International Crown Day 1 Notes and Interviews

Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari
Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Belen Mozo (R) and playing partner Beatriz Recari of Spain celebrate during round one of the International Crown in Owings Mills, Maryland.

International Crown
Day 1 Notes & Interviews
Thursday, July 24
Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, Maryland

Interviews of the following
A MUNOZ -  C CIGANDA 
B RECARI - B MOZO 
A NORDQUIST - C HEDWALL
A MIYAZATO - S YOKOMINE
TEAM USA
TEAM CHINESE TAIPEI
TEAM AUSTRALIA
TEAM KOREA
A. JUTANUGARN - M JUTANUGARN 
Y TSENG - C KUNG
IK KIM - N. YEON CHOI 

Day one of the inaugural International Crown provided plenty of surprises already at Caves Valley Golf Club. Chinese Taipei, the eighth-ranked team heading into the competition shocked the field with two wins over the top-ranked United States squad. Candie Kung and Teresa Lu had the biggest victory of the day when the trumped Solheim Cup veterans Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer 4&3. Teammates Yani Tseng and Phoebe Yao needed all 18 holes to earn their 1UP victory over Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson. Tseng sank a 14-foot birdie putt on the final hole and said the thrill of victory was a feeling she’s been craving for a long time.

“I haven’t had that feeling for a long time,” said Tseng. “It’s been a couple years.  And actually last three holes, I was freaking out.  I was nervous.  I know that we have to win this or either we tie.  We played so good today, and especially Phoebe, we both had a good match.  We were good partners.”

Chinese Taipei was the only team to win both matches and lead all teams with 4 points. They’re trailed by Spain who went 1-0-1 on the day and recorded 3 points. Thailand ranks third in Pool A with 1 point while the United States failed to record a single point after losing both matches to Chinese Taipei.

“Well, I guess we learned that those pairings didn’t work very well,” said Stacy Lewis. “But Lexi and I, I was proud of her.  We hung in there.  We couldn’t get many putts to fall, but we kept hanging in there all day.”

The United States were the only team to change their pairings for day two.

Team Japan leads Pool B after going 1-0-1 in their first two matches. Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine defeated 
Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid 2UP. Miyazato said it took a couple holes to get in the swing of match play, but the duo seemed to get going just fine.

“It was kind of difficult to start the first few holes because I haven’t had the team play since when I was 20 or something, which means eight years ago,” said Miyazato. “So I was still searching for my pace the first couple holes.  But then she got a good start, so after a few holes I was like, Okay, so just stay focused on my game.”

Australia and the Republic of Korea are tied for second in Pool B with 2 points each. Sweden is fourth with 1 point after Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall halved with Mamiko Higa and Mika Miyazato.

“Well, I’m disappointed because I felt that we played a lot better and I’m just very impressed by their short game and how they managed to make a lot of good putts and make a lot of good up‑and‑downs,” said Hedwall. “I felt like we had a lot of good chances, but we couldn’t really convert on the greens.”


Players of the Day – Pool A

Is this the moment everyone turns to in a few years as the turnaround point? Every career has peaks and valleys, and Yani Tseng is hoping that her struggles come to an end this week.

Players ranked No. 36 on the LPGA money list hardly need a career resurrection, but Tseng’s just looking for the old her to come back. She’s not exactly the typical top-40 player. She’s a five-time major champion that won all before she was even 23 and had one of the greatest years in women’s golf history in 2011 with seven wins, including two majors. She won three times in 2012, but we haven’t really seen that Yani since.

Flashes of the Yani of old popped up from the opening hole Thursday when she hit her
approach to three-feet and again on the fourth and sixth hole when she poured in a birdie.

“I felt like the old Yani is back,” she said. “Today, this feeling, I haven’t had this feeling for a long time.”

 Tseng’s wanted this feeling forever – the opportunity to represent her country in a team competition. The motivation is different, she says, and for once on Tour, she’s not just playing for herself. And when Stacy Lewis made birdie on the 16th hole to tie up the match, Tseng felt the emotions of the past come back.

“On the last few holes, it’s just incredible. I love the feeling, actually,” she said. “I know I’m nervous. I know I’m juiced up. I hit it longer, and, I mean, I smile all the way because I’m nervous. I always remember when I’m nervous, I smile a lot.”

She responded to those emotions. After a 3-putt bogey from about 8-feet on No. 8, Tseng hadn’t hit a fairway the rest of the way until No. 18, bombing a driver down to set up an iron into the 412-yard par-4. Likely needing a birdie after Stacy Lewis safely hit her second to 25-feet, Tseng grabbed her five iron from 186 yards and hit it to 10 feet.

“Actually I didn’t feel much pressure, because, I mean, to beat the U.S., it’s hard to imagine that,” Tseng said. “I just told myself, just look at the ball and then just putt it. Don’t worry about anything. And I did it.”
Just like the Yani of old!

Players of the Day – Pool B
So Yeon Ryu entered the International Crown with the disappointment of a missed six-footer that would have sent her into a playoff with Lydia Ko at the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I. None of that disappointment seemed to affect her attitude or her confidence heading into Thursday’s match with Australia as Ryu and world No. 3 Inbee Park ran away from the Aussies with a 3 & 2 win.

As the second highest-rated pairing in the tournament, Ryu and Park were supposed to win. But it was Ryu – not Park – that carried the South Korean team. Through 16 holes, Park and Ryu combined for five birdies and eagle. However, much of it was Ryu, who had arguably the top performance of the day with four birdies and an eagle herself.

In her typical demure fashion, Ryu threw all the credit for the win back to her teammate.

“I think we had a really great teamwork because I made two birdies at the first hole and third hole.  Then we were two up until the 8th hole, but Lindsey Wrigt made a birdie at 8, so we were kind of like dropping down to one up. And then hole No. 9 is really a tough hole, but Inbee made a really great birdie then,” Ryu said. “That birdie gave us a lot of confidence.”

Japan Rises to the Top of Pool B
Team Japan has the early lead in Pool B with three points thanks to a win from Ai Miyazato and Saukra Yokomine and a halve from Mika Miyazato and Mamiko Higa.

“That was a great start, for sure.  But still a long way to go,” Ai Miyazato said. “I’m exhausted already, because I used so much energy on the golf course.  I’m not sure about the pairings tomorrow, but I think that playing with anybody, I mean, with anyone on my team, it will be really fun.  We can play well again, so it was just a gaining of confidence, I think.”

Ai Miyazato and Yokomine earned their two points with a win over Pernilla Lindberg and Mikaela Parmlid of Sweden. The duo birdied the first hole and never looked back as they never trailed in the match en route to a 2 up victory. Mika Miyazato and Higa earned their point when they held on for a halve with Anna Norqvist and Caroline Hedwall.

