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September 20, 2011

Christina Kim

Angela Stanford

Michelle Wie West


THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome you to the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle. Thanks everyone for joining us for the first interview of the week. We have, in her third appearance on the U.S. Team, in the middle, Christina Kim. She has a 5-2-1 overall record in the competition.
At the end, Angela Stanford, making her fourth appearance, a 3-4-3 overall record and 2-1 in singles play, And to my left, Michelle Wie, making her second appearance following her rookie campaign in 2009. She's 3-0-1 all time.
We'd like to start with you, Angela. Your fourth appearance on the team, just talk about what it means to be on the U.S. Solheim Cup team?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I tell everybody that my dream is to make Solheim Cup teams. Dreams and goals. I've been excited since we hit the ground here, and I just think it's an honor to be a part of this team. It's an honor to be here. To get to play with a group of ladies you spend two years playing against, it's kind of fun to pull for each other and play with each other.
I love it. It's my favorite event, and it's pretty weird that this is my fourth one so very happy to be here.
THE MODERATOR: Christina, your third appearance. You're known for really pumping the crowds up out there. Do you have anything special in store this week?
CHRISTINA KIM: This is my first appearance here overseas. It's an absolute thrill and honor to be here. Thankfully, it's my third trip here to Ireland. I love the Irish people. Everyone's been fantastic to me the last two times I've been at the AIB Ladies Irish Open.
You know, I don't really have anything that I do other than celebrate the game. For me, it's about celebrating that perfect shot, because I'll probably just as shocked if the putt goes in as everyone out there will be.
THE MODERATOR: Your second appearance, in 2009, you scored three and a half points for the U.S. Team. What does that mean to you and what does it mean to be back here on another U.S. Solheim Cup team?
MICHELLE WIE: It's the greatest honor to be able to represent your country and to represent your teammates out there. I was so happy when I did well in my first Solheim. It was a really, truly, amazing experience for me. I never felt so much support from my teammates before. It was my first time, and I think my second time being over in Europe.
So far the trip has been great, and I'm really looking forward to playing with these girls and cheering for them, no matter what and just kind of having fun.

Q. Christina, what have you been up to since you've been here in Ireland this week?
CHRISTINA KIM: Well, there's not a lot, actually. It's not quite like the Ladies Irish Open where we're allowed to basically do what we want at our leisure. It's a jam-packed week. 24 hours a day is not exactly enough sometimes.
We've got team fittings, and we're just spending a lot of time -- I'm just spending a lot of time with Angela, Michelle, and the nine other girls as well as our captains and assistant captains. Really just spending some quality time together and just loving being here. Haven't had a pint of Guinness yet.

Q. How about you, Michelle, same question?
MICHELLE WIE: Same as her. It's kind of nice going to the hotel, and we all are on the same hallway. Have the doors open, so kind of hanging out from room to room. Obviously we have an amazing team room and a game room with a ping pong table. So there's going to be some competition there.
But overall, it's been fun. I think yesterday like Christina said, it's going to be a really busy week, a lot of things to do. So yesterday I just took some downtime. I have to say, worked out, just kind of laid down in bed and took advantage of that, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Angela, your experience as well being here so far?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I guess I'm echoing what they've said. But for me it's just about kind of getting organized in the beginning of the week. I think we've all done different things since we've been here. For me, I've got to get everything straight.
I got my family and friends tickets taken care of, did all my shopping in the merchandise tent. Just trying to get organized so I can be focused on golf from here on out.
CHRISTINA KIM: On the ball.
ANGELA STANFORD: I'm trying. It took me four times to figure it out.
CHRISTINA KIM: I still have no place to walk. The floor is a mess.

