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September 14, 2003

Laura Diaz

Juli Inkster

Cristie Kerr

Kelli Kuehne

Patty Sheehan


NEAL REID: We can start off with a comment from you, Patty, or two. And then welcome each of the players and then open it up for questions.

PATTY SHEEHAN: It was a great week all around except for our side lost. It's the only down side to the whole week. It was tremendous. The weather was terrific. The fans were tremendous. You press have been really really good to us. My players tried as hard as they could. Their captain did the best she could. A putt here, a putt there, and things may be a little bit different. I'm so proud of my team. Had every faith in the world in them. And we got beat.

LAURA DIAZ: Everything she said and more. I think that it's been a great honor to be able to play for Patty for two years. Her and Jane were a great team together, and they created a great team in us. It's a lot better feeling the one that we had last year, but it's been a great time playing with these girls. I think this will definitely motivate those of us who were not on a losing team yet to make sure it never happens again.

PATTY SHEEHAN: It may actually, Laura. I just want to prepare you for that, too. That's a captain's duty. I know you don't want that, but it may.

JULI INKSTER: It's tough to lose. There's 14 of us in there that don't like to lose. The Europeans played great. They played great as a team. Catrin Nilsmark did a great job as their captain and got them focused in the right direction. As Patty says, a putt here and a putt there. I don't understand why we struggled so much coming into the singles, because we all really have a lot of respect for each other, and we really like playing with each other. I wish I knew the answer to that. You know, what I had a great week. I've known Patty a long time. To be on her team for two years is a dream come true. I've learned a lot of things from her. So maybe if I do get the opportunity to do this once, there's definitely a lot of memories and ideas and strategy that I will take from her. She was a great captain. The team loved playing for her.

CRISTIE KERR: Well, my whole experience this week was very positive. Playing for Patty is quite an honor. I learned a lot of things about myself this week like I did this week last year. It's an honor to play for your country and to play for your teammates. You try so hard for each other. We did the best we could. We left everything out on the golf course. That's all we can do. Like Patty said and Laura said, it's a putt here, a putt there. It could have gone our way, but this time it didn't. So we're going to take away what we can learn from this experience and hopefully put it to better use in the future.

KELLI KUEHNE: A little bit of what the four others before me have said. This is one of the most incredible weeks of my career again. And unfortunately we lost this time. And it's hard because we're not here for the money. This has nothing to do with money. We're here because of the pride of our country. And out of respect for each other. It's been one of the most incredible experiences of my life to play for Patty because I've learned so much about myself. I learned so much about my peers that I play with day in and day out. Thank you, Patty, for believing in me. Nobody else here did.



KELLI KUEHNE: I was the wild card. When I first got here on Monday. Everyone looked at me and said, "We're shocked that you're the wild card". But my teammates said, "You know what, we're not."

CRISTIE KERR: I'll take her as a partner any day.

KELLI KUEHNE: My team stepped up for me when not a whole lot of people really knew if I belonged here. It's been an honor to play with these 12 girls and to play for Patty and Jane. It's certainly one of the most amazing experiences of my career. But like the other four said, it's a lot more fun on the winning end of the bargain. Because you play your heart out and unfortunately there's one team that wins here and one team that unfortunately finishes second. And second place sucks. The bottom line is the Solheim Cup is an incredible thing for women's golf. It's an incredible experience. And I've loved it.

PATTY SHEEHAN: If that's for me, tell them I'm going to be in a party soon.

Q. I know hindsight is always 20/20.

PATTY SHEEHAN: Absolutely. Very clear.

Q. If you could do things differently --

PATTY SHEEHAN: If I knew what her pairings were, sure I would. I tried my best, and I thought that if I could put a couple of emotional, solid players out first and get a couple of points and a couple of red things up on the board, it might inspire everybody. Kelli got all that she could handle and a little bit more. And unfortunately it didn't go her way and we didn't get those two red spots up there. I really felt that it was going to come down to the last four pairings. And that's why I put the people in their spots that I did, because I believe in them, and I believe in their capabilities to handle things under pressure. We never got there. Like I said I had faith in all of my players this week. I had faith in every single spot that I put them in. And in hindsight, yeah, if I knew what I know now, I would do things differently. But you don't know those things when you're putting your pairings in. That's the beauty of the Solheim Cup, and that's the luck of the draw. We have everything to be proud of. We can hold our heads high and be very proud of the way that we handled ourselves this week, be very proud of the way we played this week. We just got beat.