Worldwide Coverage
With nearly 30 hours of competition and news coverage this week of the International Crown, Golf Channel will be covering every step of the innaugural event. Two-time European Solheim Cup team member Karen Stupples and 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup team captain and Hall of Famer Juli Inkster will be part of the tournament broadcast team. Inkster will have a watchful eye on Team USA.

“As the captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup next year, I want the U.S. to play well this week,” said Inkster. “That could show that they don’t need me as their captain in 2015, they can do it on their own.” 

International Crown / Golf Channel Live Competition Airtimes
Friday, July 25                 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET (Live)
Saturday, July 26           3-7 p.m. ET (Live)
Sunday, July 27              3-7 p.m. ET (Live)

Comeback Kids Get Sweden on the Board
Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz picked up right where they left off in the 2013 Solheim Cup putting the first ever points on the board in the International Crown with a dominant 4 & 2 victory over Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot.

The former teammates at Arizona State poured in five birdies on the day and were able to keep Spanish control of the match despite a mini run from the Thailand team with birdies on Nos. 11 through 13 – their only birdies of the day. No duo in the event has better vibes at Caves Valley than Ciganda and Munoz as this is where Arizona State team won the 2009 NCAA Championships.

“From the beginning we started playing really well and kept hitting fairways and greens, we had many chances,”
Munoz said. “We played really well today. We’re extremely excited to get those two points.”

Ciganda is now 4-0-0 as a professional in team match-play competition after going 3-0-0 at the Solheim Cup.

Spain added another point to get to three for the day when Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari halved with Ariya and
Moriya Jutagunarn. The duo led for the first 14 holes, but the Jutagunarn sisters birdied back-to-back holes on No. 15 and 16 to take a one-up lead into the 17th hole. But Belen Mozo stole the momentum back, firing an iron into the
par-3 17th and draining a 10-foot birdie putt to even the match heading into 18.

Best Moment
The songs and timing of them differed. The emotions they mustered didn’t. All eight countries’ national anthems played over the loud speaker at the first tee and the moment wasn’t lost on anyone, especially the teams that had waited years to be able to represent their country as a professional.

“I was actually tearing up on the first tee. I’m like, Come on, girl, just get it together,” Azahara Munoz said.

Said Ai Miyazato of Japan: “It was just an amazing feeling.  I was almost crying.  When I heard the National Anthem I was almost crying.  But at the same time I was super nervous because I never had that atmosphere before.”

Carlota Ciganda felt goose bumps. Sakura Yokomine felt one of the more nerve-wracking tee shots she’d ever hit.
Belen Mozo was noticeably teary-eyed.

But all felt the moment.

No Points for the USA
The United States team, the top-ranked team in the field, was the lone team to be shutout on day one of the International Crown.

“Match play is kind of a funny thing,” said Cristie Kerr. “You can play great and lose a match and/or just hang around and end up making more putts and winning a match.  So I told these girls not to hang their heads because tomorrow’s a new day.”

Kerr and Paula Creamer dropped their match to Chinese-Taipei’s Candie Kung and Teresa Lu 4&3, while Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson dropped a heartbreaking match on the final hole when Yani Tseng buried a 14-foot birdie putt to give her and Phoebe Yao the 1 up victory and two points.

Despite being blanked on day one, the U.S. squad is well aware that there is a lot of golf left to play and still has confidence going forward.

“We’re all sitting here and we’re not feeling the best, but I think that we’re going to take it as super momentum, super positive and go into tomorrow,” Creamer said. “We hate losing, we all do, but it’s the first day of many more to come.  We’re going to try to get a little bit more momentum going into tomorrow.”

 

I.K. KIM
NA YEON CHOI

Q.         (No Microphone.)
I.K. KIM:  The stroke play, for sure.  I think that we both played very decent.  But I'm just a little disappointed on making a few mistakes on the same holes.  But other than that, I think we did well and I think that every day it's going to gradually get better.  So hopefully we'll do a little better job tomorrow.

Q.  Na Yeon, can you go over your emotion teeing off today this morning?
NA YEON CHOI:  I felt very honored, especially I saw a lot of Korean flags over there and even a lot of American or different country people cheering for us.  That was very nice and like amazing.
And I was a little bit nervous on the first tee, because that was a very special and unique moment.  But I think that we handled it very well.  But like the results‑wise, we missed, we lost, but we played together very well and we understand our game a little bit more.  So hopefully we'll have a better result tomorrow.

Q.  Now does that change the strategy heading into tomorrow and this weekend's play?
NA YEON CHOI:  I think so.  I mean, I think we are very close to the win, but we couldn't.  So we're going to talk a lot about to Inbee and So Yeon.  They played very well today, so we might get some tips for strategy on the course and then just go out tomorrow again and then maybe win tomorrow.

YANI TSENG
CANDIE KUNG
  
THE MODERATOR:  I'm now joined by both members of the victorious Chinese Taipei team, Yani Tseng and Candie Kung.
Great job today.  Candie, I'll start with you.  Let's talk about that first tee experience when they played your guys National Anthem.  It had to be just one of the most cool experiences for you.  What was running through your emotions there on first tee?
CANDIE KUNG:  It was awesome.  Seeing that many people out there, playing our National Anthem, I never got to experience that.  I had goose bumps on the first tee.  But after that, we calmed down and we just were trying to play our game along the way.

Q.  You and Teresa, a thumping of Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, 4 & 3.  You guys were quite the underdogs coming in, but you guys showed up.  Talk about the match and how much emotion was going into it back and forth, back and forth.  Take us through it.
CANDIE KUNG:  Yeah, we were both able to play each other up.  When I was making mistakes, Teresa was able to save me.  And then when she was making mistakes, I was able to save her.  So that's kind of a good match we have out there.

Q.  Yani, I got to ask you, I could not just stop watching you on that first tee, you couldn't stop smiling.  You had the biggest smile on your face that I've seen in a long time.  Tell us about that first tee and just how happy were you to get on there and represent your country?
YANI TSENG:  I was so happy to play for my country.  I never had that feeling before and I got goose bumps, too.  And then I just felt amazing.  And then when I smile more, actually I feel more nervous at the same time, too.

Q.  A lot of emotions right here on this 18, the green.  Just sunk a 13-footer for the win.  Came down to the final putt.  What was going through your mind on that putt?
YANI TSENG:  I haven't had that feeling for a long time.  It's been a couple years.  And actually last three holes, I was freaking out.  I was nervous.  I know that we have to win this or either we tie.  We played so good today, and especially Phoebe, we both had a good match.  We were good partners.
On that last putt, I just saw my line and my mind was so calm, I feel like I can make this.  So it's a wonderful feeling that I had for a long time.  So I'm just so happy to be back in the circle again and I love this feeling.


