September 7, 2005
Q. Welcome Wendy Ward and Pat Hurst into the interview room. Tell us how the week's going so far compared to your other experiences, how the team is coming together. Start, Wendy.
WENDY WARD: We had a fantastic dinner last night. All of our get togethers have been very fun and inspirational. You usually look to the veterans who are still very encouraging, but I think a lot of us are getting the inspiration from the younger kids.
They have this energy about them that's very refreshing, and it seems like everybody is really making a true heartfelt contribution right now to make this the best team we've ever assembled.
PAT HURST: The experience has been great. We came in for a couple practice rounds. You know, had a couple of dinners beforehand, not only the 12 of us but probably 15, 16 of us, and, you know, the bonding has been great. This team, we're really bonding and it's wonderful. The young guns, they're ready to go and they have a lot of experience, you know. It's not like they're coming out cold.
I think Paula has played in the Junior Solheim Cup. That really helps. She has that team experience. So we're all looking forward to this week and we're having a great time so far.
Q. Take questions. Ask you guys to use the microphone, please.
Whose idea was the motor home ride? Was that Nancy's idea to do that from Columbus? And just talk about what your initial thoughts were. A lot of players travel on their own to different places.
PAT HURST: I think it was great. You know, at that moment, it was the 12 of us on the team. You know, before then, the practice rounds and the dinners were 15 players, but from Columbus to here it was the 12 team members and Nancy, and, I mean, the bus ride was great. A lot of loud music.
WENDY WARD: We can't tell you what happens behind those doors.
PAT HURST: Definitely a lot of bonding. We had a great time and the motor coach was great. I think it was a good idea. Like I said, I can't say enough on how much we have bonded. I played Muirfield Village I think was the one that really sticks out in my mind, how much we bonded and how much fun the team was.
This is happening before we even get started, and I think that's going to be key for us.
Q. Pat, what did last Sunday do for you mentally and emotionally?
PAT HURST: It got me into the Tournament of Championships and ADT it gave me a lot of confidence. I have been playing well these last couple of months, and I just hadn't been able to close the deal, and here I finally did it, and you can't ask for a better week to do it than the week before Solheim.
Q. Pat, on the Golf Channel the other night Dottie Pepper named you one of the best putters, especially with short putts. What do you think of these greens? Do you think they're really true?
PAT HURST: You know, with the practice rounds when we came before, the pins were in different spots than they are obviously this week. This week has been tough. They're trying to save the pin placements. I think the greens are going to be tough out here. They're a lot faster than what we have been practicing on. I think putting is key out here. It's fairly wide. I mean, but the rough is
WENDY WARD: Healthy.
PAT HURST: Yeah, it's pretty healthy now. I think it will keep getting healthier as the week goes on.
Q. Do you feel good about your putting right now?
PAT HURST: Yeah, so far.
WENDY WARD: I feel real good about her putting.
Q. What about yours?
WENDY WARD: Mine feels good. I made a little correction on the grip of my left hand. For me, if I can just stay centered on my putts, they'll go in the little hole.
Q. More questions? Wendy, the last time The Cup was held on US soil you battled Annika on a draw. Talk a little bit about what that did for you and your confidence coming into the Cup?
WENDY WARD: That was probably the biggest match I have ever played. Annika and I go back battling head to head with ASU and U of A. The veterans that week all came up to me after the pairings had been read and said, "You can take her. You know this is a head to head, hole by hole match, and she is beatable," and when they said that, any doubt that went into my mind or any intimidation that might have factored in, I really just set aside and said, "There is 18 holes or 18 matches out there, basically."
And I still remember a quick conversation, I had walking to the 18th tee on Sunday, and I looked over and half of our team was lined up on the tee box. I looked at the Captain and said, "I bet nobody expected to see me on this tee box," and she said, "I beg to differ. Your whole US team expected you to be right there." That was encouraging and gave me a lot of confidence.
Q. What more do you think the LPGA could do to make the purses and status of women's golf more equitable with the PGA?
WENDY WARD: I think they're doing all they can. If you look comparing back to our own Tour from five years, and now I'm ten years playing on Tour, we've made dramatic increases in those years. We used to play for less than 500,000. Now we're playing for triple and quadruple that. We have to stay in our own realm.
We have great crowds and fan base, and I think if we can continue to increase those, I think everything will have a domino effect and, you know, we try to have a special relationship with the gallery, maybe a little more personal touch and, you know, we're hoping that goes a long ways.