Q. Michelle and Angela, your impressions of the course so far, and obviously with the veteran beside you in the middle there, are you getting advice from her the way it's been played over the last couple of years?
CHRISTINA KIM: The old boot? Thanks.
MICHELLE WIE: Well, first time playing this golf course, and it's absolutely beautiful. I didn't know really what to expect because I heard so much about the golf course. It's just amazing. I think the practice facility is really great here as well.
It's kind of cool the little shamrock bunker on the first hole. Obviously not cool if you're in it, but looking at it, it's kind of cool. I think it's a great golf course. The condition is amazing. Really, it's really green. I was very surprised.
But I think the contrast between the brown and the green, it's just a very beautiful golf course, and playing-wise, it's a fun golf course. Little on the longer side, for sure, but the greens are tricky. But I think it's a good match play golf course. We're on the greens there today, and there are some crazy pins that they could put a four ball, so it's going to be interesting.
THE MODERATOR: Angela, your thoughts on the course?
ANGELA STANFORD: I love it. I honestly -- well, I played in the 2010 Ladies Irish Open and had kind of forgotten some of the holes and got my Irish book out on the plane ride over and was like Oh, yeah, that hole.
So I really enjoy this golf course. I think it's going to be fun. It will be fun for spectators. It's in great shape. The feedback from the 2011 Ladies Irish Open was it was playing firmer and faster.
CHRISTINA KIM: Much firmer.
ANGELA STANFORD: It looks like they've had some rain. I think it's just perfect. It's going to be a great week.

Q. How important will it be to have mental focus this week?
CHRISTINA KIM: I think the mental skills are going to have to be on the ball about it. Part of the beauty behind all of this is the fact that we've got, you know, for at least four of the five matches we'll have someone there with us, be it our playing partners, along with our caddies and our captains and assistant captains.
Our mental toughness is going to have to be way up there. We're not at home, I guess. I don't know what the appropriate term is.

Q. You have the advantage of knowing the course.
CHRISTINA KIM: I hope I have the advantage of knowing the course.
MICHELLE WIE: I think also the part of it is the emotions are running so high this week. You're representing your country and there is so much at stake that sometimes I think you have to kind of almost rely on your teammate to kind of push you in the right direction or kind of calm you down or pump you up. I think that's going to be a very important part of the week.

Q. Obviously, there a few days before it starts. Are there any plans for initiation ceremonies for the rookies or anything, any songs you might ask people to sing?
CHRISTINA KIM: They're coming in right after, so we can't tell you that. We can't disclose that information at this time.

Q. So there are some antics ahead?
CHRISTINA KIM: I can't confirm or deny that.
MICHELLE WIE: What happens in the team room stays in the team room.

Q. Michelle, have you ever actually been in Ireland before or is this your first time?
MICHELLE WIE: No, this is my first time, actually.

Q. How different is it feeling this year compared to when you were a complete rookie? Are you more relaxed or what is the difference?
MICHELLE WIE: I think it's kind of a feeling for me when I was a freshman in high school, kind of that buttery, nervous feeling, really not sure, kind of playing with the big girls.
Now it feels like I'm a sophomore where you see the younger kids come in, but at the same time you're not a veteran at these things. It's still new for me, especially me being the first time in Europe, I feel like a rookie.
Everything's a new experience. I think every time you never know what to expect, and it's just a wave of excitement. I'm really excited to see what's going to happen this week.

Q. On the Guinness front, is there a ban on Guinness before the event or are you allowed a sample?
CHRISTINA KIM: No, there was plenty of Guinness flowing last night.

Q. Some of the girls have some?
CHRISTINA KIM: Some of the girls had some, some of the caddies had some, some of the caddies had more than some (laughing).
No, you know, I'd like to think that the entire team, honestly, we're honored to be here. For me, I love coming to Ireland. The Irish people have always been so gracious to me. We like to par take in traditions.
I did the Irish dancing when we were here last month, and if we do that again, I'm going to wear a much longer dress.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, my caddie's wife just went to the Guinness factory, and she proudly showed us the certificate, she can pour it.
CHRISTINA KIM: I can pour the perfect Guinness, I just went to the tap though. But I knew you were supposed to fill it up, and then you wait, and you watch it, and then you pour it again. I need a certificate for that.

