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September 7, 2006

Paula Creamer


THE MODERATOR: Paula, thanks for coming in and joining us today.

PAULA CREAMER: No problem.

THE MODERATOR: You finished here real well last year. Second place. Talk about being back here in Tulsa first.

PAULA CREAMER: I love the golf course. Definitely one of my favorites that we play all year. It fits my game really well. You have to hit fairways, you have to hit good iron shots. It's in great shape. I'm really excited to be here. I'm pumped for this this week. I'm ready to go after the week off I had last week.

THE MODERATOR: Talk about your season this year. You haven't won this year, but played very well.

PAULA CREAMER: You know, it's been one of those things that I really haven't had four good rounds of golf. I played good, played solid. I think I've hit the ball better and I've putted better than I did last year. Just haven't found it. There's a lot of good people playing really well, a lot more competition as well. Everybody's just always in the hunt.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Paula.

Q. You said the course really suits your game well. Are there a couple holes that stand out that you can really take advantage of, get a round going?

PAULA CREAMER: Well, you have to do well on the par 5s out here. I think that's a big key. Some of the par 4s are pretty long. You have 185 yards into a couple of them. You get your pars on those holes, you move on, you try and eliminate your mistakes.

Your short game has to be very good when you're here and you play. But there's not really certain holes out there, I feel. There's a couple holes where you have 9 irons, 8 irons into them, you have to take advantage of it. You got to go out, try and eliminate the mistakes.

Q. What do you remember of that final round last year? You were hanging in there, getting close to the lead, but...

PAULA CREAMER: I mean, I played good that whole week. I hit the ball well. I remember I putted well. But I had a couple bogeys coming down the stretch. I made a lot of birdies at the beginning to put me in contention, but I didn't finish quite as strongly as I wanted to.

I feel much more comfortable on the finishing holes this year than I did last year.

Q. Do you have a hand or wrist injury?


Q. Has it been a season long thing?

PAULA CREAMER: I mean, it seems like it's been around forever. It's so much better now. It's almost I'd say a hundred percent. But, you know, I do a lot of rehab with it, strengthen it. I keep it taped every time I hit a golf ball.

Q. Is it something that's altered your swing or anything?

PAULA CREAMER: Before, when it was bothering me, definitely. It started before at ShopRite is when it came about.

But, I mean, it was difficult playing through that stretch because we had majors right in there, big tournaments coming up. I had to kind of fight through it.

Q. You won before you graduated from high school. Two months later you win again. Has that made this season more difficult for you?

PAULA CREAMER: A little bit. I mean, obviously I had such a good year last year. I wanted to do double as good as I did last year. It's one of those things that you just have to learn. I can't put as much pressure on as I did the beginning of the year.

My expectations and my goals were so high going into this year, I think I just didn't really give myself a good chance out there in the beginning. Now I've kind of settled down. I've hit the ball better, put myself in more chances to win an event. It's just I've kind of struggled coming down the stretch.

Q. You've been really close a bunch of times this year.


Q. Is it just having a good last round?

PAULA CREAMER: Oh, yeah. To me it's just a couple holes out there. It's not that I'm playing poorly the whole tournament. It's just three or four holes that I have to play better in, then I'll give myself a chance.

My short game hasn't been very good. I've been practicing it a lot the last several weeks, starting to get better. I mean, that's where it has to come down to. Nobody is going to hit 18 greens every day. You have to be able to get up and down.

Q. What is the major difference or surprise between year one and year two on tour for you?

PAULA CREAMER: Just finding time to have I guess my own time really. I'm learning how to manage that, learning how to know when it's golf time, when it's not golf time. I think I've just had too much of it. Everything's happened so fast. I'm learning how to deal with that.

But it's not easy. I mean, it's definitely difficult out here. You travel a lot. But, you know, overall I think the more time I'm out here, the more I find it's easier to get. At the beginning of the year, I was kind of struggling, but it's getting better.

Q. Is that something now with more experience, you can learn how to budget how many weeks in a row you want to play?

PAULA CREAMER: Definitely, right. That's all the stuff you have to learn. You have to trial and error. That's what it's all about right now, is trying to find what works for me out on the golf course. I'm starting to get on a really good routine I think to help me to do that.

I have so much energy, so it's hard for me just to sit down. I need to learn how to do that (laughter).

Q. I think you told us if you weren't playing professionally, you would be over at Stillwater.

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I went over there, I looked at it. It was awesome. It was a great practice facility.

Q. Annika seems to be somewhat similar to Tiger is in the men's tournament. People seem to pay attention to where she is on the leaderboard. I know not everyone does that. Is that something you do, see who is where?

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, that's another thing, I've always been such a leaderboard watcher. I've tried to tone that down a little bit. I tend to put it's not necessary. You can't control what other people are doing, you can only control yourself.

Yeah, I mean, I think everybody is very aware of what number is leading in a tournament, of course.

Q. There's some professional players, they don't want to know what's going on.


Q. How hard is that habit for you to try to break?

PAULA CREAMER: I mean, personally I think it's more of me not looking at it early on in the week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. More Sunday is where you need to know where you're at. That's the big thing. I'm trying to learn how to do it.

Like I said, you just have to go out there and do it in a tournament. That's the only time you can really practice it.

Q. Weather conditions are similar to last year. 5 under won last year. Is that a target score going into this week?

PAULA CREAMER: I think it's going to be a little lower than it was last year. I mean, like I said, the golf course is in great shape. In other words, it could be higher or it could be I think we're just going to have to see what the pin placements are out there, how things are going.

The rough is thicker I think this year than it was last year. The greens are rolling a lot better. They're so true, they're so quick. That's a good thing. It's either make more putts or it's more difficult. It can go both ways.

Q. Some courses on tour, you know it's going to be a birdie fest.

PAULA CREAMER: Right, this is not a birdie fest.

Q. Do you like that, though?

PAULA CREAMER: I like that. I like hard golf courses.

Q. Do you have to adjust your mindset when it's a 54 hole tournament as opposed to 72 holes? The starts may be more imperative than a 72 hole tournament.

PAULA CREAMER: Well, of course. I mean, it's only two days three days instead of four. That's 18 holes.

I prefer four day rounds. There's nothing I can do about it. I just got to go out and play good golf and start off quickly and strong.

Q. How is your wrist?

PAULA CREAMER: It's much better. It's just now for precaution I have to keep it taped. I said earlier I have to do a lot of rehab for it.

Q. Does it hurt at impact at all?

PAULA CREAMER: No, huh uh.

Q. Did you ever contemplate taking two, three weeks off to help the wrist get well?

PAULA CREAMER: Yes, but I didn't. But I'm a fighter. I can't sit there and not do something. I want to play. I want to fight through it. I felt that I could play, and I did.

Q. What would you do if you had to?

PAULA CREAMER: I have no idea. I mean, I just would have been at home trying to get it better, work out a lot more, I guess. There's not much.

Q. Catch up watching TV.

PAULA CREAMER: That's why I'm not doing that. I can't do it.

Q. At this point your wrist feels good enough, you feel good enough, your game is good enough, you feel like you can really finish strong here?

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I really want to finish strong this year, end up with some good scores, just play to my expectations, the way I feel I'm capable of playing. Like I said, I've hit the ball really well this year. Just nothing has kind of come out of any of it.

Q. Does that mean it's a short game thing?

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, a little bit. My short game has not been what it was last year. Just not getting up and down enough. Like I said, I hit more putts. Putting wise my stats aren't as good as they were last year, but my scoring average is just as good as it was. Too many bogeys. That's my problem, I just have way too many mistakes, careless mistakes out there.

Q. How frustrated are you that you haven't won this year?

PAULA CREAMER: I mean, I'm frustrated. Obviously I want to win. At the same time I can't force it. Just have to let it happen. I know I've put the hard work in. I know I've been practicing really good for it. It's just a matter of when the golf course fits my game. I really feel comfortable out on this golf course.

Q. Watching Lorena, up on all the categories on Annika. Do you get excited that that's possible? She's kind of had hold on Player of the Year.

PAULA CREAMER: Lorena has been playing awesome. She's on fire out there. She's always in contention. I think personally she has the best short game out on tour. She gets up and down. Chipping is so good. I think watching that, it's going to elevate the game.



End of FastScripts.

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