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August 18, 2009
SUGAR GROVE, ILLINOIS
MIKE SCANLAN: Thanks for coming in. We'd like to welcome the U.S. Team rookies to the press conference area, Michelle Wie from Hawai'i, Kristy McPherson from South Carolina, and Brittany Lang from the great state of Texas. Michelle, we'll start with you. Just talk about being on the team for the first time and how the week has been for you so far.
MICHELLE WIE: It's been so exciting. It's a great honor and a privilege to represent my country, and I really haven't seen so many people on the practice round before. I mean, the bleachers are filled on a Tuesday, so I can't imagine what Friday will be like.
I think just everyone is so proud of our country, and just for us to represent it and to be part of a team with so many great players has just been such an honor. It's been so much fun getting to know everyone.
MIKE SCANLAN: Kristy Mac, your thoughts?
KRISTY McPHERSON: I agree with Michelle. The practice rounds the first two days have been kind of overwhelming. It's cool to have so many people out here on Monday and Tuesday and just to sign some autographs and see a lot of red, white and blue in the stands.
I haven't been nervous yet, but I know when Friday comes, we're going to get the nerves going. But yeah, it's just -- it really is a great honor to not only play what we normally play an individual game, but to play for 11 other girls and three great captains and our whole country. Come Friday it's going to be so exciting.
MIKE SCANLAN: Brittany?
BRITTANY LANG: The thing that I have really enjoyed the past few months is just the camaraderie, just hanging out with everybody, getting to know them, playing the practice rounds, just having fun. That's probably been the most fun I've had in a long time. I've just enjoyed that, just hanging out with the girls.
Q. Any of you guys done any activities like fishing or biking or anything that you wouldn't be doing a couple days before a normal tournament?
KRISTY McPHERSON: No fishing. Ask B. Lang about the ping-pong.
BRITTANY LANG: Oh, shush. I beat Lincicome, though. Lincicome is good. But yeah, we've been playing pool and ping-pong, and she's really good at ping-pong, so I lost. Paula and I played Kristy and Lincicome, and we got killed.
KRISTY McPHERSON: A couple times in a row.
BRITTANY LANG: We're not good. But then I came out on top and beat Brittany.
MICHELLE WIE: I didn't even try. Me and Morgan played -- yeah, we just didn't try. It's okay, we'll stick to golf.
Q. I know you guys are rookies, but what has being all in the same area been like for you guys, in terms of either just getting to know your teammates or some of the team building? It is a different thing to have this sort of campus as some of the other ladies were calling it.
KRISTY McPHERSON: Yeah, I'm kind of shocked we haven't had the rookie initiation yet. They haven't made us feel like rookies yet, so it's been really cool being in there with girls like Juli, who has out here so many times, and Kerr has played so many; Paula has been successful in Solheims. And just for them, I think they're excited to have us on the team and we're excited to be there.
But just like Brittany said, the coolest thing is just hanging out with 11 cool girls that are just good friends, and for one week every two years, now we get to play with each other, pull for each other so hard and get to have each other's backs and play for our country together. So that's been the cool part.
Q. Do you know the golf course well enough yet? I know you've only had a couple days out there. Are you feeling comfortable with it?
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah, well, we had a couple practices here beforehand. We played one 18-hole round after the McDonald's LPGA Championship, and then after the British we had two rounds, and now we've got these two days. So I feel pretty comfortable on it, and I'm sure these girls feel the same way.
You know, we got to see the course the first two times and now we can actually get a feel for the greens and everything, how they're going to be in the tournament.
Q. Just to follow up, how will the course play as far as match play standpoint? Are there going to be a lot of birdies out there, or are there going to be holes where par might be a good score?
KRISTY McPHERSON: Michelle plays a different game than we play, so a lot more birdies for her.
MICHELLE WIE: No, no really. It depends on where they stick the flags. They can make the course pretty easy, they can make the course really difficult. I think just depending on the situations.
