Solheim Cup

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Andalucia, Spain

Finca Cortesin

Team Europe

Anna Nordqvist

Madelene Sagstrom

Emily Kristine Pedersen

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: So delighted to welcome back to the media center three members of Team Europe, Anna Nordqvist, Madelene Sagstrom, and Emily Kristine Pedersen.

So with the matches starting tomorrow morning, what are your thoughts on getting going, Anna?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, we're excited. We've been dreaming or working really hard for this moment for the last two years. It's been a fun week so far. You got a little bit of taste of the atmosphere today because -- I was surprised there was a lot of people out there. In 2021, we didn't have any European fans, so, yeah, I think we're very excited to get going tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Madelene, your first Solheim Cup in Europe. How excited are you to get going tomorrow?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: It's a very different atmosphere than the two that I've played so far. I'm more used to people not cheering as much, so it's been amazing. I have so much friends and family here, so it's really cool to share this moment with them and being in Spain everyone's super supportive. We have a lot of Scandinavians here in general, so it feels like a nice home game.

THE MODERATOR: Emily, third Solheim Cup as well, so how excited are you to get going tomorrow?

EMILY KRISTINE PEDERSEN: Very excited. It's the first one in Europe as well. I love Spain. I've been coming here a lot. It's just great to see a lot of fans, a lot of the Spanish, British, Scandinavian people here, so just really excited.

THE MODERATOR: Madelene, you mentioned friends and family coming, obviously, to support you. It must be great to have so many. Who is coming and is that helping to boost you?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Yeah, I have my mom and dad, my brother. He's got friends. I have my fiancé, Jack's whole family. Our little niece walked all nine holes with us on the fairway. I think she's going to sleep really good tonight. So she's got a little Swedish flag on there. So it's fun. It's just fun.

THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll take questions.

Q. When you look at the numbers and you talk to people about it, the rookies on both of these teams, it might be the most impressive rookie class in Solheim Cup history, other than the first one when everybody was a rookie. As veterans, would you agree with that and what do you think of the rookies on both sides?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I mean, this year we -- Europe has a lot of rookies and the Americans have a lot of rookies. I wouldn't really consider them as rookies. The U.S. team has a lot of major champions as rookies. We have Gemma, Linn, Maja, who have all won on tour and have a really good record behind them. So I think we're starting to see how good young players are when they're coming out on tour. They're very fearless and I think you're going to see a lot of great play from the rookies this year. It's fun being part of. I'm the oldest one on the team, so I feel like I'm very old compared to them, but they bring a lot of energy, especially to our team, and I've had a blast spending time with them this week.

Q. Anna, just wondering, in terms of your workload this week how different it is being kind of part of management as well as playing, and specifically how that might and has been impacting on your playing preparations.

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I mean, I love press conferences so much, so I get to do two this week. (Smiling.)

No, I mean, it's definitely a little bit different role than I've had in the past. When I'm on the golf course, we have done really good job. I'm just focusing on playing. Suzann has a great team with Laura and Caroline, and she talked about it yesterday, about how transparent she's been, and I feel like this is the most open any captain's been.

I do think she's taking communication to a whole different level within Team Europe, discussing with players what everyone feels comfortable with and who wants to play with who. So I feel like this week it's been a big team effort. We've got a lot of helpers and a lot of significant others, spouses, here to support too.

Yeah, it's been a little bit extra, but I kind of knew that when I took on the role. For me, it's just been amazing being part of all the work. I'm very honored to have both roles. I feel like I may have been a little bit more of -- knowing that I play with all these players and I know these players that, you know, I feel like they're pretty comfortable coming up to me, giving us feedback where I can raise it to the other captains.

So far I feel like I've done pretty well. I'm excited to play and I know everything is going to be handled when I'm on the course.

Q. Is that the main part of your role in the sense to be that kind of link between the players and the captain?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I mean, given that I'm the only vice captain that still plays, I feel like that's maybe been something that's been to our advantage, knowing that I'm out there every week on the Ladies European Tour or the LPGA, knowing what's happening. You know, I hope most of these players feel comfortable coming up to me and talking to me. If they don't feel comfortable raising maybe the questions in front of all of us, like I've had some of them come up to me and say, hey, you know, I don't really feel -- I feel this or that about certain situation, and then I can, you know, talk to the other ones or give them my feedback.

Also, I mean, knowing that I've done -- well, this is my 8th one, so I feel like I've learned a lot from my mistakes or from just being part of this for so many years, that I feel like I have some knowledge that can kind of help them talk through some situations. So I feel like that's kind a little bit more the role I had. I feel like Suzann's on top of everything. The team we have with the Ladies European Tour, they have been working so hard for so long to cover all the rest.

Q. I think you all played with Leona Maguire today and maybe on a couple of the other days as well. I'm just wondering, you know, what you think she brings to the team after what she did the last time. We know she was great last time. So as a partner, what would you make of having her?

EMILY KRISTINE PEDERSEN: She's kind of like a silent assassin. Like, she's very calm and steady, but then she's -- like, last year I think she was the MVP of the team. She made a lot of points, played a lot of matches. She's obviously super steady, and I think she will do great again.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I've known her for a long time growing up. We've played a lot of junior golf together. You wouldn't want to meet her in match play, so I think nobody wants to meet her this week.

EMILY KRISTINE PEDERSEN: I think she holed out, like, two or three times today on a chip, so that's pretty good to see.

Q. Going back to what you said earlier about players being more prepared to play earlier and earlier. I'm curious why you think that is and what you attribute that to. We have seen it in the men's game as well, but the women's game is almost as deep as it's been in a very long time. I'm curious what you or anybody else has to say about that.

ANNA NORDQVIST: I would say that -- I mean, I feel like golf has grown so much even from when I started and there's a lot more opportunities. I think the coaches are a lot better, they have improved, there's a lot of technology. There's opportunities in amateur golf for players to come out and play major championships if they win certain events.

There's a lot of different countries having great programs. I know the Swedish national team, they put in a lot of effort and money into educating these girls and giving them opportunities to go to camp. As you know, we don't have green grass all year around, but that doesn't stop them from improving.

So when all these girls come out at 18, 19, 20, I feel like they're a lot stronger, they hit it a lot further, they're a lot better prepared than even just a couple years ago. So it's great to see and I feel like I'm just trying to do my best to keep up with them.

Q. Do you think the experience in this event is overrated or underrated?

ANNA NORDQVIST: Overrated or underrated?

Q. Experience, in this tournament.

ANNA NORDQVIST: Well, you know, just because maybe, like, you're a rookie doesn't mean that you can play well. We all saw Leona Maguire absolutely kill it in 2021, the way she played. A lot of people -- you know, it's hard to prepare someone for what the first tee experience is going to be like. You have to be there and you have to feel it and you have to kind of make your own mind up what it's all about.

But definitely I think having a little bit of experience won't hurt you. I think definitely sometimes it's good being able to pair maybe a rookie with someone who has maybe done a few, just depending on what kind of maybe different situations happen on the course. I think it's a little bit easier to maybe having someone there to kind of be a little bit of a big sister and to help them kind of guide through what's happening because a lot of people don't realize what a long week this is. There's a lot of things going on, even off the course. There's very long days.

This week, it doesn't get light until 7:50, so we haven't really had those super early mornings and staying on-site at this beautiful hotel, so it saves us a lot of travel time. So, yeah, I think it's a mixture of both. I think the girls that are rookies, I think they bring a lot of good energy and that fearlessness to the team. They're looking forward, but experience definitely won't hurt you.

Q. Secondly, you said you've learned a lot from your mistakes in the Solheim Cup. Just curious any examples and what you've kind of hoped to pass on to your teammates.

ANNA NORDQVIST: Me? Well, I mean, I think, you know, I think it's very important that you play with someone that you feel comfortable with, that you feel like you can either look up to or your game suits up well. I think maybe over the years like there was certain times like I didn't feel comfortable. So maybe that's something that I will push, that I think it's very important that when you put pairings together that everyone feels comfortable and feels like you're a team out there. Fortunately this year we have such a good team that basically anyone could play with anyone, which helps us a lot. But you definitely, I think that's one of the biggest things. I think pairings are very important for yourself to be able to play your best.

Q. As we hear the wind whipping are the conditions something you guys have talked about? How much wind do you anticipate this weekend and how difficult do you think that will make the setup and the course?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: We've talked about it a lot, to be fair, especially since the wind is probably going to change on Saturday. So it will probably be a bit of a different golf course coming the weekend. It's something that we all take in consideration. It's been nice that it's been windy in the practice rounds, just so you get a feel for it.

Green speeds will be important because some of the slopes on these greens are quite severe. So it's something we talked a lot about, but I think it's going to be fun. It's going to be fun to watch. I'm happy I'm playing match play and not stroke play.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. We're all good? Thanks for joining us. Best of luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
136887-1-1248 2023-09-21 12:26:00 GMT

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