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August 14, 2013
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. We're joined today by Brittany Lang, Michelle Wie, and Jessica Korda. Thank you, ladies, for joining us here at the 2013 Solheim Cup. So Jessica, let's let you start the tone. You came in, you just did your happy dance out there. Not everybody got it see that. First appearance. What's it been like?
JESSICA KORDA: It's a lot of fun being with the team and you're used to being on a team in junior golf and amateur golf, but I've never been on a professional golf team. And to play with these girls week in and week out and being on a team together, it's something really special and like they say, you'll cherish this forever.
THE MODERATOR: I'm sure have you a few stories, I know they already have them, so give me.
JESSICA KORDA: I'm accumulating my stories. I'll tell them maybe at the end of the week.
THE MODERATOR: Give me the best one so far. Start with when you walked into your room in your hotel or the team room or whatever. Your impressions of all that.
JESSICA KORDA: Well, I've been here all week, so I've been in the room since Friday. So they kicked me out of my room and they're like you need to go do something so we can decorate your room. And I said oh that's new. Okay. So I left and I came in and I saw it was like Christmas.
And I was like oh my gosh, let's open that, no, let's open that. So it was great. I love this whole thing and this whole experience, it's been a fun thing for me right now.
THE MODERATOR: Michelle, let's talk about your captain selection and you being on this team. You've been on teams before, this one's kind of felt a little bit different from the get‑go. I know you were working so hard to play your way on to this team and in the end a captain selection, which has been frankly a lightning rod of conversation, period. But you were really emotional. So take us all back to when you were told you were on the team. Can you take us through that?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I worked really hard the last two years, obviously, I didn't have the best two years, didn't make the team, so I was at the mercy of a captain's pick. And I have never felt so sick of my entire life on Sunday of the British. I didn't eat or drink all day. I had to play like 24 holes, so that, I was just so nervous. Because I really wanted this.
I remember getting an e‑mail from LPGA saying that the captains want to talk to you. I'm like oh my God, this is like dooms day right now. So I went to the room and they, I sat down and I was preparing myself for anything. Anything that could happen. And Meg looked at me straight in the face and she asked me how would you like to play for USA at the Solheim Cup?
And I just immediately just started crying. I cried so hard my contacts popped out and everything. I just was like, oh my God, yes. And I just like, nodded my head and everything. And she is like, is that a yes? And I was like, yeah, that's a yes. And I've never been so happy the. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to be here to play under Meg, under Laura, under Dottie, and to play with these girls. Just to have this opportunity again for the third time, it's a dream come true for me.
THE MODERATOR: You've embraced this whole thing, you're very good at dealing with the spotlight being on you. At least externally. How have you handled it internally where some have questioned the selection?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, I haven't read anything. Meg told me to stay away from it. I know there's a lot of controversy surrounding it, there's always controversy surrounding Solheim Cup picks. But I'm just so happy to be here that I frankly don't really care. I'm just so happy to be here.
But Meg immediately told me after she picked me that, don't think of myself as a captain's pick any more, that we're just a team of 12 and I think all the girls on the team have really opened their arms up to me, which made me feel just even better. Critics can say whatever they want, but I know that the girls on my team, I hope they want me here.
(Laughter.) No, but just open arms, Stanford coming up to me and just giving me a hug and just saying everyone just is happy to see me here. It just makes me feel really good and feel very welcome.
THE MODERATOR: Brittany, let's get your thoughts. This isn't your first rodeo if you will, playing on the Solheim Cup. How is this one perhaps better for you, different for you, based on past experience and how are you different?
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah, there's a few things. I think that this is one of the most talented teams I've ever played on. I only played on two and I think this is the most talented one. They're young, which is great for America and the U.S., that we have a lot of young, great talent.
They're young, but they're accomplished. Lexi and Jessica, they have won 18, 20 years old, they have won tournaments. So that's probably the biggest thing is it's probably one of the best teams, we have great team chemistry.
