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September 10, 2003

Laura Diaz


LAURA NEAL: Thanks for coming in. A little wet. Try not to drip on me. Now that you've seen the course a couple of times, maybe you can talk a little bit about that and being over here for your first Solheim Cup overseas.

LAURA DIAZ: The course is in excellent shape. I'm really looking forward to playing it in the next few days. The practice rounds have gone well, and the greens are really rolling nicely. The fairways are just fantastic. I am very excited to be over here for my second Solheim Cup. I think that I'm very glad that my first was in the States because I got the U.S. backing over there, but I think it's going to be really awesome to play in front of the European crowd because from what I hear they have sold out. It's always exciting to play in front of big galleries. We don't get that opportunity very often. And I know last year it was just a tremendous experience stepping out on the first tee, listening to the songs and looking at all the people on every single hole. That's a real big treat for us as players because I think you play to the crowd, and when there's nobody out there, it's just not as exciting.

LAURA NEAL: Any questions?

Q. How has Patty Sheehan been towards you as captain last year, and has it changed this year?

LAURA DIAZ: Fantastic. Obviously she's the only captain that I've had, but last year was a great experience. I think her and Jane Geddes really brought the team together, taught us all about Solheim Cup. I think most of us had played on a team in college or in high school. So you knew what it was like to make golf into a team sport per se, but I think the two of them together really showed us how to become a team, the 12 of us. I greatly respect Patty. She was one of my idols growing up. I really look up to her. Every question I've ever had she's answered perfectly and really helped get me through my first Solheim Cup. She's been great this week, too.

Q. She seems very relaxed in this kind of quite highly fraught atmosphere.

LAURA DIAZ: Yeah. I think that she knows what she's doing. She has a lot of confidence in her team. Last year I think we learned a lot, and a lot of us are back again. I'm sure that the excitement will start a little more on Friday. But yeah, everything seems pretty relaxed right now.

Q. We asked Cristie about pairings, as far as talking to Patty about who you'd like to play with. What is your opinion on that?

LAURA DIAZ: I have no preference on who I play with. I think that our team is very deep with talent, and it's an honor to play with anybody on our team. I have a lot of good friends. I enjoyed playing with Juli last year. And I played with Kellie last year as well. Whoever she puts me with I think we'll team up great and go out and do our best to make a lot of birdies.

Q. Would bad weather be a psychological disadvantage for the U.S. team, and what have your veterans told you about the weather at Loch Lomond?

LAURA DIAZ: We play in bad weather a lot. This year in particular. We've had a tough year on the LPGA tour for weather. We've had rain, I'd say, in 75 percent of the tournaments I've played in this year have had a day rained out, a day delayed, something cancelled. It's been a tough year with weather. So I think that if there was a year to be prepared, this is the year. There's nothing -- you can't do anything about the weather. You can just go out and play the best golf that you can. And I think we're all ready to do that. Most of us were out there just now playing in the pouring down rain. And from what I hear, the weather is supposed to be perfect the rest of the week.

Q. You said that it's always a learning experience your first Solheim. What did you learn about yourself and how you responded to the pressure and maybe what you would do the same or differently from last year?

LAURA DIAZ: My first match was with Juli Inkster, and she is probably the person that I would most like to be like. I think that because of that I really wanted to play my best golf, and I didn't. So I think that from that experience I just learned that you've got to go out and do what you do every week. And that's just play golf the best that you can. Not to impress anybody, just to be out there and hit the best shots that you can hit. That was hard to learn. It took me about nine holes to get over that last year. But I don't think you know that you're doing that until you have done it and you go back and you analyze how the whole week went. But looking at it this year, that was probably the biggest thing I learned from last year. I hope that that will help me out this year.

Q. Personally has it been a little frustrating this year with the injury? And can you tell me how it is?

LAURA DIAZ: Most definitely. This has been a struggling year for me personally. As most of you know, I was diagnosed by a few doctors with a tear in my tendon in my left ankle. And I was playing with it taped and braced for most of the season. Luckily I chose to kind of go to alternative medicine, massage therapy, which isn't that alternative. But considering that they were telling me that there was something medically wrong with me. I went to see a massage therapist in Orlando, Lynn Teachworth, and he has made it possible for me to play with almost no pain. I was having trouble getting onto my left side because every time I did that it would really, really hurt. At one point it was hard for me just to walk on it. He's made it possible for me to play again, and the last month and a half has been much better. I'm seeing him as regularly as I can. So hopefully there will be no surgery.

Q. How does it feel playing the Solheim Cup barely 12 months after the last one?

LAURA DIAZ: The Solheim Cup is very exciting. For sure I would have liked to -- the first one, two years, two years, two years. But I think that it's just an added bonus that we get to play again this year. Hopefully that's one more Solheim Cup that I can squeeze in, in my career. I think it's really good for us because we're a real similar team to last year. We only have a few changes. It's really exciting to be over here in Sweden, and I'm looking forward to the 90,000 tickets that were sold.

LAURA NEAL: Any other questions? Laurie, thank you very much.

LAURA DIAZ: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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