The Solheim Cup
Rich Harvest Farms
Sugar Grove, Ill.
Saturday Aug. 22, 2009
CATRIONA MATTHEW and DIANA LUNA
Q. First of all, how does it feel to get a half point?I’ll bet it feels like a whole point.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, it does. We were kind of down most of the day, and just found it the last two holes really.
Q. The reason for the turnaround, you chipped in at 17, inspired golf?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, we knew if we could get to 17 and 18, 17 is a par 4, and sometimes on 18 you know you can make birdie and you’ve got a chance, so just lucky.
Q. And your playing partner Diana came in with that birdie on 18. How does that feel in your first Solheim Cup?
DIANA LUNA: It’s just amazing. Catriona said to me, “Come on, knock it in for the glory.” I had a great partner today, we got really lucky, I think.
Q. What was it like playing with her?Did she inspire you, as well?
DIANA LUNA: Absolutely. She’s a great player, and she holed the putt at 16 and a chip 17, and it was just amazing. She’s a great player.
Q. Catriona, do you prefer winning majors or Solheim Cup points?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Solheim Cup is fantastic, can’t beat it. The crowd atmosphere and obviously playing with your partner is just great fun. Can’t beat that.
Q. Talk about your match.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: This was a great match, again. All my matches seem to go to 18.
I don’t know. It was just I think we played very steady and gave ourselves little chances. It was very close. I mean it was 1 up, level, 1 up to them. We got it back, and we never really gave them a leash too far ahead of us, so I mean we kind of got it going.
And then Anna makes her putt on 16, which was huge, and then I make a great birdie on 17. I think they both had 3 woods into that green, and again, Anna pulled it off again on 18.
Q. After the U.S. made a move on the 17th, how did you guys maintain your composure to come back on the 18th to finish strong?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I mean Anna hit a great putt on 17. It just hooked the edge and went out. All you can do is try to give yourself two good chances in four ball and see what that can give you, because that definitely puts the pressure on the opponents.
Q. And how will this match set you up for later on today or tomorrow?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I think we’re both going out later on in the foursomes. I think I’m playing with Alfie. I think Anna is playing with I’m not quite sure. But well, we’re going to take this with us and bring it out to the afternoon.
GWLADYS NOCERA and MARIA HJORTH
Q. Was it tougher than you thought?You got off to a blistering start.
MARIA HJORTH: We got off to a very, very good start but then just didn’t make any putts after that. All of a sudden they make three birdies in a row and we lose three in a row.
Q. How difficult is it to get back into the game when they start making birdies?
GWLADYS NOCERA: You just have to focus on your own game. The Americans, there is nothing you can do about how they are playing, so all you have to do is take care of your own game.
Q. How do you stay focused?This crowd is so supportive of the Americans.
MARIA HJORTH: Well, you really just have to start making putts. If you make putts they get a little bit quieter, so that’s how you’ve got to pump yourself up to make sure they stay as quiet as you can. That’s all you can do really, and just try not to listen to them too much.
Q. You’re both playing this afternoon. You’re playing with Anna Nordqvist. Are you looking forward to that?
MARIA HJORTH: I am actually. She played really well yesterday, and there’s no question she was playing well this morning, so hopefully we can go out there and kick off the game.
Q. First of all, how emotional was that last hour and a half for you?
ALISON NICHOLAS: It was just phenomenal. The girls just fought back, stuck in there, made a few mistakes but carried on, looking forward, and Mimi hit the most unbelievable chip that I’ve ever seen on 17. If you tried it ten times you’d be lucky if you got it once and she did it under huge pressure, and it was sensational.
Q. How strong is your team mentally at the moment?
ALISON NICHOLAS: They’re good. They’re just fighting. We had the video from Seve: that was the secret that I didn’t tell anyone. We had a video from him, and some of the stuff he said, just hanging in there and thinking about him and thinking about fighting until the bitter end. I’m just so proud of them at this moment, absolutely awesome.
Q. They’ve certainly raised their game to this occasion. What’s your role this afternoon?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I’m going to go back out and I’m going to do the par 3s again because I’m the only person that can give information, so I should be on the par 3s and I’m just making sure they’re smiling and having fun and I tell them a few jokes while we’re out there and just making them laugh.
Q. How are you coping yourself as captain?
ALISON NICHOLAS: I’m doing pretty well. It’s tense out there, and I haven’t got to play a shot, so it’s perhaps a lot easier from that point of view. But yeah, it’s tense, but the most important thing is that we enjoy it, we have fun, and I keep the girls smiling and fighting.
Q. Very convincing win today. How exciting was it out there?
CHRISTINA KIM: It was an absolute thrill. I love to play both foursomes as well as fourball, and I love the atmosphere. It’s what Solheim Cup is all about, and I really enjoyed myself, had a phenomenal partner out there, and we were able to just feed off each other, you know?
Q. Talk about today. You guys could technically pull away. Obviously it’s not over, but how much momentum do you think it gave the team for you guys to win like that?
CHRISTINA KIM: Oh, for us to win the first team out, I thought it was huge. We started off two down through two, and to show the team that we were able to go from being two down through two after Helen and Tania played some fantastic golf yesterday. After watching the two of them play so well on television yesterday, it was great to be able to say that Michelle and I made a great enough team we were able to beat such two great players, and it was pretty impressive.
Q. Your first win as a member. How did it feel?
MICHELLE WIE: It felt great. I mean, I played with Christina today. It was just so exciting. You know, I’m proud of her, I’m proud of our team, and hopefully the final four will motivate everyone else, and I need to go out there and win that second point.
Q. Talk a little bit about the bond you and Christina had.
MICHELLE WIE: We had so much fun out there. We had a lot of fun out there, and that was our goal. We gave it our best.
Q. Talk about playing two matches today. You’re going to go out last this afternoon. The fatigue, the mental pressure, anything?
MICHELLE WIE: I’m just so amped up. I’m ready to play, and I’m ready to go out there again. It’s just so much fun. I love being in front of that crowd, and it’s going to be fun.
MICHELLE WIE and CHRISTINA KIM
Q. Christina, this was a little bit lopsided. Are you surprised?
CHRISTINA KIM: Yeah, well, anything can happen in match play. Tania and Helen were an amazing pairing yesterday. They played some fantastic golf, and they were 3 under through two holes. I said, all right, if that’s how they want to play, that’s how we’re going to have to win. We’re going to have to win with birdies.
Michelle played such fan phenomenal golf out there, it was great. I was able to bink my drive out there and kind of cozy it up with a 4 iron up to the front of the green and just two putt from 80 feet. She’s all like, oh, I’m 180, I’ll stick it to a foot and a half. I’m saving the pars.
Bottom line, we’re a team, and we had some fantastic chemistry out there, and I’m just so damn proud of her right now.
Q. You were trying to get her to dance to celebrate, but you couldn’t quite get her to.
CHRISTINA KIM: I’ll get her dancing, don’t you worry.
Q. Michelle, this has got to be a lot of fun. You’re hitting your stride, second day, still some golf to play. How do you feel about today?
MICHELLE WIE: I feel great. You can see the sun out here today. When I heard I was getting paired with Christina, you should have heard my scream. It was so loud in the players’ room last night. I’m just so excited. I have fun with her. I think we have great chemistry. It was a lot of fun today. She’s a great partner. She hit the ball so well today and putted so fantastically, I was just so glad to be along for the ride.
CHRISTINA KIM: Anything can happen in match play. All you need is a little momentum. There were a lot of chances that were missed early on in the matches. There were a lot of chances that were made. We squeaked by on a couple of holes, we’re not going to lie. We were very fortunate to have won some of the holes that we did and to have halved some of the holes that we did. But that’s the beauty of match play and the magic of Solheim.
Q. Are you guys also a great pairing because you can bring out get her out of her shell a little bit?
CHRISTINA KIM: There is no “shell” in Michelle. It’s with a c h. This is Michelle.
Q. She’s not as outgoing as you, though.
CHRISTINA KIM: Who is? We have great chemistry. We’re both Korean Americans and damn proud of it. We’re going out and enjoying ourselves and trying to play some fantastic golf and doing our best to bring that Cup home.
Q. Were you surprised at the bogeys? The Europeans had a couple of bogeys out there. Were you surprised at that?
CHRISTINA KIM: No, this golf course is so challenging that anything can happen.
MICHELLE WIE: They tuck these pins. They’re not much. We’re all playing really aggressively.
CHRISTINA KIM: That’s what match play is all about. You can go ahead and explode on one hole and you’re only one down or whatever. It’s a very challenging golf course. Mr. Rich should be proud of the fact that we’re not completely tearing it up.
Q. You guys fought really hard and you got back into this match. Just your thoughts coming down the wire here?
CRISTIE KERR: We did, and I wish I could have been more help for Nicole. I just didn’t hit it great. She was a rock on 17, and if they would have missed that, there’s no doubt in my mind she would have made it and we would have got a half.
That’s the way it goes. You’ve got to have two putts for birdie and put pressure on them. I wasn’t able to do that in the morning. I’m going to go hit some balls with my coach, and I’m rolling it good, so
Q. How long was that putt on 17 about?
CRISTIE KERR: 35 feet.
Q. Nicole, you gave it a really good run. That putt on 17, how long was it and what did you see when you stood up to that ball?
NICOLE CASTRALE: It was about a 12 footer and we had hit that putt in the practice rounds, so we knew exactly where it went, and I just got up to it and made a good, committed stroke. We just came up a little short today.
Q. These guys are pretty tough, aren’t they?
NICOLE CASTRALE: Yeah, they played good and made key birdies on 15 and 16 and 18.
BRITTANY LANG and ANGELA STANFORD
MIKE SCANLAN: Brittany, Angela, thanks for coming in. Earned a half point this morning in four ball matches. If you would, we’ll start with Brittany. Just take us through the match, how you feel you guys played.
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah. I think we played great. You know, we were just talking about it. We halved a lot of holes with birdies. We hung in there. You know, we did a lot of good things. Angela made a lot of putts. She had a lot of good saves, a lot of good wins.
We played a really solid round, we just didn’t finish it off. We were up with 2 up with 2 to go. We had chances to close them out and get the full point. But you know, we played really solid the whole day.
ANGELA STANFORD: I agree. Brittany was a great partner. The putt she made on 9 was huge, and obviously the putt on 13. So I thought she hit the ball great, and you know, you like walking and playing along with somebody that’s playing well, so it was a lot of fun. I wish we could have gotten the full point because it felt like we did.
MIKE SCANLAN: Questions?
Q. This thing’s tightened up after the morning. Just your thoughts on, you know, now it’s a pretty good horse race.
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah, I know. We were shocked yesterday. I know there’s been some good matches, but we were all pretty shocked yesterday when it was so close. I guess we thought we were playing really well, but a lot of the matches came down to the wire and didn’t turn out good on our end.
But yeah, I mean they’re good players. They have a lot of good players, and we’re going to have to play well, but I mean it’s exciting for me, my first Solheim for it to be close because a lot of pressure on it, so it’s good for me.
ANGELA STANFORD: I think it’s just a classic case of you have a team that thinks they’re underdogs and a team that has been told they’re favorites, and we haven’t shut the door on them, so the longer you let a team hang around that thinks that they’re underdogs, you know, they just gain confidence.
And so you know, I think with every point they gain, they gain some confidence, and I think that’s why I’m so frustrated with our match this afternoon because at some point we gotta start closing the door on them.
BRITTANY LANG: Yep.
Q. Not to obsess over how long the matches are taking, but is six hours a comfortable pace for you guys or is it the Europeans who tend to be slowing stuff down, and is that a factor out here?
ANGELA STANFORD: I feel like I’m walking fast. This golf course is just I mean it’s long. The walks in between are long. Then you have four golf balls in the air in the morning, so I think it’s just all the different elements in play.
Q. I’m just curious what both of you think of Beth Daniel’s decision to not have anyone play five matches.
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I think it’s a great decision. This golf course will wear you out. And I think, you know, I think that’ll help us come tomorrow. I mean I know I was beat last night after two, so I can’t imagine going back out there again.
I mean it’s kind of nice to have a breather, so I think she knows what she’s doing, and I think it’s a great decision. It’ll be good I mean we’ll be able to tell tomorrow. You know, I think all 12 of us will be a lot fresher than them, I think.
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah, sure. I definitely agree with Angela. When they told us about that, I thought it was a great idea. Yeah, just so people can get rest. It is a long week. You don’t get a lot of rest or a lot of sleep. So I do think it’s good. Our girls will be fresh tomorrow. I agree with her.
MIKE SCANLAN: Anything else?
Q. Angela, you said that you have been told you’re the favorites. Do you both feel like you’re the favorites? Do you feel like you have the stronger team?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I mean personally, I feel like we have a stronger team, yes, but at the same time, I mean they have two major winners. They love match play. They love the idea of team.
So I didn’t think that we were favorites in that, you know, they were never going to have a chance. And that’s the way I felt like the media played it, and when I say media, I haven’t read the paper, anything. I mean TV. Things I’ve seen on TV, it made it sound like we were just going to show up and win the Cup just by showing up. So I think that’s frustrating, because you know, they’re good. I mean obviously. It’s tied. But yeah, I think we have the stronger team. Still gotta play, though.
BRITTANY LANG: Well, yeah. With match play, anything can happen, but I don’t know where they got that from. Suzann Pettersen, Helen Alfredsson, they have so many good players. Becky Brewerton. Their team is stacked as good as our team is, so I have no idea where they got that from.
Q. Brittany, frustrating not to get the full point, but half a point is better than no point, so what sort of birthday has this been for you today?
BRITTANY LANG: Yeah. People keep telling me half point is better than a full point. I’m starting to believe it.
But yeah, it was fun with Angela. It was a great birthday. They sang to me almost every hole. But it was fun with Angela alongside.
Yeah, I would have obviously wanted the full point, but I’m just trying to be positive and have good thoughts on getting the half point and not losing any.