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August 19, 2009
SUGAR GROVE, ILLINOIS
MIKE SCANLAN: All right, everyone. Thanks for coming in. On my left here, Christina Kim, playing in her second Solheim Cup. On her left, Morgan Pressel, also playing in her second, and Cristie Kerr, playing in her fifth, also the leading money winner so far on the 2009 LPGA Tour. Cristie, if you would, just some thoughts on being here Rich Harvest Farms and also on being here at your fifth cup.
CRISTIE KERR: I'll start off by saying -- I said thank you to Beth Daniel because if she hadn't picked Juli Inkster, I would have been the oldest on the team. (Laughs.) So you know, we're kind of tight now.
Rich Harvest Farms is an amazing facility. It's a terrific golf course, some very unique characteristics to the course, which are going to make it I think pretty exciting for match play. The practice facilities to where we're staying and everything about the facility is terrific.
MIKE SCANLAN: Morgan, some thoughts on playing for the USA again.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I'm very excited to be here. I'm honored to be here. There's no greater honor than representing your country in sports, and we're lucky enough to do it on A stage like the Solheim Cup. And I can thank my teammates for helping me and giving the U.S. a chance to put up a good fight, and I think that we will, and I think we'll have a great week.
I'm excited to be here on U.S. soil, and being a part of two junior teams on home soil was a different experience, but I certainly had that opportunity to see what it's like, and I was out there cheering for these two girls in '05 at Crooked Stick on the first tee, and it'll be interesting to be standing on the tee this time, and it'll be a little different.
Always in Europe you go out there and try to quiet the crowd.
CRISTIE KERR: That's right. This is your first on home soil.
MORGAN PRESSEL: It is, and I'm so excited for it.
MIKE SCANLAN: And Christina probably considered one of the more vocal players on the team. If you would just talk about your second Solheim Cup.
CHRISTINA KIM: It's good. (Laughs.) No. It's hard to go third after everything that these two girls have said. It's such an honor to be part of the 12 top U.S. players to represent our country. It's like -- you know, it's not unlike going to war, minus the bloodshed and violence (laughs), and it's just a remarkable week. The electricity out there is palpable, and it's only Wednesday. It's Wednesday, right? It's only Wednesday, and it's just an indescribable feeling that you have.
And to be one of a select few to be able to say that you've done this in your life, it's pretty damn exciting. And you know, I was not there in Sweden in '07, and I wouldn't have it any other way, where I'm at right now. I have nothing but -- being there on home soil, and it's such a thrill.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I don't know about you, but I got some USA chants going out there today, and it's only Wednesday. I was pretty excited.
CHRISTINA KIM: Yeah. We were a little off today. It was like, "Yeah. Hey." We're doing good, though. We're doing good.
MORGAN PRESSEL: It's our practice round, but the crowd's gotta practice, too.
CHRISTINA KIM: Yeah, we tried doing the Mexican move, but I guess it's America versus Europe. They weren't going for it. (Laughs.)
CRISTIE KERR: I would have to say, you know, pretty emotional, you know, when captains have to make their picks, and you know, I was there in Portland when Christina, who had an amazing year and had been playing amazing, didn't get picked, and we're just so glad to have her back on the team and playing amazing.
MORGAN PRESSEL: You're going to make her cry. You guys are both going to cry. That would be the first, that I would be the one to cry.
CRISTIE KERR: So it's amazing to have her back on the team, and you know, she wound up the crowd pretty good at Crooked Stick, and we've all seen the amazing pictures she had, pumping her fist and going like that to the crowd, and I can tell you it's going to be rocking out there.
CHRISTINA KIM: You guys so did not need me. You guys were so stacked, trust me, and that's what I kept telling everybody.
CRISTIE KERR: We needed your low ball out there, though.
MORGAN PRESSEL: The screaming inches after impact.
CRISTIE KERR: We're going to call that one the screaming eagle.
CHRISTINA KIM: I like that.
MIKE SCANLAN: Let's get some media questions.
Q. How does your captain get a word in edgewise?
CRISTIE KERR: Not very well.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We had to --
CHRISTINA KIM: She leaves notes on our bed every night, little key points. That's all.
CRISTIE KERR: She says, "Everybody shut up," and then she talks.
CHRISTINA KIM: No, I say shut up. I holler at the top of my lungs and then everyone is quiet.
No, Beth's been a phenomenal captain. She's got so much experience, and she's just been -- we all idolized her growing up, and she has this remarkable presence about her that when she steps into the room she takes your breath away in so many ways, and you stand there in awe. I shut up whatever she's around. I shut up like that.
