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August 23, 2009
SUGAR GROVE, ILLINOIS
MIKE SCANLAN: We'd like to welcome in the victorious 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup team. They pulled off the 16 to 12 victory over the Europeans today. We'd like Beth Daniel to start with just a few thoughts on the last two years and what this means to you to have the Cup in front of you right now.
BETH DANIEL: Well, it's awesome, especially since it was such a hard-fought battle. I mean, Alison had her team ready to play. I mean, we really had to dig deep, and it basically came down to the back nine.
I was on the 13th tee, the par-3, helping the players and the caddies with clubs, and that's where it started -- literally started to turn around, and that's where it turned around yesterday, as well, in the afternoon for us. That was kind of our good-luck corner, and it was loud in that corner, too.
But I mean, they had to dig deep. They real had to dig deep to win this, and I'm so proud of each and every one of them.
Q. Morgan, did you realize that your match was going to be the clincher?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I was driving Beth nuts on the tee box to figure out what was going on, and she goes, "don't worry about it." I go, "but I want to know. What are they telling you in your ear?"
I knew what was going on. I knew that we had the half point in Christina going dormie two matches in front of us, so I knew that winning that point on that hole specifically put us at 14 and a half points. It was exciting. It was awesome to have most of the team there cheering me on, so it was great.
Q. Juli, great half today. Could you have dreamt up a better script to sign off from the Solheim?
BETH DANIEL: Who says she's done?
JULI INKSTER: I am signing off.
BETH DANIEL: I don't believe that.
JULI INKSTER: It was a great match. I mean, I was down all day until 17, and you know, match play is just an incredible thing. It's just one shot here, one putt there.
I don't know, I just got on a little roll there. When I was looking at the board, I know Beth told us not to look at the board, but I have to look at the board. It was not looking very good. It was looking okay, but not great.
I just kept chattering to myself to say, this is an important match, you've got to get at least a half a point here. It's two holes. If you can't win two holes, then you don't deserve to be out here.
So it was a great match. Gwladys played good. It was good.
Q. Talk a little bit more about your good-luck corner. So many matches seemed to turn in the middle of the back nine. You look up at one point and there's like six or eight blues up there, and then it just flipped. Why do you think that?
BETH DANIEL: Yeah, somebody else answer that.
CHRISTINA KIM: Well, I think that one reason why it's considered our good-luck corner is so many of the holes are so close to one another that every four minutes it seemed you heard another roar, and based on the volume of it you could tell it was an American. It starts off with one, and it was just contagious. It just went all the way around, and you just get a little bit of that momentum, and you ride it out.
MORGAN PRESSEL: I was playing 10 and 11, and I heard a lot of roars ahead of me. That was pretty exciting. There was just a lot of people there. I remember I heard a lot of "Juli" roars coming up 14 and 15.
JULI INKSTER: That's because most of the crowd was over 40, or 50. They don't know any of you guys. (Laughter).
Q. Beth, obviously your captain's picks were more than --
CHRISTINA KIM: Awesome.
Q. Could you talk about both Juli and Michelle and especially Michelle's performance these last few days?
BETH DANIEL: Obviously Michelle played really well. There were times when I thought she was walking on air, she was so pumped up.
You know, I mean, I thought they were good picks all along. You know, I had the veteran leadership in Juli, and every one of these guys wanted Juli on their team. That is the biggest tribute that you can give to a player. (Applause.).
JULI INKSTER: Thanks.
BETH DANIEL: You know, and Michelle was playing so well that it was just hard not to pick her, and she has continued that good play this week.
You know, I said yesterday, or the day before, I can't remember, once I made those captain's picks, they were one of 12. They were one of the team. And I told these guys all along, it was going to take 12 of us to win.
You know, I had a lineup today, I started with Paula and Angela. Those guys went out -- Paula played awesome. She had a tough match against Suzann Pettersen. That was going to be a very tough match. You know, the two of them went out and won two very quick points for us early in the day. (Applause). And that helps relax them.
You make a statement, and then we got the half from Inkster, we got the half from Brittany Lang. Those were huge. At that point in time in the day, you look back, if we don't get those two halves, we don't win the Solheim Cup.
So everybody has their part in this, and it takes 12 people. I had 12 people on board, and I'm fortunate that I did, and I appreciate what they did for me. (Applause).
Q. If the two Brittanys could talk about their matches, and Brittany Lang, down 2 with 2 to go with a legend there in Laura and pulling off the half a point.
BRITTANY LANG: Well, I knew I just needed to give myself two opportunities on the last two holes. Laura was playing fantastic. She was making a lot of putts, hitting it well. So I just tried to swing aggressively on those last two holes, and I hit some of the best shots I had hit all day. Played great at hole 17, and she struggled on 17, so I was lucky there.
And then she struggled on hole 18, as well, so I hit a couple of good shots there and got a birdie and got it done.