Q. Can you put yourself in the shoes of the two French girls who have never played over here? How scary do you think it will be for them?
PAT HURST: You know, I would think it's intimidating. You look at the LPGA Tour, you have the best players in the world, and they're coming over to play against, you know, the best players in the world, basically, and I think it would be very intimidating.
WENDY WARD: All of my matches, whether it was the Curtis Cup or Solheim Cup, they all began on US soil. I couldn't fathom as my first match going over to foreign soil and worrying about the crowds and the cheers and the chats.
I'm sure it will be exciting, probably a little intimidating for them. I hope they got their clubs. That's not the way the matches are supposed to go.
Q. Either of you or both of you, explain the difference between playing for your mortgage and playing for your country, and what kind of emotional impact that has on you?
PAT HURST: For me
WENDY WARD: Your mortgage is higher than mine.
PAT HURST: Right now, but if you move, it's going to get higher.
You know, any time you play for pride, it means a lot, and when you hear you know, you're out there playing for your country, and nothing means more to me than to play for my country. This is all pride, and this is what we want.
This is what each and every one of us want, to play for our country, and this means a great deal to us.
WENDY WARD: This is all about heart this week. For me, that's actually less pressure. The mortgage, that's a lot of pressure, it's got to get paid every month. Solheim only comes around every two years. It's about heart and showing your true colors.
I'm an Army brat so I come from a family of a very strong patriotic man in my dad, who is a full Colonel, retired now. There is a lot of pride, patriotism. We wear red very proudly.
Q. Both of you talked about the inspiration some of the younger players on the team have given you guys. One of them is a 19 year old recent high school graduate. I'm curious if both of you can comment on what Paula has done and the maturity she's brought.
PAT HURST: She's been great. For someone to be 19 years old to win, you know, she's won.
WENDY WARD: Three different championships.
PAT HURST: She's rookie of the year right now.
WENDY WARD: She's probably got that wrapped up.
PAT HURST: Maybe player of the year. To do that at 19 years old, she's got it. I don't know what else to say. She's got it. She's good.
WENDY WARD: We commended her last night. It took all of us two years to get on this team and she had less than 12 months, so to do that in 9 months, she's it just shows she's a rock. She's not a rookie, she's a rock.
Q. Let's get down to business. I'm talking about where you're going to scramble starting on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the golf course. I would like to know from each one of you where the tough span of holes are, how they affect your thinking. Can you attack them? Is it a course where you can be aggressive? Tell me the story about the golf course.
PAT HURST: I haven't thought about which holes are going to be the pivotal holes because it's match play. It can end on 10. Hopefully, it does. It can end on 10 or 18. I haven't really thought about it.
I would have to say definitely the Front 9 you want to get going. The sooner you can get up, the better it is. Hopefully you keep that lead.
I think every hole, like Wendy was saying earlier, every hole is a different match and you've got to play it that way.
Q. But you got to know where the ball has got to be played from, underneath, above?
PAT HURST: From the middle of the fairway onto the greens and make the putts.
WENDY WARD: We try to keep it simple.
PAT HURST: We don't think that hard out here.
Q. I have been with you when you won and you did make you did know the golf course.
PAT HURST: I see a lot of the golf course. There is no doubt, but that's my game.
WENDY WARD: That's why Patty and I get along so well. We make sure we get our money's worth.
PAT HURST: That's why we're out here.
WENDY WARD: 16, 17 and 18 are great finishing holes. They will decide a match if it's not decided before then. On this golf course it could be decided. It would be a shame if we didn't get to see some of those holes. You've got crucial tee shots and landing areas on the greens. You have to be very precise. You're talking about a 3 to 5 yard area. 18 is very picturesque for the crowd and very demanding.
PAT HURST: Very tough.
Q. What about number 8 with the water all the way down the left side, what clubs would you be hitting into the greens?
PAT HURST: Today I hit 9 iron into the green.
WENDY WARD: Anywhere from 9 iron to 6 iron. 8 is about placing your ball on the fairway.
Q. The tee shot is going to put you in the right place and then there is not any question for your next shot, you pretty well got to go right up the middle?
WENDY WARD: Grass, yeah.
Q. Any other questions? Wendy and Pat, thank you very much. Good luck this week.
End of FastScripts.