CRISTIE KERR: She's a very intense competitor and she's kind of put that, you know, message into us that we can't take anything for granted. We gotta go out there and play phenomenal golf to win, and that's what we're going to do.
CHRISTINA KIM: Yeah. That's what it takes.
Q. Does she have a particular look when she wants you to be a bit serious and pay attention?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. We know what that is and we do.
CHRISTINA KIM: We shut our mouth and look to the ground.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We all know each other well enough, and we all know Beth and Meg and Kelly pretty well that we know when they really want us to pay attention and when they're saying something important.
CRISTIE KERR: And that's part of the team, too, is the camaraderie and all the joking back and forth and rooting each other on. That's a big part of the team, and sometimes you gotta just kind of let us do it, which is kind of hard to stop anyways.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Especially when we've got her.
Q. Can you guys talk about how Juli fares on this team? She's kind of a mom figure, but she's also a big little kid. Can you talk a little bit about what she brings to this team?
CHRISTINA KIM: Well, she is the oldest player on the team.
MORGAN PRESSEL: She keeps joking that she's staying in the adult room and we're all in the kids' room.
CHRISTINA KIM: No. She's been able to provide so much to this team. She's given us some pretty inspirational speeches, stories as to what she's done in previous Solheim Cups, and she also, like Meg, Beth, Kelly, has this great presence about her that she instills a lot of calm into us, and she's got so much belief in us, it's as if we've got a third parent with us, and she's there for all of us.
It's pretty inspirational having her there for us, and just knowing that she believes in us -- because she's seen it all and she's one of the greatest of all time, and for her to be able to say things like that makes me really want to go out and prove that hopefully we can do this.
CRISTIE KERR: And she's got a ton of experience, too, and she's a fierce competitor. She wouldn't be doing what she's doing, especially at her age now, which I'll tell you, she's not like that at heart. She's as young as us, if not younger, and ready like, "hey, let's go putt on the putting green. Let's play for 20 bucks."
MORGAN PRESSEL: She was out there putting till dark the other night.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, and she's amazing. And you know, when push comes to shove, if she had a six-foot putt to win the Solheim Cup, I wouldn't -- myself included, I would welcome that, because she's that fierce of a competitor.
MORGAN PRESSEL: It was great. We were watching some video recaps of previous Solheim Cups, and it just seems like just about every U.S. clip is of Juli Inkster making some sort of putt or dancing. And that in itself can be intimidating to the Europeans.
Q. Cristie, while it's still fairly early in the week, could you talk about how the team atmosphere compares to other Solheim teams you've been on and how quickly the rookies have settled in?
CRISTIE KERR: I think the rookies are very comfortable. It'll be a different experience for them on the first tee. We've told them what it's like, kind of clued them in. We've told them what to expect. So I think they're going to be very well prepared. The team chemistry is a little different from all the other years but not in a bad way. I think we're all very comfortable with each other and we're all hanging out together.
You know, in years past, Solheim Cups past, it's been amazing team chemistry, but this year, I think, surpasses that. You know, having Michelle Wie on the team, getting to know her as a person and seeing how she interacts with all of us, this is a very good experience for her, not only as a golfer, but as a person. And I think this team chemistry is pretty special.
There's just something special about it this time, not like the other four I've played on haven't been special, but there's just something really special about this team this year.
MORGAN PRESSEL: You've played on four?
CRISTIE KERR: This is my fifth. I'm going to play more Solheim Cups than the two of you combined. That's scary.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think it's interesting with the rookies, and I played nine holes with Michelle today, and when we were doing the USA chants, she was like, what do you mean, what are we going to do, and those were her first chants.
CHRISTINA KIM: Oh, you were there for her first chants?
MORGAN PRESSEL: And I was like, just watch. I was like, I'll get it started. And then we had a great time with it.
CRISTIE KERR: You know what's really funny is first thing you do when you come to Solheim Cup is you see your red, white and blue bag, and you're like, I gotta switch my clubs over immediately.
MORGAN PRESSEL: That was the first thing I did.
CRISTIE KERR: And I think Michelle might have been the last person to do that because she's like, I've never had to do this before. I've never had to switch my clubs and my bags. She's never had to do it herself. She always had people to do it for her.
So that's just one of those things that's just really funny and she's like oh, my God. Well, do I need this club, where do I put that club. It was really funny.
CHRISTINA KIM: That is great. That is great.
Q. I hesitate to interrupt.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We could go on all afternoon.
CRISTIE KERR: Yes, but there is a storm coming.
Q. I just wondered, Christina, how many pairs of earrings have you got with you?
CHRISTINA KIM: I don't know. You have to wait and see. I don't divulge my secrets.
