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August 13, 2013
THE MODERATOR:Â Good afternoon, thank you so much for being here the 2013 Solheim Cup from Colorado Golf Club.Â Great to have a couple of team us a competitors here.Â To my immediate left is Lizette Salas, a rookie member of Team USA and on her left is Stacy Lewis, recent winner of the RICO women's British Open.Â Second time at the Solheim Cup.
Let's start with the rookie.Â Let's talk about your emotions.Â From the time that you realized you were going to make this team, all the way until now, what's it been like, how have you kept your emotions in check?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â I've had a big huge smile on my face and to finally get rewarded for all the hard work I have been putting in this past couple of months, it's just amazing.
When I stepped into my hotel room it was just like Christmas.Â It was, I mean all I saw was my huge pillow had say the Lizette on it ands I was just stoked.Â Just being here with my competitors all year round and now they're my teammates, it's just a great feeling.
To be wearing your country's colors, I mean it just doesn't get any better than this.
THE MODERATOR:Â Truth be told, tears, has emotion ever overcome you or are you able to keep it in check this week?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â I'm very emotional so I'm sure you'll see a couple of happy tears from me this week.Â So, yeah, I was getting a little nervous on the first tee, so I can't imagine how it's going to be on Friday, but I'm ready.
I feel like I have put myself in this position for a reason and I can definitely handle it.
THE MODERATOR:Â Stacy, big Major Championship last week.Â You flew right here and then you flew home and now you're back here.Â Are you exhausted, are you fresh, you're smiling at least.Â Are you faking it?
STACY LEWIS:Â No, I'm feeling good.Â Last week was a long week.Â If we were coming straight here to playing it would have been different, but I had a great‑‑ I only got four days at home, but I had a great four days at home.
I feel really rested and if you can't get excited, if you can't get your energy level up for this, then you've got a problem.Â So I think everybody's just pumped up and ready to go.Â It's cool getting the rookies out.Â The rookies they're getting a feel for what it's going to be like and it's good that they get a couple days to get a feel for it.
THE MODERATOR:Â Have you pulled any of them aside?
STACY LEWIS:Â I think we have all kind of mentioned little things to them, of just trying to prepare them for what it's going to feel like.Â If they kind of know what to expect it's easier.
So we're trying to tell them what to expect, give them what the first tee, what it's going to feel like and then hopefully it's going to be a little bit easier.
THE MODERATOR:Â Take questions.
Q.Â Your first impressions of the golf course and does it favor any team?
STACY LEWIS:Â I've made three or four visits out here.Â I played the golf course a lot.Â It's the kind of course that I think you need to play a lot to learn the little humps and bumps in the greens and learn things about it.
So I think length, it definitely helps on this golf course, but I think both teams are fairly equal with that.
Really it's going to come down to the greens.Â They're so tricky, you get above the hole you're just praying to get it inside 10 feet sometimes.Â So at the end of the day it comes down to who makes‑‑ who leaves it on the right side of the hole and who makes those putts.
THE MODERATOR:Â Your thoughts on the golf course Lizette?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â It's a beautiful golf course.Â When I set foot on it, I knew it was going to come down to putting.Â And I like to play from the green back and have a really good angle coming in.
I'm not as long as the other gals, but I rely on my short game.Â I think that's where the key on this golf course is, is to get it within 10 feet and that's my cup of tea right there.
So I feel good about this golf course, and I've seen it plenty of times.Â I came in June and the more you play it the more you get comfortable and know where you're more comfortable.
THE MODERATOR:Â You jumped in front of the media this year in a big way.Â Contention in the year's first Major.Â It didn't work out the way you wanted to, but that experience had to be something very valuable and then that opportunity at the tournament in Hawaii.Â Suzann Pettersen went on to win that.Â What can you take from those that can perhaps help you this week?Â Disappointment or a lot of positive?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â Definitely lots of positive.Â During those two events a lot of ups and downs, lots of emotion.Â But I learned a lot about myself and how to really control my emotions and control my game too, to my advantage.
Shooting that 62 in Hawaii, that showed me a lot and gave me a lot of confidence and just coming in this week I just have to remember that you can pull off certain shots and that mentality, that confidence, is really going to help me, especially down the stretch on Sunday with singles.
THE MODERATOR:Â So unfortunately battle tested almost like a veteran or do you still feel like a rookie?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â Well kind of a little bit of both.Â I tell my teammates to call me rookie.Â I'm going to ask some really dumb questions, but this is a great experience, a great opportunity for me, and I'm just honored to be here and to play for my teammates and my country.
