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May 20, 2005

Paula Creamer


JOEL LAMP: We've got Paula Creamer here in the interview room, co leader at 5 under par after a 3 under 68 today.

Let's start on your score card. You started on the back nine with back to back birdies on 12 and 13.

PAULA CREAMER: On No. 12, I had about 125 yards and I hit a 9 iron to about 15 feet and I made that.

Then 13, I hit 8 iron to three feet.

Bogey on 14. I missed a green. I hit a good shot but it spun 40 yards off the green, and I missed about a 2 footer; that was not very good.

Then I came back and I reached the par 5 in two. I hit driver, four rescue. I had about 195 yards, 2 putted from birdie.

JOEL LAMP: How far was that 2 putt?

PAULA CREAMER: About 35 feet.

Then the next hole, I hit 7 iron and it was playing 150, I believe, 150 to the hole, and I made about a 12 footer uphill.

Then 18, I made chipped up and down, one or two feet.

JOEL LAMP: On the front side you had a double on No. 4.

PAULA CREAMER: I missed the green left and I had a bad lie and then I kind of chipped it. I wanted to be on the shelf and I went over the green and I 3 putted. Went down the tier and back up the tier. It was awful.

JOEL LAMP: Closed it out with a birdie at No. 9.

PAULA CREAMER: I had 108 yards to the hole and I hit my wedge to about nine feet.

JOEL LAMP: You're tied for the lead at the midway point. I know you're not happy with the double bogey, but you've got to be happy with where you're at right now at this time of the golf tournament.

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I'm hitting the ball well. I have the speed of the greens down pretty well. There's a couple out there that you just can't get above. Like the hole I doubled, I'm 3 over on that hole for two days. I keep getting above the hole, and you can't do that on this golf course.

I'm hitting the ball well and I have a lot of confidence in my game and ready for the weekend.

Q. Obviously there's been a lot of talk about Michelle Wie's playing schedule and how she's playing against older competition and not really learning how to win. How has playing the AJGA circuit and winning as much as you did sort of prepared you for contending in situations like this?

PAULA CREAMER: Well, I mean, I know what it takes to win events and I know I've won from behind, I've won from tied and I've won from in the lead. So I've won it all three ways you can win. Like I keep saying, it's all about experience. Once you're there and you've done it, then it becomes kind of routine wise.

For me, I think the most important thing is to know how to win and how to compete under pressure.

Q. At Kingsmill, your caddie broke his ankle or something. I know you've probably talked about it a million times, but what caddie are you on now and what happened at Kingsmill with your caddie?

PAULA CREAMER: On the Tuesday practice round, we played early that day. On the fourth hole he was walking into a bunker. And the bunkers, they redid the course, and they have now it's much steeper. I went and chipped and he went down the bunker and he never came up. I hear my name being called and I kind of look over and I'm like, "What are you doing down there?" He's rolling on the ground and I heard a crack and a pop. Luckily there was two other caddies. I was playing by myself; they were walking the course with us and I told them, "Will you please help him out of the bunker." It was broke in three places and immediately in surgery. He has a plate and some rods and screws.

Q. Having dealt with your caddie that broke his ankle, graduating from high school next week and you're on the top of the leaderboard in an LPGA as a rookie, how are you handling all of those things coming at you at once, really?

PAULA CREAMER: I'm enjoying it and I think it's fun. This is probably so far one of my favorite golf courses that we've played. It's always nice to be at the top of the leaderboard. I think anybody would be enjoying that. You know, I am looking forward to next week, and hopefully we can pull off a win for that. That would be a lot of fun. But just taking it in day by day and shot by shot.

Q. Just getting back to the question I asked before, would you describe yourself as very competitive, as opposed to some of your people you grew up playing against or whatnot? Is that something that you sort of take pride in?

PAULA CREAMER: I'm incredibly competitive. It's hard for me to lose, but I learn a lot from that. I think anybody does, but I take everything I do very seriously and I'm going to give it my all. I've always been like that no matter what, no matter what it was. I've always said like jokingly, first in line kind of thing, like that; it's always been me.

Q. Sort of along those lines, it seems a couple times this week, and it happens quite a bit with you, is you'll make a bogey or a big number of some sort and then you'll come back.

PAULA CREAMER: A big number? I hope not.

Q. A 5 on a par 4 or whatever it is, and then you'll comeback with a birdie which seems to speak to your resilience or something like that.

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I've always been that kind of bounceback kind of thing. After bogey you've always got to get it back. The next two holes after my double, just stayed patient with it. And I've always been a fighter, I guess you could say. The round is not over until it's over. I keep looking at the leaderboard to get some momentum out there. I mean, it was cold and not the best conditions of the day, but it's a moving day kind of thing.

Q. You are a rookie out here and I'm curious, who do you have traveling with you and what family do you have here, if any, or are you just kind of here with your caddie?

PAULA CREAMER: No, my mom and dad are here with me. They travel to so far every event. I can't do a lot of things, I can't rent cars and stuff like that, so they have to come along. But I have a great team around me. My coach comes out every once in awhile. I have a sports psychologist; he comes out every once in awhile, too. He's been to two events so far. I'm surrounded with great people and I think that's helped me a lot in a good circle.

Q. Is this as good as you've played all year, just swinging the club, ball striking, all that?

PAULA CREAMER: I don't think no. I've hit the ball better, but other things didn't go along real well. I started to hit the ball much better this past week. I mean, the last two weeks that we've had, it was terrible. It was awful. It could only get better from there.

I'm starting to play better than what I was. I think in Mexico, that's when I was hitting the ball the best.

Q. Had you worked on anything coming into the week?

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, just more sufficient with my practicing and more practicing. I kind of stopped doing that. I thought that I was getting too good to practice, I guess you could say in kind of a way. Now I know that playing isn't going to make you No. 1 player in the world; you've got to practice, also.

Q. What was your last victory in any type of format, and what will you recall from that for this weekend?

PAULA CREAMER: Hmmm, last victory, Q School, when I won there. I mean, I won by five there. So that was a sufficient number right there, quite large. Coming from that, that was five days there and you just stayed patient throughout the week and I did that. There was a rainy day one day I remember, I think it was the third day, and that's when I started pulling away from the players.

Q. That kind of pressure cooker, is it a perfect type of venue where you learn how to that's where you're playing for your card, your future, is that as good of a pressure cooker test as any LPGA event?

PAULA CREAMER: I would think so. I always play well well, I think that I always play well when I have to do something, when I have to make a birdie, then I feel that's when I play my best and knowing that to be aggressive, that's kind of like my game, I'm pretty aggressive out there.

That was a big situation that weekend. I went into it I went into it not thinking it was the biggest situation that there was at the moment because I had a lot of options. But it was down, coming on the last day and I knew it was there.

Q. You mentioned your fondness for the course, can you mention what it is about Wykagyl that you enjoy?

PAULA CREAMER: I love old, traditional style golf courses, tree lined, narrow fairways and tough greens. I kind of grew up on a course like this, so that brings back fond memories.

Q. What course?

PAULA CREAMER: Castlewood Country Club. It's in northern California in Pleasanton. It's similar, you have kind of up and down lies and the greens, you never have a straight putt and I like that. I like a tricky golf course, and I always play better when it puts premium on things.

Q. Is there a veteran out on the Tour who has taken you under their wing, showed you the ropes a bit?

PAULA CREAMER: Lorie Kane is my, I guess you could call big sister out on TOUR. She helps me through a lot of different things and tells me different things I need to learn about golf courses and just about the schedule.

Nancy Lopez has been there for me for a while. She's been very, very generous in talking to me and helping me through what I'm going through since she was at the same point.

Q. Can you give an example of some words of wisdom she may have given you?

PAULA CREAMER: Lorie or Lorie, all the time, she's just saying: You have another week, there's always a week out there and keep your head up. You're learning and things like that. I talk to her on the phone and she's been very, very, very helpful in my situation, so I think that I take that pretty well.

Q. On the men's side, the British Open is now open to women through qualifying of the John Deere, for example. Michelle Wie has talked about maybe one day playing on both tours. As her peer, does that interest you at all or are your goals more LPGA?

PAULA CREAMER: Right now I have no desire right now to do that. There's a lot of things I want to do on the LPGA Tour, let alone think about PGA TOUR right now. But maybe some day, but not right now.

Q. Forgive me if you've answered this yesterday, but you have a high school graduation coming up.

PAULA CREAMER: Next week, yes.

Q. What is the official name of that high school and what town is that?

PAULA CREAMER: The Pendleton. It's in Bradenton, Florida. I went to the David Leadbetter Golf Academy there and that's where it's at.

Q. I know athletes and coaches, the old one game at a time, and golfers, it's one stroke at a time, but to hypothesize a little bit, you being young could look ahead, how about the idea of maybe winning an LPGA event and going to your high school graduation having already done that, has that jumped into your head?

PAULA CREAMER: A lot. I think about it a lot out on the golf course, it would be nice to come back with a win, graduating.

Like I said, there's a lot of golf left, 36 holes, and lots that can happen out there. Weather is a big part of it. That would be nice. I would like that. That's what we're hoping.

Q. And you seem to be enjoying yourself and not high pressure on yourself. Do I read that right?

PAULA CREAMER: My expectations are incredibly high of what I do out on the golf course. If I may not show it, thank you very much, but it sure is going on inside, I can tell you that.

I've always been lately I've been very, what's the word, anxious out on the golf course and I've been trying to calm down and just take it easy. I've always been very on the go. It's hard for me to sit still and on the golf course, it's not what you want to do, so that's what I've been like.

JOEL LAMP: Thanks a lot, Paula.

End of FastScripts.

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