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September 7, 2005

Maria Hjorth

Carin Koch


Q. I would like to welcome Carin Koch and Maria Hjorth. This is your fourth Solheim Cup appearance. This is Maria's second Solheim Cup appearance. Can you just sort of start about explaining how this one might have been slightly different or the same as previous appearances?

MARIA HJORTH: For me, being the second time, it makes it a lot easier. The first time you come out there, everything is new. At least coming into the second time, you know what you have to go through the week and how busy the schedule is or everything.

Also coming into this week, I feel better with my game, playing a lot better than I did the last time. I'm really looking forward to this week.

CARIN KOCH: It's my second time over here in the States, and I'm glad I have been once here in the States before. That's different than playing in Europe with the crowds and the loud cheering where they don't say Europe. It's nice to have done that before. Other than that, I agree with Maria it's nice to have been here before and know what it's all about. It's different from every other week we play.

Q. Take some questions.

Both of you guys hit it pretty long. Maria, you're particularly long. How important is that on this golf course? What's your sense with the wide fairways? Is it a good course for a big hitter?

MARIA HJORTH: I think so. Every course most of the time is good for a long hitter as long as you keep it fairly straight. This course, as you say, the fairways are pretty wide, especially in the par 5s makes it extra good for the long hitters. You can use irons for your second shot, and it makes a big difference instead of hitting 3 woods in there. I think definitely we've got an advantage.

Q. The design characteristic of this course is there are a number of fairways that have a rise in the fairway, so it's good for the long hitter. 2 is like that, 7 is like that on the Front 9. Have you noticed that at all?

MARIA HJORTH: Yeah, we've seen a little bit of that. I think especially some holes too where you have that little extra slope, there is also a few bunkers you can carry. If that carries around 240 or so, longer hitters can still make that carry. It makes it a big advantage too because you can hit it straight through the dog leg instead of playing around. Especially also coming into the greens, if you hit it a bit further, the greens are definitely going to firm up for us for Friday Saturday and Sunday, being able to stop the ball on the greens, because the greens are fairly small, it's a big advantage.

Q. What's the longest iron you hit yesterday?

MARIA HJORTH: Well, I think if you're not looking at the par 3s, I think I don't know, I was hitting wedge into them all, I think. The par 5s at 9, I hit a 5 iron into, and I hit a 4 wood into the other par 5 before that, which is the second or third or something.

Q. Fifth.

MARIA HJORTH: Yeah, other than that, it was mostly wedges in there. You still, of course, have to keep it into the fairway and that makes it more of an advantage.

Q. You never won over here before. Why should it happen this year?

CARIN KOCH: Well, we have a very good team, and we're very aware of the situation that we haven't won here before, and we're all that's a big task, and we're definitely going to do our best to get there. I think this time as well as the last one we played in Interlachen, we have a very good chance to do it.

Q. Carin, the US has had a rather pathetic foursomes record. Any explanation for that? Are you guys that good or are they that bad? Sorry, it's early.

CARIN KOCH: Yeah, it is. Well, I think we're very good at teaming up. We enjoy playing on a team. We make the best out of it. Even though we're from different countries and don't really know each other that well as far as the people that only play in Europe and us that play more over here, we just come together as a team so easily, and it's so natural for us. I guess we've done it a lot growing up in Europe, playing for your country and in various tournaments, and it just I don't know. It just seems very natural for us to play teams. We just really, really, enjoy it.

Q. Katrin, what distinguished her from other captains? Is it nice to see her standing erect?

CARIN KOCH: Yes, it is and her singing this morning was quite good in the breakfast room.

Q. What was it?

CARIN KOCH: No, we leave that within the walls of the locker room, but she did sing for us. You know, she's fun and easy going and but also very serious about her job, and I thought she did an extremely good job in Barsebac even though she was lying down most of the time.

Q. If I remember correctly, she sat Sanchez and Karrie played the obligatory one match together and Patty Sheehan thought everyone should play as often as possible. It's two different philosophies there.

Is Katrin comfortable making tough decisions, did you notice that?

CARIN KOCH: Yeah, she definitely is comfortable as a Captain and she can make the decision she thinks is well or a good decision. She's not going to worry about what people think about it. She's going to make a decision, because she thinks it's the good decision for the team.

Q. Carin, you have been over here ten years something like that?

CARIN KOCH: This is my 11th on the LPGA.

Q. As you know there is a great deal of excitement about the young players. That generation of players has come up working out, being lean, mean and trim. Annika influenced that, of course.

Looking at that group, are they much different in appearance and fitness and all that than when you came over here ten years ago?

CARIN KOCH: I think it's changed a lot. Everyone is more fit, younger. It's more of a sport now than it was ten years ago. Just the level of play out on the Tour now is so much better. You have to play really good golf to make the cut these days, and I think everything has just gone in the right direction.

Q. Is it fair to say you've got more athletes out here now?

CARIN KOCH: Yeah, definitely.

Q. How tough do you think it's going to be for Ludivine and Gwladys having not played much over here?

CARIN KOCH: I don't know the their game set well. I know they're great players, and I think they're going to do really good. If they just get their clubs and equipment. It's hard to play with equipment you're not used to. That's the key. They need to feel comfortable with their equipment. Everything else is new to them. I think they'll do well. I think a lot of people maybe think they're going to perform. They don't have as much pressure as the top players on the team, but I think this course sets up good for them, and they're part of the team, and we love having them on the team. I think they're going to do great.

Q. What airline did they come over on?

MARIA HJORTH: British Airways and American Airlines.

Q. Are they both Ping players?

CARIN KOCH: Yeah, they've got some equipment, but you want your own things. I think irons you can get away with new ones, but your woods, you might have had for many years. You need to feel comfortable. That's what this week is about to feel comfortable with everything.

Q. Do we have any more questions? Okay. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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