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September 3, 2021

Georgia Hall

Sophia Popov

Celine Boutier

Toledo, Ohio, USA

Inverness Club

Press Conference (excerpted)

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, and welcome to the final European press conference of the day. I'm here with England's Georgia Hall, Germany's Sophia Popov, and France's Celine Boutier.

Sophia, it's your first Solheim Cup. How have you found your week in Team Europe colors?

SOPHIA POPOV: I'm having the greatest time right now, I think just being out here with a lot of girls that I'm good friends with and that I really enjoy being around has just been so fun, and I think I'm really taking in the atmosphere a lot.

I like dancing and singing so that's been kind of a theme for me, and I've just been really enjoying myself and trying to take it in because I know this week goes by really fast, and I'm just very, very honored to be repping the colors and I'm going to give it my best this week.

THE MODERATOR: Georgia and Celine, what's it like to be back at the Solheim Cup for you?

CELINE BOUTIER: Obviously super excited and happy to be back. My first experience was so good that I made it my goal two years ago to be back. Super happy to be here. The week has been going great so far, and very looking forward to getting the tournament started.

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, obviously very happy to be in the team and I think we've got one of the strongest teams that definitely I've been a part of. Really looking forward to the week. Hopefully we have some fans out there. Obviously I know it'll be much less due to the circumstances.

But yeah, really excited for tomorrow.

Q. Sophia, you're sitting in the morning; when did you get that news and what did you think about it?

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, I found out a couple days ago. You know, we have a great captain that puts together great pairings. She knows what she's doing. I think there's a reasoning for her behind everything, and I -- whenever I tee it up, I'm going to give it my best, whether that's in the morning, the afternoon, or both sessions.

I'm looking forward to watching the girls, and then hopefully be able to take some positive energy out of it for the afternoon.

Q. You went right down to the wire in the only other match play event we've had this year, so I want to know what you feel like you bring to this kind of format.

SOPHIA POPOV: I think just a lot of energy, a lot of passion. I'm very, very competitive, and I think especially in a match play situation, that always works very well.

I like to have a one-on-one opponent in front of me, and I think just in everything I do, every other sport I play, I always want to win, and I want to do my best. I'm very perfectionist in that way, and I think match play just sets up very well for that.

I think it's just a very exciting format.

Q. I ask this to both you and Georgia. You've both won major championships. When you were young and you were dreaming of professional golf, did you think about this event or did you think about majors?

GEORGIA HALL: Growing up I always had two things I wanted to achieve in my career, to win the British Open and to play in the Solheim Cup, and it continues for me.

I want to play in every Solheim Cup until I retire. It's one of the best moments of your career, and to be a part of this team is very special.

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, for me it's just an absolute dream come true. I think I always want to be a part of this team, and I think in 2015 when I was commentating or any of the other years, it was always kind of one of those things that I missed out on.

And obviously winning a major I think is every female golfer's dream, and I think the British Open was very, very special for me because to me it's the biggest one coming from Europe.

Same thing; I think those are my two biggest goals, and now being able to achieve the second one just means a lot to me.

Q. Georgia and Celine, what makes your partnership so successful? You two did so well together at Gleneagles.

GEORGIA HALL: I think we connect very well and our games complement each other very well. Maybe on paper it doesn't -- on the course it just fits great. Even when I was paired with Celine the first match Solheim, we didn't know each other that well. I was slightly surprised. As soon as we teed off we gelled so much.

I'm extremely confident playing with Celine and I know she's always got my back, and I really enjoy playing with her, and I couldn't have wished for a better partner in foursomes.

CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, and same for me. I think it was really helpful the first time I played in the Solheim Cup because she obviously had the experience and she was just really able to calm me down and make me feel very confident. I completely trust her and her game, and I think that helps a lot because you know sometimes I just know that she's going to put up the shot.

Yeah, I don't know how to explain it. It just works, I guess.

Q. Georgia, if memory serves, I believe you had the crowd cheer while you were hitting in Iowa. Do you remember that?

GEORGIA HALL: Yes, I remember.

Q. Can you envision yourself doing that again on this unique tee setting?

GEORGIA HALL: Yes, I think the cheers would be a bit louder, but that was definitely a lot of fun when I done that against Paula Creamer.

Yeah, maybe we'll see when it comes to Monday I could do that again, but we'll see where we're standing.

Q. Sophia, you've had so many of these surreal moments, but it was a year ago you caddied and now to be competing in the Solheim Cup, can you compare the feeling of those two different moments?

SOPHIA POPOV: Slightly different. I feel like I know this course really well just because I caddied, and I took it very seriously that week. I think Anne was trying to reel me back a little bit, but I wanted to walk the course, I wanted to check it out.

I actually feel like I know the course very well. That was so much fun for me that week, and I think it led to a lot of the moments that followed. That, and obviously winning my first major. I just can't believe that's a year ago because I think a lot has changed for me.

I'm standing here and I'm playing with all these girls, but I really feel like I belong and I feel like I'm a solid part of this team. I think that's just incredible what can happen in one year, and it's just very, very special for me.

I definitely have great memories either way. We did very well when I caddied, and hopefully we do well when I'm playing.

Q. You've had so many firsts over the last year; where does this experience rank?

SOPHIA POPOV: You know, it's really hard to say because I think lifting your first major trophy is very incredible, but I think this, from an atmosphere standpoint, almost tops it.

It's just so incredible. I've never experienced anything like it. I just watched it every time, and it's just very, very special.

I think you don't realize the energy that's in this crowd until you're actually here. And I wanted this so badly, and to be part of this team, so I think up until now it's just everything is living up to my expectations.

Q. Did you picture yourself competing in the Solheim Cup when you were caddying?


Q. Yeah.

SOPHIA POPOV: Absolutely.

No, I think I actually tried to look at the course as though it were a Solheim Cup venue because maybe at that time, I'm not going to lie, I thought Anne would be part of the team.

I think both of us -- I think we were going across the fairway going, How amazing would it be if we could be here, and obviously with her being my best friend I miss her very much and I wish she was out here, but I know she's got plenty of Solheim Cups in her.

I think it's just very odd. I don't think I really thought about it at that time, but I did think about it as a Solheim Cup course and what it could be like.

Q. Was it hard when you were commentating in Germany not being inside the ropes?

SOPHIA POPOV: I don't know. I think at that time I was going through a lot of health struggles, and to be honest, I knew I wasn't going to be on that team because I wasn't playing well enough. I was about to take a medical, and I knew quite a few of the girls and I was actually very excited about the broadcast side of it.

Honestly, I woke up every morning at 5:00 a.m. and I was just excited to get out there and interview some girls and do some in-booth commentating, as well. I think I enjoyed that so much, but I think it made me want to play just that much more.

Q. How much are you all looking forward to actually getting going and getting play underway tomorrow?

CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, I can't wait. We've been here for a couple of days now, we've seen the course, we are ready to go, so just bring it on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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