The Solheim Cup
Colorado Golf Club
Pre-Tournament Notes and Interviews
August 15, 2013
Junior Solheim Cup Team Champions
Suzann Pettersen, Carlota Ciganda, Charley Hull
The 2013 Solheim Cup begins this Friday at the Colorado Golf Club and there is plenty of excitement building around this year’s U.S. and European teams. The biennial event will kick off tomorrow morning with the foursomes matches followed by four-ball in the afternoon. See how the two teams stack up against each other this year.
Team USA: Home field Advantage
The Americans are still reeling from their 2011 defeat in Ireland and they seem more motivated than ever to get the Cup back in their hands. One thing that’s to their advantage – this time they’ve got the hometown fans behind them. The U.S. Solheim Cup Team is undefeated on home soil and seems eager to keep that record intact. The crowds of American fans with their red, white and blue attire and “USA!” chants have already started turning out in full force during the practice days at Colorado Golf Club.
Team Europe: 2011 Momentum
The Europeans have seen a significant change in the makeup of their team since they ended an eight-year winless drought by capturing the Solheim Cup in Ireland. But while there are six rookies on this year’s European squad, the feeling and the excitement of what the team accomplished at Killeen Castle has yet to fade from memory. Leaders Suzann Pettersen and Catriona Matthew will try to build off.
Team USA: Length off the tee
The Colorado Golf Club will play as the longest course in Solheim Cup history at 7,066 yards. Starting off with a 635-yard par-5, length off the tee will be a crucial component to tackling the course and Team USA contains four of the longest hitters on the LPGA Tour. Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Gerina Piller and Jessica Korda all rank within the top-6 in driving distance and will play as huge contributing factors in Friday and Saturday’s four-ball and foursomes matches.
Team Europe: Accuracy into greens
Team Europe may be hitting first into the greens in their matches this week, but that could be to their advantage. While the U.S. Team has many long hitters currently on the LPGA, the Europeans have shown their strength in their approach shots into the greens. Five of the top-15 players ranked in greens in regulation on the LPGA Tour are playing for the Euros this week, with Suzann Pettersen ranked No. 1 and has hit 75.7% greens this season.
Team USA: Jessica Korda
Korda made her first statement on the LPGA Tour in 2012 when she sank a 25-foot birdie putt to win the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open following a six-way playoff. At 18 years, old, Korda became the fourth-youngest winner of the event. Korda is no stranger to match play events, having participated in the victorious 2009 Junior Solheim Cup and Curtis Cup teams. Her strengths tend to come out when under pressure, so expect her to earn some significant points for the U.S. Team this week.
Team Europe: Carlota Ciganda
Ciganda enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, winning twice on the Ladies European Tour en route to becoming the first player since Laura Davies in 1985 to finish first on the Order of Merit and earn Rookie of the Year honors. She has since won her third-career LET title in June and has notched two-top ten finishes in her first full season on the LPGA Tour. In match play, Ciganda has a X-X-X record…
Team USA: Cristie Kerr
While the U.S. Team has a strong contingent of eight seasoned veterans, Kerr leads the pack as she makes her seventh Solheim Cup appearance this week. A strong competitor in match play events, Kerr has amassed an impressive 8-4-0 record in four-ball competition and has helped her team to victory on four occasions (2002, 2005, 2007, 2009). In her 17th season on the LPGA Tour, Kerr notched her 16th career win at this year’s Kingsmill Championship when she defeated Suzann Pettersen in a three-hole playoff.
Team Europe: Suzann Pettersen
It’s no secret that Pettersen’s favorite women’s golf event is the Solheim Cup. Making her seventh appearance on the European Team, she’ll be taking six rookies under her wing to show them ins and outs of the biennial event. While Pettersen’s résumé includes 16 career victories on the LPGA and Ladies European Tours, she boasts a 12-8-5 record in Solheim Cup play. Pettersen has played an integral role in two European victories in 2003 and 2011, and will imply veteran knowledge as they attempt to retain the Cup and win on American soil for the first time.
MOST FEARED SINGLES OPPONENT
Team USA: Morgan Pressel
Pressel’s undefeated 3-0-0 record in Solheim Cup singles play speaks for itself. The dynamic and tenacious plyaer has been playing well as of late, coming off a T3 finish at the RICOH Women’s British Open which helped her to earn an automatic spot on this year’s U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
Team Europe: Catriona Matthew
If there is one player that the Europeans might look to set the tone in Sunday’s singles matches, it’s Matthew. She did just that in 2011, defeating previously unbeaten Paula Creamer handily 6&5 to take the first point of the singles matches for Europe. Matthew has a history of success in singles as well with a 5-1-0 overall singles record.
Team USA: Michelle Wie
One of the most surprising moments leading up to this year’s Solheim Cup was when Captain Meg Mallon placed all her cards on selecting Michelle Wie as one of her two captain’s picks. While Wie’s game has seen its ups and downs in a difficult two-year stretch, Wie’s experiences in the pressure-packed event made Mallon’s decision an easy one. One of the long-hitters on the U.S. Team, Wie has performed well in match play and amassed a 4-3-1 record.
