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August 4, 2002

Mary Budke

Meredith Duncan

Laura Myerscough

Carol Semple Thompson


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, you probably know all of the dramas: Captain Mary Budke, winning her first match as captain; Carol Semple Thompson sinking that long putt to retain the Cup in Pittsburgh in front of the clubhouse; Laura Myerscough coming from a 5-down margin in an eight-hole stretch; and Meredith Duncan clinching the victory with her halve on the 16th hole.

So, congratulations to all of you.

And Captain Budke, if you'll just tell us if you were doing a little nail-biting out there today, when I believe you were either behind in all of the matches or you were behind in five matches and all square in the other.

CAPTAIN BUDKE: I believe that's right. We might have been even in two and down in four others. Yeah, I think I got the worst.

RHONDA GLENN: It was quite a difference from yesterday.

CAPTAIN BUDKE: Yes, it was.

RHONDA GLENN: What were your emotions and what were you trying to do with your team at that point?

CAPTAIN BUDKE: Well, I ran into Jane Booth, who was the captain two years ago who had a very similar lead, and after the first day, and I tried to remind my team of that. Clearly, the momentum swung, and so I actually thought back to that.

In terms of the players, it's the same old thing: One shot at a time, plod away, stay in it, scrape out a halve if you dormie down and just keep playing. And that's exactly what they did.

Laura's comeback was fabulous. I think Emily Bastel's comeback yesterday, Molly's comeback, although they lost, that really kind of set the stage for that ability to come back, and clearly that's what Laura did. That was a huge win.

RHONDA GLENN: I imagine just seeing Laura marching closer and closer and closer would help the rest of the team, too.

CAPTAIN BUDKE: Absolutely. I would have to -- I asked the team, because I don't really know how much they watch the board, the ones that played. The ones that didn't play, I know they were watching the board, but I don't know about the ones who were playing if they watched the board.

But you can't help but hear the cheers and at least check out how it's doing. But they pulled it off.

RHONDA GLENN: If I may ask Carol, of all the great shots that you've hit in your career, that decided something, this one deciding yet another championship, in Pittsburgh, where does this rank, this putt and this match?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I think this has to rank pretty close to the top. I cannot imagine a better script than this happening here in Fox Chapel, in a Curtis Cup match, with me plodding along, struggling to pull myself back to all square and then finally going ahead. And then going back to all square and then winning the 17th hole and knowing that I had at least a halve, when I wasn't happy with the halve.

So I was planning to get no worse than a 5 on the 18th hole, and when that putt went in, it was just -- it was fabulous.

RHONDA GLENN: Laura, just tell us how you managed to do what you did?

LAURA MYERSCOUGH: Well, Stirling, she was playing really well the front nine. She made a lot of birdies on me fairly early, and we both birdied 7. I mean, I really -- I mean, I've been hitting the ball really well all week and I did not play well that front nine, I didn't. I wasn't even hitting it very well and I really was just getting down on myself.

Finally, I heard all the chanting and the crowds: "Go Laura, go USA!" And I just said, you know what, I've been like too dang good all week to go down like this.

I don't know what it was, I just somehow kept it in me. I looked at the board every time I -- every chance I've had, and it seemed like everybody was down or the matches were all square and it was like, all right, we need to pull through here. I think looking at the boards was a big motivator for me.

I don't know, I was so intense out there. I don't think I've ever been so focused in having more fun on the golf course than I had today. It was fun.

RHONDA GLENN: Meredith, being in the fifth position, such a big lead when the United States team teed off, did you ever think it would get down to you? And if it did, were you ready for it?

MEREDITH DUNCAN: I was hoping it would not get down to me. I was hoping that it would end a lot earlier and we could just kind of get done with my match.

I knew that if it had to come down to me, I knew I could do it, and I knew that -- I knew that if I had to make a crucial birdie here or there, I knew that I could do it.

We both bogeyed 16, and I made a good par on 17 to win.

RHONDA GLENN: But you knew when you halved 16 that you had clinched.

MEREDITH DUNCAN: I was on 16 tee when Carol made that monstrous putt, and we heard -- we heard like the gallery just going nuts, and I was like, "That had to be Carol." It's not going to be anybody else but Carol who can make that putt and then somebody told me -- then somebody told me that she drained like a 50-footer, and I was like, awesome.

Then I knew. At that point I was 2-up going to 16, so I knew I either had to win 16 or halve it and then win it on 17.

RHONDA GLENN: Questions?

Q. Carol, how far was the putt, and what was your greatest thrill in your career? Was it the U.S. Amateur, the British Amateur at the same time? Was that it, and does this surpass that moment?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Pete Kowalski told me that he paced off that putt and it was 27 feet. To me it looked like at least a mile, as I think I said before (Laughter.) And my greatest thrill probably was winning the British Amateur at the same time that I had held the U.S. Women's Amateur title.

But I think this has to rank up there as far as any Curtis Cup experience that I've had.

RHONDA GLENN: No. 1 Curtis Cup, would you say?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I would say this was that one crowning point that was the No. 1 Curtis Cup experience.

RHONDA GLENN: That's a big commitment from Carol. (Laughter.)

Q. Mary referred to reminding you last night that it's not won yet, even though you had the 7-2 lead. Did you believe that, or is it kind of easy to take it for granted, "we're this close?"

MEREDITH DUNCAN: Well, I was going to say that the GB&I Team, they are all great players, and we knew that coming in. So you can't just go out and say, "Oh, we've got a 7-2 lead, this is going to be a walk in the park." We can't say that because we know they are all good players and we know that if we slack off at all, then they are going to beat us, and that's the attitude I took.

LAURA MYERSCOUGH: I think we were feeling a lot more keen, especially after the morning matches. They won two out of the three, and then also, this happened, what, two years ago, they had a huge lead and they came back. It can happen.

Mary really kept plugging it in our heads: We still have a lot of golf out there for today. I think all of us were pretty much ready for the GB&I Team to come out in a storm, and they did.

Q. Mary, you were out on the golf course visiting the players? Did you visit with them on the tee? What did you say?

CAPTAIN BUDKE: I did not update them about other matches. I asked them if they needed anything occasionally. And then mostly it's the same old thing: Just keep playing one shot at after another.

Q. Did you see any apprehension in their faces after they saw some of the boards?

CAPTAIN BUDKE: Yeah, sure. (Laughs). But not the negative apprehension that "I can't get it done or I'm not going to do it or I'm not going to keep trying," none of that. I mean, these are players and they are experienced players, believe it or not, given their age, and to play competitive -- competitively a lot, and what I saw was I'm going to keep trying and I'm going to keep playing.

So, certainly they were worried, and could see that this was not going to be a slam dunk. Perhaps it adds really to the success, by realizing that we got down and we could see that it was not easily in sight. They reached inside and they got it done.

So that's what I saw and that's what they did.

Q. When you struck the putt, did you feel that it had a pretty good shot of going in? And when it did fall, what was the emotion, the feeling at that moment?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: When I hit the putt, I didn't think it was going in. But as it got a little closer, I thought it was going to be close enough that it would be a gimmee. And then when it went in, it was unbelievable.

I really was not planning to make it. I was just trying to lag it close.

CAPTAIN BUDKE: I was looking at it going, what a great lag, look at it it's going to be like that (indicating inches) ask then it dropped in. It was huge. (Laughter.)

Q. Have you had that putt here before?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: If I have, I don't remember it.

Q. Do you foresee a 13th Curtis Cup in the future?

LAURA MYERSCOUGH: Of course she does.

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Laura says I do, so I guess I do.

Sure, I've love to see a 13th. We'll see. I guess I'm going to keep playing some tournaments, so we'll see how they golf it's pretty hard to play against these kids head-to-head in the U.S. Amateur, but I suppose I'll keep doing it for another couple of years.

CAPTAIN BUDKE: She just played the best kid on that team.

LAURA MYERSCOUGH: Yeah, she did.

CAPTAIN BUDKE: The strongest player on that team all week, and won.

Q. I know it was satisfying to get No. 12, and then you were 2-0, and then you make that putt. How rewarding or satisfying is it?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, I can't think of a better scenario. I mean, I can't imagine winning two points, because I had not won that many points in recent years. Although two, years ago, I had a very good partner, and I did one win point with Beth Bauer.

Everything about this week was perfect. The kids were perfect. The captain was perfect. The honorary captain was perfect. Of course, the venue I love, being at home, and then the for the scenario to play out the way it did.

Q. What did you have in on 18? What did you hit?


Q. From?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: It was 152 to the middle, so I was 140-ish to the hole.

Q. What did your husband have to say about your efforts? Does he get nervous watching you?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Oh, I think he probably does get nervous, but he doesn't say much to me. I didn't see him at all out there. As a spectator. I'm sure he was there.