BETH DANIEL: You sound like you're bad. You talk like you're bad. You're good.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: My match was the same. It really went back and forth starting on No. 1. I made a pretty long putt, probably 20 or 25 feet or longer on the first hole, and Sophie drained it on top of me. So you knew after that first hole it was going to be a tough day, and we kept battling it out. Finally got 1-up, and tried to hold onto it and it kind of slipped away, but then I got it back.
Finally I was putting really well. I made everything I looked at, so it was a great match. It was really a lot of fun to watch.
Q. For Juli and whoever else wants to answer, I'm wondering if you could talk about the excitement and the energy and the atmosphere this week, and also if you think that could spill over to other parts of women's golf, the Tour.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think a rookie should answer that one.
KRISTY McPHERSON: I was a good cheerleader this week. I got the crowd going up. Holla. Let me tell you, Paula did good in the stands on No. 1 tee yesterday morning. MP was there, too. She wasn't really sure what to do. Jules was in there and B. Lang.
Q. How exciting was it, though, Kristy?
KRISTY McPHERSON: It was awesome. Crowds were definitely a huge advantage for us. Every time, I know yesterday when Morgan and I were playing in the afternoon, we needed a little pick-me-up, and every time we did, the crowds always -- they were there for us, and I know it got under the other girls' skin a little bit and just kind of helped us out, and any advantage we can get. And then my partner goes and makes all the putts we need to make. The crowds were awesome. We love you guys.
JULI INKSTER: You want to know how this will help the LPGA? Well, I mean, I just think if more people could come out and actually watch us play -- I mean, I've been out here, as you guys know, a long time, and I've never seen the golf that these women play now. That's not only our team, but the European team.
You have Lorena and all the other ethnic groups out there. We have the best golf right now ever. I mean, we've got a lot of diversity out there --
BETH DANIEL: Please don't print that.
JULI INKSTER: And they can all play golf. But everybody writes about the negativity of the LPGA. We have a great product, and the more people see that and write about it, you know it'll be great for us.
I'm trying to say we've got some great golf, and if people would write about the golf and not about all the other stuff, you know, we would be -- we're going to be great. We're going to be good. You guys just got to be patient with us.
Q. Juli, has it started to set in that this is your last Solheim? You said it on TV earlier.
BETH DANIEL: Are we doing a farewell Tour? Brett Favre right here.
JULI INKSTER: I am really happy where I'm at. I'm not saying I'm retiring because I am keeping an eye out on all you guys, but you know what, I'm perfectly fine where I'm at right now, and this was a great thrill to be involved with these other 11 ladies, and Beth and Meg and Kelly. It was a great way to go out. I will do whatever they want for me to do next year, help them out, be a little runner or whatever they want me to do. But I'm going to watch these girls play.
As long as I get a VIP pass, I'm good. (Laughter).
Q. This one is for Paula. Talk about the importance of you getting off to a good start, and then you're 3 for 3 in Solheim Cups and you've played great in all three of them. What is it about this? (Applause.)
PAULA CREAMER: I knew going out, first off, was a lot of just momentum going out. I tried to get the crowds going as loud as I could. With the team behind me, I knew I was in not a very bad place at all.
I kind of talked to Angela about it that night, and I said, we're going out and getting those first two points and we're going to put it up on the board as soon as we can, and we did. We kind of had a battle against each other in the sense of who could get the first point. Angela, I think, beat me at it, but it was a great match, it really was. There was a lot of birdies made, a lot of good putts.
But when you do have that first spot, you know you have to motivate your team. They want to see red, and for a long time they saw blue up there, and I kind of feel when the red started showing there was hope in everybody's eyes.
But it's been a wonderful week. I've always said, this has been the best week of my life. It's better than winning any tournament on my own. Whenever you can wear red, white and blue, hold those flags and play with 11 Americans that want the same thing as you, it's pretty special (tearing up). I'm not going to cry.
BETH DANIEL: I just want to add to what she said. Paula is so into the Solheim Cup that she was No. 1 in the points. I felt like she deserved to go out first, and she did us proud. (Applause).
Q. Juli, can you just take us through the 18th?
JULI INKSTER: Do we have to? Yeah, I lost the hole, but I won 14, 15, 16 and 17, so can I go through those?
Q. Michelle, if you could talk about two points in your match, matching Helen's bomb on No. 2 and getting the eagle to get off to a good start and then digging down after she made it all square again?
MICHELLE WIE: I'm actually really glad to talk about No. 2. I think that my second shot was the best shot I've ever hit, ever. I mean, I gave myself a little pat on the back. I wasn't ashamed to do that. She stuck it. I mean, she hit some shots today that were unbelievable. I mean, she was playing fantastic.
You know, I think I couldn't have chosen a better opponent. I mean, I didn't choose her, but I couldn't have faced a better opponent. She was great. She just has so much experience under her belt, and playing against her was fabulous.
