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September 12, 2019
Gleneagles, Scotland, United Kingdom
THE MODERATOR: We are delighted to have the Solheim Cup captains, Juli Inkster and Catriona Matthew, who are here to announce tomorrow morning's Friday foursome's pairings.
Just a reminder, the pairings are strictly embargoed until 6:20 when they're announced live during the opening ceremony.
Juli, please reveal your first pairing followed by the home captain. Juli, Match 1 at 8:10.
JULI INKSTER: It will be Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Carlota Ciganda and Bronte Law.
THE MODERATOR: And Match 2 at 8:22.
JULI INKSTER: Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Georgia Hall and Celine Boutier.
THE MODERATOR: Match 3 at 8:34.
JULI INKSTER: It will be Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: For the Europeans, Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
THE MODERATOR: And Match 4 at 8:46.
JULI INKSTER: It will be Megan Khang and Annie Park.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Against Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz.
THE MODERATOR: Juli, what was your thinking when putting these pairings together?
JULI INKSTER: I really wanted to get my rookies out there in the morning and get them out there playing. That was a lot of our thinking. And I feel like we got some pretty good rookie alternate shot players, so we'll see how they do.
THE MODERATOR: Same question, Catriona. What was your thinking process?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: A little bit the same actually; we wanted to try and get as many rookies out as we could the first day, the first morning. It's just that's a long hang-on if they wait to go any later. And they're all keyed up, ready to go. So kind of wanted to get them out.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Juli, when the Ryder Cup was at the Country Club, Mark James didn't put three players out until singles. And he was leading by four points. Can you tell me if you ever even thought about that?
JULI INKSTER: No, I feel like if you make the Solheim Cup team you should play. You've earned that right to play, whether you're number one or you're a captain's pick. So my players will play.
Q. Juli, question about the Korda sisters. Was that an obvious pick for you? Or did they have to ask you? Or was there a conversation about it with them?
JULI INKSTER: About what, excuse me?
Q. About the Korda sisters.
JULI INKSTER: You know, they actually asked me to play together. I wasn't too keen on it. I don't know. But the more I thought about it, it would be stupid not to play them.
I mean, this is not often you get two sisters on one team. They should have the right to play together. And Jessica said, why don't you see how we play in the Dow together; if we kill each other then maybe not put us together. But if we do okay, can you think about putting us together? So that was kind of our thinking.
Q. Why weren't you keen on it?
JULI INKSTER: They really are two different personalities. Even though they have the same games, and I just felt like I could put one on one side and one on the other side and make -- but they're a strong team together and they wanted to play together. So that's why I did it.
Q. The opening matches, Pressel-Alex and Ciganda-Law, is there a statement made or a tone trying to be set in who you lead off with?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: As I say, I just felt I liked Bronte was champing at the bit to go. So just getting her out early. That was kind of my reason for putting them out. It's tough -- I really don't see any weak links on our side.
So really that was why Bronte and Celine were in the first two groups, really, just to get them out there and get them on the course. I just feel the longer they have to hang around and wait the more nervous they're going to get. So just get them out playing.
JULI INKSTER: Kind of the same thing. We just felt like we needed to get them out there, and Morgan and Marina have been doing well together, so we decided -- Morgan likes to go first. So we just kind of put them out there.
Q. Juli, Danielle Kang made some comments yesterday that people took maybe in the wrong direction. You don't have her in your morning foursomes. Did that have anything to do with it?
JULI INKSTER: No, not at all. Just kind of the way they shook out. She's going to play. I'm not going to play anybody four matches. So I mean plus -- I'm not playing anybody five matches. So someone's gotta sit sometime. She'll get out there and she'll get out there a lot.
Q. Ally is the only rookie you don't have out early. Was her late addition part of that or would it have always fallen this way even with Stacy?
JULI INKSTER: A little bit that way is, but we're going to get her out there Friday afternoon. So she will play tomorrow. So just kind of the way it worked out with the alternate shot. She was kind of last man out. So she's fine with it, and she'll be ready to go.
Q. Juli, what's the challenge of replacing the success that Lexi and Cristie Kerr developed in team events over these last several years?
JULI INKSTER: I mean, you've got two great players playing together. They just kind of fed off each other. Yes, we miss Cristie, but I think Brittany Altomare showed us a lot this year. She didn't miss a cut. She's my leading birdie getter for the United States. So she's got a solid game.
And it's funny, her and Lexi just kind of hit it off. So, to me, it just works out well that they're playing together.
