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September 15, 2019

Juli Inkster

Nelly Korda

Jessica Korda

Lizette Salas

Gleneagles, Scotland, United Kingdom

THE MODERATOR: We're here with Team USA, Captain Juli Inkster, Lizette Salas, Jessica Korda, Nelly Korda. It was an amazing day of golf out there. Came so close for Team USA. Captain, you have to be incredibly proud of the squad you put together.

JULI INKSTER: You know what, I told them afterwards, the sun's going to come up tomorrow. It was great for women's golf. We played great.

I mean, yesterday was just a brutal day of golf. And today the sun came out and we saw a lot of great golf.

You know what, the Europeans played great. You tip your hat. And you move on to Toledo.

Q. Lizette, quite the battle with van Dam today. Came down to 18. So many matches coming down to 18. What are your thoughts as you walked off the course here having survived with that 1-up win?
LIZETTE SALAS: I knew it was going to be a tough match. We're on different ends of driving-distance spectrum, so I knew what I was going up against. And anything can happen in match play.

And we stuck to the game plan. And I just had to get on the green, and I knew I could keep chopping away and -- to get that point for Team USA it really feels good. And I'm just glad I did it for my teammates and for Juli.

THE MODERATOR: Jessica, you and your sister both had amazing weeks for Team USA, three wins each. You were both down early in your matches, but you came roaring back. Tell us what it's like to be out there in the middle of this kind of competition knowing what's on the line.

JESSICA KORDA: It was awesome. I mean, what an experience this was. Like you said, we were -- I was down early. And I saw the leaderboard and Nelly was down early.

There was not a lot of good stuff happening the first maybe two hours on the golf course for Team USA. And I kind of started seeing Nelly chip away at it. I finally started to hit some shots that I was pulling off.

I had been hitting it fine all day. It's just I wasn't pulling off the shots I had been the last couple of days. So just staying patient. And like Lizette, kind of chipping away at it just one shot at a time.

And I saw her drop a bomb on 13, and I was, like, let's go. I started clapping from the middle of the fairway. You probably didn't hear me.

And after that I got a really pivotal chip-in on that hole too. So I just really started feeling the momentum shift. And unfortunately we didn't get the win, but what a day for women's golf.

THE MODERATOR: Nelly, you were one of the six rookies on this team. You played so well. What has this experience been like for you? You've got to be ready for two years from now for Ohio.

NELLY KORDA: It's been a lot of fun this week. I think everyone on Team USA got along really well and it was such a fun week, playing alongside Jess and going out today.

I was 3-down after, I think, nine holes and that birdie putt on 10 that I made really got things going for me. And seeing Juli after I made that pumped me up even more. But all this week has been a dream, too.

At the end of the day we didn't win, but we're all ready for Toledo.

THE MODERATOR: What do you have to say about Suzann Pettersen and that last putt? It was incredible.

JULI INKSTER: It was great. I mean, I know she knew that the Cup was on the line. And to go ahead and roll that putt in, it's impressive. That's why she's Suzann.


Q. The Women's World Cup might be bigger but there's an argument to be made -- and people on Twitter are making it right now -- that this might be the best event in women sports. What would you say to people saying that right now?
JULI INKSTER: I'd say they're right. I mean, no one can really understand yesterday how tough that day was and how well everybody played.

And then to come out today and how competitive it was. I think a lot of people underestimate women's golf and they don't give it the credit that we deserve. But these ladies are athletes. They're amazing at what they do. And it really irks me how we always have to take a back seat because I don't think these ladies should take a back seat to anybody.

Not only their golf, but the way they handled themselves and who they are. We have to grind for everything we do and they are why the LPGA is so successful.

LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, what she said. I'm just kidding. To be at this event, on this platform, to do what we do, it's pretty incredible. To step on the tee, to be under these tough conditions, under these certain pressures and to come together for one week as a team and to fight and grind for three days, people underestimate that, and they don't give us enough credit for it.

And so I've done this -- this is my fourth team, probably the best team I've been on by far -- and this will not only just fuel the fire for Toledo, but this will mostly just inspire people who watched us and who maybe are not interested in golf but are now curious to pick up a golf club.

NELLY KORDA: You saw by the crowds out there this week, too. The crowds were really into it. And I've got to give them props; they were really respectful to each team.