If they cut the rough, it could be really easy, but if they keep growing the rough out, it's going to be really tough. You can get in some sticky situations. But I think it's a good match play golf course. It's a lot of risk and reward. You can take the risk, but the reward will also be great. So I think it's a great match play course.
I think no matter what course we play on, match play is a different game. You play your opponent, and you just have to play your own game and you just have to try to come out on top.
Q. Michelle, you are pretty used to media scrutiny and big crowds over the years, you played Curtis Cup. Even it's early in the week, does this feel very different to anything you've done before?
MICHELLE WIE: I think the one difference that I feel different from the Curtis Cup is that we're on home ground. I think Curtis Cup, it was about the fun of trying to silence the crowd, hit a great shot, and they don't really clap.
But here, you know, you hit it on the green, and even on Tuesday and they're roaring your name, they're yelling your name, and I think that's the biggest difference that I felt, just being on home ground and seeing your country's flags being waved around at all times. It's so fabulous.
But you know, me and Brittany were on the Curtis Cup, so we're always talking about our good old days.
BRITTANY LANG: Our redemption.
MICHELLE WIE: Exactly, getting our redemption back. But it's been fun. We've been saying from the beginning, just getting to know these girls and being all in the same house and having the putting green just right outside our front door has just been so great, and to have all these extra activities has been such a fun time.
Q. Are there any one or two holes that stick out here, or how would you describe the course itself? Does it remind you of any other courses that you play?
MICHELLE WIE: I think it has a really different characteristic from the entire golf course. I think Mr. Rich did a wonderful job. I don't know how he made the golf course and figured it out. And I think it's a lot of fun.
KRISTY McPHERSON: Yeah, it's definitely a lot of holes, like Michelle said, depending on pin placement, pars are good scores. I think 17 is going to be a key hole out here, which is a long hole. Maybe not so long for these ladies, but a long hole, one of the most difficult holes with a narrow green over water. I think that was a turning point in our match, in our fun little match today. I think throughout the week you'll see a lot of excitement on 17 and maybe some of the matches ending there.
BRITTANY LANG: I birdied 17 today (laughter), but I think it's a fair course.
KRISTY McPHERSON: What did you hit into?
BRITTANY LANG: Knocked down 6.
KRISTY McPHERSON: I hit every bit of a 3-iron hybrid.
BRITTANY LANG: No, it's a very fair course. There's a lot of holes where you can capitalize and make birdies and hit 8-iron, whatever, something like that. But then there's a fair amount of holes -- like myself, I'm not as long as Michelle, but I'm probably 10 yards behind her, a fairly long hitter, and I'm hitting driver, 3 and 4-iron into some of these greens maybe four times throughout a round.
Most of the other girls are hitting 3-woods or 3-irons, so I think it's a fair course, but it's definitely a good challenge, sloping greens and the rough. But I think it's a fair test.
Q. Michelle, where do you put your sunglasses when you're wearing that cap?
MICHELLE WIE: I either wear them or put them in my bag.
Q. Are any of you getting up at 18, reaching the green in two at 18?
KRISTY McPHERSON: I'm not.
BRITTANY LANG: I haven't hit a good drive there yet, so I don't know.
MICHELLE WIE: I think so.
KRISTY McPHERSON: Christina got there today in our group. She got down the hill and got there in two. But I think there's probably four or five girls on our team that can probably reach 18 in two.
MICHELLE WIE: It's the smallest green on the golf course, as well.
BRITTANY LANG: It just depends on your drive. It's weird. Like if you get down that hill there, then you can get there.
Q. But it looked to me as if it wasn't necessarily safe to take a driver because you can go down that slope so easily.
KRISTY McPHERSON: I think that's the best part about having best ball and having a partner because like if I'm playing with them, I'm going to hit it in the fairway and say, ya'll go for it, give them a chance to get it down there. It's a tight tee ball to get it down there. But these girls are good. They can get it down there.
