THE SOLHEIM CUP MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 3, 2003
CONNIE WILSON: I know you've spent a few hours on the golf course yesterday and today both observing play maybe on both sides of the pond, but maybe just some general comments on your last couple of days here and your thoughts on a another month or so to go until your team is picked.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Well, my thoughts are jumbled right now, figuring out who is playing well and who is doing what and what I need to look for in a player. Obviously I look at team unity, team cohesion and how the two players that I would pick would fit into the team, and that's primarily what I'm looking at right now. I'm looking at, who am I going to pick?
The other ten players will take care of themselves point-wise. I don't have to worry too much about them until after I get the team put together and then start working on pairings and placements and things like that.
So it's been opinion an extremely interesting three days that I've been here. I've not seen this golf course before and it is extraordinary. I think the players are very lucky to have good weather. Otherwise, it would be absolutely brutal. So they should be very happy with sunshine, warm and very little wind.
I've seen some big numbers out there today. The pot bunkers have taken their toll on some of the players, and so in that respect it's a little bit disheartening for those players that have played well and then all of the sudden they are out of the tournament. I feel for them. I know how it feels. It's not a great feeling.
But as far as the Solheim Cup is concerned, I've just been looking at some players. Angela Stanford I have never played with before, I don't really know that much about her or her game; so I was out watching her a little bit. It's been very interesting to see how some of the players have reacted under pressure.
Q. Under the pressure of the tournament?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Under the pressure of trying to win the British Open, first of all. If they happen to see me out there watching, I guess that would be a little bit rattling at times. I know how I used to feel when I had somebody out there watching me and it made me very nervous. So I really tried not to be too conspicuous unless I let them know that I was going to be out there, then obviously they know that. So I sort of flitted in and out of groups and just sort of showed up here and there, and every time I would show up, something bad would happen, so I felt maybe I shouldn't be on the golf course at all.
Q. Were you near Angela when she had her 10 today?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Oh, I watched the whole thing. I saw her and I watched Kelly Kuehne's, same thing, bunker.
CONNIE WILSON: How would you describe yourself as a captain, having gone through it last year and winning, and going through it again how, how would you describe yourself as a captain?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know, I think you would probably have to ask other people how I am as a captain or what I'm like. I'm pretty much the same as I have always been. I'm not any different. I was always very competitive. I guess I expected a lot of myself. The players have so far decided what tournaments to play and some of them have come up and said: "You know, this is what I'm playing the rest of the year, is that okay."
This is your career; it's not mine. You don't go out there and play for me. You play for you. That's the way I was brought up. My parents never pushed me into doing anything, and I was always fortunate to be able to make up my own mind as to what I wanted to do and where I wanted to play and how many I wanted to play and things like that.
So those players, they are on their own, and there's nothing that I can do to tell them where to play, when to play. It's up to them. They need to get themselves into position to possibly make the Solheim Cup team and show me how much they want to play, and I know how much they want to play.
Q. How have you changed as a captain since the last Solheim Cup?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I think I'm a lot more relaxed. I know what to expect. I've been there and I'm not losing as much sleep as I did the last two years. Only lately, until I came over here, I had been losing a lot of sleep over here, jet lag and thinking about the points and possibilities and who do I need to go watch and what do I need to go look for. I really started thinking a lot about it in the recent weeks. There's only, counting today, there's four weeks worth of points left. So not a lot of time for those players to catch up and put themselves in position to be looked at as a captain's pick.
Q. Do you spend a lot of time talking to the players?
PATTY SHEEHAN: No, not at all. Some of the older players I do because I know them. The younger ones, some of them don't know me at all, and I'll spend the next couple of days with them and that will be really good to get to know them and have them get to know me a little bit.
Tomorrow I am playing with Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon, Hilary Lunke and Angela. We are playing a practice round tomorrow. It will be a fun time. We will all play together hopefully.
Q. Have you made pairings for tomorrow yet?
PATTY SHEEHAN: We are all playing together. I'm not making any pairings for tomorrow. We are all just going to go play. Play, and have a good time.
Q. Is the team shaping up the way you had hoped or are there more players that you would really like to pick?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Let's put it this way. The players that are not in the Top-10 are really starting to play well, and that's a great sign. That's a great sign for them, that's a great sign for me and it's a great sign for the team. For those players that have already made the team, are shoe-ins point-wise, they like to see those younger players come up and show something. They are starting to, and my experienced players are playing well, and the younger players are starting to play really well. I feel that I'm going to have a very strong team this year. Really looking forward to get to Sweden for the Solheim Cup and getting on with it.
Q. Dottie went on record last week saying that she didn't think you should pick her and if she were you, she would not pick herself. What are your thoughts on that?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't think I've counted anybody out because there's still three weeks left and lots of points left out there. So obviously, there's some players that I'm looking at, just like Hilary Lunke. Anything can happen and she just zoomed up from last place to 10th place in one week. So I'm not counting anybody out right now. And knowing Dottie, I know she wants to play her way on the team. I have not spoken to her about it but that's just the personality that she is.
CONNIE WILSON: What is it like taking the team to a country that's going to be captained by Catrin Nilsmark, a home-country person.
PATTY SHEEHAN: It will be difficult. The crowds have a huge impact on the teams and that will be in itself an uphill battle. Getting the players to understand that, and to be okay with that, is part of my job, preparing them for that.
CONNIE WILSON: As far as Catrin, she is someone you've know well throughout your career?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know her very well, but I have an awful lot of respect for her, and was happy for her that she won the winning point at Dalmahoy and I told her that. I told her that, "That was really cool that you were able to do that." For the way that she was sort of put in that position, I was happy for her.
She's played well in Solheim Cups. She's got a great record. She knows what it takes and she understands the week. I look forward to trying to defend, and it will be tough, but I think that we can do it.
Q. Did you ask more players to go play in the practice round tomorrow?
PATTY SHEEHAN: We invited about 15, and because of their schedules and such, most of them decided not to go. It doesn't matter to me. Like I said before, they are in charge of their own schedules and they need to do the best thing that they can do to get themselves prepared to make the team. And next week, they don't get any time off. They have to go right back to Columbos and play. So if they want to get back there, get some rest and be ready to play, I don't blame them.
Q. What does The Solheim Cup mean to you?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Intense pressure and playing for your country. Great camaraderie with your teammates, and I think the most fun and rewarding event when you do well.
Q. What does it feel like to win?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Great relief. It's obviously a time to be very proud and happy, but it's also a huge relief. Trying to get on the team for two years and getting there, playing and having it all come together and be successful is just an indescribable feeling really. It's just great pride, and you can share it with others and celebrate with others.
Q. What do you think is the trademark of young, European golfers?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Fearless. Extremely talented, but fearless.
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