I've never seen crowds like that before. I mean, to have the crowds lined -- they were, like, three people deep almost on every fairway. So for them to really get into it and to back women's golf, it was incredible for me to see.

JESSICA KORDA: It was really special. To all the fans, I don't know if they're ever going to see any of this, but they were insane. To show that type of support for us, indescribable, really indescribable.

And I just hope that this inspires and shows people who we are and what we stand for and why we're doing what we're doing.

NELLY KORDA: And for it to continue to grow.


Q. Juli, your career has been defined by winning, Hall of Fame career, but you've also been careful through your three Solheim Cups to say that it's about becoming a team and creating memories. What do you tell players who might have been in tears or who might have felt at the end, you know, bad at how --
JULI INKSTER: I said, you know, it's okay. We had a few tears. And I said it's okay. But the bottom line is we had a great week, and you know what, the Europeans played great. And we're going to have a great party.

But the sun's going to come up tomorrow. This will give you guys fuel and fire for another two years to work at your game, to be on that team, to try to get that cup back.

So, I just said, hold your heads up because there's no one that -- you should not be disappointed. You represented the LPGA. You represented the U.S.A. and -- great sportsmanship and integrity.

Q. Can you sum up Lexi's week and maybe talk about how her back injury today may have affected her performance?
JULI INKSTER: No, I don't think her back injury had anything to do with it. She tweaked it a little bit, but she was fine after a few holes.

Golf's hard. It's hard. You're going to go through ups and downs. And I know she felt like she didn't hit it the way she usually hits it. But you're going to have weeks like that.

She'll be back. She's No. 3 in the world. And she's got so much talent. I would take Lexi Thompson on my team any day. So you just chalk it up to a bad week of golf.

Q. I've asked you this before. Will you do this again?
JULI INKSTER: No. No. No, I'm not even getting on the call. But I will be there in Toledo, that's for sure.

Q. Lizette, why is this the best team you've been a part of?
LIZETTE SALAS: Just a combination of reasons. The six rookies that were on the team brought new spunk, new vibe to the whole team.

Stacy being here in the role as an assistant captain. We're all meshed together. I think, what, the average age on our team was like 25, 26. We have a variation of experience and nonexperience. It was just the perfect blend.

And everyone just came together and we knew what we had to do despite -- we don't talk golf in the team room. And that's the best part about it, is when we get to the course we know what we have to do and we just stick to our own game plans.

Q. We just heard Captain Inkster say she wouldn't ever captain again. What does Team USA lose in its captain with her not doing another one of these?
JESSICA KORDA: I think you should answer that because you've played three.

LIZETTE SALAS: So, yeah, I've been on three of her teams, and I must say.

JULI INKSTER: Don't make me cry.

LIZETTE SALAS: I would say it's an honor to play under Juli Inkster and the three assistant captains. She just -- I don't want to cry either -- she just encourages us to play with heart and class and integrity. And that is something that -- it's indescribable.

And she's an incredible role model on and off the golf course. And this team is going to miss her. But I know she'll be there in Toledo.


LIZETTE SALAS: And she'll be cheering us on as we try to get that Cup back.

Q. I know there's a lot of shots during the week, but the one that comes to my mind is the fact that Marina Alex decided to lay up at 18 when Pettersen was far right. Wondered if you had any thoughts on that or if you even talked to her about it?
JULI INKSTER: When, today?

Q. Yeah.
JULI INKSTER: I'm not sure she could get over that hump. And the thing is -- you saw Danielle on that front right bunker -- she's such a great wedge player. She was probably just playing to her strengths. And she hit a great wedge shot in there and a great putt. Sometimes you just gotta tip your hat to Suzann and say good on ya. But I probably won't talk to her about it.

LIZETTE SALAS: We'll be too busy doing something else.

Q. Can you talk about how you process a loss, like what's your mind frame tonight? What are you going to do tonight?
JULI INKSTER: You know what, I'm really happy where I'm at. I've had the honor to do this three times. And it's been an honor. And I'm 2-1. We're 2-1. I thought that's been good. I'd be making a lot if I was a baseball player.

It's not really about the wins and losses; it's about the memories and the camaraderie. I knew Jess and Nelly a little bit. I didn't really know them that well, and I feel like I've gotten to know them great. And they're going to be a big part of my life going forward.

And that's what it's about. It's about making those friendships and making those memories. And to be a part of a team is -- that's why I do it. That's why I love to do it.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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