September 18, 2002
Q. Start, maybe just some comments about what you think of the golf course, and then Laura, when we get to you, maybe just some impressions about your first Solheim Cup week.
Rosie, start with you?
ROSIE JONES: The golf course is beautiful, it's in great shape, greens are very -- going to be very tricky as far as hitting the ball into the green and you just have to be below the hole to play this golf course well.
There is -- I think there is going to be a lot of tough driving holes for the longer players. There is going to be a lot of 3-woods, 5-woods being hit off a tee, and some irons. I am hitting a lot of drivers, some 3-woods, nothing much, maybe a 5-wood in there, but I think it's fun.
I love these type of golf courses because they are tight, tree-lined, really tough putting, you got to have a really good short game when you miss the green, and I think it's going to make it really fun for alternate shot and best ball.
BETH DANIEL: Well, I also think the golf course is a great equalizer, I don't think it favors any one particular type of player. It does not favor a long hitter, does not favor a short hitter, you just have to hit golf shots here. You have got to find your position off the tee, you need to hit the ball there. That gives you a better angle at hitting the ball into the green and keeping the ball below the hole.
There are some greens that it's hard to keep it below the hole, so the putting is difficult, like Rosie said. There is such a variance in speeds, depending upon whether you have an uphill or downhill putt, or a level putt.
So you may see a few people look silly on the greens this week, but that's Donald Ross.
ROSIE JONES: I was going to say, I didn't see a level putt out there. You mean even with the pin? You mean even with the pin?
BETH DANIEL: Yeah. I had one today, believe it or not.
ROSIE JONES: That's an 8-foot break, but not level.
BETH DANIEL: This is Donald Ross, that's how he designs his golf courses and that's why this golf course is in the top 100 in the nation. It deserves to be there.
LAURA DIAZ: I think the golf course is in great shape. I played it, I guess, about two, three weeks ago, and it was great. Seeing it now two, three times, I have really enjoyed it.
As for my first Solheim Cup, it's been a lot of fun so far. I feel like I am back in college on a college team instead of a coach, a captain, and instead of okay players, the best in the world.
So it's been a lot of fun for me, and I have really enjoyed getting to know the players a little better, and I think I am really going to enjoy playing alternate shot and best ball because all year long we play stroke play, just flat out, and we are competing against each other, and now we are coming together as a team to compete against another team, and we don't get to do that very often.
And I just -- I feel very honored to be on a team that is so deep in talent and is really excited to have all the rookies that they have on the team, and they are doing everything they can to make us comfortable, including giving us barf bags before we hit.
ROSIE JONES: Painted with USA colors on them. Dottie's barf bags.
Q. Ms. Daniel, you have got credentials that show it all. You have been everywhere, you have won everything, you have played more times than most would care to remember in the Solheim Cup, and you have done very well in that. You are in the Hall of Fame. What more could you ask for?
Are there any goals that I haven't touched that you are still aiming for?
BETH DANIEL: Well, I am a pretty driven person. I think that's one of the reasons I am still playing golf at the level that I am playing. One of the things about me is, number 1, I love the game of golf, and the other thing is, I want to be as good as I can be all the time, so that just drives me constantly, and when I am home, I don't mind going out and hitting balls and working on my game and, you know, so that -- that's what I need to do to stay at the level that I am at.
Q. Ms. Diaz, you are the rookie up at the table now. How does it feel to be a first year player in a team made up of the veterans that you have had to face in single competition before?
LAURA DIAZ: I think it's great. I have been able to learn a lot from everybody on my team for the last four years, and I have watched them -- some of them a lot longer than that.
So one of the memories that I have had --
ROSIE JONES: Like the both of us, since you were about seven.
LAURA DIAZ: I think -- yeah, I was saying to Patty last night that she gave us these beautiful necklaces, and I can remember when I was just honored to get her autograph my first LPGA event, I went to Stratten Mountain, and she took the time, while she was playing, which we don't do too often, like in between holes, and signed an autograph for me.
And it's amazing that I had her do that however many years ago and now today she is the captain of a Solheim Cup team that I am playing on. I mean, it's just been great. It's great to have teammates that are Hall of Famers, and it's great to have teammates that you have played, you know, very -- I mean, Rosie and I were in heated competition this year, and yet we are like really good friends when it comes down to playing as a team, we have all just really come together as a team, and that's such a great feeling because you don't ever get to do that on a weekly basis.
Q. Rosie, you have had the competition at the Solheim Cup before. As a matter of fact, you played in five, I believe.
ROSIE JONES: This is my fifth, right.
Q. This is your fifth Solheim Cup. And when you boil it all down, it is extreme competition once they ring the bell, because it's team against team, and then on Sunday, it's single against single.