Team Europe: Giulia Sergas
Making her debut at the Solheim Cup this year as a Captain’s Selection, Sergas earned her spot on the strength of four top-10 finishes in the LPGA Tour this season, including a tie for seventh at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and a tie for fourth at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founder’s Cup. Although she’s winless as a pro, Sergas enjoyed a stellar amateur career, winning the 1998 European Amateur Championship and became the LET Rookie of the Year two years later.
Young and Fearless. There were plenty of laughs had in the press room this afternoon, as 17-year-old European Team member Charley Hull struggled with differentiating the terms “old” and “experience” to describe this year’s team. Sitting next to seven-time Solheim Cupper Suzann Pettersen, Hull could hardly hold in the giggles when asked who her ideal partner would be in four-ball and foursomes play tomorrow.
“I think that with the old and the – the… young and the experienced should I say, sorry,” said Hull with a laugh. “I think ‑‑ I'm think I'm digging myself a big hole here.”
The fact that Hull was only 6 years old when Pettersen competed in her first Solheim Cup had the 32-year-old feeling just how the rookie described her. But Hull’s youthfulness is refreshing for the European Team, whose average age is one of the youngest in history at 27.66 years.
“I think it's just fantastic to listen to because we were probably all like this once back in the day, you know,” said Pettersen. “We didn't know better. And it just, I think it's fantastic. It's so genuine. And I don't blame her, why should you go out and be intimidated on a golf course? Usually that's why all these young players play so well, they don't know better.”
But despite the laughs, Pettersen addressed the serious matter which is defending the Cup and winning on American soil.
“It's going to be fantastic to go out here and try to do something that none of us have been a part of,” said Pettersen. “It's a huge task. We're playing a great American team their home soil. I can already feel like the crowds, which side they're on.
“But at the same time I think we're strong enough, just really trying to enjoy it and it's going to be a lot of close matches I feel like. Especially around this course, the greens are going to ‑‑ that's where it's pretty much going to be all said and done.”
Learning from the Best: LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Kathy Whitworth knows a thing or two about the Solheim Cup. Whitworth was twice the U.S. Solheim Cup Team, which included being the first U.S. Captain when the inaugural event was held back in 1990.
This week, Whitworth got the opportunity to instill some of her wisdom to a much younger generation as captain of the U.S. Team for the PING Junior Solheim Cup. The 73-year-old Whitworth captained the team of 12 U.S. junior players to their third straight victory in the event, defeating the European team 14 ½ points to 9 ½ points.
“I have not ever been around young people like this,” Whitworth said. “It's probably as close as I'll ever come to motherhood, and fortunately I had a great helper with Kelly from the AJGA and she saw to their needs and wants and whatever. So that made my job a little easier.
“But I have to say, [these girls] are great. I have to applaud, I was so proud of them on Tuesday and Wednesday. They fought hard, they were playing against some really, really good players. There's just no doubt about it. A lot of the matches went to the 18th hole. And they could have gone either way.”
Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y. was one of the players on this year’s winning U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team and said that it was a privilege to sit by the LPGA legend during a dinner the team had earlier this week.
“The first time I met Kathy I wanted to bow, because she is such a huge inspiration and her record precedes herself,” Morales said. “She's just so amazing at everything that she's done and for the game of golf.
“It was so amazing getting to pick her brain a little bit and to learn from her experiences and again we took that to heart…And Kathy did a great job of keeping us loose out there and always being positive. And I know you said you weren't going to be the cheerleader for us this week, but you were a great masseuse. Let me tell you, you were doing those massages on the first tee, it was great having you. And it was just such an honor to be a part of such an amazing team.”
But Whitworth wasn’t the only “cheerleader” that the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup had this week in Colorado. The U.S. Solheim Cup Team also showed their support of their younger brethren. Michelle Wie made a CD with pump up songs for the team while Jessica Korda, a former Junior Solheim Cup team member herself, gave them ribbons.
“It was really inspirational,” said Casey Daniels, a member of the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team from Osceola, Wis. “It just kind of makes me want to eventually get to that point. So for me it's just been great to see them and see how they, how well they interact with us. So hopefully one day that will be us.”
Team USA, Junior Solheim Cup Champions
Captain Kathy Whitworth, Casey Danielson, Nicole Morales
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us here today. First off I would like to welcome a very special group here with us, and I know all of you in the audience congratulations to you as well. We have the winning U.S. team from the Ping Junior Solheim Cup. Congratulations, ladies and congratulations Kathy.
But first off I just want to introduce everyone that's here with me. We have Nicole Morales, one of the members of the team and then to her left Casey Danielson, another member of the winning team, and then LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member, Kathy Whitworth, and the winning captain of the team. Thanks so much, ladies for joining me here today. Congratulations on the win. First off, just let me ask Kathy, what this experience was like coaching this team and having so much great young talent.
