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September 18, 2002

Raquel Carriedo

Laura Davies

Karine Icher


MR. PARK: Good afternoon, ladies. On my right we have Laura Diaz, Raquel Carriedo and Karine Icher. Start with any questions.

Q. We will go to Laura first. Laura, first, what do you think about the golf course?

LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, I think it's probably the best -- Muirfield Village was very good when we played there a few years ago, but when you are practicing, you don't see the true worth of a course, but at the end of the week, I think I am going to probably have this as my favorist course the Solheim Cup has ever been on, so many reachable par 5's, so many hard par 3's, just a very good venue.

MR. PARK: I see you have been hitting the driver a lot.

LAURA DAVIES: That will come into play in the foursomes, and if I play in the foursomes, I think I am going to be playing more of the even numbers, so there will be a lot of par 3's, it's a strange thing, four par 3's on the.

Q. Laura, could you kind of reflect back -- you have played in all the Solheim Cups -- on the way the event has grown, and, also, what your role is going to be as one of the veterans with some of the younger players.

LAURA DAVIES: Obviously, the tournament just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's, without doubt, the most enjoyable event we play, once we get going. I have to say, the start of the week is a bit slow, practice rounds, you just seem to always be doing something, we were just talking about it on the way down, and it's something, it's part of the week, but it's not the most enjoyable. The most enjoyable is when the gun goes off, and I think some of the new players to the team find that side of it quite hard.

So me, as a veteran on the team, just tell them to enjoy it because it really is, win or lose, it's the most enjoyable week every two years, so that would be my advice to them.

Q. This really is a changing of the guard with both the US team and the American team in that there are so many new faces. I don't know if you guys want to address that. Raquel, you played last time. Maybe, how is this different for you?

RAQUEL CARRIEDO: Well, it's big difference being here for the second time. It's still going to be very difficult because it's a very special event, and I know I am going to be nervous as well as the first time, but maybe it's a little bit easier for me this time because I know how it works, all the things you need to do during the week until the event starts, and this year I came more mentalized [sic] for these things. I remember the first time I lost four kilos in the week, so it was really stressful, but now I know what it is about and I feel more comfortable this time.

Q. Laura, how would you handicap this event? There is so many new players coming in, you guys are the defending champion, you have, obviously, the best player in the world on your team, but there is so much else unknown really about both teams. How would you handicap them?

LAURA DAVIES: I think I would probably give the Americans a slight favorite because of a home advantage. I think if you pair up the teams, Annika aside, because I think anyone playing against Annika has got their work cut out, because that's been true throughout. Match play is slightly different, but she is someone we are going to be looking at least 4 points as a team, that's what you require from your leader, so if you take that away, the rest of us are pretty much on an even keel.

Obviously, some players have been more consistent this year, but in the match play, you know, forum that we have got this week, we can all beat each other on any given day, so I really do think it's going to be a very close match, and it wouldn't surprise me if it comes down to the last thing on Sunday afternoon. You know, like I say, if I had to handicap it, the Americans have a slight favorite home advantage, and that's it.

Q. Laura, how does it feel to be the oldest member now of this team, 38 years old. Good heavens. Time has flown.

LAURA DAVIES: I might be the oldest but I still act like I am the youngest, I am the one usually mucking around. I just love playing golf and having fun. Age is just a number, so that fact doesn't worry me, stamina never worried me. If I play three rounds, four rounds, however many rounds I play in the tournament, it won't be a factor as just if, you know, to be amongst some great deals and great golfers.

Q. Nothing seems to frighten you. I can remember being with you at Plainfield, New Jersey.

LAURA DAVIES: I think if I got Annika in the singles I would be frightened.

Q. Hard to believe. Now, if you look at ages, when you consider how many tournaments or how many rounds a young lady can go, she can only go as far as her legs will carry her, that's for sure. You have, by far, the younger team, they may not be experienced, but are they polished enough and good enough to meet that competition and turn it back.

LAURA DAVIES: Oh, there is absolutely no question about it. The two sitting here, obviously, Raquel played before. No one has really heard of Karine yet, but they are going to in the near future, and this is probably going to be the week that boosts her career.

From what I can make out, they are not scared of anyone, and they will get out there, and the fact that they are playing Juli Inkster or, you know, Pat Hurst, great players, I don't think it will phase them from what I have seen in Europe this year, because they win nearly every other tournament.

Q. Is there anything that the European Team done to raise your spirits?

LAURA DAVIES: I think Bacardi.

Q. How about this letter from North Berwick that we are reading about?

LAURA DAVIES: People have been negative about the team choices and, obviously, that's a bit of inspiration. You certainly don't like your captain being slacked off in personal letters and in the press, but, you know, what Reidy is like she is handling is really well, and she is using those so-called negative things for a positive for the team. And the thing is, our team is so young and everyone is having fun, we don't really need to do anything extra to raise us up for it because we are all up for it anyway, as I am sure the Americans are.

Q. Karine, could you tell us a little bit about the state of girls and women's golf in France and how the success of some French women has maybe spurred the game for girls and women in your country.

KARINE ICHER: Could you repeat, please, slowly?

Q. Just talk about golf in France, women's golf specific.

KARINE ICHER: Women's golf in France? In France we don't have the same -- like in US or in England or in Scotland, but it could be better now because we have a lot of good players, Patricia Meunier-LeBouc won two weeks ago and we have a lot of young players pretty good, so I think it's a good thing for France. But you don't play very much in France. The golf, it's not a real sport in France.

Q. Karine, a question, how much have you been -- where have you been in the United States or is this your first visit?

KARINE ICHER: No, I have played the US Open last year and this year, and I played the Nabisco and the qualifying school for the season 2003, so it's very different than in Europe and the courses are much longer, the greens are faster, so it's changed between Europe and the US, but I think it's a good course for us and very good condition, good fairways, good greens.

Q. I just wanted to ask Laura, getting back to North Berwick for half a minute, was there a bet involved in this letter?

LAURA DAVIES: Reidy just really had this nasty letter, basically this guy telling her she had lost her mind with the pigs, basically saying myself and Helen Alfredsson shouldn't be on the team and Catriona Matthew and Janice Moodie should have been on the team, and the obviously Scottish connection that way, it's a bit biased, and you expect most Scots to hate the English, but that's a national thing, and he was just saying he had a lot of money and the US were going to destroy us, and he offered me 3 to 1 on the European Team.

I haven't taken him up on it but, you know, the guy is betting on the Americans, basically, and that seems crazy for us to think that. Hopefully, this guy is going to lose all his money because of us.

Q. Reidy was telling me about that, the letter and stuff, and she is very fulsome in her praise for what you bring to the team.

Q. Do you feel that -- just no personal criticism of you -- you can't have been in that position before. Do you feel now you have got a bit to prove or to show that she is right?

LAURA DAVIES: No, God, no, I have got absolutely nothing to prove. Hopefully, I will get some points, and if I don't, then maybe their criticism was right and maybe I am -- I am not good enough to play on the team anymore, but most certainly, from everything I heard building up for the last sort of year, my place on the team was never particularly in question with Reidy.

But everyone is allowed their opinion, but the only really opinion that counts is Reidy, and even if I don't get a point, I don't think I will be letting her down, and I will be trying my best to win 5 or 4 or -- like I said. You can't let people worry about stuff like that. It just doesn't worry me. I mean, if they feel I have got something to prove, that's -- he have not got anything to prove to myself, which is the main thing.

Q. Now, that's controversy. Let's get back to the actual facts of the tournament. You are a fired-up individual. You fire up a team when you get out there. We saw that at Dalmahoy, we saw it again overseas at three tournaments. You fire a team up and get them going. Your game has produced 14 points, so you don't have to take your hat off to anybody. You have got more points that anybody else has ever scored in a Solheim competition. You young ladies are very fortunate to have Alfredsson and Davies?

LAURA DAVIES: Remember that, eh?

Q. I am serious, this is a great positive player, and she hasn't got to look down her chin at anybody. But let me ask you, the question I wanted to ask was this: I have heard it said that it would be very difficult for a team coming over who had never played this particular course to be able to play two rounds and play it well because of the greens. Is that true?

LAURA DAVIES: No, I don't think so. It's one of the fairest hard golf courses I think I have ever played because a good shot is immediately rewarded. They are very small greens, you hit a good shot you have got a relatively short putt. (Inaudible) because anything else is going to come back down the front of the green, so they are all built up, so no, very fair. And I know these players that have come over for the first time, they just can't wait to get out there, I am sure.

Q. Karine, Raquel said earlier she was very nervous last year. Do you recognize any of those feelings?

KARINE ICHER: It's my first Solheim Cup, so I am a bit nervous and it's green for me because playing this year and 23 was my goal when I was young, so very exciting and I want to play well for my team.

Q. Laura, I have got a couple little fringe things to ask you. I don't know if you heard about this. Did you hear that a woman qualified to play in the Greater Hartford Open by winning a tournament in Connecticut?

LAURA DAVIES: No, I didn't know that.

Q. Any thoughts on that?

LAURA DAVIES: Who was it?

Q. Suzi Whaley. Do you know her? She is like a teaching pro in New England?

LAURA DAVIES: Which tournament did she qualify for?

Q. For the Greater Hartford Open, the PGA Tour.

LAURA DAVIES: Oh, that's bloody amazing then. First I have heard of it.

Q. Give you any ideas?

LAURA DAVIES: Not at all. I have got to be with the girls at the moment in start play and when I start winning on the American Tour again, then maybe I will try and qualify, but at the moment I have got my hands full anyway.

Q. Also, do you have any opinion on what's going on at Augusta National, there has been so much talk about trying to let a woman in there?

LAURA DAVIES: All I have ever said is if they are looking for their first woman member, I would love to join.

Q. Laura, you talked earlier about Annika and how if you were playing her in singles, you would be a little bit afraid facing her. Can you sort of put in perspective from a fellow pro's tour the last few years she has had on the tour.

LAURA DAVIES: I can't speak for everyone, I speak for myself. I just think she is astonishing. She is actually incredibly in relation to Tiger Woods, she is better than Tiger Woods, pound for pound, so to speak, because she is dominating more than he did, or he does, so if the other girls are thinking straight, they must be very impressed because it really is -- the 62 she had last week in Portland, I mean, extraordinary stuff. That's a hard golf course. I was really pleased to shoot the 69. I'd dropped 7 shots to her going into the final round. It's quite extraordinary.

She is out there today and someone said there has been a hole in one, and it's like Annika, big shot. Really, who else is going to do it? She is fantastic. And when I say "scared," I think that whoever does draw her in the singles is actually in a very nice position because everyone will be -- even if it's Juli that draws her, they will all be expected to lose to Annika in the singles, so they have actually got no pressure and everything to gain, so maybe scared is the wrong word, maybe they should just relish the chance to topple the number 1.

Q. Any more questions, ladies and gents? Laura, Raquel, Karine, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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