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April 24, 2008

James Blake

Paula Creamer


ASHLEY CUSHMAN: Paula and James, thanks for coming in and joining us today. Great round out there Paula. James, not too bad yourself. Paula's final score was a 3-under par, 68. Bogey on the 5th hole. Birdie on 6, birdie on 8 and 9. I'm just clarifying because the scorecard in there was wrong. Birdie on 11. Bogey on 14. Birdie on 16.
We'll have details in the transcript for you guys. Paula, if you could just talk about your round for a moment. And, James, if you could just follow up what she says with your thoughts.
PAULA CREAMER: I hit the ball well today. Struggling a little bit at the beginning trying to make some putts, but I came strong. I made a couple and I felt pretty confident, probably the most confident I've been standing over the ball putting and hitting in quite some time, so that was good.
Overall, just try to get as many looks at birdies. The golf course is playing pretty tough with all the undulations. However, there are some pins you can go at.
I'll take 68 and three more days.
ASHLEY CUSHMAN: James, your thoughts.
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, her round was great. I didn't help her very much. I kind of let her down, but I felt like it was a lot of fun, so...
That's my main goal here. And, yeah, I was very impressed with the mental aspect of the game of golf.
Obviously I played a few times, but it's very different out here seeing a real tournament and seeing it up close. It's kind of the best view I could get. And to be also impressed with other athletes in other sports and other genders as well. I haven't been a part of too many other women's sports competitions.
ASHLEY CUSHMAN: Paula, you've got a smile on your face. So has this Pro-Am lived up to your expectations so far of coming out here for a unique event and playing with your friend?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, this is great. Like I said, it's probably the most fun I've had on a golf course in a long time. I enjoyed myself out there. It took a lot of, not necessarily pressure, but the fact that you have a partner and, you know, when he's down you need to be there and that kind of thing.
Didn't happen too many times. You had your own birdies and eagles and things like that. So that was nice. But it was just a great time. Long round, but it was fun.
JAMES BLAKE: Because you get to laugh at my shots.

Q. James, probably about the start of the fifth hour of the round it probably felt like a five-setter. You're probably not used to playing such long rounds of golf. How tough was the concentration level when you get that late into a round?
JAMES BLAKE: I learned something today: You have to bring food. I didn't know that. Normally where I'm playing there might be a cart girl come around or a hot dog at the turn or something. I guess that doesn't happen here.
Tomorrow I'll have plenty more food. It is tough to battle that. Obviously they're prepared much better. It's similar to the way we would prepare for a five-setter.
We're used to dealing with those kind of conditions and they're used to dealing with these, so they're obviously much better. I think that you saw that, in fact, the pros played a lot better toward the end of the round than our ams.
We might've had our moments there early on, but towards the end we were probably a little spent. They are much more prepared for that.
PAULA CREAMER: We're bringing a supermarket out tomorrow. I'm having as much food as there could be possible.

Q. Paula, Annika compared it to almost like a U.S. Open.

Q. (Question regarding pin placement.)
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I agree with what you're saying. My caddie and I talked about it earlier in the week. It reminded me a lot of St. Andrews, something like that, a British Open kind of golf course. You gotta hit it in a certain spot with the wind and everything like that.
You're not going for pins. There's a lot of, not necessarily luck, but so many undulations in the greens that if you mishit it a little bit you could with somewhere in another little time zone out in this golf course.
It is. I mean, it does take a toll on you. I found myself a couple times wandering out there and would have to start over my routine and focus. There's a lot going on, and that's something you're not necessarily used to. I'm pleased with how I managed it.

Q. Paula, obviously you're playing for your score but trying for the team to do well to make the cut. How much you measure that for success. And then kind of a follow up to his question: How do you balance? Would it have been better to put some pins in the middle first couple days just to get it around so guys can play a little quicker and the amateurs can have more fun? What are your thoughts on that?
PAULA CREAMER: No, there were some fair pins. There were some -- there were. I mean...

Q. (No microphone.)
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, it wasn't easy for me.
PAULA CREAMER: I think that's the problem. There's not many places where you can put them in easier spots. There's a couple that there are only three places you can put a pin. That's the just the shape of the greens and the undulations.
Honestly, there's hardly any places out there. Some of the greens today, Juli and I were like, Wow, we didn't think you could put a pin there.

Q. Did you find food?
JAMES BLAKE: She had a couple bars for me.
PAULA CREAMER: I gave him some.
JAMES BLAKE: Actually, trainer is going to be my caddie tomorrow and he is the one that always forces food in me, so it'll be perfect.
He'll bring, like she said, probably a whole shopping cart worth of food for tomorrow.
PAULA CREAMER: If not, we'll order something and we'll have it delivered.

Q. Did you ever find yourself over a shot where you were sympathetic for your amateur partner having to hit a shot into that pin?
PAULA CREAMER: There was a couple. A couple of the Par 3s are difficult pin placements definitely. Whenever we have big left to right winds I get a little nervous for him, that's for sure. He likes to hit the banana off the tee.
JAMES BLAKE: I don't like to. (Laughter.)
PAULA CREAMER: So when we're on those kind of holes I'm thinking, All right James. (Laughter) Aim it far enough left.
No, there was, it was difficult out there. Obviously. I shot 3-under and I played a solid round of golf. So that's normally the-middle-of-the-pack kind of thing.

Q. For either of you, the fact that you did shoot 3-under and you're one shot off the pace, how much do you think chemistry maybe played a part in that in being able to have some laughs and stay loose under all these conditions?
PAULA CREAMER: It helped me a lot. I made two bogeys out there, and immediately after those two bogeys James came over to me. Normally, that's not happening out there. It's just me by myself thinking. And it helped. It really did for me.
JAMES BLAKE: If I could take any sort of credit for the fact that she's as good as she is I would be happy to take it. But I don't think I could with a clear conscience take credit for her shooting 68.

Q. You clearly enjoyed yourself the first couple days. Is this a format that's just tailor made for somebody like you?
PAULA CREAMER: Umm, I don't know. I guess it's just this is fun. I don't know how else to put it. I'm out here and I'm playing the game that I love with somebody that is phenomenal at what he does and he's kind of come into my office. I think it's neat.
I think it's exciting that you can bring athletes to the golf course. At the same time, I do have a tournament that I'm trying to win. At the same time, I'm also trying to win a team tournament.

End of FastScripts

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