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September 3, 2021

Pat Hurst

Catriona Matthew

Toledo, Ohio, USA

Inverness Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for joining us, here with our captains Catriona Matthew and Pat Hurst as we get ready for the Saturday morning round of foursome pairings.

All right, ladies, let's get this started. With the first tee time tomorrow at 7:35 a.m., the first pairing will be from Team Europe. Captain Matthew, I'll ask you to tell me your first pairing, please.

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren.

THE MODERATOR: They'll be playing against from Team USA?

PAT HURST: Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst.

THE MODERATOR: At 7:45 a.m. the representatives for Team Europe?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Celine Boutier and Georgia Hall.

THE MODERATOR: And for Team USA they'll have?

PAT HURST: Ally Ewing and Megan Khang.

THE MODERATOR: 7:59 a.m. for Team Europe?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Mel Reid, Leona Maguire.


PAT HURST: Nelly Korda and Jessica Korda.

THE MODERATOR: 8:11 a.m. for Team Europe?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Charley Hull, Emily Kristine Pederson.


PAT HURST: Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare.

THE MODERATOR: We have this information printed off on the back for you, as well. Please ignore the fact that it says Friday at the top because I can't get Friday and Saturday straight.

Yes, Pat?

PAT HURST: It's 7:47, not 7:45.

THE MODERATOR: Ignore everything I'm saying, but those are the players in the right order, I promise.

Catriona, we'll start with you. You put quite a power duo there, Anna and Matilda off first. What are your thoughts giving them the opening four-ball?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I think Anna obviously just coming off her victory at the AIG Women's British Open she's champing at the bit, she's super confident, and we wanted her to lead the team out.

THE MODERATOR: Pat, your thoughts on that opening pair of Danielle and Austin?

PAT HURST: Yeah, Danielle played well obviously winning the Drive On here, we feel like she is confident out here so we wanted to put her out with Austin first group out.

THE MODERATOR: The same question for both of you before we open up for questions. How much thought goes into these, the thoughts of who to play, who to sit, and who to play together? Were you talking to your team? What was your mentality?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I think a lot of thought goes into it. Myself and my vice captains, we bounced ideas off each other, asked the players their opinions, and I think between the four of us, we all agreed 100 percent that this was our best looking lineup for the first morning.

PAT HURST: Same with us. The four of us, Angela, Michelle, Stacy and I were putting everything together, looking to see who -- doing the pods again and just kind of putting them together within their pods.

We feel very confident with who we're putting out right now, so it's going to be great matches.

THE MODERATOR: I know we're all excited to get this party started, absolutely.

Q. Pat, no rookies in the opening session; can you tell me the thought process there? And Beanie, you put two rookies out. I'd love to know what your thoughts were.

PAT HURST: Yeah, alternate-shot for us is usually the more difficult format, or the foursomes, so we want to put out people who are feeling a little bit more comfortable and not just kind of throw them out there kind of not knowing how they're going to do and what to expect.

That's why we went with more veterans out there.

CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think for us, obviously Matilda has been playing really well this year, winning the MEDIHEAL, I think winning on the LET to even knowing she had to do that to be part of the Solheim Cup, I think that's a really strong pairing. And we have great confidence in her.

And Leona, again, another player on our team who's been playing really well on the LPGA. Really just kind of trots out the results every week. Again, we have kind of every confidence in them to keep going out and doing what they've been doing week in, week out on Tour.

Q. Beanie, when I talked to Mel on Monday I asked which of these players do you not know, and the first person she mentioned was Leona Maguire, and yet she's out with her. I assume you feel confident that those two have gotten to know each other in the last five days.

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, very confident. I think with COVID, it's been difficult in the last probably year and a half on Tour for -- Leona is obviously fairly new on the LPGA. It's been difficult. They've not been able to go out and they don't see as many different people.

We're all together as a team, and as you say, they've played the last couple of days together and they've got to know each other. If you watch their press conference yesterday, they're getting on great.

Q. Clearly when you came in here you at least had penciled out what you thought you might have your pairings be the first day. How much did that change from when you got here to now?

PAT HURST: Well, we didn't really have it penciled out until basically yesterday. As the girls were playing, we had them play alternate-shot out there, and that's how we came to the pairings today. It was just through the last three days.