Q. Patty, you talked yesterday about the history of strong singles play and comebacks. I wonder if you could speak to how difficult that is at an away game especially -- it's a weird week in that there was no comeback greater than 2-down all week.

PATTY SHEEHAN: Is that right? Well, there you go for a little stat, trivia. It's tough playing against the European team in Europe is very, very difficult. They have the 13th man. When you're in your home country, 13 can be a very lucky number for you. And it was this week for them. It was my lucky number last year. 13 has been my lucky number a lot of times.

CRISTIE KERR: I'm getting married on the 13th.

Q. I'm just curious if your singles lineup would have been the same if you'd have been one point behind than it was being three points behind. Did you change it?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I can't really answer that. I'm not really sure what it would have been. I hadn't even thought of it actually. Hypothetical stuff I tend to not even consider. I've been so focused on what's reality and what's going on. It never entered my mind.

Q. I just wondered if it was done and then had to be redone.

PATTY SHEEHAN: It was never done in the first place.

KELLI KUEHNE: She wasn't that organized. In a good way.

PATTY SHEEHAN: I wanted to wait and see actually. Hell, my other pairings were done and they didn't work out. I waited to see what was happening and I made my pairings based on being three down.

Q. Juli, based on your comments earlier, are you looking to be captain in the next cup?



PATTY SHEEHAN: No. I. she's got to play at least in another four.

CRISTIE KERR: No, she's not.

JULI INKSTER: I feel down the road. We've got a lot of good players that should be captain before I'm captain. Betsy King, Beth Daniel, Lopez.


JULI INKSTER: I'm a lot younger than any of those girls.

PATTY SHEEHAN: She'll be in her 50's when she's captain.

JULI INKSTER: I'm waiting for Michelle Wie to come on out.

Q. I wonder if you could look at a bigger picture. This is the first time that the U.S. hasn't had either the Solheim or the Ryder Cup on both sides.

PATTY SHEEHAN: That's great news.

Q. Are we seeing a trend here?

JULI INKSTER: You know what, I don't think so. This is one week. It's five rounds of golf. It would be different if you played like the best out of 7 of these. I think you put too much -- one round of golf in two years, I don't think you can say they're better players than us. I think we have great players out here. I just think for these three days and these five matches, they made probably half a dozen more putts. And that's really what it comes down to. It's not that they're better than us or they play with more emotion or they have more pride than us or we don't play hard because we don't have any money in front of us, that has nothing to do with it. It just has to do with these three days they played better. If we played next week and played for three days, we'd probably win.

Q. Do you think their talent has improved over the last couple of years because of the fact so many of them now are playing the LPGA tour on a more regular basis.

JULI INKSTER: All of them. Yeah. 11 of them I've known and they've played. We have a great tour. If I wanted to play with the best players in the world, I'd play on the LPGA Tour.

PATTY SHEEHAN: That's right.

JULI INKSTER: I don't see anything wrong with that. I think it's a great tradition. I think it's a great concept of the European team against the U.S. team. I hope it continues because even though they play on our tour and most of them live over in our country, I still think they take a lot of pride in where they're from. If I played over here full-time and had a chance to play against them and play for America, I'd take a lot of pride in that, too. I just think it's a great format, but I wouldn't say that they're better golfers than us because I just don't think that's true.

Q. Is there a simple explanation for why they seem to be better at foursomes than you guys?

JULI INKSTER: You know what --

Q. The only ones who played a lot of foursomes were the Scots girls. The others don't play a lot of foursomes.

JULI INKSTER: I think they played as juniors a lot more times. I don't know. I wish I knew. We all get along great. A lot of us play similar games. I don't know. If you figure it out, tell us.