The other thing is I'm probably playing the best golf I've played coming into a Solheim Cup, with Chicago and Ireland, so that's exciting too that I'm playing as well as I am. I've never really been playing that great coming into a Solheim Cup, so that's exciting for me.
THE MODERATOR: Yeah, you had eight top‑10s though the last time 2009 or not the last time, but leading into 2009 but now you come in as a winner. Take some questions, please.
Q. For Michelle, both Dottie and Meg have talked about they crunched a lot of stats and they really liked the improvement that you've made in your putting, especially from last year to this year. I know a lot of people have talked about your putting stance, but I'm just wondering how confident you feel about your putting right now or are you still feeling like you're tinkering?
MICHELLE WIE: No, I feel comfortable. A lot of people have talked about my putting stance or whatnot, but I honestly don't care how I look as long as I make putts.
And I think that you walk up to any professional golfer and you tell them ‑‑ give them a choice between looking cool and making putts, and I'm pretty sure everyone's going to say making putts. So for me right now it's, if you look at my stats, it has gotten a lot better.
And kind of seeing those stats gave me confidence. I remember my dad coming up to me a couple weeks ago and he said do you know how much you improved from last year? And I looked at those numbers and I was like oh, hey, I did. And it made me feel good.
Q. Two questions. One just for the uneducated, which would be me, could you tell us how exactly you came up with that putting stance?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I've always wanted to be short.
THE MODERATOR: We'll get Steve a microphone in just a moment.
Q. Were you that size at age five, but go ahead.
MICHELLE WIE: I always felt a little bit uncomfortable being tall putting. And I just in seeing me in the middle of the round. I wasn't putting very well that day or that year, but like why not. And I just was like okay I'll just go down lower to the ground and I made every single putt coming in and I was like, okay.
And then I went to Dubai and I did the same thing there, I putted a lot better, and I didn't really see myself in the mirror, I didn't see pictures of me at that point.
Q. Did your back immediately do this when you started going short?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, it did, actually of the I mean a lot of people have asked me how my back is, if my back hurts, but it actually feels a lot better doing that for me. Because I'm flexible it's easier, I don't know.
Q. And secondly, if you could look back at your last two teams, what was the difference between earning your spot and being a pick? How did you feel both weeks going into it?
MICHELLE WIE: I was nervous for both. I think when it comes to the tournament, when it comes on game day, it really doesn't matter. It really doesn't ‑‑ the difference that I felt in 2009 and 2011, it really didn't make a difference. It felt as much a part of the team as I did in 2009 as I did in 2011. And I felt as nervous as I did both times. It just, Solheim Cup means the world to me. When I walk up on that first tee, it's, to me, I'm representing my country, I'm representing my girls on my team, I'm representing playing for my captains, my co‑captains and everything it means to be American.
So it's a great feeling to walk on that first tee and I don't thing on the first tee, whether I was a captain's or not, I just know I want to win. That's the only thing I'm thinking about come game day. So I really think that it isn't, doesn't really make a difference.
Q. Michelle, you talked about the last two years, are you working your way back after concentrating on studies, I mean Stanford takes a lot of focus, so are you working your way back? Do you feel like you're a little, became a little rusty for not playing as much? What's been the deal?
MICHELLE WIE: I think that the hardest thing would be oh like what happened, what this, what that, I just didn't have a good year. And I worked really hard this off season. I worked really hard this year. I'm feeling more and more comfortable, I'm feeling more and more confident and I'm having fun out there playing.
It's just that golf is weird, it's not as black and white as people think. There's a lot going on. I think that I'm just having fun out there, I'm working really hard, I'm giving my all every week, and I'm just waiting for the week that it all comes together.
THE MODERATOR: Question for you Jess, you might be a rookie, but you hardly played like one. If you look at results you played as well as most anybody on the team this year in the time you played on the LPGA. So you're actually like a seasoned pro. Six top‑10s. Do you feel like, hey, coach, captain, play me all five sessions, do you feel like you're ready to do something like that? What are they talking to you about, about what you need to do this week?