ROSIE JONES: Right. I think it's probably one of the hardest competition that we ever play. It's -- even though we come together as a team, you care so much about this team that you really don't want to let anybody down. It's hard not to feel what's going to happen when you hit this shot and it doesn't -- you know, maybe hits the bunker or something like that.
And you just have to realize that you are going to hit shots like that, that you hit shots like that every single day, it's just that usually you aren't leaving someone else to clean up the mess, and you always have a lot of confidence in yourself, and you have to give that confidence back over to your teammate, and you are not used to looking at someone else and giving them that confidence.
And it's a whole new psyche, and it's a lot of fun, it's a lot of giving, it's a lot of faith, it's a lot of belief in each other, and in yourself, because you really can't -- you have to dismiss that fear factor and just play hard and play almost harder than you have ever played before.
Q. A question for Beth, Rosie, or both. How much impact can one player have in a team format like this, and what do you suppose would be the mind-set of whoever, particularly in singles? A lot of pressure, no pressure? Who best to face Annika?
ROSIE JONES: What was the last sentence, the pressure, no pressure?
Q. Yeah, just the mind-set of whatever American players will -- particularly on Sunday -- have to face Annika.
ROSIE JONES: Are you asking if you feel more pressure about facing Annika?
Q. Laura Davies was in here earlier and said that she would suspect that American players would feel absolutely no pressure playing Annika because there are no expectations, almost a given that she could win?
ROSIE JONES: No way, I am going to beat Annika. If she faces me, I am going to beat her. There is no pressure, just take her out and bring her down.
BETH DANIEL: The great thing about match play is you can be the top-ranked player in the world, but you are only playing someone for 18 holes, and you go -- you both go out there, you try to match shot for shot, and, I mean, obviously the odds would be in favor that the number 1 player in the world would win that match.
But in match play, that's not necessarily true. In stroke play, you are playing every shot for the course of 72 holes. In match play, you are playing someone hole for hole for 18 holes. It's totally different.
And that's -- for people that love match play, that's what they love about it. For people that hate match play, that's what they hate about it.
So any given person can beat any given person on any given day in match play. And stroke play, that might not happen because it's over the course of four days.
ROSIE JONES: I think when you are faced with a player like Annika or Laura Diaz, someone that is -- that has that presence of -- you know, that they have had on their European Team, you want to pull a player like that because that raises your standards of play, it raises your expectations of yourself.
And when you -- you can become a little lax with other players at times. If you think, well, this player hasn't really played that good this year, I feel like I have got an easy match, you are going to go out, you could lose that match because you are not taking it seriously.
So I think -- I take every match seriously, but I think I hope to pull someone that's like Annika or Laura. They have a lot of great players on that team, so any player is going to get your attention, or my attention, anyways.
Q. What do you guys think makes Juli be able to play so well when the light is sort of the brightest? You know, the Open, she has played well in the Solheim Cup.
BETH DANIEL: Some people just thrive on that. Rosie is the same way.
ROSIE JONES: I am?
BETH DANIEL: Yeah. I mean, some people just thrive on that. When the spotlight is on them, they go. And Juli is one of those people. I don't know if you focus more or what it is, but, I mean, that's what I would say. I would say your focus is a little bit stronger, so you play better when the heat is on. And some players are that way.
Q. Let's get around to the question we have asked each of the groups as they came in, and I think, Beth, probably you would be the most prominent. Originally coming from South Carolina, you were right next-door to a golf course in Augusta, Georgia, that has been in the headlines these past two weeks.
Your thoughts about Augusta. Have you played Augusta, first of all, and your thoughts about the Augusta situation as far as allowing women to become members, and would you like to be a member?
BETH DANIEL: Well, first of all, I have played Augusta National on two different occasions, the first time when I was in college, the -- Mr. Fuhrman took me down there to play.
The second time I played with my father and a member that he knows, and it was a great honor to play on that golf course in a tournament that I have watched every year that it's been on.
Augusta National is a private club. However, since they put themselves in the spotlight with a public event, then I think they fall under slightly different rules. And I would like to see them admit women, however, I would not like to see them be forced to do it, which they are being forced to right now. I would like to just see them do it.
But it's kind of disheartening to me, as someone -- as a woman that's played sports my whole life, to always be at the bottom of the totem pole. It just -- it's discouraging, it really is, and we really are -- as women athletes, we are truly at the bottom of the totem pole.
And that, to me, is the worst thing about it.
Q. Any other opinion?
ROSIE JONES: I think Beth said that very eloquently.
LAURA DIAZ: I second that.
ROSIE JONES: But I agree.
Q. Anything else? Okay, ladies, thank you.
End of FastScripts....