ARIYA JUTANUGARN

MORIYA JUTANUGARN

Q. We are here with Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn, after having the match today at the first day of the International Crown.  Take us through your experience, how was it today?  You were the first to tee off Moriya.  How did it feel out there?
MORIYA JUTANUGARN:  It was pretty nice being the first person.  It was exciting and a little bit nervous, because she told me like, You go ahead, because I'm getting nervous, just make sure you hit it in the fairway and then I'll be fine.

So, yeah, we had a pretty good game today, yeah.

Q.  Were you two nervous to tee off, is that why you had your sister do it?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN:  Yeah, only the first tee, and then like I will help her like not at all.  She played so good and she helped me a lot on the front nine.  Like her putting was really good today and everything was like really good.

Q.  What was it like hearing your National Anthem out there today?  Was it emotional?
MORIYA JUTANUGARN:  Well, actually it was my first time after turning pro, so we just played for Thailand.  It's really exciting, everything, because we play against Spain today and they played really good.  They had a good game.  So they were consistent.

Q.  Strategy heading into tomorrow?  After today, do you feel good, does this change your approach?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN:  Like my back nine getting better, so I feel a lot better like more confident.  But tomorrow we have to figure out like who we're going to play with together.

Q.  Excited heading into tomorrow?
MORIYA JUTANUGARN:  Yeah, we're really excited to get some more points, because we need some more.

INBEE PARK
NA YEON CHOI
SO YEON RYU
I.K. KIM
  
KELLY THESIER:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We would like to welcome Team Korea into the interview room.  You guys split your matches today, one win, one loss, two, points in the first day of play.
Inbee and So Yeon, you guys were the 3 & 2 win over Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright.  What was this morning like?  We have been waiting and talking so much about it, but what was that moment like when you guys stepped on the first tee and heard that National Anthem for the first time?
INBEE PARK:  It was really cool.  We always watch like soccer players and all the other players in the Olympics and in the World Cup, having, doing the national anthem.  We never really got to do it and it was the first time actually at the golf course that I heard that.  So it was really cool.  It felt like that I felt the responsibility, but at the same time I felt like we have the whole Korea on my back and I felt the support and it was really good day today.

KELLY THESIER:  So Yeon, I think south Korea might have had the most people with the flags out of any country besides the U.S.  Did you guys feel that support from the moment one?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, it was really great.  Even we were playing at the America but we have a lot of Korean fans out here.  So that means enough to encourage us.  But everybody had a Korean flag and they were really cheering us.  That was quite a big help then.  I felt like really I'm playing for Korea.

KELLY THESIER:  I.K. and Na Yeon, what's the emotion, was the emotion greater than you thought it would be kind of stepping up and playing for your country, or were there more nerves than you thought you might have on that first tee?
NA YEON CHOI:  I think that we were pretty nervous.  We were talking about like how nervous we would be on the first tee, but also at the time we felt a great feeling, too.  A lot of people were cheering for us even though they are not even Korean, some Americans or some Asians.  Actually some of my friends or fans, they flew to here for cheering me from Taiwan.

So I feel great.  But I feel a little bit like sorry to my team, we couldn't win today, but hopefully we have a better result the next few days and help support Korea.

KELLY THESIER:  Questions for any of Team Korea.

Q.  Inbee, we were talking a lot about the Americans versus Koreans going into it.  What's your reaction on the Americans getting shut out on day one?
INBEE PARK:  Well, it was obviously really an unexpected thing, but it's match play and four-ball.  It's just anything could happen.  Taiwan is a strong match play team, so they had a tough team in the first match.  And, yes, it's good to see them with a good comeback the next few days and see them in the final.

Q.  Na Yeon, I'll ask you this and if your teammates wants to answer, that's fine.  Athletes in Korea get a lot of attention.  Perhaps they are under a lot of pressure because the country cares so much about sports and pays attention to its athletes.  Being in the lime light that way, is that something that adds pressure or is that something that motivates you?
NA YEON CHOI:  I think it's a little bit of both in everything.  I know a lot of Koreans care about the results, but I think more players, we're more focused on process and how we act on the course.

But after the round, I.K. and I were talking about our round today and we couldn't play simply as when we played a regular tournament.  So we thought too much about how we were going to make the par or how are we going to play aggressive for a birdie putt.  So many things were going on in my head, so we couldn't really focus on our game.

Hopefully tomorrow a little bit less pressure on the course and we can focus our target and our goal.

KELLY THESIER:  As you guys get ready for tomorrow's matches, I know your pairings are in, but did you talk about your strategy or have you guys been having a lot of meetings?  How has it been in the team room for Team Korea?
I.K. KIM:  Yeah, well, after the round, we had a few interviews and we had to pick a team and Na Yeon and I are going to play tomorrow together.  Inbee and So Yeon are a great team.  They had a great day today.
So even though we didn't win today, I think that we fought really well.  I think we gave everything that we have.  Sometimes it doesn't show, but, for me, it was a little strange, because I'm really good friends with both of them and it's competition.  But I think that we have to just kind of shut down some emotions out there and just play as well as we can tomorrow.

Q.  Inbee, you talked about this the other day, but you don't play match play that often and it is different.  In stroke play, you are a lot more focused on yourself, but it's more head on with the other team now.  Do you enjoy that?  Is that something that you have fun with?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean I do enjoy match play style.  I haven't played match play as a professional, but I played a lot of match play when I was a junior and amateur.  So I had good results in those tournaments.  I have a confidence in match play and I think it's just really exciting because you can really forget about the hole that you already played and you just try to go for pins.  It's a little more aggressive play and a little bit different than to what you usually play for.

I think it's the best thing is that we have teammates and two of us or four of us trying to coordinate to bring out some good results.  Yeah, because it's something different and unique, that's why it's so much fun.

Q.  Inbee, So Yeon had one of the best rounds out there today.  What was it just like playing with her?
SO YEON RYU:  I think we had a really great teamwork because I made two birdies at the first hole and third hole.  Then we were two up until the 8th hole.  But Lindsey made a birdie at 8, so we were kind of like dropping down to one up.  And then hole No. 9 is really a tough hole, but Inbee made a really great birdie then.  And that birdie gave us a lot of confidence.

It was really great motivation to jump up to 3-up and 4-up.  So I think that when we really need to hit some great shots, somebody was playing really great shots.  So I think our teamwork was really great about that.

KELLY THESIER: 
You guys said you've been having a team dinner every night.  Have you been changing up what you've been eating or the same stuff every night?  What kind of stuff are you going for tonight?
INBEE PARK:  We have had two nights together, but we're sticking with Korean.  It gives us some good energy.

KELLY THESIER:  Sounds like a good plan.  Well, thank you very much.  Best of luck tomorrow.

