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September 24, 2011

Rosie Jones


MIKE SCANLAN: We'd like to welcome U.S. Team Captain Rosie Jones to the interview room. After two days of play at the 2011 Solheim Cup, U.S. and Europe are tied 8-8. If you would just take us through today, and, most notably, the nice comeback that the U.S. Team had this afternoon winning three matches?
ROSIE JONES: Right. Well, you know what, we squeaked by the morning. Put out two pairings that I thought would have a better day today after yesterday, and, obviously, that didn't happen with Stanford and Lewis still unable to get a point.
Then Lang and Inkster who played such a great match yesterday and having lost it on the last hole, I thought I'd put them back out there and give them another chance at that, and that didn't work either.
But through kind of a different pairing in there with O'Toole and Pressel, because I wanted to get Pressel out on the golf course. But with the length of this golf course, the only way I could do that, really, was to put someone who really has some length because the normal format for foursomes would be to put someone with a like game. This course just doesn't set up for that. But it does lend to a great weird set-up like I did with O'Toole and Pressel. It was great. They played awesome and very successfully.
Then Kerr and Creamer played a great match to squeak out a half there. I know they were disappointed, but it was a good morning, and it set us up to go into the afternoon without having too much damage.
MIKE SCANLAN: Can you just take us through the afternoon as well? Obviously, a nice comeback to even things out 8-8.
ROSIE JONES: Yeah, huge. We started out -- it was hard. Today was hard as far as the pairings go because they had to sit down a couple of players. I never imagined not playing everybody each day, but I knew that with past captains and talking with them, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
With a two-point deficit, I felt like I really had to get our big guns back out on the golf course and figure out some good pairings that would kind of shake it up a little bit, but at the same time give us some, hopefully, some success, of course.
So Lang and Wie were a new pairing for us, and we wanted to start kind of ignite our day. Even though it did ignite us, they didn't play well. They didn't play bad, they just kind of got in the way from Laurie Davies who was having a really good putting day and just couldn't get the ball to drop.
I watched a lot of putts that Michelle Wie hit that sat around the edge of the cup all day. There is not much you can do about that. You can't change anything, and you can't change it when people are making putts on you either.
But Pressel and Kerr took it all the way to the last hole. O'Toole and Lewis, I was a little bit worried about Lewis this morning, and we had a little talk. Just wanted to kind of change her -- try to get her to get out of the little funk that she was in and see if she could get a little attitude adjustment and get out there and play this afternoon. That's exactly what she did.
O'Toole was kind of a perfect player for her to do that. Kind of shake it up, freshen it out, a young player like herself. They have a lot of length. They have a lot of likeness in their game, and it worked out perfectly. I mean, they both just shined in that.
On the last one with Creamer and Lincicome, I heard Lincicome shot about eight birdies out there, and she made every putt possible. We put her specifically with Creamer because I know she would play for Creamer. She would want to do the team right. You want to impress your peers and she did that. She impressed our team, and it was just really cool.

Q. Can you talk about momentum? Momentum is a different thing in the Solheim Cup than any other type of golf, isn't it?
ROSIE JONES: Yeah, it doesn't really end when you get off the golf course, and that's what's really cool. Everybody does go home and rest and stuff like that, but the attitude, the liveliness and the excitement, just the dynamics of the team really, really -- it's really fun.
But when you're out on the golf course and it's happening, it's kind of like this gravity to success and you want to be part of it. You just start playing better and your teammates start playing better because they want to be a part of it. It's just really fun.
We really rallied today. I thought we played with a lot of heart yesterday, but coming back and tying up the matches today was just really huge.

Q. Can you tell us what you told Stacy in terms of the attitude adjustment?
ROSIE JONES: Maybe not exactly, but -- you know, she's the kind of player that gets down on herself and she wants -- she's a great player, and she wants to be great all the time. She doesn't really let herself make mistakes.
When you're in a pressure situation like this where you want to -- your expectations are really high, you want it to be there right now when you need it. When it's not there, she gets harder on herself. When you're in a team situation, that's not always -- it's more evident that you could be affecting more than just your little bubble right there.
That's kind of what I was letting her know. Your little funk is bigger than just your little funk. You need to try to get out of it and have a little bit of an attitude adjustment. You can't play with a partner and think you're not affecting that person. I don't care who it is.
Your partner will say, yeah, well, that's Stacy. That's the way she is, but you still have to deal with that.
I wanted her to know, hey, this team event, you need to come outside that, and that's what I asked her to do. If she would do that in that afternoon match, and she did. You know, she was a totally different person.
It might have been really that she hadn't played fourball yet. She had only played foursomes yesterday, and then I put her back in today, and she didn't have that opportunity to really just kind of get in her own rhythm and play her own ball. Sometimes you play guarded. You're cleaning up other messes, you're making your own. You feel guilty about that. You feel guilty if you don't make a putt where someone chipped it up there for you even though they hit a bad drive to begin with. It's like you could never really catch up and get your groove in foursomes.
I did not want to sit her down without the opportunity to have that chance. Unfortunately, I had to sit down a few others.

