|England’s Trish Johnson|
US Team captain Betsy King
Q. I know you’ve been outside since very early this morning. You’ve been through some crazy weather, but you have to be pretty proud of the 4 1/2 points your team put up. Kind of talk about your first day today.
King: It’s going to be close the whole way. Most of the matches were close. What was the largest, 4-3 victory. It’s just going to be that way. Obviously today was a tough day weather-wise for everybody, and, you know, another five minutes of rain that one time when it was raining so hard, we might not have been able to keep playing for a little bit, but I’m happy. We made a good start with the alternate shot, and we’ve tried practicing more of that this — before coming here. Then, you know, just a lot of close matches in the afternoon.
So we’ll see what happens tomorrow. It looks like weather is going to be a factor again. Maybe not rain but little bit of cold and wind. So we’re ready to go. I just can’t tell you how much fun it is to coach these — coach. I’m not really a coach — captain these guys because everybody wants to do what they think is best for the team. We’ve told them, you know, “If you don’t feel comfortable in a situation, let us know.” and everybody has been very good about that, and yet, you know, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t fit in. Everyone gets along very well. It’s been a pleasure.
Q. This is the first time since ’90, ’96 you’re in the lead after the first day on European soil and you won in Wales. What does that mean for you guys?
King: You know, I don’t know if it means that much. I just think it’s going to be close the whole way, and it’s just going — whoever is Wednesday, it’s going to be close. So, you know, you just have to go out and make every shot count, and, you know, I tried to tell them that. I think everybody is very aware of that, but I think when the matches are close, you kind of know that every shot counts. We’ll have to go out and try to keep playing well.
Q. Betsy, can we both have your pairing for tomorrow, and also did you make any late switches either this afternoon or for tomorrow morning?
King: You know, I think with today having had a day of competition where you could watch people play, you know, it was a little — you know, you had another factor in there that, you know, for the first morning I kind of had done it. I sat down about two weeks ago really and put out the first two days. I mean, just out of curiosity if everything went really well, this is what I was thinking. Obviously when you get here and you watch everybody play and the more we played together alternate shot, you know, that changed a little bit, but the morning of the first day, you know, stayed the same.So, yeah, I think once you start watching everybody play, you have that in there, too. So it took — we had to think a little bit about what we were doing. I think, too, when you’re — in the morning you have to have it in by 11:30 in the afternoon. You’re doing your consultation in the golf course. Tonight we came inside and sat down for a little bit.
Q. What do you think about tomorrow’s pairings?
King: I think they’re fine. It’s like that guy yesterday, “What am I supposed to say?” I don’t need ceremonies. No. I think it’s fine. I said — I’m not even worried or trying to guess where who is going to be, where from the other side, because I don’t think you can do that.
I was trying to put out — you know, obviously Sherri and Laura didn’t play this afternoon. They’re the most rested. I have them get up first, and I tried to do it that way and not worry about, you know, “Where is Helen going to put whoever?” I think the teams are that close that, you know. You don’t look at one team and say they’re the strongest team. You have to feel that any team on your side can — if they play well can beat any team on the other side. I just put the pairings out based on rest and that kind of thing.
Q. Can you just talk about the way this afternoon in particular finished? Is there any disappointment in the way things went against you, or do you have to expect that sort of thing?
King: When the matches are close, it happens. You see red up on the board, but you know, 1-up obviously isn’t a big lead. The last match, Laura played an unbelievable 3 on No. 16. I thought Paula did the right thing on the last hole, you know, conceding the putt. That was a very hard fought match and was funny, when I was watching, I wasn’t close enough to know exactly how long that second putt was, but it ran through my head about Jack Nicklaus when he conceded a putt, you know, to halve a match. Within 30 seconds Paula did that. It’s kind of funny. Yeah, the matches are all very close. You lose one hole, it goes from a point to half point. It can go either way. So, it happened that way for us this afternoon.
Laura Davies and Trish Johnson
Q. I think we’ll start the interview. I’d like to welcome Laura Davies and Trish Johnson who halved their match today against Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel. Just heard you talking about the how the conditions were pretty bad out there today.
Johnson: It’s one of the worst — I don’t know how long we were out there. It seemed forever from start to finish. It’s one of the worst days I ever played in.
Davies: It’s 7.20pm.
Johnson: Couple of showers, like Laura said, on 18, just as she’s about to hit her shot, almost impossible because she hits a shot and this thing comes up. You got no control. It was almost a gamble before it came, and unfortunately it came right when she stood over her shot, and it was tough.
Q. Laura chipped in at the 16th. That was a pretty special shot.
Davies: It’s one of those things. We all hit a poor tee shot. Trish actually hit a good one. Mine was always right, and the other two girls, it was awful. We walked down there and typical feeling sorry for ourselves. That’s the side of the hazard. Trish is in the hazard. I’m in bush. This is just not fair. But, you know, all of a sudden it worked out for us. I hacked it out of that bush and chipped in, they both missed. Things like that happen in golf. It’s lovely when it does. It was a great moment. I made a fool of myself celebrating, but I enjoyed it.
Q. Laura, on 1,6 could you just tell us where that ranked in the par saves you’ve made in your career.
Davies: Best one.
Q. Also tell us what you were actually looking at when you were standing there.
Davies: First of all, it’s probably the best one, considering the circumstances. We were going to go dormie, two down. That wasn’t going to be a good thing for the team. It was hit and hope. Down in the long grass. I was trying to find a root to take my club out because. I had two big strands of quite thick — I don’t know if it was bramble or whatever you call it over here. I managed to find a root. I thought it was going to hit the tree and go in the water. It was lucky it got to where it got, but then the chip was a good chip. The chip was the first — the hack was a hack. Thirty-six handicapper shot. It worked out.
Q. Did you answer the second question about how this ranks?
Davies: Considering the circumstances and we didn’t want to go down 17, 2-down, it was beyond belief, really. I would say it was a pretty good moment. Great par.
Q. My question was, I don’t know if you were scoreboard watching at all, but you know there’s a lot of red on the board obviously early. Were you paying attention? Your thoughts on how it ended up.
Davies: Absolutely. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about seeing the blue on the board. I actually think we’ve done quite well to only be — I think we’re a point and a half behind now because — or is it two points? One point. There you go. That’s even better. All day it’s been red on the board. one-down, two-down. The good thing was the two matches that were won that easily were both for us. That’s nice. We always had one point on the board with seven, eight holes to go when we were out. It’s not a bad day, considering.
Q. What odds would you have given on winning the 16th as it stood over the second shot?
Davies: Probably been I would have said 500 to 1, probably. 250. I mean, the half would have been good. I was thinking making four because they weren’t excelling on that hole. You need luck because we had none. We did good putts and good shots.
Q. Now you know it’s one point behind. That feels like a real result.
Davies: Real result. A touch.
Q. How shaken were the opposition at that point?
Davies: I’d say pretty shaken. I’d have to say Paula and Morgan given Trish the putt. Trish had like two and a half, 3-footer. It was just really nice that they realized it was a good match and they conceded the putt. I thought that was top class, I really did.
Q. Suzann Pettersen has had, you know, probably the best season of anyone in this field, actually, on the LPGA Tour and worldwide. Are you surprised she sat this afternoon, either one of you?
Davies: Captain’s decision. If I’m honest, yeah, I suppose I was. I thought Suzann might play all five games, and obviously she’s not going to play all five games now. I was surprised, but Alfie is making decisions on the information she’s got, and that was her decision. The chances are I’ll be sitting out, Annika might sit out. I don’t know. That could happen to all of us. Suzann has obviously got a big part to play tomorrow, now.
Q. Laura, did you agree with Trish on the conditions that?
Davies: Look at the hair. What do you reckon? Yes, I do. It was cold and wet and windy, but it was great fun.
Q. I was wondering what it’s like to play against teenagers and whether that influenced the match, whether you’re used to seeing such young kids on the Tour.