 

KARRIE WEBB
MINJEE LEE

KELLY THESIER:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We would like to welcome Team Australia to the interview room, Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee, who won their match 2-up.
Karrie, we have heard so much talk about you finally getting to play for Team Australia and we saw a lot of emotion.  I saw you singing the National Anthem on that first tee.  What was that moment like for you?
KARRIE WEBB:  It was very special.  It probably drew more emotion from me than I thought it was going to.  The atmosphere on the first tee was pretty cool with the music and the crowd being there.
I really enjoyed the first tee experience today.  Actually, I think maybe a little bit more nervous than I thought I was going to be as well.

KELLY THESIER:  Minjee, a very impressive performance out there today.  A lot of people have heard about your game but hopefully a lot more got to see it today.  You were pretty impressive playing alongside a Hall of Famer.  What was the experience like playing with Karrie and what were the nerves like for you on the first tee when you heard the anthem as well?
MINJEE LEE:  Yeah, I was a little bit nervous starting off today.  Like I should be, right?  And just a little bit more, because I know we heard the National Anthem and just the atmosphere was kind of a little nerve wracking, but exciting as well.

KELLY THESIER: 
Karrie, you guys got down early in the match, but were able to battle back.  What was the key moment and how impressive was it to watch some of the play that Minjee put together later on in the match?
KARRIE WEBB:  I don't know if there was any key in particular, but I think that we combined really well.  I made some solid pars for us and I let Minjee make all the birdies for us.  So that was nice to sit back and watch her play really well and perform really well under pressure.

KELLY THESIER:  Questions for Karrie and Minjee?

Q.  I know you've worked with Minjee before.  How satisfying is that for you to see a player that you've mentored her so well in an event like this?
KARRIE WEBB:  I'm really proud of Minjee today.  Firstly, I'm glad that I actually saw that she does get nervous.  She was a little nervous the first couple holes and it took a little bit to settle in.  But she made a great birdie on the 4th hole and away she went.

Just really proud of her performance and it's fun to watch and we'll be watching it for many years to come.

Q.  Did it surprise you that your emotions came to the surface as they did this morning?  You have a good singing voice by the way.
KARRIE WEBB:  I hope no one could hear me.  I was trying not to sink sing enough for anyone to hear how off pitch I was.  Sorry.  What was the beginning of your question?

KELLY THESIER:  Were you surprised by how emotional you were?
KARRIE WEBB:  Yes and no.  I'm a bit of a sap sometimes, so I wasn't surprised.  I mean, because I'm not in Australia very often, I don't get to hear my National Anthem very often, so generally I could hear it when I'm watching like a football game and get tears in my eyes, I think, just because I don't get to hear it very often and how proud I am to be Australian.

So I wasn't surprised, but I guess I was a little bit.  And that, you know, it did mean a lot for me to be standing on the first tee.

Q.  How would you assess the first day of this inaugural event in terms of crowds, atmosphere, and everything you saw out there?
KARRIE WEBB:  I think it was a success.  I didn't think we would have first tee atmosphere like Solheim Cup does.  But the stands were full and everyone was getting into it.  So I didn't expect that the big crowds around the first tee and first green would stay with us.

Obviously, it's a pretty pro American crowd so they should be following their country.  But we had good crowds out there, a lot of Korean fans out there.  But we had a few boisterous Aussie supporters.  So the atmosphere was great and the competition was great and just glad we came away with two points.

Q.  Karrie, we were talking to Yani and she feels like this event could maybe jump start her a little bit.  I just wonder if you could sort of address that.  You've been No. 1, you've won a lot and then your game goes away for a little while, how tough is it to get your confidence back and just what that's like when you've been at the very top?
KARRIE WEBB:  Fortunately, I probably haven't had the highs and the lows like Yani.  But I've had some times in my career where I've haven't had a lot of self confidence out there, even when I really should have.
But I can sympathize with where Yani is, because I think when she was No. 1 in the world, she didn't really enjoy that position as much.  I think she enjoyed the good golf, but there was a lot of pressure that came along with it and a lot of responsibility.  She even made the comment that she was relieved last year to not be No. 1.

I found myself at one point in my career just wanting to be No. 2.  I think when you don't set your sites to be as good as you can be, whatever that is, you're holding yourself back.  I think that's when you don't play to the best of your ability and then the self confidence and the self doubt starts to occur.

Q.  Minjee, this is not to make Karrie feel old or anything, but you were born the same year she had her phenomenal Rookie of the Year season.
KARRIE WEBB:  That isn't the first time we have talked about that this week.
(Laughter.)

Q.  But can you sort of address what she's meant to Australians in terms she's been at the top of a sport for so long, what you feel like she means to your country and then also what she means to you as an inspiration?
MINJEE LEE:  Yeah, I think that she's a role model for every golfer who is out there and little girls, little boys, everyone, really.  I think what she's done has been really great for Australian golf, just to give hope to everyone that we can make it and we can do it.

KELLY THESIER:  You have determined your pairings already.  Looking forward to tomorrow, any changes for you guys in strategy?  I know, Karrie, earlier in the week, you were hoping to play with everybody.  Do you think that's something that's probably going to happen for Team Australia?
KARRIE WEBB:  Are they announced?

KELLY THESIER:
  They're getting close, you can talk about it.  It's okay.
KARRIE WEBB:  Okay.  We decided to stay with the same formula as today.  Katherine and Lindsey wanted another crack at it.  They felt like they played pretty well today.  Inbee and So Yeon made a couple of big putts, a chip in, I think, and I think they felt like they were closer than the score line.  I think they wanted to have another crack at it.

I really enjoyed playing with Minjee and I think we feel like we can go with that combination again and maybe even get four points at the end of the day.  The only difference is that Minjee and I are going out first.

KELLY THESIER:  Have you been having trouble keeping track of Minjee this week with your team?  I heard that's been like a struggle is trying to find her.
KARRIE WEBB:  She does sneak off every now and then.

KELLY THESIER:  But the important part is that she shows up when needed on the golf course.
KARRIE WEBB:  She does.  She definitely showed up today.

KELLY THESIER:  Well, thank you, ladies, very much.  Best of luck tomorrow.

 

YANI TSENG
CANDIE KUNG
TERESA LU
PHOEBE YAO

KELLY THESIER:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We would like to welcome Team Chinese Taipei to the interview room here at the International Crown.  The only team to go 2-0 today and win both of their matches.  A total of four points and leading Pool A.

First off, congratulations, ladies, very nice playing today.

Yani, I'm going to start with you, a very nice start to your match.  You really took over on that front nine and we were talking to some people and they saw a little bit of the Yani of old come out today.  Take us through your match and what was really working well for you today.

YANI TSENG:  I saw that, too.  I felt like the old Yani is back.  I really feel nervous, I feel very pumped up, because I think that, I mean, playing for my country and my teammates is much better.  It's much more motivation than playing for myself.  I just want to do well for my teammates, I want to do well for my country.