Q. Just wondering if you consider yourselves the favorites to win this week?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I say no. I mean, if you look at their team from top to bottom, this is my fourth time, this is the most consistent team I have faced from top to bottom. They're solid, and they're at home.
I know a lot of their team has played on this course multiple times. Suzann won, Sophie won the year I played here. So for us to come in and think that we're favorites, we have to watch that.
We've heard all the stats, you know. You've won X-number in so many years, and you haven't lost since '03. But it's a new year, and they're playing good. Outside of the fact that they're consistent, they're playing good.
We know we have our work cut out for us, and we're excited about that. It's going to be a great match, great matches.
CHRISTINA KIM: I agree with what Angela said. I don't necessarily know about going all the way back to the first Solheim because I wasn't playing golf back then. But I think this might be one of the strongest teams that Europe has ever brought forward, and it's going to make for some exciting and incredible golf.
It's an incredible golf course. There are going to be some magnificent fans, there is going to be a lot of cheering on both ends, and it's just going to make for probably, honestly, some of the most dynamic and most exciting golf that we've seen come from ladies in recent history.
They've got a very, very strong team, as do we, and we've just got to see how the dice roll.

Q. So from what you said then, you're the underdogs?
ANGELA STANFORD: I say yes. I'm saying yes.
CHRISTINA KIM: I don't know how to answer that. I think that we're very well matched up, and I think it will make for some damn good golf.
ANGELA STANFORD: I'm saying yes.

Q. Michelle, are you still using the long putter? And I know you switched it during the U.S. Open, can I ask you your philosophy for switching, and will you be using it this week and how are you getting on with it?
MICHELLE WIE: Yes, I'm still using the long putter. My philosophy was why not? I like it. I really do. And it will definitely be in the bag this week because I didn't bring the short one.

Q. Can I ask you if you're working with anyone particularly on your putting?
MICHELLE WIE: No, obviously, I worked with David Leadbetter on my swing and everything. But I found out that putting is kind of a very personal thing. I do take advice from a couple of people, but mostly I just kind of have to rely on myself.

Q. Christina, I read your book, and lots of people read your book. Can you tell us a bit about how it was received? Were you really happy with it? It was a good read.
CHRISTINA KIM: Well, thank you very much. Yes, it's been received very well. I haven't had it set on fire and thrown at me yet. I haven't been everywhere in the world yet, but so far it's been very well received.
We did the first printing, which was in hard back, and they said that they were going to print it in paperback, which I believe in the literary world is never a bad sign.
So I'm very pleased with how the book came out. There were a couple of typos toward the end, because we got a little tired. But it's been a fantastic ride. It's always great coming to different countries. I've signed the book and had people come to me in Jamaica, in Dubai, here in Ireland.
All around the world it's pretty remarkable that people want to know what's going on in my life. They open the book and it's like oh, that's it.
MICHELLE WIE: It's a pretty awesome book, a pretty awesome read.
CHRISTINA KIM: But Suzann didn't win the Safeway, and they put that she did. Typo.

Q. Forgive me if this is common knowledge. But what are your plans academically? I understand you've done your finals. Are you planning to go on and do your Masters?
MICHELLE WIE: I haven't graduated yet.

Q. Have you done your finals?
MICHELLE WIE: No, I haven't been back to school since May, June.
MICHELLE WIE: So, basically, hopefully, I'll be graduating my undergraduate degree in March. And no, no Masters or Ph.D. for me yet. My dad's still opening, he's still wishing secretly that I'd get a Ph.D., but no, enough school.

Q. Were you aware of something that Annika Sorenstam said a few weeks ago where she said that you weren't concentrating full-time on professional golf and that perhaps as such you couldn't expect to attain what people expect of you until you do so? What did you feel about that and what is your impression of what college life has done for you?
MICHELLE WIE: I think that going to college is a very good decision for me. I think it's a very personal decision. I think that growing up I didn't have the normal childhood, per se, growing up in the spotlight. Obviously, very connected at the hip with my parents, going to every tournament and spending a lot of time together.
I think for me going to college was a step for me to grow up, for me to go out there in the real world and kind of live out by myself and get an education.
I think going to Stanford was one of my biggest goals since I was 4. So I think going there was a great accomplishment of mine. I've never felt so proud when I got that acceptance letter for me to go. It was a very personal decision. I don't regret it at all.
I think over the last four years I've played in the same amount of tournaments that everyone else has played. I've put in the same amount of hours that everyone else puts in. If anything, my grades had an effect to it.
So I think it was a good decision of mine. I still work hard, maybe even harder to make up for it, but I think that it was a good decision of mine. I'm happy. I think that it's done a lot for me personally and for my game as well, too because I think I've matured a lot hopefully. But I think it will be good once I graduate.
CHRISTINA KIM: Since you were four?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, my dad couldn't get in, so I wanted to get in. My grandpa taught there, and both my auntie and uncle taught there, so kind of a legacy school for me.

