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September 18, 2002
Q. Good afternoon. Thanks for joining us. We can start with you, Dale, and then have Patty talk next. Impressions of the week so far, the golf course and how your team is shaping up. What do you look for on the weekend?
DALE REID: Well, the golf course is absolutely superb, there is no question about that. I mean, when I first got here on Saturday, you know, we went riding around in a golf cart. It's so green out there, and every single one of my players are absolutely loving it out there.
It's such a great design. It's just -- it's fun to play, basically, and I think superb golf course for match play golf. And the week is shaping up great, it's been very tiring so far, but usually I think actually it's less tiring when the golf starts to play, the real golf.
So, you know, it's -- Patty and I can sit back a little more and watch these girls work away, but the week has been great so far.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Well, I concur. I think that it is a tiring week, it's one of the most special weeks that we have on tour, and every two years, the players have worked very hard to get here, to be on the Solheim Cup team, it means so much to them, and I am trying to stay out of their way, I am trying to, you know, not get too -- tell them too many hints, and they keep telling me, don't tell me how to play golf, and I am saying, okay, you know enough.
So I am excited to be the captain, I am excited for the week to get on with itself. It does take a long time for the practice and the media and the photo shoots and all the things that go along with the Solheim Cup, but I think Dale and I agree that we are anxious to get on with the matches because it does make things a little bit easier because, you know, emotions start to get a little edgy out there. It's like you have 12 caged animals, and they just want to get out, they want to get out and play golf.
And so I know they are all excited and so we look forward to Friday morning.
Q. Dale, maybe, if you could comment on what it would mean for the European Team to win on US soil, and then Patty, if you could comment on what it would mean for the US to get the cup back after losing in 2002?
DALE REID: Well, obviously it means a lot for us to win over here, and, I mean, we haven't -- still have the cup yet and we don't want to hand it back too easily, and yet at the same time, we have never done two in a row. It means a lot to the players. We really would like to win two in a row, and I think it makes it special when you are doing it not on your home soil, it makes it more exciting.
So, you know, at the same time, we want to hold on to this cup as long as we can, we don't want to make things too easy for Patty, so all in all, I think we are going to see some tremendous golf this week.
PATTY SHEEHAN: It's true, we don't have the cup, and I think that, in itself, is motivation for my players to raise the level of their games a little bit. They are -- it's one of those pressure packed weeks that I feel because we have not lost a Solheim Cup on our soil, so that puts extra pressure on me because, you know, we would certainly love to win the cup back.
I feel confident in my players and I feel that, you know, we have a very good chance of winning the cup back, and I am so excited for the matches to start because, you know, that's where the Solheim Cup is, it's out on the golf course, it's out playing golf, and it has nothing to do with anything else besides playing golf.
So the whole spirit of the Solheims and their reason for making the Solheim Cup so special for us is match play and is a wonderful display of women's golf, and that's what they wanted and intended for us, and we look forward to that.
Q. Dale, first of all, I am going to ask you about one particular player you have, and, of course, you know who I am going to ask you about, the number 1 player in the world right now.
Are you planning -- are you considering playing her five times? And I am talking about Annika Sorenstam.
DALE REID: Well, I mean, obviously, a player like that, you feel like you want to play her five times, but I am glad she is on my side, at least I don't have to worry about putting one of my players out against number 1 in the world, so it's a nice feeling to have.
And, I mean, to me, the way the girl is playing at the moment, it's like she is on another planet this year, so terrific golfer. What more else can you say about her? It's just superb the way she is playing, but hopefully, I won't be playing her five days.
Q. Rosie Jones says you pair her up with me and I will take care of her, I will polish her off. She is really gung ho.
DALE REID: Well, obviously, Patty and I don't talk about the pairings, so, obviously, we never know who anybody is going to match up with, so it's part luck on the days of the singles, so Rosie will have to wait, maybe, you know.
PATTY SHEEHAN: That's one of the interesting things about the pairings is that Dale does her pairings, she writes them down on a piece of paper, and I write mine down on a piece of paper, and the two pieces of paper go together like this (indicating), and whoever gets matched up against whomever, that's the way it is, and it's really luck of the draw, and that's one of the fun things about the Solheim Cup is that you got to see who the pairings are, look at the match-ups.
Q. I am just wondering, are you planning on playing Juli Inkster four or five times?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I am not.