Today, this feeling, I haven't had this feeling for a long time.  Especially the last few holes and the first hole when I stepped on the tee.  I made that birdie putt, my hands were shaking.  Last time my hands were shaking like that was when I won at Royal Birkdale, so it's been a long time.

On the last few holes, it's just incredible, I love the feeling, actually.  I know I'm nervous.  I know I'm juiced up.  I hit it longer, and, I mean, I smile all the way because I'm nervous.  I always remember when I'm nervous, I smile a lot.

I played so good today and, I mean, Stacy and Lexi, they played really well today and we have to play well to beat them.  It's a tough game, but it's so much fun.  I love this.  Hopefully I can't wait for the next few days.

KELLY THESIER:  Candie, what was that feeling like standing on the first tee hearing that National Anthem before you guys teed off, and then being able to really kind of wear your flag and play for your country today?
CANDIE KUNG:  I had goose bumps all the way.  I was trying to hold my tears in, I have to say that, because we never had a chance to do this.  This is the very first time that I got to play with my friends and in team event, representing Chinese Taipei.  It's a big event out here, and same as back home.  I know it's life at home, everyone was watching, I'm sure everybody probably had tears and goose bumps as me, even though they're not here.

But it was such a great feeling to actually be here as part of the Chinese Taipei.

KELLY THESIER:  For your guys' team, you guys are the 8th seed here, but yet you came out with two victories and especially a very impressive victory 4 & 3 for Candie.  You and Teresa over Paula and Cristie.  Take me through that match.  You guys got off to a really hot start, and the U.S. never led in either of their matches.  What was that like to get off to such a hot start in your match and to be able to pick up a victory like that?
CANDIE KUNG:  We were having fun.  That's the key points for our team.  We don't have a whole lot of high expectations.  Of course we want to win, we want to take the cup home, but we're trying to keep everybody low key, keep it calm, have a lot of fun.

Our goal today for me and Teresa was to make them make birdies.  If they're going to beat us, they're going to have to make birdies.  We ended up making a few more birdies than they did and that's how we won the match.

KELLY THESIER:  Questions?

Q.  Yani, what was your club and yardage into 18?
YANI TSENG:  Second shot I had 186 into the wind.  I had a 5-iron.  So that was a little bit juiced up there to hit it that far.

Q.  The putt looked like eight, 10 feet.  What did you think it was?
YANI TSENG:  I would say 13, 14 feet.  I was aiming one and a half cups right, and it was very fast downhill.

Q.  What were you telling yourself over that putt?
YANI TSENG:  Phoebe made a great 2-putt there, so that was great for Phoebe to already tie our match.  So actually I don't feel much pressure, because, I mean, to beat the U.S., it's hard to imagine that.  So to halve the point, we were really already very happy.

So I feel I already had less pressure.  I don't know, my mind was so calm, much calmer than on the first tee.  So I feel good and I've been feeling good on my putting for the whole week.  So I just told myself, Just look at the ball and then just putt it.  Don't worry about anything.  And I did it.

I even was pumped up like before my ball goes in, so I know that I hit a really good putt there.

Q.  Yani, how important was it that you sort of carried Phoebe for the first few holes, and then she started making some big par putts?  How important was that for you, not to feel like you had to be out there making all the birdies, making all the shots, to have sort of a team effort?
YANI TSENG:  Actually, I don't feel much pressure.  Phoebe just started a little nervous.  She don't play on the LPGA Tour.  Actually I'm nervous too.

But I'm proud of Phoebe, because you think she's our player that turns the match around, because on No. 11, yeah, No. 12 and No. 13, she made two birdies in a row, and then those two birdies were important for us.  If we don't have those two birdies, we can easily be losing by three or by four.

So I'm proud of her and she did very well today.  For the first few holes, we started having lots of fun.  We just talked because we don't see each other.  I don't know her much when we're back to Taiwan, so we just talked a lot about everything.  So it was just kind of fun to know each other on the course more.

Q.  For Candie, you touched on how loose you guys played.  You didn't have a lot of pressure.  Do you think that's the opposite for the U.S., because they are at home, they are the top seed?  Do you feel that they sort of played not, I don't know, tight, but they played as if they had to win?
CANDIE KUNG:  For sure they have a lot more pressure than we have.  But both of us, we have been friends for a long time and we know each other's game.  We play a lot together.  So we're very comfortable with each other on and off the course.  Luckily we got to play with each other today.  And she was able to back me up when I made a mistake and I was able to back her up when she made a mistake.  So it was a good combination for us out there today.

Q.  There was one sort of semi awkward moment on the first tee this morning when you guys walk out carrying one flag and the guy from your embassy walks out carrying another.  Who knows what anthem they played.  Do you guys ever feel pulled by the politics of what we call your country or what flag you carry or anything like that?
CANDIE KUNG:  We're playing golf out here, so we don't really care what flag we have out there.  When we know we're playing for Chinese Taipei, whatever is out there, it's out there and we look like we're from Chinese Taipei.  We're from somewhere from Asia, all right?  But we're out here on the golf course, we're trying to make birdies out there.

Q.  Yani, you talked about that smile that you had, that you smile when you get nervous.  We saw a huge smile on your face when you teed off this morning.  Like you couldn't stop smiling.  Was that just nerves or was that just excitement for being able to represent your country for the first time?
YANI TSENG:  I think both.  I was freaking out.  I was nervous.  I'm excited at the same time.  I don't know.  I just want to hit it on the fairway.  I don't care because I feel good with my driving and I've been practicing and I just told myself to walk like a champ today.  I want to have my chin up and smile all the way, and I actually did it.  So I got my goal today and I'm proud of myself.

Q.  Teresa, your teammates said this earlier, regardless of what your country is called, how do you think people at home are responding to this when you're going into tomorrow in first place and all that?  How do you think people are responding to that?
TERESA LU:  I think everyone is really excited about this tournament.  And especially today, we have four points and then they will probably go party tonight.
(Laughter.)

Q.  For Yani and Phoebe.  Yani, you almost drove the first green.  And so I'm asking both of you, when you did that, did you all think, Hey, this is our day, we have got it?
YANI TSENG:  Against the U.S., I would never say this is our day.  They're a really strong team.  It's only the first hole, we have 18 holes out there, we need to play them all.  So we just keep our same strategy.  I wasn't thinking anything.

That's my strategy, to hit close to the pin and Phoebe's strategy is just keep it on the fairway and try to make birdie from there.  So I tried to be aggressive and she played smart, so we were a good combination.  We just stuck to our strategy.

So I wasn't thinking that much.