Q. Doing course mechanics now?
MICHELLE WIE: No, I'm not an engineer major. I'm kind of far from that. I'm a communication major. I don't know how to fix any buses or flat tires for that matter.

Q. We know your bus broke down. Can you tell us a bit about?
CHRISTINA KIM: We were on the road. We had just put some music on. I think it was Born in the USA was playing, and it was playing pretty loud. And we heard a slight beep, beep, beep for a while, and then we assumed that the driver was not driving well.
We turned the volume down and the beeping got louder. We were very fortunate that we had a secondary bus that was taking our luggage that was there for us, and we just hopped right off, hopped right on and off we went.
MICHELLE WIE: Got in between the suitcases.
CHRISTINA KIM: Got into the room, checked in, went to the course and putted. She worked out. Angela organized. Easy day. It's fixed now.

Q. Could I ask you guys for each of you, your favorite and/or most significant Solheim Cup moment? In the heat of battle and chips are down, maybe?
CHRISTINA KIM: You mean Solheim Cup, a particular match?

Q. No, Solheim Cup.
CHRISTINA KIM: That will be easy for you, Michelle.
MICHELLE WIE: Well, of all the Solheims that I've played (laughing). I think personally for me, there is always that story that we tell in the team room where things don't go as well, we're kind of losing, then your teammate comes in and you kind of get a little hurrah moment and go. For us, I think playing with Christina, first hole, I think we were playing in Sophie --
MICHELLE WIE: Helen chipped in on the first hole, and we got there on the second hole and they eagled, didn't they?
CHRISTINA KIM: No, we tied them on the second hole.
MICHELLE WIE: We barely tied them. They're like chip in, chip in, eagle. Kind of all of a sudden we're like two or three down, and I'm kind of like what the hell is happening? What are we going to have to do here?
Christina came up, and we were going like I guess this is how the day's going. I think for me it was that turn around moment where we can make a down moment and then kind of move forward from there. I think that was for me kind of an amazing feeling that we can move forward. I feel that I use that in a lot of tournaments, I guess.

Q. Christina?
CHRISTINA KIM: For me, I've only played in two other Solheims. For me, they were both in America so we have the home team advantage.
I really wish I could tell you at the end of the week, because I would love to see how this week turns out, not necessarily just with the results, but how the week goes. I've been very, very fortunate to have some amazing captains in the States with Nancy Lopez and Beth Daniel, and I've had some pretty incredible teammates with these two ladies sitting here with me.
But we've got Rosie Jones who is a firecracker and an inspiration in so many ways that I really can't pick any one Solheim because every moment of every Solheim is spellbinding, and it rips your heart out.
I remember my first Solheim, my first match, everyone was like, if you want to puke, go puke. And I wanted to cry because at the start of my first match that meant that it was Friday, and it was ending on Sunday, so I shed a few tears before getting up to the first tee and didn't puke, didn't have that need.
Presently I can't pick any one Solheim at the moment; every second is just such a precious moment.
ANGELA STANFORD: I agree in that they're all very special for different reasons. But I would say 2007 was pretty cool for me because I missed '05. So I played '03 and was a part of that loss, and then missed '05, and then coming back in '07.
It's really neat to be on the team. Especially when you're overseas, I know how much harder it is to play over here than it is at home. Actually, '09 was my first one at home. Even my Curtis Cup was over here. 32 years old, finally playing at home was fun.
But it's different. To have a team come together in somebody else's house is pretty cool. So I'm excited for these two because they're going to get to feel it this week. It's just really neat to kind of stand your ground. You have to be ready. It's tough. I've always said it's a lot tougher playing over here.
I think that team is pretty special because I guess it was our win after we'd lost over there last time in Sweden. So I'm looking forward to it this week because it takes something different when you're over here.
THE MODERATOR: Angela, Christina, Michelle, thank you very much. Good luck this week.

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