USA Captain Ellen Port Saturday Quotes

Q.         How do you keep your team from getting too excited with a big lead going into tomorrow?

CAPTAIN PORT:  Good question.  I think we're going to have a nice, family dinner tonight and I think they are going to really enjoy some of the things we do together with their moms and dads and grandmas, and they are going to go to bed and wake up and go play golf.  They have done that all week, and I think they will be fine.  They have been in this position before.  They know it's not over till it's over.  So I'm confident they will be calm enough, yeah.

Q.  Can you talk a little about Alison Lee, 3‑0‑1, and playing her in all four sessions so far?

CAPTAIN PORT:  I'm so, like, crazy, is she 3‑0‑1, what are the records.

Q.  That's correct.

CAPTAIN PORT:  We had a game plan.  We really worked hard in pairing people.  There were a lot of different ways to go.  Her and Ashlan, I will turn that around and say what an unbelievable partner Ashlan Ramsey is with Alison Lee; and that's why Alison Lee played that many matches, because of the strategy that we had coming into this; the force that they were together.

She and Kyung obviously had a great thing going, and I think Kyung ‑‑ the partners that Alison played with, they were such good teammates.  And I would say Alison, not speaking for her but she would say, I wouldn't have done this without my teammates.  That's the beauty of this; it's such a team event for us.

I'm thrilled for Alison but it's not about Alison and she knows that.  I talked to Alison and each of my players and asked them, you know, do you want to go; do you have this in you, are you ‑‑ and she looked at me with those big, beautiful eyes and said, "I want to play.  I'm there, Captain, I'm there for you."  

So I checked with her to make sure she had the energy and stamina to go and she just partners up.  She's a very versatile player and does well with different people, but Kyung and Ashlan are as much a part of that equation as Alison.

And who else did she play with?  She played with someone else ‑‑ no, Kyung and Ashlan twice, that's it.

Q.  So not to take anything away from how well your team is playing, but do you think that anything needs to change in this format looking ahead, considering that potentially you'll only need a half a point to win the Cup in singles?

CAPTAIN PORT:  That's a good question but that's not the time to even reflect that.  These matches were not a blowout match, and I think people need to understand that.  The home‑course advantage was huge in this.  Holes are being halved with birdie.

So it's not a format issue.  It's the excellence in this situation of this particular team, because every one of those matches ‑‑ these score sheets, I sat down with them yesterday; they could have went either way.

So I just feel like it was just that this is one of those cases where at this point in time, you know, we didn't get that match, Annie and Erynne, they came back and played beautifully and looked like we had that match and they fought till the end.  Stephanie sticks it here and we were 2‑up and could have been 3‑up.

I think probably can't answer that format question right now.  I just think, sometimes, that's golf.  And home‑course advantage, and this particular golf course, being very difficult and the fact that we got to see it more than they did, I think is a big factor in this, as well.

And, my girls got their game ready.  Not all of them will say they were playing the way they wanted to in April at the practice session.  And they knew they were on the Curtis Cup team and prepared and got their game ready, because they weren't ready in April and I knew it.  I don't know if they knew it, but they were ready when they showed up here.

Q.  How many times did you guys play?

CAPTAIN PORT:  We came here on a Thursday afternoon and played nine holes.  We played 36 on a Friday and they were dying.  They were exhausted because this is a hilly course.  And then we played an 18‑hole match, competitive match, against the great men players here.  So we saw 36, 18 and nine, so we had 2 1/2 days here.

Q.  That was in April?


Q.  Where is your party?  Who is hosting it?

CAPTAIN PORT:  Ginny is hosting it.  Family night with all the parents.

Q.  So you're not cooking?  

CAPTAIN PORT:  No; they are waiting for me.

Q.  The rain delays, how much did that affect you guys?

CAPTAIN PORT:  I think it was kind of a wash.  They came out and won that match when we were 2‑up, and Emma Tally came out and had a six‑foot birdie putt and missed that, and she wouldn't have missed that if we had not had a rain delay.  I was a little concerned but we were fine.  We maintained enough of a lead.  They did great.  It was a wash and didn't bother us too much.

Q.  Tally's putt, was that after the first or second?

CAPTAIN PORT:  After the first delay.  And then, every putt, like I'm saying, the score might look like it's one‑sided but these matches, when you take them, a lot of them could go either way coming down, and we've lost matches coming down these last three or four holes.

So, you know, my girls just really seemed to make those putts and hit a few key shots when they needed to.

Q.  Did you think you would play this well?

CAPTAIN PORT:  When I saw how they were playing, I don't know ‑‑ we just worried about how we were playing; yes, I think if you asked the people, if you look at the rankings of these girls and how they play, and the way I watched them play for the four days when we paced ourselves, like I said, they all brought their game.

In April, they were not quite where they needed to be and they knew they were on the Curtis Cup and they prepared.  They were really, really good on Thursday before we came.  They were loose.  When I loved, really, is how loose they were and how much fun we were having, and the right perspective.  We were not silly and goofy.  We were enjoying each other and they were playing good golf at the same time.  I never saw anything changed as the approach came closer.  There were no more nerves.  They were comfortable on the golf course.  They weren't missing shots.

Long way to answer your question; nothing surprises me, and so I'm not surprised by my team.


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