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September 12, 2007
DANA GROSS-RHODE: Okay. I want to welcome Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer into the interview room with us.
You two are obviously some of the younger players on the team, but, Paula, after 2005 and, Morgan, you have Junior Solheim Cup experience, you guys obviously have proved that you played very well in match place competition and you're ready to be here. Talk about this week, getting ready for this.
PAULA CREAMER: Well, it is. It's exciting to be back again. You know, I'm not a rookie but technically I am. But I'm excited to be here and excited to represent my country. I think we have a great team. Betsy has done a wonderful job with us, and I'm just really looking forward to Friday's start.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. Same. I've played in a couple of Junior Cups. One with Paula, nothing oversees, but -- so I'm excited to be here for the first time, and I'm really looking forward to it.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: Take questions.
Q. Paula, you say that Betsy is doing a wonderful job with you. Can you just expand on that a little bit?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I think that, you know, when she talks, we all listen. We're a pretty rowdy group. We always have our fun time, everybody is very outgoing, and when she says something, our team gets pretty quiet and we listen. I think it's great she has that. She's doing a wonderful job as our captain and good friend, putting us in line where we need to be. It's true.
MORGAN PRESSEL: You need to be.
PAULA CREAMER: Maybe me. Maybe it's only in my case.
Q. Natural following from that, what have you done to fall out of line?
MORGAN PRESSEL: You.
PAULA CREAMER: Not me. He said you.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Me?
Q. You said you fell out of line.
MORGAN PRESSEL: He said Paula, what have you done?
PAULA CREAMER: Just in case we don't fall out of line. Geez, Louise.
Q. I wonder, Morgan, have you talked a lot to Paula about the Solheim Cup and what can be expected from a week like this?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. We have talked quite a bit about it. Talked about how excited we were for this week, and I talked to Paula. She said many times that things like Solheim is better than winning a tournament and things like that. I've had a fantastic week so far. So I'm hoping the rest of the week is just like this.
Q. Morgan, have they teased you at all about being the youngest player on the team?
MORGAN PRESSEL: They haven't really teased me. Just this morning they teased me last night. Last night Paula claimed to eat my desert. I was upset about that.
PAULA CREAMER: I didn't. Played a little joke.
MORGAN PRESSEL: This morning they blamed me for burning toast and setting off the fire alarm. It was not me.
PAULA CREAMER: It was Sherri.
MORGAN PRESSEL: They kind of said, "Morgan did it."
PAULA CREAMER: Maybe the littlest because she's the littlest. That's the one thing that we tease her about in the pictures.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. I was looking at pictures last night, and like "Why am I standing in the back row?" I mean, it's like everybody is really tall, and there's me, and like a pretty big dip there, and the fact that I wore a black hat. I wasn't real happy about that, either.
Q. Can you guys just talk a little about the course and how long its playing and how you're attacking it?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think the course is pretty long. We're not definitely the longest players out here at all by any stretch of the imagination, but I think that you have to hit the ball straight. I think there's some pretty tight tee shots for as long as the golf course is playing. It's not that wide.
It's in great shape. We played out here Monday afternoon, and it was pretty wet. There were puddles, and it's dried out very nicely. Unfortunately we're going to get a little bit more rain, sounds like, but anyway.
PAULA CREAMER: It's long. I think we know the reasons why. It's a little advantage for them, but, you know, going into that we practiced a lot of four, five rescue clubs, and I think you just have to take it as it comes. It's match play. You hit first and closer, it's a lot more pressure.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Right on.
Q. What you're talking about course setup, obviously you're not anywhere near home. What to you guys is going to be the hardest thing or has been the hardest thing about trying to win this event in Europe as opposed to winning it in the U.S.?
PAULA CREAMER: I asked Juli that question. What's the difference? It's just putts. It all comes down to making putts. When you get a lot of momentum over here, people just -- the European team goes with it. There's nothing I don't think in preparation. We will all have done that. We all have practiced hard enough to be here. It's getting that momentum and keeping it and moving on.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think she answered that. I think a lot of it is about momentum. We're not going to have too many people cheering for us, so we won't expect that. We want to quiet the crowds. I think we really need to get the momentum going hopefully from the start and keep it going.
Q. Can I also ask you -- because I know you've been kind of fan favorites over your careers -- have you ever been in a situation where you weren't the favorite person in the group that you were in?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Have I? Yeah. I played with some great players on the LPGA Tour. I've played -- we're not always the favorites.
