September 6, 2005
Q. Ladies and gentlemen, the press conference today, we have Laura Davies, Trish Johnson and Karen Stupples from England, the European team.
Laura, you've played in every Solheim Cup to date. Trish has played in many Solheim Cups, and this is Karen's first Solheim Cup appearance. Welcome, ladies.
Did you start by giving us some opening comments about what the Solheim Cup experience has been for you so far?
KAREN STUPPLES: Well, I've got to say it is definitely everything and more than I was expecting. The course is absolutely tremendous. I mean, Pete Dye did a great job. It's definitely been looked after well.
Given the conditions and things that have been in Indianapolis this year, you know, in terms of for me getting to my room and seeing my bag representing Europe and my country has been absolutely stunning, and as I'm sitting here now talking about it, I'm getting goosebumps, it is absolutely fantastic. You can't describe it. It's brilliant.
Q. Trish, how is it for you?
TRISH JOHNSON: It's great. I've thoroughly enjoying it. I missed the last two. I'm really looking forward to having a first crack of winning on American soil. I played here in '93 in the US Open and I clearly got Alzheimer's because I can't remember any of the holes at all. Nothing came back to me.
It was great, I really enjoyed the nine holes we just played. I'm looking forward to the next few days. It's a tremendous course. The greens are tricky. It will be a great test.
LAURA DAVIES: Obviously it's good to be back playing for your country and Europe. I didn't remember the course too much either. I've got a pretty good memory, it's unusual. The Front 9 I've seen is absolutely fantastic. The par 3s are good, par 5s are reachable.
I think the European team might be slightly longer overall. It's nice to be in the team room again. It's just for us because it's just an individual sport, it's nice to be part of a team again. I'm lucky enough to play in all of them so far and I do enjoy it.
Q. We'll take some questions. There will be a hand held microphone.
How much Laura, is the idea that you guys have not won on US soil, how much of that is a rallying point?
LAURA DAVIES: It's not a rallying point. It's going to happen at some point. I would like it to happen when I'm playing. It would be very disappointing not to win here.
I think the team we've assembled this time has the chance to do that. The last one, the singles did not go our way on Sunday. I think the team will be able to cope with the crowds.
That's the deciding factor. Usually if you can quiet down the crowds on Sunday and you know the big roars are for the Americans. If we can keep them quiet and get up early, it's a big thing to keep the crowds under control.
Q. Any more questions?
Laura, you talked about the relative length between the teams. How large of a gap do you think it is?
LAURA DAVIES: They've got Pat Hurst but we've got Iben, myself, Trish, Karen hits a long way. Maria Hjorth, Suzann Pettersen, all of our players will be able to reach all the par 5s in two. I think it will be an advantage on the Front 9.
I haven't seen the Back 9 yet, but a couple of the dog legs, it could help us because we do need all the help we can get. They are a very strong team.
Q. You said the greens are tricky. I mean, is that the design of the greens, or is it the speed, or is it potential pin placements? Why are they particularly tricky?
KAREN STUPPLES: I think it's a combination of the two. I think the design and the speed. A lot of them will rise at the front and fall away at the back.
Wherever you place your shot into the greens will be vital, and charting them, and knowing which each one will do. A couple of putts I hit today doesn't break as much as I thought, and others broke more. You really have to pay close attention to what you're doing and take your time.
Q. Do you like the speed of them?
KAREN STUPPLES: They're rolling absolutely pure right now. You couldn't fault them, speed and, you know, they're just pure. All day long it was great.
LAURA DAVIES: The downhill putts are very quick but not out of control at all.
KAREN STUPPLES: The fastest greens we've played were in Phoenix. As I said, they're very fair, true and nice to putt on.
Q. To any of the three, in this event and other sports as well, sometimes there's a tradition of trash talking before the event actually starts, and I'm sure you're aware of what Paula said, to prepare to get beat. Is that a motivating factor for you guys at all or just talk?
LAURA DAVIES: No, I mean, obviously they think they're going to win. We think we're going to win. You know, you don't need I like what she said. She's a rookie. She's in that press conference with Nancy Lopez and Beth Daniel. She's a top quality player and she'll only get better. Why shouldn't she be confident? That's good. We're probably not going to say it, because there's going to be 20,000 Americans screaming us down all week. We have to be subtle.
Q. Karen here's your chance. Go ahead.
KAREN STUPPLES: Yeah, I'm a rookie, but I don't know about that much of a rookie.