Q.Â Are there any key holes that are going to be great match play holes that can swing momentum either way?
STACY LEWIS:Â I think that you look at‑ I think 12 on in, 12, that's where it's going to be decided.Â If you can get out early, get a good lead early, I think that's going to be huge, but 12's reachable par‑5.Â 13's a pretty tough par‑4, and then 14 is a drivable hole, 15's a par‑5, 16, anything can happen on 16.
It's just the matches that, or the excitement of the matches is going to be on the back nine.Â From 12 on in.Â So I think that if you can just hang in there and hopefully get a little bit of a lead going into there, that's ideal.
Q.Â Lizette do you remember how old you were when you first watched the Solheim Cup on television and when did you start thinking about this as a goal in your career?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â I remember watching it when I was 12, 13, 14, years old.Â And watching Cristie and Paula and wanting to feel what it, what that feeling is like.Â It was one of my goals early this year when I got off to such a good start.
But I really thought about it.Â If I just accomplish my little goals, I will get to Solheim Cup.Â And if I just did the right things and played the game that I know how to play, that I was going to earn a spot on this team and so when I got the news that I was in, I was just extremely happy.
THE MODERATOR:Â Lizette how much are you leaning on Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr?Â Have you said hey, I need five minutes, maybe over the last months or maybe over the last couple days?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â They have been doing ‑‑ the veterans have been doing such a good job with us, and I don't even have to ask.Â Cristie has come up to me and gave me a couple words and so has Stacy today with the alternate shot format.Â Paula, all the veterans are just stepping up and really helping, taking us rookies under our wing and showing us the ropes.
THE MODERATOR:Â Best thing they have said to you so far?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â Don't try so hard.Â You're on the team for a reason and you just got to do your thing and play the golf you know how to play and don't make dramatic changes just to please your teammates.Â You came, if you're good enough to be on this team, then you just keep doing what you're doing.
Q.Â Stacy, the selection of Michelle as a captain's pick, seemed to surprise some people.Â Did you see it that way and do you think ‑‑ why do you think she was a good pick?
STACY LEWIS:Â I wasn't surprised at all.Â I think you look ‑‑ there are a few people that were in there for the picks.Â And I think you look at Michelle's experience and her ability to handle the big stage and the big situation and to answer the questions and I think it's really hard to play as a captain's pick.
I think that part of your decision is, who can play as a captain's pick.Â Because there's pressure there.Â I think that Michelle can handle that.Â I think that went into a lot of Meg's decision and she's great around us.Â She's great at having her on the team.Â So I think from our perspective it wasn't surprising at all.
Q.Â Stacy, you played in Ireland and did you notice any difference in the U.S. already being at home?
STACY LEWIS:Â Yeah, it's much different.Â We have a lot more red, white and blue out there, a lot more of our fans on our side early.Â Which is great.Â It's fun coming out here and having so many people on the first tee on a Tuesday.Â So it's a lot better being at home.Â I do know that.
But this is my first international team competition in the U.S. so I'm just taking in all the moments too.Â People don't realize this is only my second Solheim Cup.Â I'm still kind of a newbie, but I have to act like I'm a veteran, I guess.
THE MODERATOR:Â You were No. 1 in points, Stacy, for the UnitedStates Team.Â The last time around you were 1‑3‑0 in competition.Â What did you learn the last time that you think will help serve you well this time around?
STACY LEWIS:Â That Solheim Cup doesn't happen, if that doesn't happen, I don't think I would have done anything I've done the last two years.Â It changed me as a golfer and as a person.
I learned so much about myself and how to handle adversity, handle a tough situation and on and off the golf course.Â It's not just about how you play on the course, it's about how you carry yourself and how you affect other people around you.
So that stuff‑‑ that Solheim Cup doesn't happen, I'm not in this position that I am today.
Q.Â Stacy, is there a difference in the kind of pressure between trying to put away a Major and trying to win the Solheim Cup?
STACY LEWIS:Â Yeah, it's very different.Â I don't want to scare Lizette, but I kind of‑‑ it feels like you're walking up 18 of a Major with the lead, that's what every hole feels like at the Solheim Cup.
And it's hard because you get‑‑ you can feel the momentum shifts in the crowds and the way that the roars around the course.Â And you try to just stay in the moment and stay in what you're doing, but it's so hard, you kind of get caught up in the theater of it and what's going on.
