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May 31, 2008

Carol Semple Thompson


STEWART McDOUGALL: Thank you for coming so quickly after play finished. You go into tomorrow's singles eight points ahead. How do you feel with that situation?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I don't think we can be too far ahead. I'd like to be five points ahead.
I'm very pleased to be three points ahead going in. I think we've had some really well-fought matches. I'm very proud of my team, to come through at the end. Getting two points this afternoon was huge.

Q. Was that last match a psychological lift, to get a point out of that?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I think it was, yes. Huge.

Q. Thoughts going into tomorrow?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Going into tomorrow, I think it helps a lot we won that match because it was tight the whole way.

Q. How did you feel about the pace of play?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I thought the pace of play was horrible (laughter). I mean, it was horrible. I have asked my players not to consult together a whole lot on their putts. But they still seem to be doing some of it.
But it just gets slower and slower as the day goes on. I don't know what the answer is. I mean, I can't forbid my players to talk to their partners. But hopefully tomorrow in the singles it will go more quickly.

Q. Could you comment on Mina and Kim-Kim pulling through with one putter between them on the last several holes.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, I think it's quite miraculous. I saw Mina putt a couple of holes. I wasn't there when she bent the shaft of her putter. I heard about it maybe three holes later. By the time I got to her, they were well into the back nine. They seemed to be holding their own. Kimberly is such a strong player. She could really hold it together, I think.
I think their chemistry was excellent. They were laughing about it. I don't think Mina was all that upset about it. I mean, I know she was upset. But together they managed to get through.
The one comment I heard was they thought I was going to be upset about her breaking her putter. Kimberly said if they won, it would be okay (laughter).

Q. Before anyone wins or loses tomorrow, how does this experience compare to Bandon Dunes for you as a captain?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, I think playing at St. Andrews is probably the most special thing that I can think of. I love my team. Of course, I loved my team two years ago. We giggled and laughed a lot two years ago. We're certainly giggling and laughing a lot this year.
It's a wonderful group of young women. Being with them for a week has been tremendous. But the venue, there's nothing like St. Andrews and links golf, I think.

Q. Carol, you are a well-qualified rules official. What would you do about the pace of play if you were in charge?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, I think I would probably not give the players 50 seconds to play a shot, which is I believe in the pace of play this week. What we're trying in the States is to make each group responsible for keeping up with the pace, so everybody -- well, I suppose in match play it wouldn't work, but in stroke play everybody gets penalized in a group if they're not at check point.
In match play, I just don't have any answers. I mean, of course, in a competition like this, everybody gets a little more nervous as the day goes on and they slow down and become more and more serious. It's difficult to single anyone out. I suppose they could actually be timed.
But it's a very difficult thing to penalize anybody. So I don't really have an answer.

Q. Do you think it's a consequence of coaching nowadays, all players?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I think it's definitely a function of coaching. I think it's a function of watching professionals play on television. I think it's colleges, college play, where they get upset about having six-hour rounds, but they have six-hour rounds. So it's become almost the norm.
I think it's just a matter of conditioning mentally for them, that they slow down and there's not really any penalty for it. So it's a combination of a lot of factors.

Q. Do you think it has to be addressed?
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: Well, sure, I think it has to be addressed. But I haven't come up with the best answer. Except I know in the States, this group penalty does make people speed up. But, as I say, in match play, I'm not sure that would be very effective. I suppose you could penalize one side.
I don't know. I just don't have an answer.

Q. There were two matches today that went to the 18th green. Can you talk a little bit about what it must be like for the players to come to the 18th green with thousands of spectators at St. Andrews, the clubhouse right there. What must they be feeling, their emotions at that time.
CAROL SEMPLE THOMPSON: I'm sure when they've come to the 18th green, they've felt a huge amount of pressure. If I were coming up the 18th hole, I'd be glad it weren't the 17th hole for the end of the round. At least the 18th, you're probably not going to hit it in the burn, you're probably not going to hit it on the side road. You might hit it on the road in the middle of the fairway. Your chances are better on the 18th hole of not having a big number than 17th.
But the setting is absolutely fabulous with people all around. I'm sure that puts a lot of extra pressure on these young women. I'm very proud of my players and the GB&I players, that they've played the last hole so beautifully.
STEWART McDOUGALL: Thank you very much, Carol. All the best tomorrow.

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