Davies: We tell them off when they hit a good shot. They have to listen. They’re friends of mine. Because we all do the same job, it doesn’t seem to be the age gap, I don’t feel. Mentally I’m probably younger than that. I don’t feel that old. You know, they’re good girls, all of them. There’s a lot of them coming through.
Iben Tinning and Catriona Matthew, Europe
Q. Have you ever played with Iben before, or is this the first time?
Matthew: Yeah, that was the first time we played together.
Q. How was it between you guys?
Matthew: It was good.
Q. It was a great fight back?
Matthew: Yeah, it was.
Q. Okay. What are you thinking for tomorrow, because you play again with her?
Matthew: Yes, I’m happy.
Q. How do you feel about the European crowds? Are they spurring you on?
Matthew: Yes, definitely.
Q. What was the difference this afternoon?
Matthew: I think Iben made a few putts early on.
Q. What’s the difference between this morning and this afternoon?
Matthew: Iben holed a few putts. It was a difficult day making birdies. Missed a couple shots and made a birdie coming in.
Q. Tell me about that putt on 14.
Tinning: I’m really embarrassed by myself. I got so excited, I was — it was a fantastic putt. Hadn’t made a long putt yet.
Q. Two-down early on, what was the case of recovery? Was there a turning point?
Matthew: I think the turning point maybe was really the birdie on 8 and 10, we kind of sneaked one on 10. Looking like they were probably going to win the hole and then she made a good up and down. That was the key.
Q. You were a captain’s pick.
Tinning: Yes. I hope she’s happy about it.
Q. It seemed like quite torrential rain at times.
Matthew: Well, it was just terrible. We had wind, rain, then we had some sunshine. We had a bit of everything. Really on the whole, pretty terrific.
Q. What are you thinking of the overall score line at the moment?
Tinning: Of course we would like a few more points, but I think it’s playing so tough out there. If you don’t make the putts — it’s really just difficult to make a par, I think.
Matthew: If we can even squeeze a half point out of the last game, I will be fairly happy with that.
Q. Catriona, you had quite a quick turnaround between playing this morning and this afternoon. Did you have any time to actually prepare yourself for this afternoon?
Matthew: I had time for lunch. I had already played 18 holes or 16, so didn’t really need to warm up again. That was plenty of time.
Q. Iben, you were left out this morning from foursomes. How did you come to get going?
Tinning: Well, how did what, sir?
Q. Was it tough to get going out there?
Tinning: No. I was real excited to go. I couldn’t wait to go play, and I only had an hour, only an hour before I went to play, knew that I was actually going to play. I ran down at the range and tried to get myself ready, and I just think I was really surprised how tough it was out there. We looked at the telly throughout. It was going to be absolutely so difficult, and it was. It really played tough. The back-9, you know, obviously tough.
Matthew: Tough to get close to the pins. Tried to hit the greens more than anything.
Q. Just a little thought about your partnership. Obviously it was clicking quite okay. Tomorrow, you two again?
Tinning: We have no idea what’s going to happen. I just knew one hour before I had to go play today. We absolutely had no idea.
Matthew: Jump in when needed.
Tinning: Obviously I really enjoyed playing with Catriona and we had a lot of fun. She’s a tough cookie. I love that.
Q Catriona, sum up your day starting with the foursome.
Matthew: In the foursomes we were up against Laura and Sherri, made six birdies. It was tough right there. They had six birdies. Not much you can do. This afternoon played really well. Kind of played a little better on the front-9 and even made some great birdies at 13 and 14.
Q. What was it like going out in the four-ball after losing the first match?
Matthew: Just made you even more determined to win this one. Didn’t want to go 2-0.
Q. What does it say about the match overall so far?
Matthew: Yeah. A few tight games. Hopefully turnaround a couple games this afternoon. That would be good.
Q. What would you like the score to be going into Sunday for single matches?
Matthew: Obviously we’re leading, that would be great.
Q. Were you surprised that Suzann Pettersen didn’t play this afternoon?
Matthew: I don’t know. I didn’t see the match this morning. I don’t know if pressure or whatever. Getting a little rest and be ready for the next two days.
Cristie Kerr, Nicole Castrale, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, US
Q. We’re joined here by Americans, Cristie Kerr, Nicole Castrale, Paula Creamer, and Morgan Pressel. Each contributed today to America’s 4 1/2 points. Each start by making an opening comment on your day.
Kerr: Well, I’m glad to be inside. It was a day of survival, and the team played really well together. And, you know, we know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re up for the challenge. And we’re going to get a good meal, some good wine to night, and come out tomorrow and play our hardest.
Castrale: Yeah. You know, I think we got off to a great start this morning and in alternate shot. That just — it had some momentum for us going into the afternoon, and we played well and hung in there, you know, when the crowd was against us, and we still have a lot of golf left and we’re just looking forward to bringing the Cup home.
Creamer: It was pretty bad out there. The fans were great coming out. There was a lot more people out there than I thought there was going to be. But it was. It was a tough day. Battling everything out there. We gave it our all. Put our hearts on our sleeves. We have two more days left. We can’t be really satisfied with this day. We’ve got two more big days ahead of us.
Pressel: I don’t think we get these conditions too often in South Florida, so, you know, I think — not that we all live in South Florida, but…
Kerr: Hurricane Andrew was kind of like that.
Pressel: I guess. But, you know, the team played really well. I think this is the first time we’re up since the first Solheim Cup. So that’s a big deal, and we’re looking forward to playing really well the next two days.
Q. Nicole, as a captain’s pick, obviously you come here this week with maybe a few more butterflies in your stomach. Can you talk a little bit about what your expectations were and what the day panned out to be?
Castrale: Everyone kept saying that there would be more pressure on the picks and everything, and I have to think that the rest of team agrees with me that we didn’t come over here, ten players and two picks. We came over as 12, and we’re going the play as 12, and, you know, just see what happens. I feel Laura and I, we played well this year. And so our year pretty much speaks for itself and why we were picked, and this is a team and it’s not individual, and I just feel like that’s how we’re playing right now.
Kerr: I played with Nicole when she won the tournament in South Carolina, the Ginn Tribute. Once you hit the first tee shot, she wasn’t a rookie anymore. She played great on the front-9 and I played great on the back, and, you know, as far as I’m concerned, they’re not rookies anymore.
Q. This is for Paula and Morgan. It would have been very easy to get very demoralized when you saw Laura do what she did on 16. Did you guys talk about it? How did you stay in there and manage to finish out?
Creamer: What are you going to do? We’re walking by. Where’s your ball? Oh, I’m just hoping I get through those trees, you know. What are you going to do? She makes par. We all — it’s kind of a gift at first, everybody hitting it way right, and, you know, I knew after that — Morgan and I talked about it. We had two holes left. It’s not over. It was halved. At that point it was all square. There’s a lot of golf left, and 18 played tough, but, you know, that’s match play.
Pressel: I think that we both kind of looked at each other and just went, “Wow.”
Creamer: What do you do?
Pressel: In match play you always expect your opponent to hit a great shot and make a putt.
Kerr: Probably the best par you’ve see in history.
Pressel: I think that’s the par of the century. I don’t know how many people actually saw where her ball was, but it was in the weeds.
Creamer: It was unbelievable. First of all, to get it out. Second of all, to get it over the water.
Pressel: Chip it in. We kind of had it going against us on that hole.
Kerr: That’s Laura. That’s sometimes how she plays, and she’s brilliant at making pars when you don’t think she’s going to make pars. That’s why in match play you never give up and you’re never out of holes, and that’s why you see some real interesting stuff out there.
Q. They were very, very impressed, a lot of people were, with your decision to go ahead and concede the last putt. Was that just kind of a natural decision?
Creamer: I think we both felt that we played very good. We both deserved to win that match with the finish that we had on the last couple of holes, and it was — I think that’s the way you play Solheim Cup. We grinded it out the whole day, playing in that, and they both had good looks at it. Morgan and I felt as a team that’s what we needed to do. We both deserved to win the match.
Q. This question is for Cristie from the morning match. You guys were in control of that match — think back that far — almost the entire way right until the end. Then it looked like it could go. You made a great putt to save par. How do you walk away from that? Is it like a win, you got a half point?
Kerr: I think in Solheim putts, the half points are really underrated, especially in the alternate shot format. We were up pretty much the whole time, and then, you know, I hit a bad putt on 16, you know, got way by the hole and Pat wasn’t able to make it. Then I hit a bad chip on 17, and she almost made it. And then, you know, I said to myself, “I’m not going down like that. I’m not letting my partner down,” and there was no way I was miss that putt on 18. To redeem yourself, that’s what Solheim is all about. It’s digging down deep into the pit of your stomach and being able — to use Paula Creamer’s word — gut check yourself on a shotly basis. Because whoever wants it more, whoever has more heart, that’s who is going to win.
Q. Considering that the weather information calls for even colder and windier conditions tomorrow, what is your plan to sort of combat this horrible weather that you’re facing here?
Creamer: We had good practice from it today. That’s for sure. It was very wet, very — it was pretty cold out there, very windy, never let up. Just have to go through it. The captain makes the final decisions with everything, and we go out and support our team. I think we’re all ready to play in every kind of condition every hole by hole, a new match on every hole. That’s a big part of it.
Pressel: I think the teams played pretty well today in these conditions.
Q. I was going to say that most people would probably think that the Europeans have a leg up in these kind of conditions, just considering what they grew up playing. Now, you talked about being from Southern Florida, Morgan. How do you practice this kind of golf?
Pressel: You practice it here when you get it. We don’t play in it very often, maybe the British, maybe a couple of really bad days really in the season on Tour.
Kerr: This course is very, very long, and, you know, with these conditions it’s almost too long for them. I told Nicole today — you know, we played with Sophie and we played with Gwladys Nocera, and I said, “Two balls in the fairway, wedging to a par 5 is better than having one long hitter in the group.” That’s the truth.
Brittany Lincicome, US
Q. How did you feel after today’s round?
Lincicome: Yeah, you know, the first tee my hands were shaking. It was an awesome feeling. It was fun to go through. Tried to get the first match out of the way.
Q. You were disappointed?
Lincicome: Yeah. I wasn’t hitting the ball well. I was working on some things. Felt a little bit off all week. Kind of all fell apart.
Q. Do you think you’ll pick it back up together?
Lincicome: We’re going to go back out and cheer everybody on and head out to the range.
Q. You’re heading back out with the rest of team?
Q. Looks good on the board for you guys?
Lincicome: Looks good. Hanging in there.
Gwladys Nocera, Europe
Q. Was it difficult for you to turnaround so quickly and play another 18 holes after this morning’s match?
Q. You’re up against some really difficult opposition, weren’t you?
Nocera: No. 3 in the world is tough.
Q. What do you do between finishing your game this morning and playing here? Did you have time to do anything?
Nocera: Have lunch.
Q. Did you actually have time to have lunch and sit down?
Q. Looking forward to possibly playing again tomorrow?
Nocera: Of course.
Q. Have you looked at the leader boards?
Nocera: Yeah, very red. Too red for me. We’ll see how it goes after this.
Cristie Kerr, Nicole Castrale, US
Q. Awesome playing this game.
Castrale: It was awesome. We played well for 16 holes and played well at different times, and so it was a good day.
Q. You are a Solheim Cup rookie. What was it like?
Castrale: Of course I was a little nervous, but we did a good job. Cristie is a great partner. She’s been out here many times. We really relied on each other and played great.
Q. What did you say about this game so far?
Kerr: I think it was terrific. I told Sophie walking on the first tee, “What a way for the rookie to start the match in the pouring rain and cold and wind. It’s part of Solheim. You take it all in.” I told Nicole, “Once you hit the first tee shot, you’re not a rookie anymore.”
Q. Have you been surprised with all the red on the scoreboard?
Kerr: We’re not surprised.