But that's what we play for.Â We play for having that lead up the 18th hole in a Major.Â That's what we play for these moments.Â So you just have to embrace it and it's a learning process.Â You got to see how you respond.
THE MODERATOR:Â The leadership of the team, Meg, Dottie, and also Laura Diaz.Â The UnitedStates has never lost on home soil.Â How much is that being discussed and what's your take on what you've seen over the last year from the captains?
STACY LEWIS:Â Well the fact that we haven't lost here is‑‑ it's not really talked about that much among us.Â I think we get asked about it more, but we don't really think about it that much.
We're out there, we're trying to win, whether we're at home or whether we're away.Â And as far as the leadership, Meg and I think it's been cool to see how Meg's brought this team together.Â She's kind of dealt with some controversy and made everybody kind of talk it out and mend the fences.Â So it's just really cool how Meg has brought the team together and she deserves a lot of that credit, because we needed Dottie.
Dottie needed to get back around our TOUR again.Â She kind of was forced away from the LPGA for a little while and we need her back around our TOUR.Â So I think it's great that Dottie's here, Laura is fun.Â She's kind of our mom out on TOUR.Â She's taking care of us and Meg's just Meg.Â Meg's the best.Â She's, gosh, she's taken care of us this week.Â She's made it relaxed and easy and she's been very clear about she's given us an idea of who we're going to play with so we have some, we can prepare a little bit, and overall it's just been really good.
Q.Â Can you talk about this sort of the feeling of team as something you experienced in college and not everybody does that any more, but is that, is it kind of nostalgic a little bit in a way to be on a team again?
STACY LEWIS:Â For me, I love it.Â Because that was part of why I went to college, was to play on a team.Â I think it's unfortunate some of the other girls didn't get to do that, but Lizette's got that team experience, which I think has helped her a lot this week and just handling 12 girls all together at the same time.
So it's just so cool.Â It's amazing to me really.Â You think about how individual our sport is, how you're out there, you're fighting for your own money, your own place on the Money List every week, and then all of a sudden we get together for one week and we're friends, we're hanging out, we're cheering for each other, and it's cool that we can be competitors, but also be friends at the same time.Â This week we're all cheering for each other.
LIZETTE SALAS:Â Today and the past couple of weeks when we came out to practice it took me back to my college days and I just really love it.Â You have six, seven, eight other pairs of eyes that could help you see something that could be helpful for you in the long run.Â You kind of just pick up stuff that might help you from your teammates.
Stacy's a great putter, so I try to watch her stroke as much as possible, but it's so different from the rest of the season where you're all by yourself.Â It's all about you, and your goals and now your goals are also 11 other people's goals.Â So it's a lot different, but I'm loving every single moment of it.
Q.Â Following up, you mentioned being impressed with how Meg handled controversy.Â Are you speaking specifically of the Dottie pick as an assistant captain and how has that worked out?
STACY LEWIS:Â Yeah, you know, that whole pick surrounding that, Meg kind of struggled with making that decision, I think.Â But in the end she was the only person I think that could bring everybody together and Dottie's been great.Â She's got so much knowledge of the game and so much experience you can just kind of, you can rub off of her and you can learn a lot from her.
Everybody seemed to warm‑up to her really quick and it's just nice to have her back around again.
THE MODERATOR:Â One final thing before you go.Â You mentioned the big pillow in your room when you walked in, the team room, I've heard rumors of a monster TV screen and some other gadgets and games and whatnot, start with you, what's the best thing the coolest thing in the team room?
STACY LEWIS:Â The team room has everything.
LIZETTE SALAS:Â We have a big huge video screen.Â We have ping pong, corn hole, a basketball hoop.
THE MODERATOR:Â A basketball hoop?
LIZETTE SALAS:Â It's a small one.
STACY LEWIS:Â But there's a running contest of who is going to make the longest shot and I think Angela's got it right now.Â So it's pretty‑‑ it's over halfway across this room, so it's pretty good.
LIZETTE SALAS:Â Yeah, it's huge and it it's all decked out in red, white and blue.Â And it's just a huge huge team locker room and you can just go out and relax and hang out and that's our little get away.Â It's where we kind of just let loose and have fun and then the next day we're back at work.
THE MODERATOR:Â Enjoy the pillow, maybe take her on in basketball, don't hurt yourself.Â Thanks for coming in here.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports