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June 8, 2014

Ellen Port


CAPTAIN PORT:  Even when those matches were still out, it wasn't over.  I wanted those girls to keep playing and fighting hard.  It was nice to say‑‑ yeah, we've got to get these guys‑‑ I knew it was going to be a fight.  I knew they were going to come out and really play well and I wanted my girls to play well, too.

Q.  How was your feeling going out this morning and watching Emma, knowing that with Emma or the first win, that that could wrap it up for you?
CAPTAIN PORT:  Yeah, that was great.  I asked Emma, if I got my lineup late because she was coming to the golf course, I said, Emma, I figure they are going to put one, two, three, pretty strong and I didn't know where they were going to put Stephanie.
And I said, "Are you okay going out in one of those top places?"  I needed a point and based on how she played all week, I took her out and sat her out yesterday.  And she was hot.
She came up and said, "I don't know if I've ever played that good."  For a U.S. Amateur champion to say that.  And to sit her, I was like, Captain Port, I don't know.  So I wanted her, therefore, to keep that going, and she did.  I put her out first and she got the job done.
Yeah, that was neat, to have her get that first point I thought that was really cool.

Q.  Talk about this week as a whole.  It couldn't have been written in the stars any better for you, being a hometown event.  Can you talk about the whole atmosphere for you?
CAPTAIN PORT:  Yeah, it was really great.  We didn't really know what to expect with the crowds, you know, and with how it was going to, it was such a festive spirit and I'm so proud of the whole event as an entirety; that the young kids that came out and the members that came out and the true golf fans that came out.
I wasn't ever about quantity of people.  I just wanted the quality of people there that could appreciate good golf shots, and we delivered.  I wanted both teams to deliver, you know, because every champion wants to bring their best and play well.  And so that's what happened, really.  We just won a couple more points than they did in the events that were the team events where sometimes we don't do that.
The event as a whole was great.  The hospitality was great.  I think GB&I, I kept my eye on them and I think they really felt at home here, as well, and I think the golf course speaks for itself.  That's the first important thing is once you have a good golf course, but then the community really came to life and it was great.

Q.  Looking back on the championship as a whole, how big was that first opening session sweep?
CAPTAIN PORT:  Huge.  I mean, absolutely huge, and especially I knew how well my players were playing, and you just don't know what happens when the gun goes off.  You know, as a captain, my goal was to keep them fresh and set them up for success.  Not wear them out, not let them get tired of playing the course, because they are here so early, and all the late nights.  So for them to come out of the starting gates and win those first three points, that's great.
I don't know if these guys would ever feel pressure.  I think they would, but it's hard to come from behind.  And that was the case on this golf course.  I think most of the matches, when you got up, was really hard to come back.  A couple of them did, just because of the difficulty of this golf course.
So looks like you're going to win a hole and then you blow it by or something.  Yeah, it was very important to get those first three points.

Q.  Your presentation earlier in the week that concentrated on the history of this event and the Patty Berg picture you referred to so they could see the galleries and how close they were following; did any of the players say to you throughout the week:  I get it, I see what you were talking about?
CAPTAIN PORT:  They didn't have to say that.  In some of their quotes, I think they realized they didn't really know what this was really about.  I think slowly through evolution, everybody processes things different.
But I think all those girls really have learned something about the history of this game, and those that came before us and why this is not just another golf tournament.  They play in so many golf tournaments.  They play in Junior Solheim Cup.  They play in this.  I wanted them to know that this was a little bit different.  This has been around longer than all those events.
The parents, I can't say enough about the parents and grandparents and everybody that was here.  I was really, really tickled that every player had their family here; to be able to share in this together and their college coaches here.
I think that is so neat for them to have‑‑ they are so excited about their players and to see them in this format.  And they have invested a lot in these players, and for them to be able to be here is also really neat.

Q.  You said you don't necessarily keep a lot of memorabilia at home, but what will you do with that trophy?
CAPTAIN PORT:  I don't know what I'm supposed to do it.  I have the big senior one and I just took that out to Boone Valley.
That is the coolest trophy of all the seven that I've ever won.  That is the most special trophy, always, that I will ever have, and ever have been a part of it.  Jim Holtgrieve talked about it:  Get ready for the best week of your golfing life.
And I kept thinking, I hope so.  I'm kind of a skeptic, how can it be that great, how can it be that great, I've put so much work into trying to make it great for them.  But it was great for me.

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