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September 13, 2007

Laura Davies

Suzann Pettersen


BETHAN CUTLER: I'd like to welcome Laura Davies and Suzann Pettersen. Laura is the only player who's played in all ten Cups since the very first one in 1990.
Suzann, this is your fourth Solheim Cup.
I'd just like to start with Laura. Could you make a few comments about how it feels to be here and to be the only player that's played in all of them.
LAURA DAVIES: I think it just makes me the oldest. It's as simple that. If you're not old enough, you can't play in all ten. That's my advantage there and my disadvantage, obviously.
Obviously great to be back. Another really strong European team. Three rookies, and they're all great players. We've got the experience. We've got the great players like Suzann, the year she's had, and then we've got the rookies as well. It's a bit of everything for us.
Suzann, you want to make a few comments. You had a great year. How you feel? How your form is coming in to this week?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I'm feeling pretty good about my game. Had a good year so far, and it's been nice to get some reward back from all the effort you put in. So -- I mean, this is a very special week. It's a very different week. It's not about you. It's about the team and whatever it takes --
LAURA DAVIES: It's always about you.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I know, but I'm trying not to. It's like this week it's one for all and all for one. So it's kind of that way.
BETHAN CUTLER: And Laura, have you been helping the rookies in any way at all?
LAURA DAVIES: No. Just actually helped lose Becky lose 500 Krona. I didn't play particularly well. It's a bit of encouragement here and there. They've all won tournaments. They know what it's about. It will be a bit different for them on the first tee tomorrow. After that they can get relaxed. The first tee will come as quite a shook to them.
BETHAN CUTLER: Open some questions, please, for Laura and Suzann.

Q. Laura, going back to the first match where not everybody by any means knew the Americans and so, you know, the atmosphere was probably different than to now when you do all know each other; is that correct or not?
LAURA DAVIES: I would say so. That was us against some legends of the game at that point. Nancy Lopez, Patty Sheehan, Pat Bradley. They were all up there. We were a bunch of up-and-coming Europeans players. Lake Nona was a learning experience for us. Suzann gets on well with them. We play with them week in and week out, America. So they're not the enemy. They're just competition this week.

Q. Is it harder to play them because of it or not at all? You just switch something on for the match?
LAURA DAVIES: It's a bit more sarcasm involved. When they're your friends or beating them or losing them, it's a bit more light-hearted. If you don't know people, it can get a little bit more fiery. We're all good friends now. None of the American -- maybe one that -- they're not -- (laughter). I consider all of them my friends.

Q. It's not worth asking which one is that.
LAURA DAVIES: I would never tell you. It's 12-to-1 chance. I'll let you make a guess. It's not Juli.

Q. I was going to ask, it's lovely out there now, but in terms of European chances, how do you greet the news it's likely to be wet, cold, and windy?
LAURA DAVIES: I think it will help us. I don't know we need too much help with the conditions. That certainly won't diminish our chances at all.

Q. Home advantage as well?
LAURA DAVIES: That's our -- the 13th player. That is our 13th man this week because if these two teams lined up in America -- I've said it all week -- we would be on the end. It could be a real problem for us, but because of the home advantage, the home golf course, that's where we have our main chance. We play well, we will win.

Q. Everybody is talking about the length of the course. How much of a factor is that? How much of an advantage is that for you?
LAURA DAVIES: I think Alfie has done a great job. It's as simple as that. The longer the course, the better it is for us. We carry the ball a lot further. A lot of the Americans are not short hitters. In fact, Brittany is one of the longest on Tour, but they tend to run the ball probably a little bit more than our long hitters. Suzann, me, Sophie, Becky, really fly the ball a long way. That's going to help us off the tee to get the extra yardage. They're not easy to putt. They're very -- some big breaks in them. You can have some areas where you roll off them if you're not quite accurate. Shorter clubs in is better.

Q. Suzann, can you just talk about Major Championship pressure on Sunday compared to Solheim Cup pressure on Sunday?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's not really comparable. I think standing on the first tee tomorrow is so different to standing on the tee in another Major Championship. It's playing the same game, but the pressure and the tension of it is so different.
You're not out there just by yourself. You're out there for another 11 teammates, and I think the experience you get in the Solheim will help you more in the other events like normal events rather than the other way.
So, I think that helped me when I came down the stretch in the McDonald's, having been on the kind of more pressure brought before and kind of learned from that.