JESSICA KORDA: We haven't really talked about who is going to be playing what or when you're going to be playing, That's going to be up to Meg and how she sees us fit, how she sees the team coming together and what she wants to do.
Each captain, co‑captain has a game plan. And right now I don't really know their game plan, to be honest. But I've had a great year, I've been having fun out on the golf course, and I think it's showing. I'm just growing as a person, each year, and I'm 20 years old, but I'm kind of living the life.
THE MODERATOR: Brittany, can you share some perspective on ‑‑ back when you were a rookie and now what might be expected of today's rookie that might be perhaps different? When you talk about Lexi or Jessica specifically.
BRITTANY LANG: Well I think they're more prepared than I was and I did great in Chicago, but they‑‑ you've won tournaments and like you said, they have played as good as anybody on the team. So I would hardly consider them rookies. I have a lot of confidence that they're going to handle it well. They play well in Major, they play well, they win, so I was extremely nervous in Chicago and like I said, I hadn't won and I hadn't played as well as Jessica had, but they know, we have talked to them, it's just golf. Getting back to what got you there and we talked all about it. So I have a lot of confidence in them.
Q. It's said that athletes, when they put on that stars and stripes, you have a little different feeling when you put that on. For all of you, especially you, Michelle, with the colorful socks. What's a little bit different about putting on the stars and stripes this time that maybe you felt before, and maybe you are all feeling for the first time to represent your country.
MICHELLE WIE: When you put on those colors, the red, white, and blue, like I said before, it just, it takes golf to a whole another level for me. Seeing all the fans and in red, white, and blue and the stickers.
It just, I'm just so proud to be an American this week and I think it comes out more this week. Just so proud to be American, to play for my country, and it's just, it's great. This is, it's just awesome.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your socks?
MICHELLE WIE: My socks. I think it's a bit patriotic, but I don't know, I just kind of accumulate things over the year, I see things I'm like oh that would be great for Solheim Cup, oh, that would be great for Solheim and I just brought them out, I guess.
THE MODERATOR: You guys got some cool gifts. You said it was like Christmas. What did you get, I heard cowboy boots even stuff.
JESSICA KORDA: We got some great gifts. First off a bunch of clothes, who doesn't like clothes. And then we all got our shoes, we got our cowboy boots, we got some electronics here and there and then we got the great golf bags. Everything Solheim Cup. Everything you can imagine Solheim Cup. Shirts, flags, hats, you just name it, we got it.
THE MODERATOR: Brittany, your favorite gift is?
BRITTANY LANG: Definitely the red, white, and blue cowboy boots. Jessica went with the black, which I didn't like that idea, but at least she has a pair of cowboy boots now.
JESSICA KORDA: It is my first boot. I've got to go conservative. Next one is going to be outrageous. It's the first boot. It's got to be neutral.
Q. Michelle, I had the opportunity to talk to Meg Mallon a few months ago before the team was announced, before the captain's picks were announced and we talked about you. She certainly had some very nice things to say. She also said she didn't think that she had ever seen anybody who was under a microscope like you have been during your time on the tour.
Can you just talk about maybe being under that microscope, how you handle it and if there's certain things that you do to deal with kind of that pressure and that stress that gets you through at still a young age of 23.
MICHELLE WIE: I'm still trying to figure it out I think. Just still like anyone who is young, who is ‑‑ like Jessica on tour. I'm still trying to figure out even though I have played for a really long time, it's kind of weird to say that, actually, but I guess I have played for a long time.
But the one thing that I do religiously is just stay away from everything. I don't read anything, I don't watch anything. But when I do come across something, it's hard sometimes. It's not easy. I'm not going to lie and say that it's rainbows and sunshine every day. It's tough being a professional golfer, but it comes with the territory. I kind of knew what I signed up for. And I just love the game, I love playing and that's what I really focus on. Weeks like this, it's just, it makes me really, it reminds me how much I love playing golf.