Q.  For Yani, you talked about Birkdale and you talked about sort of recapturing the old Yani, is this something you feel like the momentum from this can carry over beyond this week and into your game once you get back into regular Tour events?
YANI TSENG:  I do.  I actually feel like hopefully this is my turning point for the next rest of my life I'll say.  But like I just I feel great today because I don't really worry about myself.  All I want is I want to play good for my teammates and my country.  So that's all I care about.

I don't really care if I can hit the ball and I just trust myself and I want to do well.  So I'm thinking very positive this week because I know if there's any thought that's negative, that's not good for my team.  So I want to be very positive out there and bring the good energy for my team, too.

Q.  Yani, Stacy was saying when you're at your best, she feels like you hit a very high ball.  Very similar to the way Lexi Thompson hits.  But that you haven't been doing that as much.  Do you feel like that's something in your game that you feel like your game off the tee is improving and getting back to, if you will, the old Yani?
YANI TSENG:  Yeah, for sure.  I'm so happy to play with Stacy today.  She's world No. 1 and I want to play with her and then try to push myself, too.

I hit it great today and I'm very happy that I know my game is still there.  It's just all about mental.  So I got my mental thinking good today and I had a great attitude today.  So even though I hit a couple bad shots, have a couple bad holes, but that's no problem, too.  I was able to hang in there all the way.

Then Phoebe played well today on the back nine, too.  So I feel like I had less worry, less pressure, and I tried to make par, tried to make birdie and I got it.  I mean, today, I almost hit it where I wanted to, so I feel great.

KELLY THESIER:  All right.  Thank you very much, ladies.  Best of luck tomorrow.

STACY LEWIS
LEXI THOMPSON
PAULA CREAMER
CRISTIE KERR

THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We would like to welcome Team USA into the interview room.

Ladies, a tough day out there.  I know not exactly the way that you guys wanted things to go, but Stacy, what were the things that you guys take out of today from your matches?  What did you guys learn?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I guess we learned that those pairings didn't work very well.  But Lexi and I, I was proud of her.  We hung in there.  We couldn't get many putts to fall, but we kept hanging in there all day.  And Yani making that, we both kind of had a feeling she was going to make that putt on 18, just the way she had putted all day and just the way things had gone.

So it certainly hurts to lose there on the last hole and just because we hung in there so well all day.  But like Cristie said when we were coming over here, there's teams that could get zero points the next two days as well.  So we have still got a long ways to go.

THE MODERATOR:  This is only day one of three days of competition where you can earn a lot of points.  Paula, you guys were making pairings shortly.  But what did you talk about heading into tomorrow and any game plan change that you guys have?
PAULA CREAMER:  They're not announced, so we can't get into too much info there.  But doesn't matter who we play with on this team.  It really doesn't.  We all mesh well together.  We just didn't get the job done.  I only got to see a couple holes of their match and Stacy made a great birdie on 17, and Yani made one heck of a putt on 18.

In our match, we just never really had two balls, two good looks at it.  It wasn't like we played horrible, but they made birdies and they made those putts that they needed to.  And we never had any momentum going.  It's tough.  It's frustrating.

We're all sitting here and we're not feeling the best, but I think that we're going to take it as super momentum, super positive and go into tomorrow.  We hate losing, we all do, but it's the first day of many more to come.  We're going to try to get a little bit more momentum going into tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR:  Lexi, you guys got to watch Yani kind of put on a show a little bit on that front nine.  We have all seen her as a No. 1 in the world before and she's kind of had her ups and downs.  How impressive was it of what she put together today for her play?

LEXI THOMPSON:
  It was very impressive, especially the start.  She drained some pretty long putts for birdies and we knew we had to make birdies to win today.  We just didn't have too many putts that went in for us.

But, yeah, Yani put on a show on the front nine, and Phoebe came in on a few of those holes on the back and made a few birdies there.

But we fought strong throughout the whole day.  Got it to all square through 10 and then through 16 and tried to close it out, but Yani just made another putt on us.

THE MODERATOR:
  Open it up to questions.

Q.  Following that up, Stacy, could you also comment on what you saw in Yani today.
STACY LEWIS:  I wouldn't say it's a Yani of old, but she just made putts.  She didn't hit it perfect, she hit some bad shots, she hit some good shots.  But she's just made putts.  And in best ball, that's what it comes down to.

If your partner is hanging in there and you got two looks at birdies, it's just a lot easier to make some putts.  I think that they did that a few more times maybe than we did, and that was really the difference, early, especially.

Q.  For Cristie, when you come into an event like this, first time event on U.S. soil, as a top seed, does that put a pressure on a team maybe more than they, more than you want to talk about, more than you let on?  Do you feel a responsibility to sort of carry the torch here because it's in the U.S.?
CRISTIE KERR:  Well, I think that you always are proud to wear your colors and play for your country and your teammates.  But match play is kind of a funny thing.  You can play great and lose a match and/or just hang around and end up making more putts and winning a match.  So I told these girls not to hang their heads because tomorrow's a new day.

There's a lot of golf left this week, and some teams that maybe won three points today might get shut out tomorrow.  So it is a good possibility.  You really are not going to know what's going to happen until I think middle of the third day.  So we have just got to fight as hard as we can until then.

Q.  Paula, can you kind of compare the vibe here on the first tee and throughout the day compared to a Solheim Cup?
PAULA CREAMER:  It's obviously a little bit different than a Solheim Cup.  This is the first year.  Fans don't quite know what to expect.  I know a lot of people have come here that have been to previous Solheim Cups, but the first tee was a good great experience, playing music, things like that, the National Anthems for all the countries.  I thought that was very special.

I think there's going to be a lot more people coming in on the weekend.  That's the thing is we are here in our home soil, we obviously want our fans the crowds to be rowdy and to cheer for us.  But I understand the dynamics of there's seven other countries as well.  It's a little bit different because of that.

But you can compare anything, I don't think, to that Solheim Cup atmosphere.  I think one day this will get to that.  But this is the first year and the first day, so it's kind of hard to do the apples and oranges with that.

Q.  For anyone, do you think it's possible that you under estimated Taiwan going into today?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't think so.  I know my game plan didn't change.  It doesn't change regardless of who I'm playing.  And they're an eight-seed and so they're out there kind of with nothing to lose.
Definitely there's probably some more pressure with No. 1, but we all knew it coming into match play, anything can happen.  And it's such a fickle thing.  It always comes down to one putt here and there.  It's never anything major, it's just one putt.

Q.  For anyone who wants to answer, how do you usually try to regroup after a disappointing day and how is it different when you have teammates?
CRISTIE KERR:  You have to just keep positive and try to find the good in the day, even though it was disappointing.  We're going to be coming out guns a blazing.  We have nothing to lose from here on in.  We have to fight as hard as we can fight.  So just try to be there for your teammates and just try to have good pairings and play the best you can.  That's all you can do.