Q. Annika said yesterday that she wasn't sure she would play all five matches. If you would guess today, Laura, who would be the dominant player for Europe this week? Who would you say?
LAURA DAVIES: Who is going to what, play all five?

Q. Annika wasn't sure.
LAURA DAVIES: I would love to play all five. I make no secret of it. I don't like watching. I like being involved. When I've won my match, hopefully get out and support the team. But if Alfie chooses to play me five, four, three times, whatever she decides, it will be a good decision. I'd love to play five. I would sure you would too, wouldn't you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah. Knowing our captain.
LAURA DAVIES: It's exciting for us. I'll tell you.

Q. If you had to guess today, who would be the dominant player of the weekend?
LAURA DAVIES: Who will win most points? I would never bet against Annika, I'll tell you that much, or this one. She already taken money off me. She's got the look. I think Suzann -- I feel she'll play all five matches for sure the way she's playing.

Q. Laura, does your experience help you not to worry about how you play today, that you've known that in the past?
LAURA DAVIES: I don't enjoy practice rounds. Just misery for me. I don't enjoy them. I try to get a bit of enjoyment out of it by winning money off of them, but that's backfired. I was a few up coming into today. I must admit the first three practice rounds, I just flat out don't enjoy them. Whether that makes me a bad professional, I have no idea. I know I'll be ready tomorrow morning, and that's all that matters.

Q. I was also wondering -- you lost your singles two years ago. Were you at all -- I'm not saying you're older, but will you worry that that would be your last Solheim Cup match?
LAURA DAVIES: God, no. I don't consider this my last Solheim Cup. If it is, I'll be very surprised. I'm playing as well now as I've ever played, and age is nothing. Juli won another tournament. She's 48. I see Juli playing a few more Cups. Aging goal -- everyone goes on about all this fitness is walking and swinging a club. (Laughter).
I don't buy into it at all. I'm sure it helps, and I come from an era where we didn't do it. So if you don't think I can walk 36 holes in a day because I'm 44, I think you're wrong. I'm not 44. I'm 43. (Laughter)

Q. How would you describe Alfie as a captain?
LAURA DAVIES: I'll leave that one to you.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, I think -- I mean, she's been on both sides. She's been a player. She knows what we like to have from a captain, and now she's a captain herself, and I think she's doing a great job. She's involving you, and she's involving you more than probably a lot of other captains. She talks a lot. She wants to know what you're feeling, what you're thinking.
She's been great. She's put a great team around her. Every time she walks into the room, we try to not worry.
LAURA DAVIES: You always hear her before you see her.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You're already there, you shut your ears down. She's -- she has a big heart, which is very important in this tournament, and I think she -- I think she'll lead the team very well.
LAURA DAVIES: Communication side, has been as good a captain as I've seen. I mean, tactic-wise we'll have to wait and see. But if we win, she's a great captain. If we lose, she's a bad captain. You never heard of anyone being a great captain when they're not holding the trophy. It's up to us now to make her a great captain.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: She also tried to make every player feel good about themselves.
LAURA DAVIES: She's been good with the rookies. She's good. We all may make fun of actually me because the character she is. She's very serious when it comes down to it.

Q. Laura, a lot has obviously been made about the youth movement in women's golf and how that is supposed to be helping the sport. I was just wondering if you agree that it is. Have you seen it in prize money, galleries?
LAURA DAVIES: I think so. You look at young American players. We're talking about the LPGA now. So many good young Americans is really helping the Tour. You've got Brittany and Morgan, obviously Paula Creamer, and there's a few more coming through, and Cristie Kerr obviously winning. She's not one of the younger players, but still considered one of the younger ones. Winning the U.S. Open. If the LPGA is strong, women's golf is strong.

Q. Is it possible to explain, Laura, how much this event means or has meant to the growth of women's golf over the years? You've experienced them all, in terms of the standing of women's golf, where this event has help helped it?
LAURA DAVIES: Undoubtedly it has. Some of other nationalities don't get a chance to experience this. I think every two years the golf -- the sporting world sees an event, whereas a lot of times I think just the golfing world sees lady's events. Everyone is interested in this no matter what sort of sporting background they come from, whether they like football or rugby or anything. I think the Solheim Cup gets so much attention, it's very good for the game. Raises the profile very much.
BETHAN CUTLER: Do we have any more questions? Okay. That concludes the press conference. Thank you for coming in.

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