Q. Laura, Juli was saying I think it was in 2000 when she made the team and kind of looked behind her at who was coming up, the young players, and there was nobody there. There was no young Americans on the horizon. Looking at this team, obviously there's four or five players in their 20s. Do you look back now and Europe and what do you see in the next four, six, eight years?
LAURA DAVIES: From what I hear it's going to be a team of Spaniards. I haven't seen them play. There will always be someone you haven't heard of that will be on the team next time. We really don't know who they are at the moment. It just happens like that. Paula Creamer, we knew she was a good amateur, but we didn't know she was going to win over $1 million on her first 15 tournaments. The European team will be very strong the next few years. Even when the likes of me start not playing in it, there will be someone to fill our shoes.
Q. Do you aim to be the first 50 year old in the Solheim Cup?
LAURA DAVIES: I don't ever want to be the captain, so I've got to play as much as I can. I enjoy the playing side of it, I really do.
Q. Any more questions?
Laura, how does it compare playing the Solheim Cup to, say, coming down the stretch of a major championship?
LAURA DAVIES: Every match is like trying to win a tournament. You get the same feeling as when you're there on Sunday afternoon with a chance. This is me, I get the same feeling teeing off on the first hole of any Solheim Cup. Any matchplay event is the same. You've got to win that particular match. It takes us for days to do it in the regular event, whether it's a major regular tournament. The feeling is like butterflies in the stomach for sure and not wanting to let your team down. That makes it even harder.
Q. Is it more nerve racking?
LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, I find the first if you get in the first morning foursomes is always the worst. One you play a few holes, and you're off into it. I wouldn't like to be sitting around waiting for my chance. You want to be one of the first eight and get going. It settles you down.
Q. For Trish or Laura, if you look at the Americans' record in foursomes, are they that bad or are you that good?
LAURA DAVIES: They're rubbish. No, they've done really well, but we are very good. We get on so well. I'm sure the American team is good fun, but you won't be the atmosphere we have. I think it shows in the first two days of competition.
Q. Why won't it be the same atmosphere?
LAURA DAVIES: They don't seem to have quite the fun we have. Maybe they do. On paper they're a better team and we still dust them the first two days. It has to be something we do right leading up into the first, like you said, the foursomes.
Q. Do you think, some of the men have brought this up in the Ryder Cup, that they're trying so hard to do well for their partner, they don't relax enough? Is that a possibility?
KAREN STUPPLES: I just don't see they're used to playing foursomes or playing with partners. I know that from my amateur experience I played in home internationals and Curtis Cups and things. We used to play a lot of foursomes and I think you get very used to playing with a partner and I think that carries through into playing at this level as well. I mean, certainly I know that the American girls probably only play foursomes if they play Curtis cup. For us, even if you didn't play Curtis Cup, you still have home internationals and other matches you may have played for your county and for your country, so you had a lot of chances to play foursomes.
Q. What are internationals?
LAURA DAVIES: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales play a series of matches every year.
Q. Typical American question.
KAREN STUPPLES: It's actually quite funny for me this week. One of the girls that used to be my partner in the junior home internationals is actually caddying for Sophie Gustafson this week. It's kind of interesting.
Q. Not to get too sociological, but do you think there's something to the Europeans having more fun? Are the Americans more uptight?
LAURA DAVIES: All I know is what we do. We have a good laugh. We get on really well. The caddies, there's always a bit of sarcasm flying around the room. If you make one mistake, you get 20 people shouting you down. It is really a laugh. At the end of the day it's supposed to be fun. We're all under a lot of pressure and nervous, but there's a lot of fun involved. I've never been in an American team room, so I don't know. That's all I know is we do.
Q. Trish who gives the best stick in the European team?
TRISH JOHNSON: It's a toss up I would say. She's incredibly subtle and cruel. No, I know who takes the most stick is Paul, who is one of the Laura's caddies. He takes relentless abuse.
KAREN STUPPLES: It brings us all together.
Q. That's why he's here?
LAURA DAVIES: Yes.
TRISH JOHNSON: We've known each other most of us for nearly 20 years and we have been doing this taking a mickey at each other for 20 years. That's the difference; the American team, in all honesty, they try to beat each other every single week of the year apart from once every two years, when all of a sudden they're supposed to be best mates. That's really difficult.
We've played a lot more with each other on the same team than they have and we've enjoyed, like Karen has said, various team events over the year. We try to beat each other and it's hard to explain, because it's a totally different atmosphere. It doesn't make it right or wrong. It's just fun. We need to have fun to perform.
Q. Any more questions? Okay. Well, thank you very much.
End of FastScripts.