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August 26, 2007

Nicole Castrale

Paula Creamer

Juli Inkster

Betsy King

BETSY KING: Hello and welcome to this press conference. What a great week we've had at the Safeway Classic and I'd like to thank Tom Maletis and his staff for allowing us to make this announcement at his tournament.
This has been a very exciting two-year qualifying period. To serve as captain, getting to know the players, watching them earn a spot on the U.S. Team, what an experience this has been for me.
I would like to extend a special thanks to Beth Daniel who is serving as my assistant captain (applause.)
We have worked really hard and really well during the last few months to make sure that we would be ready to announce the best team to represent the United States in Sweden. Players have played really hard to make the team. Ten players earned their spots via the point system, and two players will be announced to have earned their spot via my captain's pick.
I am looking forward to taking this team to Sweden and battling for the Solheim Cup at Halmstad Golf Club in September. The Solheim Cup is our chance to play for our country. It's about pride and about patriotism.
With that said, I'm pleased and proud to announce to you the members of the 2007 U.S. Solheim Cup team. Listed in order from the final point standings are, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Juli Inkster, Stacy Prammanasudh, Pat Hurst, Natalie Gulbis, Brittany Lincicome, Angela Stanford and Sherri Steinhauer. Congratulations all the team members (applause.) You guys have worked really hard the last two years, and I can't tell you how much I admire you, your commitment to play and to earn a spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team. As the LPGA says, "These Girls Rock," and you really do.
Now I'd like to announce my two captain's picks for the 2007 team. And they will join me on stage and I will present them with a team jacket designed by Lizgolf especially for us. First Nicole Castrale (applause). And Laura Diaz (applause).
To talk a little bit about the captain's picks, I have to say this is probably one of the hardest decisions I've ever made in my life. But I'm very happy with the two players that I've chosen to complete our team. Some information about Nicole Castrale, she became a Rolex First-Time Winner this year at the Ginn Tribute, hosted by ANNIKA. And she had 5 top 10 finishes including a tie for 10th at the (McDonald's) LPGA Championship.
Laura Diaz, it will be her 4th appearance on the Solheim Cup team. She has 4 top 10 finishes in 2007 with more than $450,000 in earnings. And she has three top-10 finishes in her last five events prior to this week. She's top-10 in greens in regulation at 67 percent.
To talk about why this is a good team, I just am so excited. I feel honored to be captain of this year's team. A good combination of veterans such as Juli Inkster. I won't tell her age, but you all know it anyway. And of rookies (to the team), such as Morgan Pressel, Stacy Prammanasudh, Brittany Lincicome and Nicole (Castrale). We have solid Solheim Cup experience and we have a lot of youth and energy, as well. Combined Solheim Cup experience between the players is 22 years.
I'd like at this time to invite a few players up for comments. First I'd like to have Nicole Castrale come forward for a few comments.
NICOLE CASTRALE: Thanks for everyone coming. I'm just so excited. This means the world to me, just to join the quality of players, and I'm friends with most of the girls up here.
JULI INKSTER: Most of them? (laughter)
NICOLE CASTRALE: Most of them. Not Juli. (laughter) I'm a little nervous, sorry. I didn't have to be the first one to speak.
So anyway, I'm so excited to represent the U.S. and just to play alongside everyone, and I'm looking forward to us going over there and having a great showing (applause.)
BETSY KING: And I'd like to also have Paula Creamer come forward to say a few words.
PAULA CREAMER: First off I think we need to thank the Solheim Cup family for giving us the opportunity to play in this event. I think it's become incredibly popular over the last several years and watching the veterans play has always been an inspiration to me, and I'm very honored and privileged to be on this team with these 12 players.
I think the biggest thing is we are 12 players, but we have to go over as one, and I think we're able to do that. And I believe that if we do that we will have a chance to hold that Cup and bring it back. So "Go USA." (Applause.)
BETSY KING: And also someone that has just a little bit of experience, this will be her 7th Solheim Cup experience, Juli Inkster.
JULI INKSTER: I'm happy just to be standing (laughter), but this is a great honor to represent our country. We have a lot of rookies this year, but we have a lot of rookies with a lot of heart. We're going to go over there and we're going to play as one and we're going to have a lot of fun and we're going to do it with a lot of class. We're going to come back and whatever we do, win or lose, we're going to represent the United States very well. But we're going to win (laughter).
BETSY KING: As you know, from listening to them, there really is no greater experience than playing in the Solheim Cup. I know I was very fortunate to be on the first five teams, and it was truly the highlight of my career, and I want to make it that way for these players sitting behind me. It's going to be a great week win or lose. Obviously you have more fun if you win. We want to go over to Sweden and defend the Cup and do it in a way that everyone will feel very proud of us. We want to thank you for coming today and look forward to seeing you in a few weeks in Sweden. Thank you very much.

Q. Betsy, just wondering how important it was for you that one of your captain's picks have some experience, past experience?
BETSY KING: I thought that was very important, particularly going over to Sweden to have someone that had played over there before. As you all know it's a little bit of a different time when you're over in Europe playing, you're not drawing a lot of people rooting for you. You have to be pretty self-motivated. And I took that into consideration with my picks. I'm very happy with this whole team. I'm excited and honored to be their captain and we're going to go over there and do our best. I know it will be a tough time for us, but hopefully we're up to the challenge. Paula just told me that we are up to the challenge.
Again, thank you very much for coming, and we'll see you all again in a few weeks.

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