PATTY SHEEHAN: Let us know.

Q. If could you choose a wild card for the European team, who would you choose? And for what reason?

PATTY SHEEHAN: A wild card.

Q. A 13th player.

PATTY SHEEHAN: You guys are making me think too hard. I'm a little emotional right now.

KELLI KUEHNE: Pick one of them for our team?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Based on the way she played this week, probably Sophie.

KELLI KUEHNE: She'd be my pick.

Q. May I ask Kelli a question?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Yes, you may. I'm the captain of my team. Yes, you may. Couple more hours here so I've got to take charge here. Go ahead.

Q. Did you speak to Trip -- or when did you last speak to Trip? And if so, what did he say to you and when do you expect to speak to him again?

KELLI KUEHNE: I'll speak to him I'm sure as soon as I get back home. I spoke to Trip right before he left to go to the Walker Cup a week ago. We traded phone calls. He flew from Dallas to New York to meet up with the Walker Cup team so they could fly to England. We traded messages. Basically we left the brother-sisterly -- our version of play well and smoke-em. We kind of traded messages like that. But as soon as I get back to Texas, I'll talk to him. I'll get back Monday night. So I'm sure I'll probably talk to him Monday or Tuesday.

Q. Patty, you may have been asked this. I was late in. Is there one thing you would have done differently this week if you could do it over?

PATTY SHEEHAN: You whiffed, didn't you. You can't be whiffing in here.

Q. Chance to whiff, since I walked in a little bit late.

PATTY SHEEHAN: Wait. Yes. Okay. Go ahead.

Q. I don't think we've seen the matches end the way they did tonight.

PATTY SHEEHAN: It was weird, wasn't it?

Q. Can you explain how that came about?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know how that came about. I was in the dark for all of them except for Cristie's. I was standing there. It seemed to go into instant chaos. When I was at the winning point at 17, thousands of people came on the green. I'd never seen that before.

Q. Brookline.

PATTY SHEEHAN: Well, I hadn't seen it. Okay? I came back to support my players in the back groups because I had never seen that happen before. "All right, match is over, let's go in." I've never seen that before. Usually they sort of play out and if they get to 18 then they can concede there. It was weird because Beth Daniel was coming back in her match -- she had just won two holes in a row and she felt good about things. Cristie was about to go a couple up. All of a sudden it's like everybody just quit. I didn't know what was happening because I knew Meg was standing in the back of the green. She was playing some other hole. Laura Davies is standing in the back of the green, she's playing with Meg some other hole. I didn't know what the hell was happening.

JULI INKSTER: See. That's our captain.

PATTY SHEEHAN: It was weird.

Q. Is it right though? Do you have a feeling -- you have a feeling of it obviously being weird. Don't you have a feeling of it isn't quite right?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I kind of had that feeling it wasn't quite right. I had never experienced that before. Usually we just sort of play in, and that's it.

Q. Do you know who made the decision?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I have no idea. It wasn't me.

Q. Juli, do you feel that?

JULI INKSTER: Yeah. Usually you play in, and if it comes down to the 18th hole, it doesn't mean anything, then the person that has won the cup concedes to the other person. That's kind of usually what it is. But there were like four or five matches back there that just kind of came in. I've never seen that before. There was a lot of younger players for the European team at the end. I don't know if they didn't know what to do. I think it was just a cluster.