Q.  Stacy, you mentioned you didn't think she's quite the Yani that we saw at her very peak, but she is still so young.  What does she have to do to get back to being the Yani of old.  What are things you think she will have to do better?
STACY LEWIS:  I think the Yani of a couple years ago, she hit it a lot better.  She hit it a lot higher.  Today if you watched, a lot of her drives they were line drives.  And I remember when she was winning all those tournaments, she hit it like Lexi does now, hits it really high, carried it really far.

So I think to really get back to where she was, probably has to get to that point.

But I just saw today with the putter, I mean that's, for her, I think it's always going to be there.  So who knows what happens in the next few years.

THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Well, thank you very much, ladies.  Best of luck tomorrow.

AI MIYAZATO
SAKURA YOKOMINE

KELLY THESIER:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We would like to welcome in two members of Team Japan, Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine.  They won 2-up in their match today.
Congratulations, ladies.  First off, I just want to know, what was the experience like being there on the first tee hearing your National Anthem and knowing that you're playing for Team Japan?
AI MIYAZATO:  It was just an amazing feeling.  I was almost crying.  When I heard the National Anthem I was almost crying.  But at the same time I was super nervous because I never had that atmosphere before.  But it was just a great experience and I'm so happy to be here.

I'm so happy to be here for my country and especially playing with this girl.  She played really solid out there.  So I had a great time.

SAKURA YOKOMINE: 
I feel like it was about the same time as usual and I'm not used to the team playing, but then the first hole I had good shots, a birdie and that helped me a lot to relax.

KELLY THESIER: 
It was a very nice start for you guys to win the first hole.  What was it like to have a team play?  I know you guys do some of that over in Asia, but is it very different to get yourself ready to know that you have to rely on a teammate?  Did it get easier as the match went along?
AI MIYAZATO:  Honestly, it's both.  It was kind of difficult to start the first few holes because I haven't had the team play since when I was 20 or something, which means eight years ago.
So I was still searching for my pace the first couple holes.  But then she got a good start, so after a few holes I was like, Okay, so just stay focused on my game.

At the same time, it was just a great fun.  You can be aggressive as much as you want, and toward the end, it was kind of a tough match, but still, under the pressure, I like to play, so it was really fun.

KELLY THESIER:  Speaking of that match, you guys had a back and forth match.  It got tight towards the end.  How does the momentum swing in that match and how were you guys feeling when you got down and it was getting a little tight there and you knew you wanted to walk away with two points?
SAKURA YOKOMINE:  The fifth hole was a break point and then it was the point, it was kind of breaking up the flow.

AI MIYAZATO:  I think because we had that good start the first hole, but then number 5 is like a short par-4, but we both made a bogey there or double bogey or whatever, so that was a big break point.  But afterwards, we kind of saw each other and saw that Sweden is making par and we're making par as well.  But then on 16, they made a birdie, and that makes me really nervous.  But 17 and 18, especially 18, she hits it really close to the pin there, so it was a good finish.

KELLY THESIER:  Questions?

Q.  Was there any point during the match, perhaps after the fifth hole, where you guys had to go have a little team conference with each other?  And was there any point at which you found that you were sort of bucking each other up and really cheerleading for the other?
AI MIYAZATO:  Yeah, well, before teeing off, we said we shouldn't say sorry all day today.  We just have to focus on our game and that.  But after the fifth hole, we said sorry to each other and we were laughing, you know.  I know I shouldn't say sorry, but I have to say it.  And I said sorry and she said sorry.

So we laughed at each other after we made a mistake.  So it kind of kept the momentum going, I think.  But it was a little difficult par-3 on 6, but we got the good birdie chance and so we didn't have any, like, down feeling or whatever.

Sakura is always a really nice and relaxed person.  She's not really super intention or like that, so I think I got good feelings from her all day.

Q.  With all the energy and all the emotion on the first tee, once you got started, was the atmosphere maybe a little more relaxed than it would be for a normal Tour event?
AI MIYAZATO:  Definitely more pressure.  Especially after I heard the National Anthem, you know, it just makes me feel more like intense or something.  I feel like I need to play well or like have I to play well.
I think it was a little bit of pressure there, but like I said, she was always like normal, like no up-and-downs, and she's like the same everywhere she goes, right?

SAKURA YOKOMINE:  I was nervous, but I just wanted to play my best golf.

Q.  Only 14 of 32 players hit the first fairway and you, in the first group, and the Americans were the only twosome from each country to both hit the fairway.  Was it that much pressure?  You were one of only two groups of teammates that hit the fairway on the first hole.
AI MIYAZATO:  Really?  Wow.

KELLY THESIER:  Tough fairway to hit.  How important was that just to get started like that?  Did that kind of release some of the nerves when you guys both hit the fairway?
AI MIYAZATO:  Well, I felt a little bit of release of my pressure after I hit the first shot.  But it was a 3-wood and so much big target on the fairway, it's kind of wide open, 60 yards or something.  So I wasn't really thinking about the bunkers or anything, just I was seeing just the middle of the fairway.

So I hit it good, but she -- I don't know about you.  Did you hit it?

SAKURA YOKOMINE:  I was nervous, but I accepted my nervousness and then the fairway was wide, so that helped a lot, too.

KELLY THESIER:  Team Japan now walks away from day one with three points.  How do you guys feel so far as to where the team is at after one day of competition?
AI MIYAZATO:  That was a great start, for sure.  But still a long way to go.  I'm exhausted already, because I used so much energy on the golf course.  I'm not sure about the pairings tomorrow, but I think that playing with anybody, I mean, with anyone on my team, it will be really fun.  We can play well again, so it was just a gaining of confidence, I think.

KELLY THESIER:  Did you talk about what your plans are for the rest of the week for pairings?  Have you talked about that?
AI MIYAZATO:  We didn't have time, so we're going to, though.

KELLY THESIER:  What have you guys done for team bonding?  You guys have plans tonight, do you hang out as a team or how do you kind of balance the team aspect this week with also still keeping yourselves in a routine of how you normally play.
AI MIYAZATO:  I think we're going to as individuals keep the routine and ourselves.  But we haven't had a team meeting like yet this week, not even other than the one time.  So I think we're going to go with dinner tonight though.  So we'll see.

KELLY THESIER:  Sounds good.  Wonderful.  Thank you very much, ladies, great playing today.

ANNA NORDQVIST
CAROLINE HEDWALL

Q.  Obviously you guys wanted two points, but one is still good.  How did you guys feel throughout the round?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Well, I'm disappointed because I felt that we played a lot better and I'm just very impressed by their short game and how they managed to make a lot of good putts and make a lot of good up-and-downs.

I felt like we had a lot of good chances, but we couldn't really convert on the greens.

