she's able to solve it. Her assistant captains are also there to help. Her assistant captains and her work really well. They're able to help us maximize our potential in playing the best we can this week.
MARINA ALEX: As a rookie, Juli's been incredible. She brings such a passion and an energy to the team room. She's a fierce competitor.
I've played with her several times the last couple of years, and even to this day like every time she steps out on the golf course she's expecting to win a golf tournament. And she brings that fire to the team room. And I think that she understands the different personalities that are on the team and she's able to kind of work with each of us and the pod system definitely lends itself to that. And it's just a really good process she's put together to kind of help us figure out each other and help us play our best.
But she really does understand each of us at our own individual level, which I think it makes her a fantastic captain.
ALLY MCDONALD: Just going off what they say. She brings a lot of energy. There are probably -- I think everybody wants to win this thing and then Juli wants to win it make it her third, but we've got great assistant captains and Wendy in our pod. There are just so many pieces to the puzzle and having a good captain that's going to lead us is really important. And then it just works its way down. And that's where I think we just build and everybody's fired up and ready to go on Friday.
WENDY WARD: Just real quick I think the one thing they've alluded to is Juli doesn't have a favorite on her team. Everybody is her favorite, if you will.
And the one thing I've seen this year, as well as in the past, is how much she's included these girls in her thought process and her strategy. And I think that makes them feel like they have some control and power with the team more so than just being a player. I mean, they're as much a part of these pairings and the strategy as ever. And I really see that as a positive for this team this year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports