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January 9, 2020

Pat Hurst

Toledo, Ohio, United States

THE MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Good afternoon. Thanks for calling in and taking some time today to share in our exciting news. It's my pleasure to introduce the 2021 Solheim Cup Team USA captain Pat Hurst. She's represented the U.S. in five Solheim Cups, including playing for four victorious teams and has served as an assistant captain in the past three Solheim Cups with wins in 2015 and 2017.

Before we get to your questions, I'm just going to first ask Pat to share the story about how you found out, Pat, you'd be named captain, what your reaction was, and some of the reaction you've gotten this morning since the announcement went out.

PAT HURST: Yeah, I was out and about with my husband getting ready to go to work, and I got the phone call from Mike Whan, and basically he said, Hey, I wanted to let you know -- I wanted to tell you before anybody else, I thought it would probably be best if I tell you first, I don't want someone else to tell you, I think this is something that you should know, and I'm thinking, Oh, this doesn't sound good; this sounds like he's telling me that they're offering the captaincy to someone else, and my heart just went down to the ground. And he says, It's yours if you want it, just let me know. And I'm like, Oh, my; yes, of course, I'm so ready for this, and I am so excited.

And so of course my heart was down on the ground, now it picked up. My emotions went from being so low to so high. It was a great phone call, and I got some -- I have to say I did text some of my girls in my pod and told them that I will be there in 2021 as their captain, and everybody seemed so excited.

Q. What was your husband's reaction? You were with him when you got the news?
PAT HURST: He was actually in with one of his accounts, but when he came back, I'm like, Honey, I just got off the phone with Mike Whan, and he goes, And? I'm like, I've got the job if I want it, and he goes, Oh, my -- he was just really excited because he knows how much Solheim means to me, and it's just something that it's like a dream come true. It's something that you strive to do and you want to do, especially after playing on Solheim Cup teams, and it's just -- it's the pinnacle of everything.

Q. What do you think you've most learned as an assistant captain these past three Solheim Cups that are going to help you as you try to lead Team USA to victory on home soil in 2021?
PAT HURST: You know, I think the fact that Juli was always so up front and communicated really well with the players, the players that played and the players that didn't play. When we would have dinners with 15 of the potential team members, she would say the same thing over and over, and she stuck to what she said, what she expected from them, how she was going to pick, and I think that is really important.

Q. I heard on Morning Drive earlier you were talking about how you called Juli immediately and you mentioned that Juli wouldn't be an assistant captain and that she wanted this to be your show. I'm curious if you wanted her to be an assistant captain, or if that was kind of what -- if you were kind of thinking along the same lines, or just sort of how that came about?
PAT HURST: You know, of course I wanted to have her, but I'm sure she'll be there in some capacity. She's not going to be one of my assistants. We have helpers, and she'll definitely be one of my helpers.

No, I totally get where she's coming from, that she wants this team to be mine, and she wants me to be able to showcase what I want. She wants me to be able to tell the team how to showcase and what to do and all that in my words, not in her words. I totally respect her for that.

Q. Along those lines, what do you think your style will be as captain?
PAT HURST: You know, like I said, we're probably -- our personalities are pretty close, but we have our own little differences, our own little things. She was one that didn't really -- she played with the girls. I'm not out there playing with them anymore, so I'm going to have to go out there and be at some tournaments as a captain, just out following, out being there, just showing my face and being around. She didn't have to do that.

There's just little things that are going to be different, and it's going to be -- the way I communicate with them is different. We're not the same exact in that sense, but we are in how we think. So it's just the way you communicate and how much I'm going to be out there with them and trying to get to know my team.

Q. I was thinking that in a normal sequence you probably would have been the captain in 2017, and I remember at the time Juli's hesitation and repeating was that she didn't want to block somebody else's chance. So I was wondering did you and Juli ever talk about that because she probably worried about maybe getting in your way at that time?
PAT HURST: You know, she called me and mentioned something about that, and you know what, we both -- I said, listen, if they want you to do it again, this could be -- in '17 was her second time, '19 was her third time, but basically it was like, you know what, I'm there for you no matter what. So whether if you're a captain or not, I'm going to be there. Don't worry about me right now, we've got to worried about what is on the table.

Q. And then just as a follow-up, could you remind us when you and Juli first met and how you really became such good friends?
PAT HURST: Well, we both grew up in Northern California. She's a little bit older than I am. Not a lot -- I say a lot, but not really a lot, nine years. I went to San Jose State on the Juli Inkster scholarship, so kind of got to know her a little bit then. But we really became close. We would go out to dinner and do stuff when we were on TOUR. I started in '95, and we would just go to dinner every now and then. I don't know what year it was. The year of -- was that South Africa? God, I can't remember what tournament it was. She invited me -- it was the -- anyway, she invited me -- a top ranked U.S. player can invite another U.S. player -- the World Cup. So she invited me, and of course I'm not going to turn that down to play with Juli Inkster in something like that.

Our husbands both went, our caddies were good friends, and then we were over there, so it was just this -- three of my -- the six of us all just had the best time, and from there our friendship was an instant bond. We were together from there on out.

Q. I just wanted to get your impressions on Inverness. I believe you've played in pro-ams there before. Didn't know if you've seen the course since they did the newest renovation.
PAT HURST: I have not seen the course since the renovations. I've played in a couple of pro-ams there, but looking forward to getting out there and seeing -- I've heard nothing but good things with the renovations. So looking forward to getting out there.

Q. And then just a follow-up, another Toledo-related question, your history playing at the Jamie Farr and just being kind of around the community, what are your impressions of the golf fans there and just how well they've supported the LPGA Tour throughout the years?
PAT HURST: Yeah, Toledo is one of my favorite places to play. When I played at the Jamie Farr, I totally enjoyed it. The fans are just awesome. They're some of the best fans that a tournament has. You know, every year I looked forward to going there because of the fans.

Q. I was just wondering if you could recall any moments from Solheim Cup teams that you were on that were victorious that really kind of are going to educate you now that you're captain, like something that you did really right or something that maybe you did wrong and are going to make sure your players don't do?
PAT HURST: You know, I'd have to say, I've been on more victorious teams than I have been on losing teams, so I've got a lot of good memories of -- the captains, every captain has a different style. I remember being in Indianapolis I think it was where I played all five matches, and that -- we won, and it was tough to play all five matches, but you know what, your adrenaline takes over, and I would do it again if asked. But do I want to subject my team to that? I think I want them to be rested for the singles matches.

You know, learning a lot from Juli, in Germany when we had a situation arise, she kind of just said, You know, it's over and done with, we know what we have to do, let's go out and play, and I learned a lot from that. And I learned a lot from last time in Scotland when we lost. Basically she said, Look, the sun is going to come up tomorrow. We played great, and that's all we -- that's all as captains that we can expect from you guys, and you guys should be proud of how you played.

So I learned a lot from the different teams. A lot of it's positive, which is good.

Q. Can you just chat about your relationship with Catriona Matthew who's obviously been reappointed as the European captain and maybe talk about the job she did at Gleneagles?
PAT HURST: Yeah, she did an awesome job at Gleneagles. For her to win basically close to her hometown is awesome. I think we started out on Tour maybe -- Brianne might know. The same year, in '95 I think we were both rookies, so we go back a little ways. We've always respected each other quite a bit, and I think it's going to be the same way it's going to be at Solheim.

Q. How long did the defeat at Gleneagles sting for you and Juli and the other American players, and how confident are you you can turn the tables at Inverness?
PAT HURST: Well, you know, any time you play on home soil, you feel like you have the advantage. Even though the girls are -- even though the European girls are now playing a lot over here, but you still feel like you have the advantage.

The sting, like I said, before closing ceremonies we all huddled up, and Juli -- one of her speeches basically said how proud she was of the team and that there's nothing to be -- there is a disappointment, but there's nothing to be ashamed about, so stand tall, you guys played great, the sun will come up tomorrow, and life will go on. So I would say it wasn't very long.

