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May 4, 2008

Paula Creamer


MIKE SCANLAN: Paula, congratulations.
MIKE SCANLAN: It's got to feel great coming off last week to pull off the playoff win. Just talk about your victory today.
PAULA CREAMER: It was something that I grinded out all day long. I was not going to lose this week. I was going to win this golf tournament, and I did in the playoff. Unfortunately, it had to go into a playoff, but I can tell you I was 120% prepared going into that from last week.
And Collin and I would were getting into the car going here we go again. This is my turn this time. And, you know, things went my way.
But at the same time I was thinking, you know, last year Jules was in the playoff also so she's probably thinking this year's her turn. So, you know, I had to kind of fight that little bit much more harder.
MIKE SCANLAN: Questions?

Q. (No microphone.)
PAULA CREAMER: That is. You know, going into it I was just -- I mean I missed that putt in regulation and I kind of just lost myself thinking, What are you doing, you know. This is two weeks in a row that you're playing good golf and there's no reason why you should be going into a playoff.
But I was much more -- I guess you could say, I don't think alert is the right word, but prepared just mentally, you know, knowing what I'm going to feel, knowing the emotions that I'm going to have on the putting green, knowing the emotions I'll have on the first tee. I just felt very in control, I guess is the biggest thing, because of what happened last week.

Q. What would have been -- do you allow yourself to consider what it would have been like to have gone two weeks in a row of losing a late lead and not winning? Do you allow yourself to think that?
PAULA CREAMER: No. I mean if it ever did creep into my mind it was immediately, What are you thinking. But it didn't.
Like I said, I was -- I had one goal in mind this week and that was to win this golf tournament. And, you know, I came, I did my business, and, you know, now it's on to Kings Mill.
But it feels so much better, I mean, I can tell you than last week. Last week it was a struggle. This will be a nice little plane ride home instead of a three-hour car ride home.

Q. Can you talk about the putts on the last regulation hole and the play on the two playoff holes, the distances and how you felt like each one?
PAULA CREAMER: Do you want me to do my scorecard and then that? Can I look at it?
PAULA CREAMER: Bogey on 2. I hit a 4-iron way right, almost shank. Then I missed about a 15-footer with my chip. Birdie on 3. Probably one of the best birdies that I've had in a long time. That was phenomenal. I hit my 3-wood in the right bunker. I had a little theme there for a while, everything was right. Then 5-iron out to about, I'd say, maybe 20 feet just over the green in the hole. Bogey on 7. Driver. I hit a 7-iron right. I had about a 35, 40-footer and I missed about a 2.5-footer. Birdie on 8. Driver 7-iron to a foot. Bogey on 13. 4 rescue to about 30 feet. And I missed about a 2.5, 3-footer. Bogey on 18. No, excuse me, birdie on 13. Driver, 4-iron. I laid up to about 80 yards, and I hit to about three feet, two feet. Bogey on 18. Driver 5-iron, way too much club, left long. And I missed about a 12-footer. Playoff hole I went driver 7-iron to about 12 feet, same line pretty much. First one broke a lot more and the second one hardly moved which was unfortunate. But next hole, 10, driver 7-iron to about, I don't know, 6 feet, 8 feet, 8 feet. Thank you.

Q. You hit the shot too long the last hole regulation, looked like you had to take a couple of drops. Can you explain that?
PAULA CREAMER: Believe it or not, I actually went down a club. I was going to hit a 4-iron into this green, but we probably would be sending it right into the TV tower instead of underneath it. But I hit it underneath the tower so I took a drop from that. Then I took a drop because of the cords, which was a ground repair because they had to dig a drench. Then I dropped it into -- I mean I made a decent chip. I thought it wasn't going to move that much but it went straight left to ride which was odd. And I didn't make a very good up and down there which was not very good.

Q. Nancy Lopez just call to congratulate you?
PAULA CREAMER: She called me like five times but that was the first time I talked to her. I called her on the way here. She's probably calling saying I'm watching you, I'm watching you.

Q. Nancy's the only player to accomplish as much at age 21 that you have. What's that mean to be in that kind of company?
PAULA CREAMER: It's pretty cool. It's neat. You know, nancy, she has done so much for women's golf and she's influenced a lot of my golf, especially now. Ever since Solheim Cup we've become very close. To be put in the same category as her is quite an honor.

Q. (No microphone.)
PAULA CREAMER: No. She's too competitive. She'd say I wasn't in there. (Laughing).

Q. You win twice as a rookie then don't win when you have the sophomore slump. That young do you ever think, oh my gosh, I'm never going to win again, is that a goofy thing to even think?
PAULA CREAMER: My second year out thinking I'm never going to win again? No. I guess that's the good thing, the positive to look at that, that people were thinking my second year I'm never going to win. There's so many players out here that haven't won and been out for years. To have that -- but, at the same time, that's the expectations that I have and that people have for me, which is something that I've learned to kind of deal with.
You know, and I think it's -- you know, I put the most pressure on myself, more than anybody does out here, the media or anything like that. And, you know, when I don't meet my expectations in what I want to do I'm the hardest one.
But it was, it was a difficult sophomore year. But, you know, we got through it and now we're on to my fourth year.

Q. Paula, just talk about the focus that you had because I know you missed a short birdie on 6?

Q. Had a lip out on 7 then came back and stuck a birdie on 8. Just seemed like you kept putting them down the middle and putting yourself in position?
PAULA CREAMER: I tried. Every time I had a bogey I bounced right back with a birdie, which was something I was really proud about today. I kind of let it get away with a couple short putts but I'd come right back with a birdie and hit it close.
But I did -- my putter and I, we just did not want to work well. My speed was so bad, just didn't have any confidence, that's unfortunate. It was something that I had to kind of get over. But I kept looking at it as well you keep giving yourself chances and you keep making those pars they're going to have on go out and make all these birdies which is kind of hard to do.
But, at the same time, if I had a couple more putts drop I think it could have been a different story.

Q. Paula, did you feel any sense of relief when Juli hit into both extra holes 50 feet away from the green knowing that she was likely putting for pars on both of those and you would have that birdie shot to win on both? Did it at least give you a little bit of a chance to take a breath?
PAULA CREAMER: Um, yes. I mean, she was -- but, you know, the two putts that she made, I don't know how they didn't go in. There was such good putts I'm thinking oh my goodness you know this is unbelievable. But, you know, you have to go into match play at that moment. And you have to imagine everything is going to go in the hole.
When I was in the regulation I knew she was going to make that putt. I just knew she would, mentally. And going into it in the other holes that's all I thought about. I knew I'd have to make my putt, and I focused that much more on that.

Q. Can you talk about what things were you focusing on your swing coming in the final stretch? I noticed your caddy helping you with your balance?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah. He held my head ever since the 4th tee all day long. It's just one of my tendencies I tend to go back to especially when you are-under pressure. We were just trying to, you know, figure something out that would help me throughout the round. And it did.
Ever since the fourth tee I hit some really good shots, just my putting kind of let me down. But that's something that I think I can take away as knowing what's happening from past tournaments and past experiences, my tendencies. And for Collin to know that too that just makes it much more, you know, trust involved.

Q. Technique wise, does holding your head, does that fight anything specific?
PAULA CREAMER: Well I tend to, I guess, my right leg actually straightens in my golf swing and it looks like I'm diving at the ball, and it just helps me keep my chest high and keep my head high. So I can have better width in my golf swing. And it's just something that triggers it and it's helped me and it did today that's for sure.

Q. I understand the deal with the pink ball. Was it tough to lobby to get approval to use that on tour?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, no. We don't have any regulation. It just has to be a confirmed ball through the USGA.

Q. This victory's so much different than the other. I mean you mentioned the birdies following every bogey today, and this seem like a win of resiliency. Do you think it's going to be more valuable down the road than maybe the previous?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, yeah, I learned a lot. I just grinded. I really did. I just grinded the whole day. I was not -- I was going to win this golf tournament. I kept telling myself that and I kept telling myself, Okay just stay patient, confident, this is why you practice, this is why you have to come out and do this every day. And I've always remembered that I play my best-under pressure.
And, you know, I knew in that playoff with what was on the line and what happened last week that, you know, I was going to win this golf tournament.

Q. First time you won without your dad around?

Q. Is there any chance you'll tell him to stay home?
PAULA CREAMER: I talked to him when I was driving up, my mom and dad. My mom's in California and my dad's in Florida right now. And my dad -- he goes -- he said it himself. He says, I'm so proud of you. You did it yourself. You went out there.
You know, I talked to him twice today. In the morning and right after my round. And he said you did it. And I think that was the biggest thing, just knowing that I can come out here and I can win on my own, which was -- you know, it's kind of sad not to have mom and dad here, that's for sure, but it definitely helps my confidence in knowing that in the future I can win.

Q. What is different with him here?

Q. Wasn't reading your putts or anything?
PAULA CREAMER: No. But having your mom and dad here I always have little routines that I do with them. You know things kind of change with that. And you know dinners are different. It's just me by myself thinking about things and it's just a different feeling. It's nice to have them but it's nice to learn, you know, how to do things kind of on your own.

Q. (No microphone.)
PAULA CREAMER: I didn't do much that's for sure.

Q. (No microphone.)
PAULA CREAMER: I would go eat dinner and I would come home and I'd watch a movie. The I do my workout and that was it every day. In my bed at 9:00. Pretty exciting. (Laughing). I am in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you know, I can't really get in too much trouble. (Laughing).

Q. Is that a good thing for this town?
PAULA CREAMER: That's a great thing. Heck, if I am going to win here, I'll come here and live here, shoot.

Q. Did you think with the conditions being the way they were today that somebody in the top ten might throw a 65 or 66 out there, did you think that could happen?
PAULA CREAMER: Um, I mean it was in my mind. Before I went out I looked at some of the scores to see what everybody was doing and nobody was really making any big push. So I knew that it was playing pretty -- not difficult but it was playing not birdie golf. You know, as the scoreboard showed it. Two-under Par 1 was the golf tournament. Was it J.J. who had the best round today?

Q. (No microphone.)
PAULA CREAMER: What did she shoot?

Q. 4-under.
PAULA CREAMER: I didn't think anybody would do better than 5 or 6-under par.

Q. Ever won a tournament over par?
PAULA CREAMER: I don't think so. I don't think so.

Q. How about this event being 72 holes, do you like that?
PAULA CREAMER: Without a doubt. This golf course, it's everybody's game for four days. I think all good players want it to do be, you know, the more golf the better.
I've always preferred four-day tournaments. And especially the people keep asking about it, this is a major type golf course and for sure, definitely these four days it was, that's for sure.

Q. If possible, did you gain more respect for Juli Inkster today?
PAULA CREAMER: I thought that putt that she made on 18 was clutch. I thought that was unbelievable. I've always said, you know, she's been my role models and that proves every word that I've ever said, just that heart. She has so much -- just wants everything so badly. And I knew she was with going to make that, and she did. I told Collin, I said, You know, that's why I like her so much.

Q. Did Morgan hang around just to watch you because you guys are buddies? Pressel.
PAULA CREAMER: I would like to say I hope so. (Laughing). We are buddies, but it was nice that she came out. She came out on the playoff hole and watched.
MIKE SCANLAN: All right, Paula, congratulations. Thanks for coming in.

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