Q. Catriona, how close is this lineup to what you had in mind initially, or have a lot of things changed from practice? And, secondly, how important is it to get off to a good start tomorrow?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think the four of us were pretty much fairly close to that for the whole week, really, coming in. Made the odd little tweak, but we were pretty much settled on those pairings for the Friday morning.
Q. And how important is it to get off to a good start tomorrow?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Obviously it's important. Both sides are wanting to get off to a good start. Being the home side I think to get off to a good start would really get the crowd into it. So, I think for us, we're really going to go out there and try and get the crowd in and get some blue on the board and get a good start.
Q. Catriona, Suzann sounded decidedly croaky before when she was in. Any concerns about that and any contingency plans in case of a little crisis?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: She said she's actually feeling pretty good -- obviously just a little bit hoarse. She's actually feeling good. Her caddie is probably quite pleased at that; that she's not speaking so loudly. (Laughter.)
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's good for our side, too.
Q. Juli, you said that Lexi and Brittany really hit it off. Was that a pairing that you really hadn't expected coming into this week?
JULI INKSTER: No, I really didn't. I kind of had Morgan over there, but when Stacy withdrew, with the way my pairings were kind of setting up, I asked Brittany and the Kordas and Lexi -- Lexi actually played with Brittany Sunday of Canada and walked off and said, "she can play."
And I said, "Well, how would you feel about playing with her?" She said, "I'd play with her in a heartbeat."
So, after Stacy had to withdraw, we kind of switched it around a little bit and that's kind of the way it worked out.
Q. Juli, why are you anti-five matches?
JULI INKSTER: I just think, especially over here, with the weather and the mental anguish or mental discipline that you need to play 36 holes and 36 holes I think come singles you're tired. And you don't have a partner. It's hard to get up.
So, I just feel like if they can just have an afternoon somewhere or a morning to sleep in or an afternoon to rest, I think it just helps.
Q. Are they all cool with that?
JULI INKSTER: They haven't said anything to me. So hopefully they're cool.
Q. Catriona, Suzann was in earlier saying that you look unbelievably calm. On the eve of the match, how different is it in your seat this year compared to Solheim Cups in the past?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: You know, obviously it's very different. You've not got that kind of nervous energy thinking, you know, how you're going to play, wanting to perform. So you've not got that nervousness.
But to be honest, I'll be glad when tonight's over. I think my most nervous moment's going to be the speech tonight.
JULI INKSTER: (Laughter.) I hear ya. Good, good, good.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Once that's over -- I actually just said to someone -- I think I'm actually looking forward to get to the first tee, I can actually go out and enjoy it; you're not worrying about your shots or trying to hit it.
I'm just loving it, enjoying it. It will be a different kind of pressure, but I think perhaps probably more enjoyable. You look back on your Solheims and they're great, but when you're actually out there doing it, it can be pretty daunting at times.
Q. The decision to go foursomes to start, is that something that was set, or is that a choice by the home team? How does that work?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think you do get the choice, actually. I think we've pretty much always gone foursomes, fourball. I think they did ask if I wanted to keep it that way. And I liked going that way.
I feel that foursomes is quicker. You can get out. And then the fourballs tend to take a little bit longer. I just feel that goes better with the foursomes in the morning.
Q. Juli, someone mentioned Danielle's comments earlier. You're a very fierce Solheim Cup competitor. Did you come over here to take people's souls and make them cry?
JULI INKSTER: No, I did not (laughter).
Q. Are you surprised about those comments?
JULI INKSTER: (Laughter) No. I mean, it's the whole social media thing. Everything's kind of blown out of proportion. She was just having fun with it. And it's Danielle.
Q. Do you wish she hadn't said that because it's given some ammunition, maybe, for the Europeans in the team room?
JULI INKSTER: I really don't think the European team needs any ammunition. We're both ready to go. We both want to play. I'm not sure someone could say anything to me to make me want to hit a shot any better than I do tomorrow morning.
So, things are said. And everything's kind of blown out of proportion a little bit. The bottom line, it's a golf competition. And we're going out there, and Catriona's team's going to go out there, and we're going to show them some impressive golf.
Q. I'm curious, which decision was the most difficult for this morning? Which one did you ponder over the most, for tomorrow morning?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Do you know what? We actually didn't ponder too much on those. We kind of had those in our minds and that's the ones we want.
We have a couple ones out there for the afternoon that just kind of fitted nicely, and those were the ones we wanted to hopefully try and play everyone the first day. So they were just kind of the natural pairings, to be honest.
JULI INKSTER: We pondered more about order than -- like Catriona said, those were kind of the ones we thought we'd put out there, but just kind of what order we wanted.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports