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July 7, 2015

Paula Creamer


MIKE TROSTEL: It's my pleasure to welcome Paula Creamer to the media center. Paula is playing in her 13th U.S. Women's Open, the champion in 2010 at Oakmont. Paula, you've been extremely consistent in this championship. In addition to the win, 11 consecutive top 20s. What is it about either this championship or major championships in general that bring out the best in your game?

PAULA CREAMER: Well, it's the golf course. And the first part about it is they suit my game really well. You have to be very patient and you have to -- I like golf courses where you can use all clubs in your bag. That's the reason why we have 14. And when you get the opportunity to do that, it separates everybody. I like the challenge. I think that the USGA does a great job of setting up golf courses. I'm playing in U.S. Junior, Women's Ams, and now U.S. Opens, you kind of see the trend. And they've definitely fooled me before and I've bitten for their bait many times and I've learned those lessons. But it's a fun week. It's hard. It's mentally draining and I like that. I like being able to have tough times out there but realize that you can still keep moving up the board with pars and just that challenge.

MIKE TROSTEL: A bit of a slower start to the year, but it seems like your game has really been coming on of late. You have top 10s in two of your last four, including the last event two weeks ago in Arkansas. How do you feel like your game is coming into this week in Lancaster?

PAULA CREAMER: I feel very good. I think that I'm driving the ball really well. I'm hitting my irons well. I'm putting so much better than I have, I think, in the last four years. And it's just putting a good week together. This is my 11th year on Tour and I've never really had many ups and downs, it's always been very consistent. We had to do some swing changes there and some equipment changes and it's part of it. Golf is a marathon, it's not a sprint. And everybody has their ups and downs, it's just how you look at it. I feel like the last several months, my team, we've worked really hard on trying to get back on track with stuff. And it's not far away, that's for sure.

MIKE TROSTEL: You said you played this morning early, 6:45. What do you think of the course? There's a lot of -- week to week you go, you've played courses every year. This is a new one, a course a lot of you haven't played before. What do you think of Lancaster Country Club?

PAULA CREAMER: I think it's an awesome golf course. I think it is going to look great on TV. I think it plays good. I think it's a challenge. I think you have to stay in it on every shot, if you have a moment of kind of weakness out there then it's going to bite you in not a good place. And I think you have to definitely stay mentally just ready for everything. The pin placements I think is going to be the biggest challenge. Some of those greens, there's just only a couple of spots that you can actually use. And missing the ball in the right spots is going to be big. Fairways are very generous, but this is the first time in a long time we've actually had a lot of thick rough to think about and play with. Especially when you miss greens, that's going to be a huge challenge of being able to get up and down.

Q. You obviously won the Open in Pennsylvania. So compare, if you would, this golf course to the course that you won the Open on?
PAULA CREAMER: It's actually very similar in tees to greens. There are lots of rolling hills, side hills. There's much more trees here, obviously, than at Oakmont. But coming here, I think the biggest thing is the fans. The people have just been so supportive this week. They line down the fairways and that's very similar to what happened at Oakmont. Everybody is just down those fairways. Oakmont didn't have the rough that we do here, we didn't have the trees. You cannot get above certain greens. That was the number one thing at Oakmont and that's a big part of it here. Sometimes you have to realize that you're going to have a 25-footer downhill because the false fronts are so big. But other than that, staying below the hole is definitely identical to Oakmont.

Q. When you won at Oakmont, I think you were one of only two players under par for the tournament. Do you foresee a similar score winning here?
PAULA CREAMER: You know, a lot of it depends on Mother Nature and how much rain is going to happen. That was a huge night-and-day difference yesterday to today. I know I played early and I played in the afternoon yesterday, but some of the drives were 30 yards shorter, no run on it. You hit into these upslopes, and like I said, USGA is going to -- they don't -- you don't need to have a 15-, 20-under par tournament to show golf. You can showcase it by being a couple under par and I don't think they're going to get very far from it. So it's very possible.

Q. Several weeks ago, when you were here, we discussed equipment changes, some swing changes, and since that time obviously you've got tournament rounds under your belt, a lot more practice time. Are you finding that being here this week and playing your practice rounds that some of your sight lines are a little bit different because you're hitting the ball better? I understand the conditions are different, but are you seeing the course a little bit differently because you've had more time?
PAULA CREAMER: You know, quite truthfully, when I played here when I was last -- about a month ago, I played right after a really big rainstorm, and it was so wet out there and soft. The greens were very slow. My lines are actually very similar because the fairways are so soft now. Yesterday they changed. But it kind of went back to how I played it about a month ago. The only thing that's really a significant difference is how fast the greens are, so much faster than when I was here. And that's what you're going to expect that. When you come and play early, you pick lines and see the course and you realize what you need to work on at home. You're going to be hitting a lot of woods into greens on some of those holes, 9, 10, even 18. You're hitting a lot of long woods, things that we don't really normally do. That's one of the main reasons to come, not necessarily to see the lines because who knows what's going to happen with the weather. But it has changed. It has changed drastically. But it's good. No matter what it is, it's good.

Q. You mentioned the level of support here locally, what was your practice round experience like this morning? You got out there early and you try to get work done, but also interact with the fans?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, it's so nice to have all these people out here and come out and support us. Yesterday I was shocked -- actually I registered on Sunday and I couldn't believe how many people were out there on Sunday. And I played in the afternoon and there was a ton of people. Each day it's just getting more and more. I played at 6:45 in the morning, I got on the range at 6:00 and I was already signing 30 autographs. I'm like, whoa, is everybody sleeping here? It was pretty cool, thought. That's what you weren't. There's a lot of kids out here, a lot of young girls wearing their golf clothes, so I know they're excited to be out here and watch. But, quite truthfully, the fans, they're incredible. I think Sunday coming down there, it's going to be exciting.

Q. What are the holes that you think the field can make birdies on, and what are the tougher holes that you feel making a bogey isn't necessarily a bad thing?
PAULA CREAMER: I think more of the birdie holes are on the front nine. I think 1, you hit a good drive and you can feed your second shot into there. On 2 -- 3, I think is a good par hole, it's just that drive, that tee shot, and where they put us on the box, either way, it's kind a slopey green. 4 you have a good chance with a wedge in your hand. I definitely think more of the birdie opportunities are on the front. And the back nine, it's a beast on some of those holes. 10 is a great par-4. 11 is going up the hill with that green, I don't know -- thank goodness it's not firm and fast on that. I don't know how you could hit a shot into that. And 12 and 13, with your par-3 and your par 5, it's good looks. But I think the big holes you really just take your par. 18 is a great finishing hole. A lot is going to happen on that one.

Q. How do you shape your shot off the tee? Are you left-to-right or right-to-left?
PAULA CREAMER: Right-to-left, I draw.

Q. Some of the doglegs are going the opposite way, how are you going to play those?
PAULA CREAMER: Like which hole?

Q. Like No. 15?

Q. Dogleg to the right.
PAULA CREAMER: I mean, granted I can take it over that corner, but not a slinging hook or anything, like a five or six yard draw. It's not out of control. Even so, I think that carry for a cut is a little bit different. For me I just take it a little bit farther down the right side and draw it. Today it was so soft you didn't even need to do that, you could hit it straight and you're short of that run out. I know girls yesterday were going through that fairway from that back tee, but I don't do anything differently on that hole. The next shot is the hardest shot. The tee shot is the easiest one, you have to cut it off of an uphill lie.

MIKE TROSTEL: Paula Creamer, 1:58 off the 10th tee on Thursday. Best of luck.

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