CAPTAIN KATHY WHITWORTH: Well, I was just ‑‑ well it was a great experience. There's nothing about it ‑‑ I have not ever been around young people like this. It's probably as close as I'll ever come to motherhood, and fortunately I had a great helper with Kelly from the AJGA and she saw to their needs and wants and whatever.
So that made my job a little easier. But I have to say, they are great. I have to applaud, I was so proud of them the last well Tuesday and Wednesday. They fought hard, they were playing against some really, really good players. There's just no doubt about it. A lot of the matches went to the 18th hole. And they could have gone either way.
So fortunately it went our way. But I applaud these young ladies because it was just terrific to watch. And to see them keep grinding and keep grinding and never going away, not giving up, which is what I preached to them. I said you never know, if you give up, you might as well not try. And they never gave up and they just kept trying. And consequently they did well. And so I was really proud of them.
It's been a great experience. Because the Solheim, you're dealing with people that you've played with, know, and have known for years. And similar age.
But I told them, I said, well, I'm old enough to be their grandmother but I'm not going to go the great grandmother.
But anyway, so it was harder to get to know the girls a little bit better than you might if you were on the Solheim team or the captain. But we came together and they came together as a team and so it made my job a lot easier.
So it was a great experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
THE MODERATOR: Nicole and Casey, just to ask you about the experience of playing in the event. You guys were tied 6‑6 heading into the final days of singles. Pretty tight competition. Take me through what the experience was like playing and what that pressure was like on the final day for you guys having to kind of try to pull out the victory.
CASEY DANIELSON: I actually teed off first and I was excited to get out there and hopefully put some points on the board and kind of get the ball rolling.
It's really just one match at time and one hole at a time. So you can't really think about everything, you really just have to take it one shot at a time, one hole at a time.
So the fact that we ‑‑ Nicole won as well and I halved my match and so we got one point on the board and so that kind of got the ball rolling.
NICOLE MORALES: We were the first two matches out so after we finished we went out, we went straight out and tried to find somebody to cheer on. You went out and watched Andrea and then I stayed and watched some of the matches coming in on 17 and 18. And what Kathy said, a lot of the matches did go to 17 and 18, so it was huge for us and at one point I can we were at eight and a half points apiece and leading in three matches, all square in three and then down in three. So it really could have gone either way.
So when we did start getting points on the board, it was just a huge momentum shift and we were able to rally and get everybody out there and really cheer on the teammates.
THE MODERATOR: For how close it was, how impressive was the other team, again too, that you guys played against this week. It's great to win, but it's got to be nice to have that type of great competition too where you guys really had to work hard to get the victory.
NICOLE MORALES: Definitely. You guys played so amazing and we had to fight for every single point. And we applaud you as a team because you guys fought to the very end and you guys made us work for it. And you never gave up and that's all that we can ask for as a team is to play against the best from Europe.
CASEY DANIELSON: Yeah, it was really amazing. Every match was really close. There wasn't one that someone just dominated it. It was a really even match. So we were lucky to have such great competition.
THE MODERATOR: Kathy, was there any sort of advice, with going into a final day of singles tied, was there any pieces of advice that you gave this team that really kind of tried to give from all of your experience over the years?
CAPTAIN KATHY WHITWORTH: Oh, I had a lot of advice.
Well, not really. Because you don't want to overload them. And they're good, they have competed pretty much basically half their lives. They have been playing golf and competing in tournaments half their life. So it's not like it's new to them. But I told each one before they teed off that, win or lose ‑‑ and I felt good about their chances yesterday, but win or lose, the main thing was that you just ‑‑ it didn't matter to me.
I was going to love you no matter what. But I just wanted them to go out there and play for themselves and to win for themselves and for the team. But not to be worried about anything else peripheral, myself or anybody else.
So and I did, we did have a little team thing about the giving up. And that's the one thing probably that I told them I would not tolerate is anybody giving up on a match or giving up on our team. I said I don't care if you're 9‑8, if you're losing 10 and 9, it doesn't matter. As long as I can see that you're still trying and that you're still not giving up to the match, that's great. But if I see them with their tenth on the ground or giving up on it, then I'm really, then I'm going to be in your face.
And whether that resonated with them or not, but I said it. And so they, whether they liked it or not, but it was something that I had to learn as a competitor when I first started and fortunately I learned it at a young part of my career.
So the one thing that I never did after that was I never did give up. I didn't always play well, I didn't always win, of course, but I never gave up and I never quit trying. Sometimes it only takes one shot, one hole to turn a match around or turn your round around. But if you give up, you might as well just go in. Because you're not helping yourself, you're not helping your team, and I gave this same pep talk to the 1990 Solheim Cup team. Betsy King said that's the most damned pep talk I ever heard.
(Laughter.) And I thought, well, okay, I whatever it is, I just couldn't help it.
But that's what they did. Not that they would have anyway, they probably wouldn't have. But I just felt like I had to say that. And consequently, they never gave up. And the girls that had a tough time ‑‑ I know that Amy and some of them were very disappointed and I know the European team is disappointed and there's nothing I can say or do that's going to take away that disappointment or that pain that they feel.
But it's what competition's all about and you go in there, do the best you can. Someone is going to win, someone's going to lose, but you try to draw from that experience and move on. And inspire you to get on another team competition, maybe later on, and do it all over again.
And I'm quite sure that these players, as these players, if you gave them a chance, they would do it again. Because it was a great experience, it was a great time, and anyway, I'm just so proud of these girls.
I've been talking about you ever since. I've been telling everybody about you and because I've had a lot of friends and people come up and congratulate me, of course I didn't hit a shot, I didn't miss a shot all day.
So I played well.
And these girls just played great. So I'm really proud of them. It will be fun to watch their careers as they go on.
THE MODERATOR: Casey, Nicole, knowing ‑‑ having a captain like Kathy, an 88 time winner on the LPGA tour, has tons of experience, has been through Solheim Cups before. How much of a difference did that make for you guys and whatsoever it like to meet her and talk to her?
CASEY DANIELSON: Well Nicole and I and a few other girls, the night before we went out, we had a dinner and we were lucky enough to sit by Kathy. And we were able to ask her questions about golf and competition. And it was just incredible to hear what she had to say. I really took some of her advice to heart. That you just got to keep putting yourself out there and putting yourself in position to win and just have fun and never give up.
And on my singles match I was 2‑down with four holes to go and that ‑‑ her advise was just running through my mind, just to have fun and put yourself in position and I was able to come back and tie my match and that ‑‑ Kathy and her advice really helped me.
So I'm looking forward to applying that in the future and I really think it will help my golf game.
NICOLE MORALES: And well the first time I met Kathy I wanted to bow, because she is such a huge inspiration and her record precedes herself. She's just so amazing at everything that she's done and for the game of golf.
So again with the dinner we had a chance to sit next to Kathy. It was so amazing getting to pick her brain a little bit and to learn from her experiences and again we took that to heart and it was Ashlan, myself, and then somebody else. Karen. Yeah, Karen was there. The four of us were really trying to absorb everything like a sponge just because it's just such a wealth of information.
And Kathy did a great job of keeping us loose out there and always being positive. And I know you said you weren't going to be the cheerleader for us this week, but you were a great masseuse. Let me tell you, you were doing those massages on the first tee, it was great having you. And it was just such an honor to be a part of such an amazing team.
THE MODERATOR: Do we have any questions for any of the ladies up here?
Q. Kathy, thinking back to 1990, can you offer some perspective, this is a Solheim Cup question, can you offer some perspective on how the Solheim Cup has evolved since you were captain of the first U.S. team?
CAPTAIN KATHY WHITWORTH: Oh, gosh, well, it's evolved, I mean, for sure. When we first did the first Solheim Cup, we only had eight players. It was just sort of a thrown together so quickly. They had been talking about it and the Karsten family and they committed to do 20 Solheim Cup, which was a lot. I mean, that's every two years. So that's a lot of commitment there.
But we didn't have any kind of criteria or we couldn't say, well, okay, this is the points system for this and da, da, da, because they were just starting. So we had to start somewhere. So we started with eight.
My biggest job was just trying to determine what we were going to wear each day. And I screwed that up.
(Laughter.) I always got the wrong uniform on. But it was great fun and I had in my mind the best players in the world. You had Betsy King and Beth Daniel, Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, Patty Sheehan. They all went on to be Solheim Cup captains themselves.
So it was pretty easy in a way. But the European team was, had some great players as well. But of course no question we had a distinct advantage, because it was just thrown together so quickly. And playing in the United States and so forth.
But it's become such a huge thing now. It is just, there's so many, there's so much going on for these players. And it's worldwide. Gosh, it goes all the way all over the world and we were lucky we got local news back then in Orlando.
You can just look around, we have gone from just throwing it together last minute in 1990 and then of course ‑‑ and then the European team, their side really stepped up too, because I think they were just getting started on their tour, I know Mickey Walker played on our tour and I knew Mickey pretty well and she went back to European started to work on their tour over there.
And so it's been a cumulation of a lot of things for them that has made their tour what it is today, which is terrific. And some great players. And of course their future looks really bright. I'm going to have to tell American players they're going to have to work harder.
So it's been, it's great for women's golf, it's great for junior golf and, of course, the AJGA has done a great job with these young ladies and the future of the game is in great hands, so you're going to be watching these girls, or some of them anyway, on future Solheim Cups. And that's going to be great fun to watch them. But it's a stepping stone and what they, but it takes a lot of work, takes a lot of people involved and we have got some great sponsors that have seen ‑‑ and this is what's so fun is that they feel that the money they put into this event and the Junior Solheim Cup is well worth their money. I'm not sure how they justify that, but it's, they do it. And so it must mean something, a lot to them. So we have got some great sponsors and so it's going to continue to evolve and it's just going to get better and better.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, getting to be around being part of this event and now being around the Solheim Cup itself, have you gotten to meet the U.S. team? Did they come and speak to you guys and I heard that Meg kind of shouted out at you guys after you won yesterday outside the hotel balcony. I was reading a tweet somewhere about that of the. What's that been like seeing the support from all the U.S. players?
CASEY DANIELSON: It's really inspirational. It just kind of makes me want to eventually get to that point. So for me it's just been great to see them and see how they, how well they interact with us. So hopefully one day that will be us. We have been so lucky to have their support. They came up to us the night before we played and we did a little cheer and we were talking with them in the hallway and that was really great that they did that with us.
And also Michelle Wie made us a little, brought us a CD with pump up music. So that was really nice of her. And Jessica Korda made us some ribbons and so it's really great to have their support.
NICOLE MORALES: Exactly. And we were so fortunate to have them cheering for us. I know that they wanted to be there to watch us. They really wanted to. But unfortunately it didn't work out. But they were there in spirit and they really did pump us up the night before the four‑ball and the alternate shot. And it was so awesome having them around and we got to have a team picture with the Junior Solheim Cup and the Solheim Cup last night at the gala that we went to and it was just so inspirational having them around and it was a dream come true for all of us because I know that we all want to get there at one point and to see them hopefully we can be there in a couple years as well.
Team Europe, Suzann Pettersen, Carlota Ciganda, Charley Hull
THE MODERATOR: Delighted to be joined by three of our European team members, Suzann Pettersen, Charley Hull and Carlota Ciganda. So Suzann, this is your 7th Solheim Cup. 12‑8‑5 record and you must be thrilled to be back here.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's a thriller to play the Solheim Cup.
THE MODERATOR: Yeah. Charley and Carlota, this is obviously first time you've been here, Charley, you are only 17 and a big build‑up for you before coming here. Are you eager to get going now.
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, it's human nature to just go out there and win, try well try and win a match.
THE MODERATOR: Same to you, Carlota, how keen are you to get out there now and get going?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: I'm very excited to start playing tomorrow. I'm very lucky to be here, part of the European Tour, and I'm just trying to fight until the end and go Europe.
THE MODERATOR: Do you have any questions? Raise your hand.
Q. Suzann, what have you told the two on what they might have to expect come tomorrow?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I don't know why everyone keeps asking Beanie and me what it's going to be like. Just because we played more? We're really just trying to support each other, make everyone feel a part of the team. I think that these youngsters have enough to bring to the table even for us to kind of sharpen up our game and kind of push each other.
So for us it's definitely a team effort. We need as many points as we can get and it's fun to see these youngsters coming out, because they're just fearless, they are wanting it. They really want it. And they just rock with you.
Q. Suzann, with so many ‑‑ I think this is probably a record number of fresh faces on both sides, really. Could you just talk about the kind of the dynamics of a big almost changing of the guard.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I think it's just that time where it's a new generation coming up. Obviously it's different for me to have as many youngsters on the team, because the teams I've been a part of has, for the most part ‑‑ half the team has been Swedes. Laura Davies, Beanie, myself, and then a couple of more.
So it's just fun to see the different team coming up and I think this is the future for our European golf. So I think it's fantastic that Charley is here. She's the future of ladies golf, I think it's fantastic that she's here, she's a part of the team. And I'm sure she can't wait to go out there and play.
Q. What were you doing at 17?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Age of 17? I was still in school. I might not look that way, but I was.
Q. Can you just talk about your first impressions of the big stage so far and have you been wide eyed and I'm curious if they have teased you at all about your age or being the youngest ever?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: She knew more people on the Junior team than we did.
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, I introduced them to the junior team when they came into the team room the other day.
It's just a great experience being here, but I feel like I'm ready and eager to go and play now. And it's just great to have so many good people on the team as well. Because I knew Lotta, she was my Junior Solheim Cup captain and, yeah, it rocked my world when I won out there and won a couple of points. And it would rock my world if I went out there this time and won a couple of points.
Q. Suzann could you speak to the challenge of trying to be the first European team to win on American soil?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's going to be blood on the dance floor. No, it's going to be fantastic to go out here and try to do something that none of us have been a part of. It's a huge task. We're playing a great American team their home soil. I can already feel like the crowds, which side they're on.
But at the same time I think we're strong enough, just really trying to enjoy it and it's going to be a lot of close matches I feel like. Especially around this course, the greens are going to ‑‑ that's where it's pretty much going to be all said and done. The fairways are fairly wide. With the speed of the greens, it's going to be some tough, tough putts. But it's great that it's match play, so we don't actually have to put together a score.
Q. Talked about the changing of the guard and aside from Laura not being here, also Sophie and Maria Hjorth, a lot of long time Solheim Cuppers Suzann, how do you view your leadership role this year as compared to years past?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I don't really look at it any different than I used to. I used to say as long as Laura's on the team I'm always going to be the Junior. And I think it's still safe to say that as long as Beanie is on the team, she's a legend on our team. So it's just fun to ‑‑ I mean obviously this is my 7th, I've had, felt like I've had a pretty good 10 years, and it's by far the best part of my career to be a part of these teams. The memories, the friendships, you bond with other players and it's definitely a special deal to this whole Solheim Cup.
Q. Charley, how many more Solheim Cups do you think you'll have to play before you'll be getting the questions Suzann is getting today?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't know. Well, I don't know, we'll see how I play. But I think it's pretty good. She's really experienced, but she's not really that old, to be honest.
(Laughter.). I meant it in a nice way.
(Laughter.) Next question, please.
Q. Is it at all weird to think that two years ago you were on the Junior Solheim Cup and now you're here? What's been the biggest things you've noticed that's kind of fun?
CHARLEY HULL: It was good because I was there when I watched Suzann burn up the last couple of holes because the juniors could go and watch it. And I was like I so want to be in the Solheim Cup, but I didn't realize it would come this fast, so it's just fantastic.
Q. Do you know how old Suzann is?
CHARLEY HULL: No.
Q. Charley, you were three when Suzann played in her first Solheim Cup.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Thanks, that really makes me feel younger.
Q. Could you talk about your history watching this event and who you looked up to growing up as you were watching?
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, well, I looked up to Laura, Catriona, Suzann, so many, just kind of weird, but it feels right when you've been looking at them for so long and then you're on the team with them, but, wow, three? That's, that's, yeah.
Yeah. Anyway. So it's been good.
Q. Carlota what's the most nervous you've ever been on the golf course?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: Most nervous? I am pretty calm almost all the time. But when you play, when you play ‑‑ I remember when I play my first tournament in the LPGA this year, I was a little bit nervous. Then I had the pleasure to play with Suzann too in a few tournaments in China and San Diego and I was a little bit nervous too. So when you play with great players and good players like her you get a little nervous. But usually I'm calm and I just try to have fun out there and enjoy myself.
Q. Did you try to make her nervous?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: We're teammates now.
(Laughter.) I paid her a lot to say all these nice words about me. No.
Q. Suzann, can you talk about what it takes, what it's like playing on American soil and what it's going to take to prevail here.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: We still don't know what it takes because we have never done it before. But I think if we can go out and try and win every section, every kind of wave, we'll do a good job. If we can win every day, it will add up to a pretty good number for us.
And I think you kind of part it up, look at Friday as one individual, Saturday as a new day, and obviously there's a lot of points to be handed out on Sunday. But I think one of the things that we players are most proud of in Ireland was actually that we managed to separate ourselves on Sunday from each other and go out there and play as an individual and kind of play for yourself. Don't think about your teammates, don't think about your team, just go out there and try and beat the opponent.
Q. Charley, what have the veterans ‑‑ what kind of advice have they been giving you and what to expect.
CHARLEY HULL: I don't know, I spoke to Annika this morning, and I spoke to Catriona, and I've been asking a little bit, but I haven't really been trying to think about it too much because I don't know. The first tee shot, thinking about it, really is no different to hitting a tee shot at my home golf club. It's the same swing and stuff, it's a lot of people, obviously, but I'm just going to think of it like that and just I don't really.
I'll just go out there, but Catriona, she was good she was talking to me about her first Solheim Cup and stuff and she said she was a bit nervous and then as she's got through the years playing in it she says she really enjoys it now.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Just like a club medal.
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah.
Q. Suzann, there's obviously been the impression that the Europeans aren't so good in the singles and yet last time that was when it turned around. Do you think that, in a way, could be a break through and that gives you the confidence?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: First of all it's a long way until Sunday starts and before that you got to try and team up as good as possible with the whoever you're going to play with. And I just think that Annika said it really well on Saturday night, two years ago, like there's no reason why we can't go out there and win the singles.
And it was almost a kick in the butt for most of us to kind of go out there and just fight for your own kind of honor, fight for your own, for what you stand for. And Beanie, she kicked off a pretty good start and kind of played fantastic and she kind of set the tone for the rest of us that day. I think that's important as well tomorrow and on Saturday, to go out there and you fight. You're not going to play perfect golf out there and the Americans are not going to play perfect either, but you got to try and be efficient and give your self a lot of chances and I think this is going to be a fantastic Solheim Cup.
Q. Carlota, at that, can you speak to just what it means to have three Spaniards on the roster and also growing up, did those European teams with Sergio and Ollie and you know even what you heard about Seve influence you?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: Yeah, I think it's really good for Spain that we are the three Spaniards here on the team. I played a lot of golf with Azahara and Beatriz in Spain when we played the Europeans, so it's really nice for us and we're all very happy to be here.
And then, yeah, I mean for Spain, I mean those names that you just said, Sergio, Ollie, I mean I'm close to Olazabal because he lives very close, so I want to play with him a few weeks ago and he told me to enjoy every second, every moment because it's very special to be here. And he just told me to fight until the end and just play like I know how and just enjoy it. I just need to play golf and don't think too much.
Q. Suzann, physically demanding golf course here, and you're playing at elevation, do you anticipate playing every session and is that something that you guys have talked about how physically demanding this is going to be?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well first of all, it depends how far you take each match. If you take them to the 18th you're going to play five of those, I will definitely take ‑‑ it will drain you of energy,but at the same time we are here all ready to play.
If Lotta wants us to play five matches, we'll all play five matches. The elevation, the altitude, we're all adjusted pretty much now. It's going to be obviously, a little bit different with a little bit more adrenaline tomorrow morning. You have to be very careful with the certain approaches, especially when you're hitting from high to down below you.
But I think we're all ready. I think it's been a fairly long week so far and I think the opening ceremony is going to, that's usually when it gets to me, that it's kind of closing up and hopefully I can get a few good hours of sleep.
Q. Suzann, you've been portrayed in this press conference as either the big sister or the role model or whatever, how does?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Mama?
Q. How does golf in one country, when you have success ‑‑ does that feed on itself, whether it is your country or South Korea now, I mean does previous success lead to more success in terms of individual golfers?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well I think that if you look at how you're going to grow the game of golf it's important to have role models, but at the same time you got to have programs underneath that kind of looks after the next generation.
If you don't have that system, that kind of picks up the talents around the world, it's going to be hard to kind of ‑‑ it's going to be hard to fulfill those shoes when you talk about big names on the women's side or the men's side.
So I think it's a part of our job is not just to play golf, it's to kind of help grow the game of golf around the world. And that's why we enjoy traveling as much as we do on the LPGA. We showcase our skills around the world, in Asia specifically, where we also have so many Koreans and Chinese, Japanese. It's fantastic way for us to go around and help grow the game in different parts of the world.
In Scandinavia, golf is a big sport. It's probably one of the biggest growing sports. But it's funny how it goes, because sometimes you'll have a wave of fantastic players and then you kind of go in a lot more of a drought with kind of hard to find new players coming up. But you think that's life in general. Life goes in a circle, and I think the most important thing is to have a system that kind of looks after those kids and talents.
Q. Do you think golf's a lot more part of your country's culture now than when you were say three or four years old?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, golf has, I guess the image of golf has changed a lot over the last 10 years. It is way less snobby. And I really like it that you make golf more public. You make it less uptight in a way. There's not as many dress codes, there's more public courses, and I want everyone to get a chance to play this game that has brought so much enjoyment and happiness to my life.
So I would just love to see more people get to know the game and if they get to know the game, I'm sure they will get pretty ‑‑ they will also fall in love with it.
Q. Did you ever have any experiences early on where you felt it was snobby game and was any of it ever a turnoff to you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: If golf was never a big game?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah for sure. Yeah, I remember growing up, yeah, it's just, I mean if you look back in the history of golf, in the traditions in golf, it's kind of a big part of it. It was kind of a gentleman's sport, it was kind of men's only, it was like a very classified sport, I would say.
But I would say Tiger was one of the guys, one of the first players, that really brought the athleticism to the table. And I think ever since, it's changed the perspective of a golf player is now talked of as an athlete. So I think that's a big part of it. And for us also to be a part of the Olympics, to be among other sports, other athletes, I think it's an important role.
Q. And Charley, how many times have you competed in America?
CHARLEY HULL: I played in the Kraft Nabisco last year as an amateur. I played quite a few times as an amateur, like in the Orange Bowl, which is like a ladies circuit in Florida. So I played a few times.
Q. Charley, can I ask you, you got a lot of presents this week and the Americans said that the cowboy boots were the best thing they got. What was the best thing you've had so far this week?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't know. I'm trying to think. A Bushnell. Did you say the range finder? Yeah. The range finder. I thought that was pretty cool. Like with our names and stuff on it.
Q. What was your favorite gift?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Are you talking to me? I'm just happy to get gifts.
No, it's always, I think the most special ones are the ones that comes from the captain. The more personalized items from our captains, which it's something that you look back at it and it kind of stands out and brings out memories from that specific week. So I think that we have had several ones, but the captain ones is usually the one that.
CHARLEY HULL: I would say mine is my phone case because I need one. We had one with a Solheim Cup on it and stuff and it was really good. Because I need one. But I haven't put it on yet.
Q. Suzann, before the Solheim Cup, former U.S. captain Judy Rankin was saying she felt like sponsorship in Europe overall was still a little bit lagging,specifically with women's golf, in comparison to say how many sponsors got on board more in the Asian countries or even in the United States. And she thought perhaps maybe winning on U.S. soil, she didn't know if that would make a difference, I wonder if ‑‑ do you feel that is still true that sponsors are still a little hesitant more for women's golf in European would it make a difference if you guys won this tournament in the United States?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Should I be kind of polite? No, I mean to be quite honest, I mean in women's golf you are talking about one main tour, which is the LPGA. As much as I love the European Tour, which I think is a fantastic tour, I think it's a great spring board for girls like Charley and the youngsters to come up, learn to kind of live the life on tour, play on a regular basis and then eventually go play against the best players in the world and the best courses and obviously for the best money.
That being said, I think it was massive for us to win in Ireland a couple of years ago. To showcase that women's or European women's golf is very big. It's growing. And there's nothing I would love to see more than the European Tour growing stronger, that's also the reason why a lot of us go back and support certain events throughout the year.
And as much as we love the LPGA, we also fight for the European rights in several players meeting where, because obviously we represent Europe every second year and it's a big part of us and we all care.
So nothing would be nicer than to really bring a solid platform to the Ladies European Tour.
Q. Suzann, you're an R & A ambassador, aren't you? As such, do you have any ‑‑ do they ask your advice on what you think of the all male clubs in the U.K.?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Not really.
Q. And does that, would you like to have an input?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Not really, because for those guys who wants to be a part of a male club only, let them have them and we can go play other places. I mean I've never been kind of faced with not getting out on a certain golf course and I mean if there's a certain clubhouse you can't get into, so what. I mean there's less of them, I think you always find some of them around the world and I think that I just think that's how it is, but I also think that women are a much stronger individual these days than it was back in the days when golf was once established.
So you think the society has changed and I think there for there's also less of the male clubs.
Q. Are they the clubs that you talked about when you referred to certain snobby places or not?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, I mean I don't want to mention names, but I think it's fantastic to see Augusta bring in ladies or women members. It just shows that they're trying. They're trying to let the women get, I mean it's hard, I mean I really don't care, but ‑‑ I don't. I mean it's, but it's, I think it's going to change a bit by bit.
Q. My question is basically along the same lines, did you ever feel as a young golfer that it was no girls allowed or no women allowed and who ‑‑ what female golfer made it cool in your eyes to be a female golfer?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well I've never been met by any, I don't know, the only thing I remember, we played the ladies, no, the European Team Championship back in Scotland one year. I was only 15. And there was a tent outside the clubhouse, and we were met by the sign outside the front door of the clubhouse, dogs and women not allowed. In that order. So we pretty much kind of redirected ourselves back to the tent and enjoyed the week from there.
Q. How did that make you feel?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You laugh about it. What are you going to do? Sit down and cry?
Q. Which club?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Cry a river?
Q. And was there a female that said, hey, it's cool to be a female golfer. Was there a previous female golfer that stood out for you or not?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, not really.
Q. Which club was it?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I wonder if it was Nairn. Nairn Golf Club. Could it be there? I'm not sure.
Q. Do they have dogs in Nairn?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Might be women and dogs are allowed now, I don't know. Since we were there.
Q. Charley, when is the ‑‑ when have you ever been intimidated on the golf course or have you ever been?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't think so. I don't know. I don't really ‑‑ intimidated?
Q. Maybe playing someone older?
CHARLEY HULL: Well I played with Karrie Webb and Laura Davies the other day in the European Masters and I look at it as I was playing good golf and it was a great experience to play with them, but when I got out there and played I thought you know, they're just normal people who are just good golfers. And I just go out there and play my own game and I don't see any point in being really intimidated over it. But I don't know. I'm still young.
Q. Do you have a follow on that Suzann?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, once she gets to know exactly those two players, those are the last two people you want to piss off in this world.
Q. Charley, who would be your ideal pairing or who do you think you would matchup with well this week?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't know. I'm not sure, to be honest. I'm not really thinking of that because it is my first time. Lotta will decide. We played with a few people so far. I think they're probably thinking someone more experienced, but yeah, I think that with the old and the ‑‑ the.
Young and the experienced should I say, sorry.
Would be all right. I don't know. I think ‑‑ I'm think I'm digging myself a big hole here.
(Laughter.). Yeah, anyway, so that was what was going on anyway.
Q. Suzann, I just wanted to ask you, you spent a lot of time laughing at young Charley up there. Just your thoughts on her personality, what she brings to the team room, and then her game. I don't know how much you've seen her play the last year.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I think it's just fantastic to listen to because we were probably all like this once back in the day, you know. We didn't know better. And it just, I think it's fantastic. It's so genuine. And I don't blame her, why should you go out and be intimidated on a golf course? Usually that's why all these young players play so well, they don't know better. It's good.
Q. What do you think of her game?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: She's fantastic. I haven't seen too much of her game so far, but from what I've heard and from what I've seen of her results, I mean it's pretty outstanding. To only be 17 years old and to go out and compete on a regular basis against top players in the world, and delivering pretty much every single time. That's very impressive.