Q. This is a home course advantage for you all. We're back in the UnitedStates. How much on Sunday can you really feed off the crowd when they're chanting USA, USA?
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah, it's huge. I've only played on one ‑‑ I played on one Solheim Cup in the U.S. and one in Europe. And it's unbelievable the difference, like how many people are out here supporting us and I mean it's night and day. Even though a lot of Americans go over to Europe to support us, the pull that you get when you come to the U.S. is huge. It's great. It's great for us and it only helps, even out during the practice rounds and everything, it's a big difference. So it's‑‑ it will definitely be an advantage for us.
THE MODERATOR: Michelle you were on the team that last time that didn't win and now you're back here where you've never lost.
MICHELLE WIE: Thanks for reminding us. But like Brittany said, the crowds were already amazing today and they came out with stickers and chanting our names. And I think it was good just for the rookies to kind of experience that before not to get too shocked. These crowds, they're as big as I've ever seen. It's exciting.
I hope everyone in Denver Colorado or anyone near Colorado comes to this event, because it's great. I think we're going to get some really great showings this week.
THE MODERATOR: Jessica I'm sure you're probably leading the USA chants out there. Just a speculation on my part.
JESSICA KORDA: No I'm kind of still learning when to start the chants and when not to start the chants.
MICHELLE WIE: We taught her.
JESSICA KORDA: We're walking down nine and they're like Korda, Korda, come here and they start waving their hands and I'm like, okay, let's go.
And playing on the Junior Solheim Cup or Curtis Cup you don't have crowds like this or even people showing up to the practice rounds. I'm impressed with how many people are out here. I got a roar yesterday, like making a long putt and I'm not used to that during practice rounds. And just to see the support that we get back in the states is‑‑
MICHELLE WIE: Well, she did lead some chants in 2009. I remember I was like, okay, Jessica, just to warn you, people are going to make songs with your name and they're going to chant make all these different kind of songs, and she was like, yeah, that was me. That was me.
JESSICA KORDA: I was one of them. I was one of those girls being like, oh, I want to be there one day. And I was like yup, that was me in the crowd saying, hey Michelle, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind.
And then today we had the same thing happen on the course and it was just really cool to be on the opposite side of the rope.
THE MODERATOR: We got stories here. Last question.
Q. Brittany, I'm curious how long ago the 2005 Open feels to you and do you have good vibes coming back to Denver based on that?
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah, it does feel like forever, what was it nine years ago? Something like that. Yeah. It does seem forever ago, but I do have good memories here playing at Cherry Hills and the Broadmoor, I played well in those venues and, yeah, I like Colorado a lot. I like these courses, it's very similar to Cherry Hills, just a great layout, great courses with some tricky greens. So, yeah, it does bring back a lot of memories, good memories.
THE MODERATOR: Last thing before I let you go. To each of you, the best thing about this week and I know this is your first shot at it, that has nothing to do with the golf. You first Brittany.
BRITTANY LANG: The cowboy boots we got.
(Laughter.) Or the smoothie right there. They're so good.
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, so good. It's key.
THE MODERATOR: Michelle?
MICHELLE WIE: My favorite part about this, this week is the team videos. I love, at night we sit down and on the couch in our team room and we get to watch one team video every night and then the next night we get to watch the night before and the night of, so it's a team video, they're awesome, past highlights of past Solheim Cup, people saying good luck to us. I remember in 2009 Justin Timberlake sent us a video saying good luck and we all maybe we kind of we squealed a little bit when that happened.
JESSICA KORDA: Well so far I would say my favorite are the team dinners where we all get to bond and kind of share stories and you learn from the veterans on the team. They tell you their cool stories that they have experienced and also just the team bonding, it's you don't get to do that week in, week out and you just enjoy it this one week.
THE MODERATOR: All the best out on the golf course this week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports