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September 6, 2005

Paula Creamer


Q. All right. We would like to welcome Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer to the interview room, two of the three rookies on the team.

PAULA CREAMER: This whole week has been amazing. I think the whole process up to Solheim was fun, all the team dinners, trying to qualify for the team, the way the American players got together throughout the year rooting each other on, and now to be all here together for a team and play our practice rounds together, it's been a lot of fun.

Q. Paula, do you feel like the kid on the team?

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I do. It's nice but we're all a team right now. It's not an individual thing. Our team chemistry is unbelievable. I know I've played on a lot of team events. When you're playing with the best players in the world, you would think there would be a rivalry, but everyone is so helpful. They're sharing experiences today.

Juli and Cristie were telling us stories about past Solheim Cups. We want to hear all the fun experiences so we can remember when we play in Solheim when we have rookies with us.

Q. We'll take some questions.

Real or imagined there's a perception that the Europeans have more fun, whether it's the Solheim Cup or the Ryder Cup. As rookies, what do you think about that perception? Do you think you can maybe help add a little more fun to the American locker room?

NATALIE GULBIS: I don't know about that. We have a pretty good time. We have a great time. On the motor home down, everyone was dancing in the motor home and telling jokes and plenty of things that need to stay in the motor home. We don't know what they're doing, but we're having a great time.

Q. Paula, from the things you've heard and what maybe you've even seen watching previous events on television, what do you expect of the atmosphere, not only because of the crowd but the crowd being a home crowd?

PAULA CREAMER: I have actually the experience to come to a Solheim Cup on US soil and over in Sweden when I went, so I was one of those fans cheering for them. You know what it was like to cheer. It was just unreal to be in that crowd. It's huge. I mean, you just look down the fairways and there's so many people. And I play my best golf under pressure, and when there's a large gallery.

I don't know what more I could get than this week with pressure, and also the huge galleries. But to be on US soil and have this be our first Solheim Cup, I think that's a huge bonus for us.

Q. Natalie, do you have thoughts on that?

NATALIE GULBIS: Same thing, we get to the range this morning, and it's all 12 of our girls on the range, and right off the bat the gallery is chanting USA and you wish you were starting the competition today.

PAULA CREAMER: It's only Tuesday.

Q. Natalie, were you taking pictures out there, it looked like on 14?

NATALIE GULBIS: Absolutely. We all got cameras from Canon and we're all taking pictures, and they'll upload them on the LPGA.com. It's a fan friendly thing the team is doing and we want our fans to be able to see it through our eyes. You'll probably see pictures of us taking pictures of other people taking pictures.

Q. It looked like you were practicing foursomes. Are teams starting to take shape?

NATALIE GULBIS: Yeah, we were playing foursomes out there. We were trying a lot of different combinations. We're trying to get as many as our players together as possible. That's the great thing about playing foursomes, we get to do a lot of team bonding every single time we're on the golf course.

Q. I don't know about the motor home. Whose was it? Where did it start? Who drove?

PAULA CREAMER: I drove, actually. I drove everybody.

NATALIE GULBIS: No wonder it took so long.

PAULA CREAMER: No, it was after Columbus we were in the motor home.

NATALIE GULBIS: After Wendy's.

PAULA CREAMER: And we all came down for the practice round. It was fun, because you know, that was pretty much

NATALIE GULBIS: That was the team that got announced.

NATALIE GULBIS: That was the first time we were all together.

Q. And this is probably fairly obvious, Paula, but I remember you a couple years ago with the flags on the cheeks sitting there in the gallery like a school girl cheering away. Could you have imagined then being here now?

PAULA CREAMER: No. No, I mean, when I was sitting on the greens watching them, it was more of wow, hopefully someday, you know, that's where I want to be. Things have happened so fast and I'm having so much fun and achieving some of my dreams and goals I want to achieve, and to finally get here, it's unreal.

I saw some of the junior Solheim Cup team this morning getting ready to go play. That could have been me, and it's one of those feelings that I'm glad that I'm there, but, you know, that was also fun. Those memories I had with that.

Q. Speaking of the junior team, I'm curious what your relationship is with Morgan Pressel and how excited are you to look to the future and see the type of team you can bring to this event?

PAULA CREAMER: Morgan and I have played a ton of junior golf together, grown up together. She's a really good player, really feisty. A couple more years we're going to have a pretty young team. I'll see her in the week. I think she's going to come out and you get to talk to her. Hopefully they win. Cheer us on.

Q. Your comments since you've gotten here have gotten a lot of attention, whatever it is, something like need to get ready to get beat, something like that, we'll make it. Has it gotten the reaction that you thought it would? Are you surprised?

PAULA CREAMER: It's hard to take something back like that when I look at my team and see there are 11 others and we're all one. It's hard not to think positive and think competitive. It's unreal the depth of our team. With that, I can only think positive things.

Q. Did you realize when you said it that it would get that much attention?

PAULA CREAMER: No, if we don't believe in ourselves, who else is? We're one team, and we all motivate each other. We thrive off of someone making a putt, that's huge, and when someone has confidence.

Today, we were out there playing against each other but deep down inside we want to see good shots because we know we can do it in a tournament.

Q. Do you feel at all, either in the eyes of the public, it's raised their expectation of you this week, or in the eyes of the Europeans there's a bulls eye on your back?

PAULA CREAMER: I put the more pressure on myself. I'm very hard on myself. I expect perfection when I'm out there, and I'm going to go out and play good golf and be, hopefully, a team player, and just wish on the USA, I'll be behind everybody 100 percent.

Q. Paula, last year in the LPGA finals you shocked a lot of people when you hadn't even hit your first golf shot and you said, "I'm going to make the Solheim Cup team." Did you know exactly did you know that was an attainable goal at that point, or was that something you threw out?

PAULA CREAMER: That was my main goal this year was to make it on the Solheim Cup team. I think, you know, I've never made goals that I didn't think were attainable. I know they are very high and hard to do. I'm a very goal oriented person. With that, I play my best golf. Even if I'm not in contention, I want as many points as I can get. I think that was a big part of it. With that, I try to play hard these last couple months.

Q. Natalie, we're so used to, in golf, playing your own ball. How do you approach foursomes from a mental standpoint? Is there something different?

NATALIE GULBIS: No. Learning the process along the way. Obviously you want to put your partner in the same spots you would want to be yourself. You know, same thing when you're chipping you want to give them an easier putt back, give them an easier come back putt, hit fairways and greens. What's great about this team is so many of the games are comparable from player to player all the way 1 through 12. You really don't have to change too much. You have to go out and play your game.

Q. Paula, at Sybase you talked about I think your parents have seen every game you've played

PAULA CREAMER: Except the junior Solheim Cup.

Q. What's it like being out of high school and traveling with your parents, being a young adult, growing up, but still having them with you? How do you balance it?

PAULA CREAMER: I'm learning. I mean, it's definitely something that's not written down in a book that you can read about. It's all trial and error. Mondays are kind of my day. I play 9 holes or something, and I go to the mall, or I do what I want to do to get away from golf. I have my room every once in a while. I couldn't do what I do without my parents. I know that we're just learning how to kind of ease off when they're all there, and then when they're not, so it's not a total shocker.

Q. Natalie, for you to curfew?

PAULA CREAMER: No, I make my own curfew.

Q. Natalie, you obviously were a young person also with a lot of success early. How did you deal with that? Did it take time balancing your time with your dad and time with yourself?

NATALIE GULBIS: It's great having our parents out there, they take a lot of the pressure off of us, and they allow us the opportunity to go out and do what we want to do. They can really help us with the little details, whether it's travel stuff or just the little things. They're our biggest supporter. At the end of the day, we can lean on them and they want it just as bad as we do. They're really out there to help us.

Q. Paula, I just noticed the paint scheme on your fingernails. Do you think you can talk any of the older gals into that look?

PAULA CREAMER: We all got our nails done yesterday. Going into this, I had this on. We touched it up last night. Nobody wanted the blue or the white but they all have red.

Q. Did you watch the Solheim Cup as a youngster?


Q. Early on, all the way through?


Q. '92, '94, do you remember any of those?

PAULA CREAMER: I was 8, so, no, I started golf when I was about 10, so I didn't really get serious until I was 12, 13, 14. Then I moved. I didn't sit home, I wasn't really into golf at that time, but then I started getting really involved with it. Obviously, we know the highlights. Juli was telling us about Deerfield.

Q. (Inaudible)?

NATALIE GULBIS: There's a couple.

Q. Go ahead.

NATALIE GULBIS: We've heard so many stories this week. That's what's been great in the team meetings is with the combination of players we have. We have a lot of Veteran players, Juli Inkster, Meg Mallon. They have been telling us stories, and it's great to actually hear their side of the stories. We've seen them on the TV, some of the highlights, and actually feel what they were feeling, what they were going through, and remembering us watching that big shot has been fun here.

And you're never going to mention the Solheim Cup without mentioning Dottie Pepper, and she's great. She'll be out here this week, too, rooting us on.

Q. From your statement that you made at Wendy's and the nail scheme going on, can you see yourself as the next Dottie, can you see yourself as the punching bag?

PAULA CREAMER: No, I think the thing about Solheim is now this week is 12 versus 12. Next week we'll be playing as an individual and I'll be playing with them every day of the week. This is all I think personally it's all fun. It's kind of like a new person that you get it show yourself knowing that you're competitive as well, but it last three days or a week of competitiveness against each other and then it's back to normal.

So, I don't know

Q. Do you know the punching bag story?

PAULA CREAMER: No. Do you want to explain?

Q. You can ask him back in the locker room about it.

They put her picture on one of those things.

PAULA CREAMER: That's nice. No, I don't think I'll be doing that. Will you?


Q. A couple questions about the golf course. At about 65, 50, you're playing about 100 more than the average week. Does it seem like it's that long how is it playing in terms of length?

NATALIE GULBIS: As far as length goes, I think it's just right about average for what we normally play. The fairways are rolling out really good. The weather is good. The only time we really know notice the difference is when the golf course is playing long. Whatever you carry is what you're hitting. We're hitting pitching wedges, or 8 irons. A couple of the par 3s are the longest. The golf course is shaping around great. We played it a week ago, and it's really matured into a major like type golf course.

Q. And you're hitting a 9 iron or wedge into most par 4s?

PAULA CREAMER: There is a mid iron, short iron. We're not hitting 4 irons in the greens. We're hitting 6, 7, 8. There's a couple short holes. There's a couple long holes as well. I think it's pretty diverse golf course. Front 9 I think is relatively more easy, and the back 9 is definitely more of a thinker's golf course.

Q. With the wide fairways, it's been regarded as a long hitter's course. I wonder what your thoughts are on that. And 14, can really separate a player who can carry the ball and it can be a difference between a 9 iron and a 4 wood?

PAULA CREAMER: Like today I hit my driver further right than Natalie did and Cristie had a 9 or 8 iron in, and Juli had 6 iron. Like I said, that hole is a carry hole. I think in the whole golf course, it pretty much evens it out.

NATALIE GULBIS: Absolutely. They've brought in the fairways. I don't think this golf course is really wide open off the tee. They definitely shaped them up.

Q. Some of the European players said they thought they had an advantage in terms of length. Is there anything you think the American have an advantage with?

NATALIE GULBIS: I think the American players where we're really strong is with our ball striking. You look at very good ball strikers, and we were looking at some of the stats, and we make a lot of birdies, and we got some pretty long ball hitters on our team.

PAULA CREAMER: I don't think length really has anything to do with this type of format. It's more of who gets looks at birdie kind of thing.

Q. Paula, you've had an incredible year as a rookie out here. Can you talk about from Sybase on what it's been like for you out here?

PAULA CREAMER: I'm having a great time out here. I'm experiencing new things. I'm playing good golf. You know I find myself in contention a lot, which is a good thing for myself, knowing I can play out here and I can achieve my goals. Like I said, I was playing for Solheim Cup. That's what I was playing for out here every day, and we're here now and it's such an exciting thing that I can experience for myself, but not only am I the only rookie, there are two other rookies on the team that are doing the same thing.

I think it's even better to share. To have the Veterans on the team we have, it's unreal to be able to go into the team locker room and have them say, "Let's go USA, Let's go Paula, Let's go Natalie," stuff like that is what you read about. To experience it now is something else.

Q. Any more questions? Thanks for coming in. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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