Q.  Do you think that was where it was, where they just converted on putts mostly?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Yeah, mostly.  I felt like we always gave us at least one or even two good chances for birdie, and they just managed to get up-and-downs when they missed the greens.
But definitely felt like we played pretty good, but just couldn't get anything going.

Q.  First tee, take me back to the National Anthem, bring me through that.  I know that was probably a good start for you guys and you didn't even end up starting good.  But take me through that.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Well, it was just a nice feeling, hearing your national anthem and teeing off, it was a fun thing to get going.

Q.  Tell me about throughout the round, did you guys say, Hey, let's get it going?  Was there any game plan, any strategy?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  We played really well, both of us, and just gave ourselves a lot of chances.  Then they managed to hole a couple more putts than we did.  But I think we fought back really nice and it's good to get one point at least.

 

AZAHARA MUNOZ
CARLOTA CIGANDA

THE MODERATOR:  I'm now joined by the victories Spanish team of Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda.  You guys just defeated Onnarin Sattayabanphot and Pornanong Phatlum.  First points of the inaugural International Crown.  How big was that win for you to put the first points up?
AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I think it was very important.  Carlota and I kept saying all week just keep adding points and even if it's just two, I mean, obviously two, but even if it's just a one.  So from the beginning we started playing really well and kept hitting fairways and greens, we had many chances.

So we played really well today.  So we're extremely happy to get those two points.

Q.  You guys said the pairings for your Spanish teams, they were very natural, it was a very easy decision.  Carlota, how easy was it for you guys to play together and how much were you guys vibing off each other?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  We played a lot amateurs and we also used to play on the teams together, also in the Solheim Cup.  So it's great to play with her.  We're great friends, and on the course everything is very easy and we feel very comfortable.  I can't wait for the next two days playing again with her and beating other teams.

Q.  You looked very comfortable out there.  Take me back to the first tee, you guys standing out there with your other two teammates, hearing that Spanish National Anthem play.  Azahara, what was going through you're mind and how much of the emotions were running high.  It was really amazing.  It brought me back to amateur days when we used to play for Spain.  And if you win, you hear the anthem.

So it was such a good feeling.  And thankfully we got to hear a few of them when we were amateurs.  And this morning it almost brought tears to my eyes because it's so special.  Mike Whan said on the dinner the other day, you know, how in a few years when you look back you'll see how special this is.  I think sometimes we take it for granted, because we are used to playing for our country and things like that, but it is so special.
So we are really proud to be here and super happy.

BEATRIZ RECARI
BELEN MOZO

THE MODERATOR:  It's fitting that it ended in a tie.  It was a great match.
BELEN MOZO:  Yeah, I think that it was a very tight match.  I mean, the girls played really good.  Especially Mo, she was very steady, she made really good putts and very clutch putts when she needed to.

And we were playing very good tee to green and we missed a lot of opportunities.  I was about to get desperate, but I had moral support a lot and she kept me going, because there's nothing that bums me out than to not take advantage of the opportunities.

But we just hung in there and played very good golf coming up and we're happy with the halve.

Q.  Did you think that eagle was going in?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  I totally thought so.  I had the perfect pace and I saw the drop, and I kind of was taking the break how I read it, but it just lipped out.  But from that distance, tap in for birdie, I would take it.
BELEN MOZO:  You think that's probably the shot of the day?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  No, no.
BELEN MOZO:  Because it was a tough putt.  It was a really tough putt.

Q.  It looked good the whole way.
BEATRIZ RECARI:  I'm just going to rephrase what Belen said, you know, I think we felt really comfortable out there, probably you could look back and say we could have, we deserved better on this hole and this other hole, because we played so good and we left some chances out there.

So I just think that we take a lot of positives from today and a lot of confidence towards the next few days and the putts can only drop from now.  So we're really excited and, yeah, just feel really good about our games today.

Q.  How did you feel when that putt went in on 17?
BELEN MOZO:  For some reason I was really comfortable.  Because I always think that there's moments in everything, and I felt like that was my moment.  I had a good spot and I just trusted my line and I felt comfortable all the way in.  I cannot explain why.  It just happens that you sometimes feel comfortable, sometimes you don't.

I just knew that we were playing so good, we had to fight through.  I thought we were going to win, I thought we were going to win 17 and 18, I don't know why.  So, but I'm still happy with how we finished.

Q.  The first tee it looked like you got a little emotional during the National Anthem.
BELEN MOZO:  I did.

Q.  What was that like for you?
BELEN MOZO:  Well, like Belen said in the press conference -- what did you say?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Our blood boils when we hear it.
BELEN MOZO:  When we hear the National Anthem, I haven't heard in a long time, man, and that was, I was teary.  I was a little bit emotional.  You can see in the tee box, I didn't hit a good shot, my emotions were still like flooring, you know.  So but it's okay.  I will learn for tomorrow.  Hopefully no more anthems.

Q.  Are you going to change your strategy do you think going into tomorrow?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  We played really well, I mean the four of us were playing really well, so we'll see.  We have to have a good lunch now and enjoy today because I think we played really well and we deserve a good lunch now and a good rest and we'll talk this afternoon.

 

AZAHARA MUNOZ
CARLOTA CIGANDA

THE MODERATOR:  I'm now joined by the victories Spanish team of Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda.  You guys just defeated Onnarin Sattayabanphot and Pornanong Phatlum.  First points of the inaugural International Crown.  How big was that win for you to put the first points up?
AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I think it was very important.  Carlota and I kept saying all week just keep adding points and even if it's just two, I mean, obviously two, but even if it's just a one.  So from the beginning we started playing really well and kept hitting fairways and greens, we had many chances.

So we played really well today.  So we're extremely happy to get those two points.

Q.  You guys said the pairings for your Spanish teams, they were very natural, it was a very easy decision.  Carlota, how easy was it for you guys to play together and how much were you guys vibing off each other?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  We played a lot amateurs and we also used to play on the teams together, also in the Solheim Cup.  So it's great to play with her.  We're great friends, and on the course everything is very easy and we feel very comfortable.  I can't wait for the next two days playing again with her and beating other teams.

Q.  You looked very comfortable out there.  Take me back to the first tee, you guys standing out there with your other two teammates, hearing that Spanish National Anthem play.  Azahara, what was going through you're mind and how much of the emotions were running high.  It was really amazing.  It brought me back to amateur days when we used to play for Spain.  And if you win, you hear the anthem.

So it was such a good feeling.  And thankfully we got to hear a few of them when we were amateurs.  And this morning it almost brought tears to my eyes because it's so special.  Mike Whan said on the dinner the other day, you know, how in a few years when you look back you'll see how special this is.  I think sometimes we take it for granted, because we are used to playing for our country and things like that, but it is so special.
So we are really proud to be here and super happy.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, International Crown

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