September 18, 1998
TIM MCNULTY: Ladies and gentlemen, we have Pat Hurst and Dottie Pepper. This morning Pat played with Kelly and they beat Lotta and Lisa 1-up. And this afternoon, Pat played with Rosie Jones and Lisa Hackney and Sophie Gustafson. Dottie played this morning with Juli and they beat Trish Johnson and Laura Davies 3-1 and Dottie played with Brandie this afternoon and beat Annika and Catriona 1-up. At this point, we'd like to open up the floor to questions.
Q. Dottie, the Pepper and Inkster partnership that seems to play so well together in a partnership, what do you feel your strengths as a team together?
DOTTIE PEPPER: Well, this probably sounds very pat, but our strength -- I'm sorry -- we don't have any weaknesses. What I lack in length in comparison, Juli makes up and my accuracy lets her free-wheel a little bit. Plus, I think we're very comfortable playing with each other and have had a great deal of success, both now in best ball and alternate shot. And I think being comfortable with the person you're with, No. 1; No. 2, like I said, I think each of our strengths make each other better.
Q. Dottie, could you talk about your emotions on the back 9 today? In both matches, you were pretty comfortable at the turn and they both got --
DOTTIE PEPPER: I don't consider 2-up at the turn comfortable. That's 9 hundred yards to be level. They did -- this morning, it tightened up primarily because Juli and I made a couple of mistakes. I think the 4-footer that I missed at 10 this morning was huge. Had I made that four holes down with eight to go, it would have -- that would have approached comfortable. That would have approached when you're starting to think about where you can be dormy at that point. Couple more birdies, you're thinking about where you can get off the golf course. We did a very good job to make par at 11. And then a little miscue at 12 got us right back in the hole. Where we should have been 3-up at worst, we're now 2-up and working real hard. But I think the -- it got back at 13, I believe, and Juli hit it in the water left on 14, again, which took away the momentum where we thought with a couple of birdies, we can get to at least dormy and then take it from there. And then to promptly lose 15 on top of that made things very uncomfortable. But Juli hit -- one of her strengths is hitting the ball coming in very highly and 16 is set up just perfectly for her and she just stuffed that 6-iron and finally made a really good putt at a very important time there. Brandie, on the other hand... my poor partner.
Q. Did you see the fall?
DOTTIE PEPPER: I saw it from about shoulders up. It was classic. I thought she had saved it because I saw her head go toward the other bank, I thought for sure she had saved it. And then I saw nothing but mud and splash. And, at that point, knowing how both of us are extremely accident-prone, I thought: Oh, God, something's got to be broken; something's got to be somehow injured, but she was laughing at that point, so that was good. (Laughs). But I will go on record as saying I think that should be renamed Burton's Creek. And it smells like garlic. I don't know what's in it, but it smells like garlic. (Laughs).
Q. Pat, talk about your day. You've got to feel pleased.
PAT HURST: Kelly and I played very well together this morning. It was alternate shot. We're very compatible. Our games are alike. We're both kind of long hitters. She actually draws the ball, I fade the ball; so that helps out when we're trying to strategize out there, who wants to fade it and who wants to draw it on certain holes. And then going to Rosie, it was just, for me, it was from 18 green to 1 tee; so it was nice for me to just have the momentum going. Rosie and I just got off to a good start right off the bat with birdie number 2 and just kept going from there. It was a lot of fun.
Q. When I talked to you earlier in the day, you were very emotional. Now that you've had a little chance to savor that fire of baptism of THE SOLHEIM CUP, I wonder your thoughts?
PAT HURST: This morning was tough and it was very emotional. Kelly and I had -- I want to say we were 3-up with maybe 4 to go. I can't really remember what we were. It felt like we had the match in our hands. Next thing you know, the momentum swung to Europe and to make birdie on that last hole is tough and when we made birdie -- when Kelly made that putt, it just felt so good. I was the one making the putt, but she was, and I definitely felt a part of that team. I guess it was an emotional breakdown for me and, like I said, that was -- I guess that's what's part of SOLHEIM and that's what makes it so special to each and every one of us.