PAULA CREAMER: No. You go to certain places, go to Mexico, Lorena is obviously the favorite there. Depends on where you're at. Everybody has their following, and today there's a lot of Americans out there cheering for us.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Surprised how many.
PAULA CREAMER: It's nice. Like we said, we know that we're not going -- we're the underdogs.
Q. I have a question for both of you. Did you watch the Solheim Cup on TV when you were growing up? And, if so, are there any particular moments that stick out in your memories?
PAULA CREAMER: Juli's putt, definitely.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Absolutely.
PAULA CREAMER: By that, the biggest thing.
MORGAN PRESSEL: That's what I remember. I've been to two Cups, and so I've been there, and I watched it on TV, and it's something that you watch growing up as a little girl. And I think that it's one of those events. It's like watching the Olympics. It really gets you into a sport.
I mean, I can't imagine how many little girls are going to turn it on and cheer for us back home. So, you know, we're playing for our country. That's pretty exciting.
PAULA CREAMER: There's no better form of flattery for any athlete when they get to wear their colors from where they're from. When you're younger and watch them, it's momentum, it's confidence in yourself that you want to be how you watched them and envisioned it.
Q. So besides from playing and practicing, what have you been doing this week?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Not much. We haven't had much time. We were out here yesterday morning from early in the morning practicing until late. We had pictures that took forever, and then we went back and had dinner. We really haven't done too much. Gone out to dinner -- we had a couple dinners.
PAULA CREAMER: We were with family and friends.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We haven't done that much. There hasn't been that much to do.
PAULA CREAMER: Going through all of our things that we've been given is nice.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Cleaning up your room, it's been a little bit of a mess. We're working on that because we've got so much stuff.
Q. How do you like the accommodation and the food?
PAULA CREAMER: Everything has been very good. They've done a wonderful job at the hotel. Very convenient. It's very nice. We ask for something, and it's there. It's very nice. Lot different than what we thought we were coming over. And it has been, you know, better. The expectations were it's been great Press team room is really nice. It's really great.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: One final question to you. What's the difference to you guys being Junior Solheim Cup members and watching the professionals play and being in that position, making that switch? What's the biggest difference?
PAULA CREAMER: The galleries. I'd say the people. The amount of people. You know, like I said earlier, whenever you get to represent your country, there's no better feeling than that, but this is the highest form that we can play on to do that. Forum up there. (Mark) forum: The emotions that you have out in the golf course, there's nothing like in any other tournament.
MORGAN PRESSEL: No, I agree. I think that anytime you can get experience in some form of pressure playing for your country, and, I mean, even playing alternate shot and best ball and match play, period. I think that that's all going to help, and, having been around it, seen what it's like from slightly from a player's perspective. Even the real Solheim Cup, when we've gone out, when we went out to watch, not just as a junior. I will say it was a little weird watching Paula last year playing on the team. I was like, "I want to play." Wasn't quite there yet. Took me an extra year or an extra two years, I guess. Those were great experiences for me.
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BY DANA GROSS-RHODE:
Q. I'm interested in a detail of your uniform, and that's Morgan's ribbon at the back. Have you all got hair ribbons saying "U.S.A." and have you all got long hair in --
MORGAN PRESSEL: Everybody has hair ribbons, but not everybody has long hair. I hope they tie them to their bag.
Q. How big a factor is home advantage?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, neither of us have ever played over here, so we're going to find out.
PAULA CREAMER: I guess you can look at the results, and it's very big. You have the crowd. But, at the same time, I keep saying it's all momentum. You go into it as a positive frame of mind and play your own game. The golf course is tough. It's going to be tough for everybody. Hopefully it stays windy like there and make it even harder. It will be more interesting out there.
Q. Paula, can you say now nervous you felt playing in the last Solheim Cup? I mean, how would you say your nerves were compared to, say, top ten in a major?
PAULA CREAMER: Nothing that can prepare you for the first tee of a Solheim Cup, especially when my first one was at home. You know, there's no other feeling than that.
I asked -- I asked a lot of the veterans, "How do you handle your emotions on the first tee? They kept telling me once you get there, you don't really -- everything that everybody tells you kind of goes down the drain because you're washed with what's going on.
Luckily in my first match I didn't have to hit the first tee shot, so I was okay with that. It is. It's very difficult. You take a couple hard practice swings and hope it goes down the middle.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: Thank y'all very much for coming. Good luck this week.
End of FastScripts