But when she stuck it to four feet, I looked at Patrick, and Patrick told me, my caddie told me, just aim a little bit left. I was like, okay, sure. I hit the shot and I aimed right at the flag. And after I got it in three feet, I was -- you know, I was pumped up. I was ready to go. (Applause).
Q. This is for anyone. Could you talk about the course long-term as a possible host of other big tournaments down the line?
CRISTIE KERR: Yes, I played all 72 holes, thank you very much. It was my curse for playing nine-hole practice rounds.
Anyways, I think Rich Harvest Farms is a great course. It's certainly set up great for the Solheim Cup. I think it would be a great course for another tournament. You know, they just have to figure out which it would be.
We certainly enjoyed playing the course and enjoyed playing it for the Solheim. So that would be up to whatever Tour and the course, I guess.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I liked it. It was nice and long. We can come back any time.
Q. For Michelle, given the way you played and the big stage, was this the best week of your career?
MICHELLE WIE: By far. I think it was the most fun I've had playing. I think I've said that multiple times this week, but every hole seemed like walking down 18 of a major championship times 100. I mean, these crowds were absolutely amazing, and to have 11 other team members as great as these people, it was just so fabulous. It was just unbelievable, just playing today and the intensity and just playing against such a great team. The Europeans were playing awesome.
You know, nothing was given, nothing was given out there. We had to fight hard. We had to do everything. So just the intensity, I've never felt anything like it before. It was definitely the highlight of my career.
JULI INKSTER: Your long career, that whole half a year. (Laughter).
Q. Michelle, just to briefly follow up on that, on TV there seemed to be some buzz that maybe this is a big turning point for you. Do you think that's drawing too much from a few days of good golf, or do you think you did find something in yourself this week?
MICHELLE WIE: You know (shrugging), I mean, I feel like I played great this week. Hopefully that will carry over. But you never know about golf. You can have a good week, you can have a bad week. But I know that I had fun this week. I know I tried my hardest. I give my hardest every single week, and whatever the outcome is, I'm going to be happy with it as long as I try my hardest.
I'm happy with it this week because I tried my hardest, I gave it my 120 percent, and I'm going to do that from now on, and I always have done that. Whether the outcome is good or bad, I'm going to try and have fun and try my hardest.
Q. Beth, you didn't hit a shot all week, but is this as mentally drained as you've ever been after a Solheim?
BETH DANIEL: I've been pretty mentally drained playing in them, too, but this was -- they about gave me a heart attack today.
You know, we got a text message from Curtis Strange yesterday afternoon, and I've been talking to Curtis and Sarah a little bit about their Ryder Cup experience. He's kind of been in watching the team and that sort of thing, and so he sent a text. I think in the second sentence of the text, he goes, "you guys make my nervous." I can tell Curtis Strange they made me more nervous than they made him. I am drained. I can honestly say I have not slept a full night's sleep in a month, thinking about things (tearing up.) See, now I'm going to cry.
I'm not Nancy Lopez, though. I saw Ali today -- I thought I would sleep well last night because I said my work is done. I woke up at 4:11 every day for some reason, but I woke up at 4:11 again this morning thinking about what should I do with the closing ceremony? What are we going to do at the closing ceremony and what if we win or what if we lose and what do I do, and I thought, this is so stupid, just deal with it as it comes along.
But it's like all this preparation, I wanted things to be perfect, and Meg and Kelly have done a super job, and we've worked really, really hard the last year and a half to make this happen. (Applause).
Q. I wanted to ask you about you said last night, Beth, that your work was done, when really you knew that it wasn't done. How hard did you have to work today and how much did you help your team today?
JULI INKSTER: Immensely.
BETH DANIEL: I don't know that I helped them today. When I put the lineup in, I was out there for moral support. You know, a lot of the caddies said that they wanted how the holes were playing on the par-3s, so I left the first tee and I went over to 5 because that was a crucial hole. Sitting there and watching every group go through except for PC and Colin -- you were the first out so I just got what it was playing.
PAULA CREAMER: I lost the hole, though.
BETH DANIEL: Good thing I didn't know that. I would have come up there ahead.
Paula was the first one out, and she and Colin are so good about like what it's playing yardage-wise and where the wind is coming from and that sort of thing. So as everybody went along, I just compiled notes. You know, they could play off of whatever helped them, whoever they knew how their game was.
But they wanted me to go to 5 because that hole was open. And I honestly think that we hit better shots on 5 today overall than the European team did.
But I mean, basically it was just moral support. But you know, Meg and Kelly and I tried to split up and go to groups that needed help, needed to see a friendly face and that sort of thing, and that was kind of our plan all along.
But they did it. They absolutely did it, all 12 of them.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: There's no "I" in team.
MIKE SCANLAN: All right, thank you very much.
End of FastScripts