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March 27, 2024

Anna Nordqvist

Gilbert, Arizona, USA

Seville Golf and Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, welcome everyone to the Ford Championship presented by KCC. I'm joined by Anna Nordqvist. Anna, just to open things up, we're were back in Arizona. You are an Arizona State University player. What is it like to be back -- or I guess you live here -- we just talked about that. But what's it like to play here and be so close to where you live?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, it's nice to have a home place event. I've actually never been part of this town, never been to this golf course before, so it was new to me yesterday.

But I think knowing how big golf is for this town and how much it means to us, knowing that we always haven't had an event here, it's massive. Also with ASU, but that the LPGA has a stop here, gets to come here. For me it's nice to sleep in my own bed this week.

Q. What are your favorite things about Arizona golf in general?

ANNA NORDQVIST: I love the desert. I don't know -- I know a lot of people don't like it, but I guess one of my strengths is hitting it pretty straight. I don't get to see a lot of desert, but I just love the sunsets, the mountains, just kind of the outdoorsy feel.

This place has always felt like home for me. I lived in Florida a couple years and then came back here a few years ago. There is no place like this.

Q. This is the first time talking to you I believe since you were named assistant vice captain again this year for the Solheim Cup. How excited are you for that?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, it's a huge honor to be able to be assistant captain under Suzann Pettersen. She is one of my best friends and always kind of bit of a role model and inspiration for me. Always be a great memories having played alongside her on a couple Solheim Cup teams and okaying with her and just seeing her competitiveness and intensity, and then also being part of that captain's team, I look up to her a lot.

Just seeing how much work really goes into behind the scenes. As a player I think you're fortunate to be able to show up that week and a lot of things are taken care of. But being playing vice captain last year and hopefully having and opportunity to be playing vice captain again this year, it's very special.

There is no secret that I love the Solheim Cup. My family loves it. It's just great memories for my career from the Solheim Cup. I am going to do everything I can as an assistant captain and hopefully as a player to make it another successful year for European golf.

Q. Thinking back to the emotions and how it all turned out last year, how are you all hoping to carry that into this year?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, it's a bit of a quick turnaround, which is nice to keep kind of the same team. I think we learned a lot from last year. It was a lot things going on. Maybe didn't work out as planned in Spain as far as organizational stuff.

It's been nice. Suzann is on top of everything. She won't leave anything to chance. Melissa Reid has been added to the team this year, which is nice. I played with her since I was a junior, so it's kind of cool to experience that part with players that you've been part -- like you played with for so long.

So, yeah, I know the Americans are going to be very excited to tee it up on home soil. I was very impressed with Stacy Lewis, how she put together her team and how they carried themself. I think that was best team I've ever seen in the Solheim Cups I've played.

Yeah, we're going to be having to be on our toes and try to figure out our best game plan to give them a good match in August this year.

Q. Welcome back out. I know we've seen you quite a bit already this year. Just curious, you're entering your 16th year on tour. What are some of your goals or what keeps you motivated at this point in your career? I know obviously Solheim is a big goal. How do you stay motivated and really want to keep chasing your dreams out here?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, it's been a while, but moments like the Solheim Cup, it's an Olympic year, there is a lot of things to look forward to this year.

Also being part of the Solheim Cup as a vice captain, I think seeing the work that goes behind kind of also motivates me to even want to play and do well for the team in that sense.

I think I've always been a person that always wanted challenges to grow as a person, both on and off the course. I've been quite open with having a really rough last year behind me. Arizona last year was probably the toughest one. Ended up missing the cut and then, you know, seeing my basically life fall apart that weekend.

So, yeah, it's been a really tough year, but I feel like I've always tried to put my best foot forward each day and find ways to grow as a person or grow as a player.

I feel like there is always things that I can improve on and wanting to work on. I feel like the last couple years I haven't really had a chance, opportunity to put my whole heart and effort into it, so this year, you know, I'm just grateful to be out here. Trying to keep smiling and enjoying the ride.

Been trying to embrace every stop on tour, going to see places, going to dinners because I know this won't last forever. But right now like I don't find another challenge for me that keeps me on my toes as much as competitive golf and inside the ropes.

So, yeah, I feel like I have a lot of things to look forward to this year, and just knowing that it just won't be forever, I'm just trying to make the best out of time that I have.

Q. On that note, with the Olympics coming up, how much are you thinking about that? I know some players like to not thinking about it until the qualification period ends; others know exactly where they stand. How much are you thinking about that and what would it mean to qualify?

ANNA NORDQVIST: I've been grateful to be ore part of two Olympic teams. It is definitely one of my big goals this year. All I can do is focus on myself and try to play the best I can. There are a lot of good Swedes, young ones that came on tour the last couple years, so going to be tough to get a spot.

Didn't play the best last year and I know I'm going to have to do well this year to qualify, but all I can do is my best. If someone else plays better, there is just nothing I can do about it. It's not going to be the end of the day if I don't.

I still look back to the memories I have from Tokyo and Rio and I'm very proud to have been part of two teams. Trying not to put any pressure on me and wake up every day and get a little bit better on and off the course and keep smiling and enjoying the game as best I can.

Q. Curious about the Olympics too. There is talk of a mixed event coming. How do you think that could elevate the game?

ANNA NORDQVIST: I always been a big fan of the mixed and I brought it up couple years ago saying that we should have some kind of team format. It would be fun to have the guys and the girls do it.

You see other sports where they have the team aspect part of the Olympics and how much it means to them. I'm all for it, and hopefully we'll see some changes going forward.

Q. With your experience with Solheim, do you think a team Olympic event could rival that in terms of drama and the rivalries and everything?

ANNA NORDQVIST: I think it's hard. I don't think it's fair to compare the two, because Solheim Cup is Solheim Cup and the guys have the Ryder Cup. It would be a very cool, different way of playing. I think we saw the mixed team event at the end of last year, how successful that was when the LPGA and PGA TOUR collaborated. I think that's the way to move forward.

I hope we'll one day see in golf.

Q. One last question. Going back to ASU, you're decorated alum and in the Hall of Fame there, I believe, correct? What are some of your favorite memories of your time there?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I'm very grateful for just having the opportunity to come to ASU. I came here to the desert in 2006 with two suitcases and a golf bag. I don't know what my life would've looked like without this opportunity, but I'm forever grateful. I know I owe a lot to them.

Yeah, the golf program, the school, everything they done for me, and to still feel like I can be part of it, being inducted to the athletic Hall of Fame at ASU about a year and a half ago, probably one of the highlights of my career knowing how much this place means to me and what a special group of people are there.

I had a period of time with the girls and practicing down at The Bird. At Papago they have an amazing facility. It's just nice to kind of just be around that atmosphere. I feel like college is a very special time in your life. You learn a lot about yourself. Having teammates and the opportunities they have to grow as persons and golfers there is endless.

They just want to -- they're playing their home course event, The Ping/ASU I think Thursday to Saturday so looking forward to kind of follow them along.

But Missy Kaye was my assistant coach in college and is a dear friend. Just nice to see how she's pulling the girls together and how amazing they've done the last couple months after a lot of hard work.

Q. When you spend time with them, is there any advice or key messages you're trying to give to them?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Well, I feel like I have a lot of experience because I've been around for a while and kind of been in their shoes. You know, I'm not saying that I have any answers. I just say that I think I've been through it all, a lot of the ups and downs.

At that point in your life you don't really want to worry about the downs you're going to hit or the challenges you're going to face. I feel like I have a lot of knowledge or kind of hopefully I can bring a little bit of peace and calm to the tradition.

A lot of questions are obviously about turning pro and what it's going to be. I always encourage everyone to stay in college as long as they can and use the opportunities and experiences they will have there. You can't get those years back, but tour life is always going to be waiting for you around the corner.

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