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I mean, obviously over -- you know, the last probably six weeks, you've been seeing how the team has been kind of coming together. I've been kind of thinking of potential pairings. Obviously Celine and Georgia did so well at Gleneagles. That was an obvious one that we were going to certainly try out and put out again this time.

And the others, a couple of them we've really been thinking of for the last few weeks, and some of them might have just come to us this week. But there's probably a lot more put into it than you might think.

Q. Catriona, when you talked about Anna Nordqvist you mentioned she was champing at the bit. Sometimes that's good and sometimes that's not. Are you concerned about that?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: No, not at all. Anna is experienced in the Solheim Cup. I think this is really her -- I would hate to get it wrong -- but her fifth or sixth Solheim Cup, so I think she is one of our team leaders within the team with her experience and how she's been playing with her and Carlota and Mel.

Yeah, very pleased, and I think it's a great honor for her and Matilda to go out first.

Q. Catriona, Mel Reid said yesterday she believed this is the strongest European team to date; do you agree with her?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Definitely. I don't want to disagree with my team.

Yeah, we have a strong team, but we're certainly not underestimating the Americans. I mean, they've got a great team, as well, very strong team, and obviously on home soil.

We're confident with our team, but we know we're going to have a real fight on our hands.

Q. Did anyone ask to play together or ask to go off first?

PAT HURST: Mine didn't ask to go out first, but definitely the Korda and Korda group has played well together, as we know, and they asked if they could still be paired together.

CATRIONA MATTHEW: No one asked about the order. Obviously we've had players suggesting certain pairings and who they might prefer to play with.

Q. Pat, what do you like about the pod system that allowed you to keep it in place, and how much are the pods based on golf and how much is based on their personality?

PAT HURST: Well, you know, it was a behavior profile that we did with the pods. They're behaviors that we put together, and it's also how they play their games. We've done that the last -- this is going to be the fourth time we've done it. We started in 2015. It puts everything -- you know who you're going to play with, you know who you're going to be eating with, you know who you're going to be riding the bus with.

It's all pretty consistent for them, and I think that makes it a lot easier out there.

Q. How much feedback do they have into the process after -- yeah, how much feedback do the players have, and did you have an initial -- before they did the profile, did you have an initial idea of maybe -- because you've been following them obviously for a long time, did you think, I like this group together and then maybe the test results you got back said, maybe I was wrong?

PAT HURST: We did the tests way back and I did about 20 to 25 of the girls. I am not the expert in that, and so we did have someone come in and talk to us and talk to the team and just kind of explained the behavior profiles to them.

A lot of it -- a lot of our decisions were based around that. We did that for a reason.

Q. Any thoughts about the 9th and 18th being flipped this week, if that means anything?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: For us, no. I suppose a few of our players have played the last time in the Drive On when I think there was a different way around, but some of our players haven't played it, so I don't think it'll make any difference.

Q. What did you see in Leona's play this week that prompted you to put her in the foursomes with Mel, and why do you think they're a good pairing together?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: To be honest it's not really even her play this week, it's been her play over the last probably year and a half. I think she's just a very steady player. Hits a lot of fairways, hits a lot of greens, and makes a lot of birdies; great putter.

I think her and Mel, they've really got to know each other the last couple of days, and I think their games kind of complement each other. Leona is a fantastic green reader and fantastic putter and Mel has perhaps got that little extra bit of length.

I think they're enjoying playing with each other and their games will complement each other well in the foursomes.

Q. Do you foresee playing someone like Leona five times or would you be concerned about tiredness at all? It's been a very busy season.

CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think that's something we'll need to see how the matches go the next couple of days before we decide on that.

THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap up with a question for both of the captains. Catriona, I'll start with you and go to Pat.

Overall it's been a long time getting ready for this. Are you feeling a bit of relief as we get ready to head to tomorrow, or what's your overall feeling as you head to the weekend?

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, definitely. I think certainly for myself and I think everyone in our side, we were kind of probably ready to go today. We were wishing this was Saturday.

But yeah, it's been -- like everything, it's the excitement, the buildup, and once you get here, it's always that last day of practice you're really ready to go.

Yep, we're all fired up and can't wait for tomorrow and the competition.

PAT HURST: Yeah, definitely. We're all excited to get going tomorrow. Like Beanie said, we know it's starting on Saturday, and today would have been great, but we're all ready to go.

We've been working hard for the last year and a half, and they're anxious to get out there.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, captains. We're ready, as well.

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