MICHELLE WIE: I think it's definitely the risk and reward. I think the reward is really great if you hit it down there because you can get it on. But you have to take the risk.
Q. As rookies can you guys talk a little bit about who you've played with the last couple days? I don't know if Beth already knows what pairs work for you guys yet, but what has it meant for you guys to play with some of the other veterans or each other to see what works? Are you guys kind of getting a handle on that right now?
KRISTY McPHERSON: She's switched it up quite a bit. I played a different group today than I have the last few times we've been here. But she's trying to keep us guessing. So if you find out, you let me know.
But I don't think any of us really know. I think we have kind of an idea of a few people she might put us with. But yeah, I think our three captains, they've been through a lot of Solheims, so I think they know what they're doing. I think whatever pairings they come up with are going to be the right pairings.
Q. Michelle, with your career and ancestry, I want to ask you what Yang's victory in the PGA Championship meant to you and how much you got to see of it on TV?
MICHELLE WIE: I think it was great. I was really pulling for him. I played a practice round with him back in Japan, and I just thought he was the nicest guy and a really great player.
You know, I saw him at the Reno Tahoe. We always were kind of close. He's a really great guy, and I was really glad to see him pull through. It was very unfortunate for Tiger, but I thought it was good.
You know, golf is interesting; you can play bad or you can play good. But I thought it was really great, just because I know him personally and he gave me a couple putting tips here and there, so I was pulling for him.
But I think it was pretty cool because if I tried to lift a golf bag, all my clubs would fall out the other side. But I thought it was pretty cool he did that.
I didn't see any of it because I was on a plane, and we had to get rerouted to Indianapolis to refuel and then try to go back again. But I unfortunately couldn't see any of it.
Q. I don't think I've ever asked a fashion question during one of these, but are you going to be wearing that hat during the competition?
BRITTANY LANG: We might not let her. Just kidding. (Laughter).
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, yeah, sure. I'll wear it.
Q. Have you guys had a chance to get outside and see the area at all while you've been here?
KRISTY McPHERSON: No. We have been here the whole time. But fortunately it's not a bad place to be. They're treating us really well, and they have us busy, especially this week. They've treated us so well here, you wouldn't really want to go anywhere else.
The first time we were here, myself and Angela and Brittany went over to a Cubs game and got to spend a little bit of time in the city. But I don't think we'll get much time this week for any of that.
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I really wanted to go to Lollapalooza, but unfortunately we didn't go, but oh, well.
Q. Kristy, at the Women's Open you talked a little bit about hoping that your fellow South Carolinian, Beth Daniel, would pick you for the team. I was wondering if you had any interesting moments with Beth, having been picked, and just some discussions because she's someone I believe you said you've looked up to for a long time.
KRISTY McPHERSON: Yeah, she's always been my favorite, growing up in South Carolina, and our Player of the Year Award was always the Beth Daniel Award. Obviously I worked hard for that award a couple times, but it was more exciting that I got to meet her so that she could give me that award.
Growing up, she was always my idol; I always looked up to her, and when I found out she was going to be the captain, that just gave me more motivation to want to be on this team.
It's been cool. You know, it's nice to have -- to actually be able to live out, literally, a dream, a dream come true. It's been really cool that my first Solheim, my favorite player is our captain.
We throw out a little South Carolina. We've got our own little words. Meg is trying to make fun of us a little bit. Meg came up to me yesterday and said, "what do you call a guy that doesn't have any hair?" I'm like, "he's bald-headed." Not "bald," "he's bald-headed." She's like, you and Beth are the only two I've ever heard that have ever said that. That's definitely a South Carolina thing.
But Beth was singing a little karaoke to me in the trailer earlier today, we were singing a little country together and bringing back the Carolinas together. It's just a really cool experience to be on her team.
MIKE SCANLAN: Ladies, thanks for coming in.
End of FastScripts