Q. Very good. Can you both comment on how close you are to getting your first set of pairings out.
DALE REID: I can honestly say, I am not close at all at the moment. I mean, I know we are into -- it's Thursday tomorrow, and I really have to do a lot of thinking, but I am not close at all. I am still another practice day to go, I want to see how everybody else is, I am still chatting a lot to my players, so, you know, obviously, I have to get the team in on the time required, but hopefully Pam and myself will come up with the right choice.
PATTY SHEEHAN: I pretty much have a good idea of who I am putting with whom, and feel pretty good about it. The way I look at it, I don't really have any bad pairings, so I have got 12 great players and, you know, I could basically throw up balls, like you do on the first tee, and whose ever ball goes next to whose is a pretty good pairing.
Q. Dale and Patty, you guys both have a lot of new people on your respective teams. Can you each talk a little bit about what it's been like having so many new people.
DALE REID: It's, I think, one of the good things about it is it's nice to see that there is nice shining talent coming through, and, you know, Patty has had her great days, I have had my days, not been as great as Patty's but I have had my great days, but it's nice to see that we still have talent carrying on, and I think most of the new players, they are all very exciting players and I don't know so much about the American rookies because I haven't played over here for a few years, but I know our rookies are all very exciting players, and I think everybody that's out there watching this week, they are going to see some really young talented players.
Q. I was wondering what both of the captains thought about what Catrin Nilsmark's comments to the web site?
DALE REID: I am sorry, I didn't quite catch it.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Should I answer -- answer Lisa's question first?
Q. Yeah, go ahead.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Lisa, my young players are -- they are lots of fun. They have been such a breath of fresh air for me. I have been used to playing with all of the veterans on my team, and I know their games pretty well. The younger players, I have not played with so much, and they are so refreshing and they are so different than my generation of players that they are so much fun, and I am having a blast with them. You know, they are coming to Jane and I and they are asking a million questions. I mean, they don't know what the Solheim Cup really is all about yet.
And so it's very refreshing to get to know them a little bit better and to watch them play and see what happens to them through the week. I guess I sort of feel like the mother hen, that I am just sort of keeping an eye on them a little bit more than I am the veterans. I know what they can do, and they know what to do, but I know I feel like I am trying to help them along and reassure them that everything is going to be okay and, you know, things like that.
But they are so much fun and they have such great talent, and we are so excited about some of the rookies that we have on our tour this year that are not on this team, but look like they are being very promising for next year's team.
So I am just -- you know, I am in love with them, they are just great.
Q. The other question was if each of you could comment on Catrin Nilsmark's remarks.
DALE REID: Obviously, I can't, because I am not Catrin, but I have spoken to Patty, and I said "I hope you know, they weren't my views."
PATTY SHEEHAN: Dale has been very up-front with me, and most of the European players that I know have come up to me and apologized for the comments and have been very gracious and really good about it. And I know they feel
bad -- badly, about the comments, and, you know, my players, I think initially, felt badly, and they felt like they were being shot at with darts, but I think then as that initial shock wore off, I think we have sort of had fun with it, so not that we need any more motivation to try to win the cup back, but that was sort of a little bit added motivation to show that they have talent and they are not washed up and et cetera, et cetera.
Q. When you talk about washed up now, you are talking about a team that's sporting a 45-year old, a couple of 42-year olders, right along with great, great veterans who know the game and settle in.
If you play them sparingly, you should have no problems whatsoever. I was happy to hear you say you are not going to play Inkster five times.
PATTY SHEEHAN: No. I don't plan on it. I mean, I don't plan on it.
Q. But you told me something back in March in Phoenix, Arizona at a golf tournament. You said, "I have had a great career, but I want to top it off with one thing, I want to be the captain of the winning Solheim team, and I am sure you still feel that way.
PATTY SHEEHAN: I do. I think that would be really the cap stone of my career, I think if I could have one of those under my belt, that would really be, obviously, a very special moment for me, and I want to win the cup back for the players. This isn't for me. The Solheim Cup is not for me, it's for them.
Q. Dale Reid --
DALE REID: I can obviously say winning the cup is the best feeling in the world, and I have to admit I really do want to win it back again, so I want to find out what it's like for two times in a row. We are both here for the same reason, it's pretty obvious, and it's all going to come down to a couple of putts on the golf course, I am sure. But I think you get the general idea that we are both really -- desperately want to win this.