Q. A rookie mistake what she did today?
ROSIE JONES: Sometimes you just get -- golf's an individual sport and it's easy to just think just to be thinking of yourself. We do that a lot. We're very selfish people. When you're in a team, it is different. She's young. It's her first time.
When she played in the Curtis Cup and won five matches, everything was going groovy for her. She wasn't in any kind of trouble. When you get to the Solheim Cup for your first time, you want to prove that you're a great player and you can make some points and so you push and you press. That's the mistake.

Q. You know how physically and emotionally draining this week is. Now Paula and Cristie have played all but one hole. Does that concern you at all going into tomorrow?
ROSIE JONES: Well, that was a big concern. When I came in, I really had no intention of playing anybody five matches because I didn't want to tire them out. And because I knew it would take away more golf from other players that were probably just as worthy of playing and deserved to play.
But it is a team. I actually had team members willing to give up the opportunity to play because they want to win. They want this team to win. They were great sportsmen in doing so.
Yeah, I'm a little bit worried about them. I want them to rest up. I wish I could have rested them. I wish we had a three-point lead, and I would have, but I didn't. I had a two-shot deficit. I needed to do whatever we've got to do. And what I know is you you've got to do what you've got to do and they were willing to go.

Q. I'm not sure if you noticed but over three matches tied going into the singles, the U.S. have won all three. Can you please explain why American teams, we've seen it in Walker Cups, Ryder Cups, why U.S. Teams are so good in singles golf?
ROSIE JONES: Well, I think -- I haven't really figured it out. I think I used to know it when I was a player why, and I don't know if I forgot or if I don't totally understand it myself.
I think we are strong individually. We don't -- even though we have a lot of team camaraderie and bonding, that we can also stand alone and feel like we can handle our own. We work really hard to, like I said before, impress each other. We don't want to be the one person out that loses. We really want it bad.
We know this is for our country. Not only for our team, but for our country, and we want to bring back the trophy and definitely the Solheim Cup.
We just have a lot of heart. We've got a lot of guts and heart, and it showed not only yesterday but today as well, and we're going to bring it back tomorrow.

Q. Talk a little about Ryann O'Toole. I know you had confidence in her. But 2-0-1 is pretty strong stuff.
ROSIE JONES: Yeah, you know what? A lot of people really did question me when I made the pick for O'Toole. I saw something -- I saw this in her, and whether or not she was able to do that was really going to be up to her and this team. If the team supported her, if I supported her, even after the next three weeks that she kind of really bombed out.
I had probably talks with Ryann once or twice a week every week ever since the pick because I knew she was going through a really tough experience. The pressure was not only from the media, the pressure was self-inflicted. It was from players. It was from just having that whole idea of being a Solheim Cup player after seven LPGA events.
To me, I tried to redefine it and say, hey, a rookie is a rookie. I don't care if you played 7 events or 17. Or if you were a rookie in my time, we would have played 25 events. I'm thinking if you would have had 25 events to play in a year up to that point, who knows what you would have done, how many Top 10s you would have made or whatever.
But that wasn't really everything that we had to talk about. There's just a lot of responsibility that goes with being a Solheim Cup player, and she needed and wanted to know what those responsibilities are and how she was going to be -- how did she treat other players and how are they going to treat her? Just the whole thing, the whole dynamics of the week, and how she was going to live up to that.
So there was a lot of conversations with that, and self-doubt because of the weeks that she had following the pick. It's very, very hard for both her and Vicky. It's hard to come in as a pick and especially as a rookie. You don't know what to expect, and you really don't know what to expect when you're picked.

Q. How are your team going to be spending tonight? Do you prepare individually for something like this? Do you all get together to watch a movie? Do you give motivational speeches or do you save that for breakfast?
ROSIE JONES: Well, all of the above. Every night is preplanned from months and months ago that we have specific night that's we're doing something. Last night we had dinner with the past captains, the U.S. past captains. They came out for dinner and they all gave us a little motivational speech of their own. Then we went and watched some motivational videos.
Tonight we'll add to that. We have another motivational video to watch, but also we'll be doing dinner just ourselves with our caddies. It's kind of another tradition that we have. We like to bring it in, have a little fun, just kind of a preplanning dinner. It will be very low key.
Everybody's very tired. It will be fast, and I'm sure there will be a few games of ping-pong after that, and go to bed.

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