Q. What did you hit in?
PAT HURST: I hit 8-iron in there. I don't remember how far. I don't know if you guys have --
Q. You told me 137 yards.
PAT HURST: Okay. It was 137. (Laughs). I don't remember.
Q. Looking ahead tomorrow, will you feel a little bit more at ease now tomorrow morning?
PAT HURST: I think, myself, I will be. You know, just stepping up to that first tee, never experiencing anything like this.
DOTTIE PEPPER: Did you have to hit the first shot?
PAT HURST: I had to hit the first shot. Yes, I did.
DOTTIE PEPPER: That's baptism by fire.
PAT HURST: Yes. But I think you just -- you get more comfortable the more times you do it. I'm sure Dottie -- I would have to say the first day, the first tee is always the toughest, no matter where you're at and which tournament it is and -- especially this one. Getting it out of the way, stepping up on the first tee in the 2nd match was a lot easier for me just because I went from 18 to 1. So I don't know how it will be tomorrow, but hopefully I will be more comfortable.
Q. Both playing 36 holes today -- how tired are you, is it tough on the legs?
PAT HURST: We're in great shape.
DOTTIE PEPPER: I think we're in great shape. I know I've worked reasonably hard. There's certainly a fatigue factor. It's not just the physical part. I've caught myself taking a mental nap out there on 14. Promptly hit it in the left hazard. So I think more of this sort because of the emotions and the adrenaline runs so quickly and to such extremes, I think sometimes the mental fatigue is equally, if not greater, than the physical.
PAT HURST: I think you always try to push through it. I'm sure when Monday comes around, we'll all be really tired. But the adrenaline rush going on right from the first match this morning, I think that helps you through the -- hopefully, through the 3 days. I can't tell you how I'm going to feel on Sunday, but I know Monday that I'll probably be really tired.
Q. Dottie, you being the veteran in this thing, could you comment on your lead and what it means?
DOTTIE PEPPER: To me, it just means we played well on opening day. There is 3 more -- 3 more sets of matches to go off that first tee yet and there's still more points to be won than have been played so far. I just -- I take it as though we've played really well Day One and we're a 3rd of the way through. There's certainly -- just an awful lot of golf left and, you know, we need to kind of kickback a little tonight and get our batteries recharged and focus on where our matches are in the morning and go out and see if we can't play even better than we did today. I know I can play better. I know I made a couple of mistakes. I know Juli feels like she could have played better. I know Brandie feels that she could have played better. We all could have played better. Pat, you may be walking on water, I don't know. 75 is big.
PAT HURST: It was Rosie, also.
DOTTIE PEPPER: It's just not done yet. I think -- you just can't stop after Day 1 and say: Well, we played good, it will just happen tomorrow. I think you need to keep pushing.
Q. What do you expect from the Europeans tomorrow morning?
DOTTIE PEPPER: I have no idea. I haven't seen any pairings.
Q. I mean, do you expect them to really --
DOTTIE PEPPER: Sure. I would expect the same of us if we were 3 points down or whatever the total is. I don't even know.
Q. How was the reception off the first tee?
DOTTIE PEPPER: It was great. It was great. They didn't sing as much here, but it was great. It is this is a pretty vocal crowds and I would say from both sides they're pretty vocal. It's fun to play in a different atmosphere such as this is.
Q. How much easier is it for you being at home?
DOTTIE PEPPER: Actually, before the tournament started, it was harder because everybody could find you. You know, when you're over in Wales, it's not so easy to find you. I had 3 requests between last night and today: Where are my tickets? You didn't ask me for them, you just told me you were coming. (Laughs). You know, that sort of thing. When you're playing abroad, that sort of stuff isn't even in the realm. Certainly, I think the crowds -- you can -- definitely know who has made a putt or who has not, even from four or five holes away. There is a home court advantage, but I don't think it's -- it's a big advantage if you manage it properly. There is also a lot more distractions that go along with playing at home.
Q. You both ready to go 36 again tomorrow?
DOTTIE PEPPER: If Captain Judy says yes, we'll be there.
PAT HURST: Definitely.
TIM MCNULTY: Thank you. That concludes the press conference. Thanks, Dottie and Pat.
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