Q. But they'll be different every day I take it?
CHRISTINA KIM: Maybe not. Never know.
CRISTIE KERR: I don't think she knows.
MORGAN PRESSEL: She's playing by the seat of her pants.
CHRISTINA KIM: Dude, that's like so tomorrow for me. I have no idea. I'm all about the now. It's all about the zen, baby.
Q. You guys have spent a few days with Michelle in a different setting this week as a team. How do you think Michelle will change the public's perception of her, how we think she is, the media thinks she is? What will we see this week in Michelle that might be a really good thing for her?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think the public perception will change depending on what you guys write.
CHRISTINA KIM: It's what you guys say about her.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I think as teammates, I think that we've all gotten to know her in a different setting, in a different way. She's made a lot of new friends this week, and like Cristie said earlier, I think it'll be a really good experience for her. I think it already has been.
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah. I think it's definitely changing her as a person, and you know, she's an amazing golfer, but what people don't realize is she's still just a teenager, you know, and we're getting to know her as a person. And you know, what people don't know about her is that she's got quite the fashion edge. She makes her own clothing. You know, she designs clothing. She does a lot of interesting things.
MORGAN PRESSEL: She's a talented artist.
CRISTIE KERR: She's a very talented artist. She's very funny. She's quirky.
MORGAN PRESSEL: She's a college kid.
CRISTIE KERR: I think people are going to see the real her this week, not like they didn't see the real her before, but it's sometimes so -- everything is so planned out and she's around her teammates, and that's not a bad thing necessarily, but she's around her teammates, and she's an American, she's a Korean-American, just like Christina is, and you know, the crowd, you know, is -- the crowd is amazing with her and they love her, and you know what, people are going to get to see the real her this week.
Q. With Asian golf so strong at the moment, the US winning three in a row, can you really see the Solheim Cup keeping going on and on and on in its current format?
CHRISTINA KIM: Absolutely, yes.
CRISTIE KERR: How I would answer that question is I think the Solheim Cup needs to stay the way it is in my opinion, Europe versus USA. The Ryder Cup is that way. I think the formulation of a new event needs to happen, just like the Presidents Cup. Why not call it the First Ladies Cup, where we have like the Lexus Cup where Asia plays against the world, but it would be just like the Presidents Cup, a new event.
I think that needs to happen, and these are the kinds of new events that the LPGA can own and have market share with and move forward with, so I think that's what we need to do, you know, because the Solheim Cup, just like the Ryder Cup, you know, that needs to stay the way it is, in my opinion.
CHRISTINA KIM: Tradition and integrity of the sport, and the spirit of what the entire Solheim Cup is about is, you know, USA versus Europe. It's how it's always been, and I could never see it any other way. You know, there's been a lot of Asian influence dominant on our Tour. Now it's eking into the men's Tour a little bit more, but you know, that's neither here nor there. Like Cristie said, we could have First Ladies Cup. Why not? It's so important and it's special event.
CRISTIE KERR: And in Korea they have a tournament called the Pinx Cup.
CHRISTINA KIM: It's Korea versus Japan.
CRISTIE KERR: Right. Korea versus Japan, and they're not going to let us go play in that, so we need to create a new event so we can match up with a Presidents Cup style event.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. I think that Europe has a very strong team this week, and I don't think we should get ahead of ourselves in any sense and start already thinking about changing a format. I mean, they have a very strong team. We have a very strong team, and we're going to fight it out till the end.
I think the last few matches on Sunday could be very important, and even for the future of European golf. I mean, a few years ago it looked like American golf was very old, and we had quite an old team on the Solheim Cup, and now it's younger than ever, younger than it's ever been, and we joke with Juli that she's bringing the average up.
CHRISTINA KIM: Only by two years, though.
MORGAN PRESSEL: We did the math.
Q. I don't know that I heard correctly, but did you say Japan versus Korea, P-i-n-x?
CHRISTINA KIM: Pinx Cup, P-i-n-x. Pinx is -- it started at Pinx Country Club. It's just how it's pronounced. Pinx Country Club based in I believe it's Jeju Island in Korea. So they play one year there, another year they play in Japan, and they rotate back and forth similar to how we do our Solheim Cup.
MORGAN PRESSEL: It's a very big event for them.
CHRISTINA KIM: Yeah. I've played in it before and it's amazing the camaraderie you gain playing in an event like that, too. It's a matter of one team versus another. It doesn't matter where you come from. The European team, they have so much experience and they're so hungry right now that there's no reason to say that we need to include anybody else right now. Anything can happen come Sunday. Anything can happen. It's match play.
MIKE SCANLAN: All right, ladies. Thank you so much for coming in.
End of FastScripts