September 10, 2003
LAURA NEAL: We'll get started. Patty has a rules meeting at 4. So we're going to have to cut it a little bit before that. Patty, maybe just start with giving some impressions on how the week is going for you so far.
PATTY SHEEHAN: We're having an awful lot of fun right now. Got here Monday afternoon, the flight was great. The players got a considerable amount of sleep on the plane. Consequently they didn't sleep all that well Monday night, but from what I understand they slept really well last night. Everybody seems to be catching up on their sleep. However, I did not get much sleep last night as my role is a little bit reversed. Everybody is feeling good. They're playing well. Most of them got in nearly 18 holes today even though it rained and we had a little bit of a delay. They were very excited to get back on the golf course this afternoon even though it was wet. And they're all having a good time. We're enjoying being here in Sweden very much. Everybody has been wonderful to us. We enjoy staying right here. We all feel that this is the way it should be; that the teams should all be together in a small little hotel. We're bonding and the camaraderie is there and we're having a good time. We're all looking forward to the week getting started. Obviously three practice rounds is an awful lot of golf for most of these players. They're not used to playing this much and they're ready to get on with the matches.
Q. You say you're relaxed. I saw you yesterday you're looking very relaxed. Day by day can you feel maybe the tension creeping up a notch and your players maybe feeling the same way?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't feel that way personally. This is my second year in a row as the captain for the U.S. side. I feel personally a lot more relaxed. The players are communicating with me a lot better this year, which I am thrilled about. They actually are coming to me with ideas and suggestions. That's really a comforting feeling that they're feeling good enough to come to me and give me those suggestions. The players probably are getting a little antsy to get out and play. Like I said they don't normally play this much golf before a tournament. They're ready to get out there and get going.
Q. Two things, Patty. One, do you think that the communication that you're talking about is helped by the fact that there's only one year between competitions? And two, yesterday during the photo session your team seemed very, very loose and very together. Are you happy with the way the personalities are gelling in this particular tournament?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I am. They're having a lot of fun. I think just one year's difference makes a big difference for both of our sides. I think their team probably feels pretty close, too. And we feel very good about things. It probably does help that it was only one year to get the communication going back and forth. I've always told them, "You call me any time. If you need anything, let me know". I've always told them that I'm open to suggestions and communications and I guess maybe after a couple of years under their belt and my belt, we are finally figuring it out.
Q. When did your preparations for the tournament really begin actively? Straight after the last one?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Actually a little bit before. The LPGA came to me and asked me if I wanted to continue on with my captaincy before the last Solheim Cup even started. So I think that they were starting to understand that we only have one year between, and the transition would not have been as smooth had it been with another captain. So they figured it was probably the best way to handle things. It was realistically right before the last Solheim Cup.
Q. Have you found out more about yourself as a person dealing with the responsibilities in the last year or so?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know. I think I'm learning a lot more having two children than I am having 12 players.
Q. Is it like having 12 children?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Not exactly. My two children are pretty young. It's interesting when you get away from the tour how you view things and your respective changes about certain things that happen out here on tour. I deal with things a lot differently than the players do now. And probably the way that I dealt with them as a player, things are just not monumental anymore. The players probably still think that certain things are very, very important. I don't think they're quite that important anymore.
Q. What about dealing with the players that you could have chosen, but didn't choose as your wild cards, dealing with them? Is that difficult for you?
PATTY SHEEHAN: My picks were very difficult this year. I had a much easier time last year with my two picks. This year was very difficult because the five that it came down to for me, they were all playing very well. It was difficult. And I struggled a lot with it. And I told them that I was struggling with it. I wished that they could all be on the team, but I could only choose two. That in itself was a tough time. I'm friends with all of them. So having to tell them that they weren't picked was really a hard thing to do.
Q. I know you're not going to tip us off to anything, but has your thinking about possible pairings changed over the last couple of days based on anything you've seen out there?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Yeah.
