Juli Inkster is counting down the hours as she waits for the Solheim Cup to get started at St Leon-Rot on Friday.
The American captain has been waiting to almost two years to try to reverse a run of two consecutive American defeats and she admits she is champing at the bit to turn things round.
“I feel as if I have been preparing for a year and a half,” she admitted as she met the media for the first time this week along with her European counterpart Carin Koch. “Back then it seemed so long away but here we are and my team is very anxious to get on the golf course and get started. I’m anxious too. I wish Friday would come quicker.
“It has been a great journey for me,” she added. “I’ve really enjoyed all aspects of the preparations. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my players. It’s been very rewarding but now it’s time to go.”
The Americans won three consecutive Solheim Cup matches between 2005 and 2009 but now the Europeans have the chance to claim their own hat-trick following victories at Killeen Castle in 2011 and Colorado Golf Club two years ago.
“It’s really exciting to be here and to have the week finally starting,” agreed Koch. “It’s nice to finally see the team on the course. We’re very happy to be here.”
Inkster confirmed she had been urging her players to treat the Solheim Cup like any other tournament.
“I’m trying to keep them on their regular schedule and not letting them think it is bigger than it is,” she said. I want them to do exactly what they do for a regular Tour event. If they don’t play 18 holes each day there, I don’t want them to play that much golf here. It’s the same with practice. I want them to follow their usual routine.
“I don’t want them to feel guilty if half the team is playing 18 hole but they are not. I know I did that. I would do more than I usually do which was wrong so I’ve told them to stick to their usual programme.
“It’s the same with husbands and other members of the family,” she added. “If you’re husband isn’t on the range for your warm-up at a regular event, he doesn’t need to be there during the Solheim. It’s all about keeping things as normal as we can.”
The two captains then embarked on an impassioned conversation about how their two sides would be preparing their nails ahead of the match.
“I’m sure there will be some nail polish done in the team room,” confirmed Koch.” I know one of the Vice-Captains has offered to help any player who wants her nails done. It’s part of the event. You’ve got to do it. I had mine done before I came.”
“We’re women so that’s what we do,” agreed Inkster before adding in mock seriousness: “The girls probably will, but not on my time…”
Inkster confirmed that Michelle Wie had overcome her recent injuries and would be fit to play a full part in the match. “She feels great. She feels 100 percent. She played last week at the Evian and we all know how hilly a course that is. She said she felt great at the start and she was still fine when she got done. All she needs is to get the rust off and get out and play.
“It’s the same with the rest of us,” she added. “It’s a long process. It’s a lot of golf and there’s going to be a lot of peaks and valleys. We’re just going to have to kind of ride with them and come Sunday see how it all shakes out.”