I mean, the sting, like I said, they played great, so what can you -- you can't -- there's nothing you can do about that. She just made the putt, and it was awesome.

Q. I have more of a big-picture question. By my count, seven members of last year's American team were daughters of immigrants. On the men's size the Ryder Cup team has a much smaller immigrant footprint. I'm wondering if you could talk about why you think there might be such a difference.
PAT HURST: I have no idea. I wish I knew. No, you know, we have -- I don't know. I mean, that's something that you probably should ask the LPGA. I don't really look into stuff like that. You know, I don't know.

Q. Do you think there might be something about golf just being very popular with the girls of immigrant parents?
PAT HURST: Well, I think with Seri coming over from Korea, she started that whole Korean thing, and you have a lot of the parents that are over here that are having kids that are now 18, 19, 20 and 21. Back when Seri was first starting they were having kids, and so here they want their kids to be like Seri because that's where they're from. I think that has a lot to do with it.

Other than that, I really don't know.

Q. I can remember being at more than one event watching you and Juli play the short game in the practice area where it would be like you'd call a hole and it would be who could get up-and-down. I was just wondering how you're both very competitive people, how competitive you could be with each other and just how you balance the friendship with that?
PAT HURST: I mean, you know, I think most of the girls out on Tour, they're all competitive. They all want to win. Between Juli and I, we play for a little bit. It's not like we're going to kill each other for our short game or for any of our games that we play. But we all want to -- we both want to win.

At the end of the day, we're still good friends, but we can needle each other on what had happened, and so I think that's what makes it so much fun.

Q. Later in your careers do you think you guys pushed each other to the point where you were better because of each other?
PAT HURST: I think I learned a lot from her and playing with her and being around her on the golf course and how she managed herself around the golf course and what made her so good. I saw it first hand every week. I was out there with her playing in her practice rounds, and even when we came home, we'd practice together. So I learned a lot from her. Whether she learned from me -- she probably learned what not to do from me.

But no, I learned a lot from her, and I think she definitely -- yeah, I think the game of golf and our competitive nature pushed us to want to play and want to compete. So I just learned a lot from her more than anything.

Q. I'm just wondering when the thought first occurred to you that you wanted to be Solheim Cup captain?
PAT HURST: I'd have to say we've talked about it in the past. I can't pinpoint a date. When she did say that, Hey, they're thinking about picking me again, what do you think, we had thought about it or I had thought about it even before then. I mean, it's been there. You've played on teams, you've done everything -- I played on, what, five teams, and I was the assistant for three different ones other than the ones I played on, so I feel like -- I shouldn't say it's the next step, but I felt like for me to go up more, that would be the next step.

Q. And did the Solheim Cup, being back a part of a team, did that influence at all in your decision or inspiration to get into college golf?
PAT HURST: You know, it's funny because college golf is so different than Solheim Cup. With college golf, I felt like I can really make a difference in someone's life, not just in their golf but in their life, with time management, I can help them with their golf. There's a lot of things that I feel like I can help. With Solheim it's sometimes more of a strategy-type deal. It's a team bonding. It's putting the right player with the other player and making those teams up and making the pairings and when they go out and stuff like that. So it's a whole different ballgame. But I just felt like college golf was something that was a way for me to give back because golf has given me so much, and San Jose State has given me so much.

Q. The 2021 match will be the first one since the merger between the LPGA and the LET. Can you talk a little bit about the merger, and are you confident it won't make your job any more difficult than it might have been with the Europeans getting maybe more chances to play?
PAT HURST: Yeah, you know, a lot of the players for Europe play on the LPGA anyway, and they've changed the criteria on how they get on the team. They have changed that within the last couple of times. I don't think it's going to be a big difference that they are merging. You know, I think it just gives them more of an opportunity to play, which is great.

Q. Obviously some of the up-and-coming European players have struggled to get opportunities, which has been frustrating, so the more chances they get the better for women's golf?
PAT HURST: Correct, and that's the main thing.

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