Q. Would you describe your thinking, is it still in flux or pretty honed in?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I would say, Ron, that I'm pretty solid on what I'm thinking right now. There's a couple of things that I'm still looking at, a couple of different pairings that I'm still looking at, but after I lose about four more hours of sleep tonight and I'm up trying to put together some more pairings and to get myself maybe a little bit more confused about things, I'll hone in on certain pairings and I'll go with it. Yeah, there have actually been some things come up today that have changed my mind about a couple of pairings. It's still in flux, and I'm still tweaking it here and there. Thank goodness I've got some time.
Q. Thinking of Catrin struggling, in what way do you think it will affect the European team?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know if I can answer that actually. I would think that Catrin is -- all of her players have known the status of Catrin for a little while now. So I think they're mentally and emotionally prepared for anything that can happen. I don't see any problems. I'm sure Catrin has prepared them for just about anything. I don't see any problems.
Q. Does your heart go out to her?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Absolutely.
Q. As far as being a captain?
PATTY SHEEHAN: Absolutely. I know that the Solheim Cup has been very important in her life, in her career. And I know how much she was looking forward to this. I feel badly that she's not 100 percent, that she can't do all the things that she wants to do and stand the way she wants to stand and ride in a cart and do all the things that it takes to be captain. She now has been dealing with this for a few weeks. I don't see that she's going to have any problems, other than the fact that she's in agony. But as far as how she deals with the players, I can't see any difference.
Q. Have you spoken to her much?
PATTY SHEEHAN: A little bit, yeah. Yeah. We've spoken a couple of times. There's nothing I can say except I'm just so sorry that she has to be dealing with this when it should be a really fun time in her career and really enjoying this experience. I don't know how she could be, being in that much pain.
Q. Patty, you give the impression that perhaps you've learned to relax a little bit more this year as captain. What else did you learn compared to last year? What will you do differently as captain this year?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I guess I learned that -- I think I learned how to figure out my pairings a little bit easier this year. I don't know if I'd do anything differently than I have done, but I am a lot more relaxed, and I'm enjoying the experience a lot more. Last year being in the States the captain I think has a lot more responsibilities and a lot more things to do. Being here over in Europe, I've got a lot more time to actually spend with my team on the golf course. Last year I didn't see one practice hole. And that to me was frustrating. This year I've spent a lot of time on the golf course. I spent all day out there in the rain on the golf course sitting in my cart in a puddle. It's been a different experience, but it's been a lot more enjoyable this year, because I haven't had to do as many things.
Q. Europe are marginal favorites according to the bookies. Do you think that's right?
PATTY SHEEHAN: You know what? I live in Reno, Nevada, which is a huge gambling place as you probably know. And I stay out of casinos primarily because I don't understand how they come up with those odds. So I can't really comment.
Q. Do you think America should be the favorite?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I think right now I think that both teams are playing very well. I think the matches are going to be extremely close. I think it's just too close to call.
Q. How much does a player like Juli Inkster mean for your team?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I think Juli is a great inspiration for all of us. She's as you know a good friend of mine. She has an important role as much off the golf course as on the golf course. She's great fun to have around, great fun to be around. People just enjoy being around her off the golf course. She's got a big role. Obviously she's a great player and she's a great match player, but I think it's more the off course stuff that influences us more than anything.
Q. I read somewhere that you said that all your players want to take on Annika. Do you think that's something that the players just say, or do you really think that's true that they want to beat the world's number one in this competition?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I think they all would love the chance, sure. They're all great players, every single player on my team and every single player on the European team deserves to be on this team because they're great players. I think that as competitors we all love to be up against the best. Given the opportunity, anybody would try to take on Annika, and they would relish the moment and do their very best that they could. And I feel that at any given time any player can be beaten. We all would love that opportunity.
Q. As captain do you find yourself being pulled in directions like friend, strategist, tactician, motivator? Do you see yourself as all of those or more one than the other?
PATTY SHEEHAN: No. They all know that I'm trying to do my best for the team, and they're all team players. Because of the fact that we're all friends, they understand that they can't all play every single match and they can't all play with whom they want to play with, and that I'm doing this because I think it's best for the team. They're all team players and they want to do what's best for the team, too.
LAURA NEAL: Patty, thanks for coming in.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Thank you very much. Sorry it's so short. I enjoy doing this.
End of FastScripts.