Q. I think it happened in your match first, Cristie.

CRISTIE KERR: I didn't know if it happened with me first. I was on 15 and I had lost a couple of holes, and Suzann was first to putt. And apparently somebody made the winning putt to win the cup for Europe. I'm preparing myself to hit this bunker shot, and she's first to putt. And she just goes like that (Indicating) to the crowd and the crowd goes nuts. I'm like, "What just happened?" And then she proceeded to putt and I lost another hole. So I was 1-up going into 16 and it looked like I was going to win 16. I didn't know what to do quite honestly. I saw Kelli. Kelli is like, "Find Jane or Patty". I went to Jane and Jane said, "Do what you feel you need to do". I was like, "I really don't know". So I said, "Somebody call Patty". Finally Patty had said, "Usually what you do is the person whose team had won the cup, they concede to you". And I don't know really whether it mattered whether I was up in the match or not. But I was up in the match. We ended up getting to the green. And finally Suzann had said, "You can have it". And then she went to celebrate with her team. Honestly it was just -- I think what happened was there was so much excitement from the crowd -- not so much from the team, but from the people. I understand that 17 green got absolutely trampled. Had we wanted to play on, I don't think we could have. It was definitely confusing.

Q. Years from now looking back it's going to be the largest margin to date in the history of this cup. Does that matter?


KELLI KUEHNE: You either win or lose.

PATTY SHEEHAN: It doesn't matter because we didn't get to play out our matches. It's kind of a moot point.

Q. Patty, is it personally disappointing to you that the score line that goes in the record books, history books, is going to show a wide margin?

JULI INKSTER: So did we give all our matches?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't care what the score was. All I know is we lost. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what the score is. The point is that the matches were not finished. Period.

Q. It's in the record book.

PATTY SHEEHAN: What do you do from there? I can't say, "Hey, you guys can't quit". What do you do?

Q. Do you think in the future --

PATTY SHEEHAN: "Because this looks bad on my record here", God forbid if it looks bad on my record. That's ridiculous to say that.

Q. Do you think maybe in the future if once the team gets a clinching putt, you just stop and the final score is 14 and a half to whatever it was at that point?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know what's going to happen in the future. I hope it doesn't happen like that anymore. It was a very strange ending to the Solheim Cup.

Q. Do you have any recommendations? Because Beth at one point said she didn't like the way it ended. On the other hand she said, "Why bother to keep playing when a win is a win and a loss is a loss".

PATTY SHEEHAN: It just seems to me it's only right to play out your matches. And if you get to the end, then you can concede. It's a hard call. It's never happened before like this. For the rest of us it's kind of strange.

CRISTIE KERR: Can I ask you a question? Why does it matter the score of the winning and losing team? You either win the matches or you lose the matches. I don't think that that should be a question directed at Patty. I don't think that's fair.

Q. Nobody is blaming anybody. It's just the way it turned out.

CRISTIE KERR: We didn't finish our matches. That's the end of story.

Q. That's why I made the point about the history books --

CRISTIE KERR: I think part of that is the crowd. Had I wanted to play my match, as an example, I couldn't have because the green was unplayable.

Q. The green had been cleared, the bunkers had been raked.

KELLI KUEHNE: A lot of the young girls, had I been in the situation, I don't know that I would have known what I was supposed to do. I certainly would have asked my captain what's the proper thing to do. But our players being told the matches are over. Basically, "I realize you want to get back with your team, I concede the match".

Q. At the Ryder Cup next year, the players have to be instructed to finish their matches. They can only concede on the 18th green.

NEAL REID: That will be addressed following this. I think the players and Patty have answered that question. Any other questions about anything else?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Ask Ty Votaw, the commissioner back there in the back of the room. He's going to defer to the rules.

Q. As far as the Swedish crowd.

PATTY SHEEHAN: Tremendous.

Q. Is it very different for the kind of audience, the crowd? Did they applaud you as much as they applauded Europe?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Not quite, but they were very considerate. They were very gracious, and we really appreciated all of their graciousness. And they were very kind to us, yes. But they cheered louder for the Europeans. No question about it.

JULI INKSTER: And rightly so.

PATTY SHEEHAN: As they should.

Q. Would an American crowd have done the same?


Q. They wouldn't?

JULI INKSTER: No. They applaud good shots.

PATTY SHEEHAN: Back at Interlachen last year, it was very much the same.

JULI INKSTER: But you want your home team to cheer louder. That's why it's home soil.

KELLI KUEHNE: It's supposed to be like that.

Q. How can we transfer this friendliness and love for golf to the Ryder Cup?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know. I'm not the captain.

End of FastScripts.

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