PATTY SHEEHAN: We are pretty competitive, and Dale and I played each other in the first Solheim Cup, and Dale beat me, I'm not ashamed to say that, she drummed me pretty good, but -- so we go back a little ways, and I have an awful lot of respect for Dale. She has been such a great competitor over the years, she has held herself to high esteem, and she has always been very gracious with me, and wonderful. And I just -- you know, I really have a lot of respect for Dale.
DALE REID: I didn't pay her to say that.
PATTY SHEEHAN: I have an awful lot of respect for European players, most of whom I know and some of whom I am looking forward to getting to know a little bit and watching them play.
You know, I am almost to the point where I am very humbled by the experience of this year's Solheim Cup. So, so far it's been really wonderful.
Q. Patty Sheehan and Dale Reid, now, one final question from my standpoint. We have asked all of the players as they came in as a group, individual -- for individual thoughts on the situation at Augusta, Georgia. Have you played Augusta National, Patty?
PATTY SHEEHAN: I played Augusta National, yes, still over par after six holes. Do we need to go on?
DALE REID: No, never played.
Q. What about the thoughts at Augusta, Georgia and the fuel that's been poured on.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Well, that's an interesting subject, and I feel that as a private club, Augusta is entitled to make up its own rules, have its own members, whoever they want, but having said that, I also think that Augusta has put themselves not in a private amphitheater, they are in a very public theater. And I think that they need to be -- I think their standards need to be a little bit higher than they are, and I think they need to admit women as members.
Q. Very good.
DALE REID: Sorry, we have the same trouble at home, most of our golf courses are with a royal title, and I think, you know, if you go back 100 years, most of the golf clubs were made royals when we had a King on the throne, and now we have a Queen, so I think it's quite easy to start looking at some of the women going onto some of the golf courses.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Very well said.
Q. Dale, I have a question. As far as the European Team, you have got a player from Norway and a player from Denmark for the first time on a Solheim Cup team, a player from Spain and France. Do you feel like this team is really representative of Europe as a whole, maybe compared to some other past teams?
DALE REID: Obviously, it looks like a Viking invasion out there. It's all very Scandic. We have a lot of Spanish, French, coming through, but, no, I mean, they have got some great junior programs over there in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and, you know, considering the amount of days, months in the year that they can play over there, it's a mazing to have so many tremendous players shining through, so it's really great to see players from those areas where you don't think they play a lot of golf, but they are golf crazy over there.
Q. Patty, I have a question about Juli Inkster, what she has been done in the latter part of year, the US Open, just as a contemporary of hers, and somebody who has gone head-to-head with her, how you feel about what she has done.
PATTY SHEEHAN: Boy, there is so much that I could say about Juli. I met Juli when she was 16 and she had only been playing golf like a year. And I -- she took me 19 holes in a match the first time I met her.
She is one of my very good friends, first of all, and she has -- she has everything. She is absolutely phenomenal as far as a person, a mother, a golfer, and I am so amazed by what she has done in her career, having watched her as such a young girl, and just because she is 42 years old doesn't mean that she is old. She has got a very young sense of humor, she is very much child-like at times, and yet she is so mature beyond her years for some of the things that she does and says.
So she has got a great combination of all of those factors put together, and she has got great one-liners, just like Dale Reid here has great one-liners, so it's fun to be in the locker room with her, and I have always enjoyed being a teammate of Juli's, and we were teammates at San Jose State together, and so we have had a lot of history and I have an awful lot of respect for her.
Q. What is Dottie Pepper's role with the team? Tell me -- is she one of those 12 caged animals back there?
PATTY SHEEHAN: She is the 13th one. I asked her yesterday, I said, "How you feeling?" She says -- she really couldn't speak. I knew she was -- just wanted to jump out of her skin. And she feels a little out of place, but she has been a great big help to me, she has brought to me some interesting ideas about not really golf course stuff, just kind of operational kind of stuff about, you know, how things should be run here, and so she has been sort of running back and forth to the operations trailer trying to get things accomplished, and, I mean, she has really been a great help to us, Jane, and --
Q. She made the barf bags?
PATTY SHEEHAN: She made barf bags for the rookies, yes. She stole them from the airplanes she has been riding on. She is fun. I mean, she is -- Dottie Pepper has not changed one bit, and -- just because she doesn't have a golf club in her hand, she is still pretty feisty. She wants to play. She is dying to get out there and play, and it's killing her not to have that opportunity.
Q. Anything else? All right. Thank you very much.
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