Q. You've seen him and he's commented to you on that putt, has he?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, he did say it was sort of unbelievable. (Laughter.)

But he was a little bit tongue-tied at the time.

RHONDA GLENN: What did your mother say to you?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: She was definitely tongue-tied. (Laughter.) And then I actually didn't see her until about 20 minutes after I finished or half an hour after I finished, and by then we had both calmed down a little bit.

She doesn't say a whole lot. She finally says, okay, you did all right. (Laughter.)

Q. Meredith, was there a point out on the course where you saw the board, saw what was happening and felt any more determined or inspired?

MEREDITH DUNCAN: Definitely. I was down, I lost the third hole to go 1-down, and after that, I looked at the board and it was all like everybody was 1-down, 1-down, 2-down, all square, 1-down, and I'm looking at it going, "Holy mackerel, what is happening?"

And then it hit me, I was like, "This can't happen." I said, "I'm not going to let this happen." I said I'm not going I can't control what my other teammates do, but I can control what I'm doing. So I said I'm going to take care of my match and I know they are going to take care of their matches, but I can't worry about them. I actually have to take care of what I'm doing.

Q. Was it easy to focus on what you were doing and not worry about how the others were progressing?

MEREDITH DUNCAN: Oh, I was definitely worried about it. I mean, not worried, but I was definitely thinking about what they were doing, because Laura was playing right in front of me and every time I'd see the board it would be like 5-down and the next hole it would go to down four.

And my caddie was laughing at me because he said I kept talking to myself. He said I kept walking down the fairway saying: "Way to go, Laura. Good job, Laura. Way to go, Laura. Good job, Laura." I kept repeating that, walking down the fairway to myself. And he thought I was talking to him but I was talking to myself.

So I kept looking at the board, you know, trying to focus, but obviously, with Laura ahead of me, 5-down, 4-down, 3-down and I could see her coming back. And her being in front of me I think really kept me going because I was 2-up after 11, and then I lost 12 and 13, so I got back to even.

And then I think she won 14 and I was in the fairway on 14 and she won 14. I saw it and I was like, you know, okay. I've had enough of this. I've been horsing around way too long and it's time to get this over with.

That really kind of pumped me up.

RHONDA GLENN: I followed that match and you were dead serious all the way around, but your opponent had hit her ball into a bunker on 16 and you had hit a fabulous iron shot right at the flagstick. What were you about, eight 12 feet?


RHONDA GLENN: That was the first time I saw you smile. Just a little slight smile, like, okay, this is going to be okay. You went 2-up there.


RHONDA GLENN: And another thing, this was not Mary's original pairing for the singles. You did not have Carol in the No. 2 slot originally; is that correct?

CAPTAIN BUDKE: That's correct. And I told -- I tried to tell the player, okay, you're going this afternoon or you're not going to this afternoon; or I see you playing -- and then in this case, I said to Carol: I see you playing in the five-slot.

And so -- because I like to give her -- she has a methodical timing and way of doing things, so I'm going to get her planned on that.

Then I'm looking at it, trying to -- I'm sitting there, by myself, penciling out who is playing. And then I go, oh, well, gee, if I put Carol -- I'm going to let, Molly's going to win that first match, which she did. But I'm going to putt Carol two because then she'll win the Cup.

So I go back and tell Carol: "Oh, you're going in the two slot." And that's the ten to 12:00.

And she goes, "oh, oh, I'd better get out there."

I never did find out if she really did have enough time to prepare, but clearly she did.

And I was talking about come bangs, this is one of the great comebacks, as well, was Carol's match.

RHONDA GLENN: You were, what, 3-down at one point, Carol?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I was 3-down after seven, and then I won 8, 9, 10 and 11. Or Vikki gave me 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Q. This may not even have occurred to you, but does any part of you have this remarkable moment now in your career feel, "I can't do any better, after what happened this day"; that this is a moment for you to stop international golf?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I suppose a small part of me feels that it would be hard to top this. But the vast majority of me does not think that I need to. Does that answer your question?

Q. Would you have it in the back of your mind to be the first person to play in a Curtis Cup at 60?

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: No, I haven't thought about it. You mean at the age of 60?

Q. Yeah.

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: It has not occurred to me, but I guess that's a good goal to set. Why not?

Q. It worked for Gary Player.

CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, all right. I'm going to plug that into the hypnosis tape I'm going to listen to this week.

RHONDA GLENN: It was a thrilling match. Congratulations.

End of FastScripts....

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