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June 3, 2008

Paula Creamer


DANA GROSS-RHODE: Thank you all for joining us. Paula, you've had a great season so far. You have six wins in your relatively young career, and as for the title player without a major I think you're ready to get rid of that this week.
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I go into every week thinking positively and thinking with confidence and trying to win. The fact that this week's a major, I'm just trying to go into it like any other tournament. I've been able to win under pressure, so there's no reason why I can't win a major.

Q. How is the course playing? Would it help if it dried out?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, the golf course is definitely soft. The greens are very soft. You know, they are not rolling to what they have been in past years. Hopefully by Thursday and by the weekend, they will be quicker.
But no, the rough is very thick. It's very punishing if you miss the fairway. You know, they moved some tees back which makes it a little bit more difficult; 18 is back, the par 3, 12, back a little bit.
They changed the setup and it's a little soft and hopefully we don't get too much rain in the next couple of days so it can dry out.

Q. How far did they move 18 back?
PAULA CREAMER: It's a whole tee box. It's like 25, 30 yards back, I would say.

Q. Did you play today?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I hit 3-wood, rescue into the wind. It's a lot longer.

Q. You already proved you're one of the best in the world, what would winning a major -- what would that mean to you?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, it's a goal of mine to win a major. I really feel that you know, now I've matured a lot over the last couple years being out on Tour. I know what the word patience means and I think that that's the biggest part of going into a major and just knowing that 20-under par might not win; it's going to be ten or so, if the golf course is playing difficult like it should be.
But I really do feel that it's coming around. It's just a matter of time of when it's going to happen, and I think you can't go into an event like you're not going to win, and I really do feel that it's going to happen sooner or later.

Q. A lot of focus on Lorena and Annika, No. 1 and No. 2; is it sort of nice to fly under the radar, or do you feel like you're flying under the radar? Does it bother you? Is it a good thing?
PAULA CREAMER: I guess it's nice. I really think that I've always kind of been under the radar, so it's kind of one of those things where I'm able to go out and play, because Annika has always been the No. 1 player in the world and now Lorena is the No. 1 player in the world.
To me, they are who I'm trying to beat, and they are who is on top right now. You know, Lorena has played some great golf. Her confidence is through the roof, and Annika, it's her last year and she's going to give it her all and go out there and as each major goes by, it's her last one. I really do feel that going into this event, I'm going to have to play my own game, not really worry what they are doing until Sunday, because there are so many other players out here.

Q. Of the majors, where do you rank this one, in terms of comfort level, course, everything?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I've played really well here in the past. I really feel that it's a golf course that you have to make a lot of breaking putts and you have to make -- it comes down to your putting. You know, with the confidence in the putting that I have, I really feel that it suits my game.
Normally, I like the narrow, tree-lined kind of golf courses, but here, if you miss the fairway, you're kind of chipping out, so it's the same thing. It's just not as many trees.

Q. You talk about how you've learned to be patient. Was there a point where you thought that you might be at the level of where you want to be already? Did you think that you would get there faster? When you came there there was an explosion of young players that came in at the same time; what happened to sort of give you the idea that, okay, it's going to take a little longer and more experience?
PAULA CREAMER: To win a major?

Q. To win a major.
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I've always thought I could win a major. There was never any doubt in my mind. There's no reason why I can't. The patience is just kind of learning, going for pins when you can't and just learning and experience. You know, watching other players and reasoning out why Annika has won so many majors; it's because she's so methodical in what she does.
My preparation is the same in all of the events that I've won, but out here you have to be able to make pars and you have to be able to manage yourself when you're in trouble, instead of being quite as aggressive as I normally would be.
Luckily, my caddie, Colin, he's won majors, as well, with other players and I think that that has a lot to do with trusting him out here and knowing that he's going to stop me if he needs to, and I believe that.

Q. Have they talked to you over the years or given you any advice, other players?
PAULA CREAMER: No. No veterans have really helped me out in that department. (Laughing).
Other things they have, but winning a major that, hasn't really come up too many times.
I talked to a couple of players, like Nancy Lopez has always been there for me, and it's just about patience and it's about going out and playing your own game.

Q. Was it a big step for you to win the last time you won without your parents being there?
PAULA CREAMER: Emotionally, yes. You know, just going out and knowing that I can win. My parents have been there so much for me, ever since I started playing golf. And for them not to be there, it was a little different. And they are not going to be with me forever, and you know, I wish they could have been there, but it was -- I think my dad probably doesn't like me saying that, but that's all right.

Q. What was the reaction when you heard the news about Annika retiring, and what legacy will she leave to this game in your opinion?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I was shocked at first, thinking that she's retiring. But you know, what Annika has done for women's golf, it's just amazing. She's leaving as a phenomenal person and a great player.
For what she's done for women's golf, truly you just have to give her everything, because it is what it is today because of Annika and how she has raised the bar so many times for women's golf.

Q. Do you look forward to the next few months knowing it's her last kind of go-around and trying to beat her and supplant her?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I always said I'm not out here playing players until Sunday. But you just kind of have to go out -- I don't really know how to answer that question because of that.
Annika has always been a stand-out player, and I think everybody knows that what she's done is why we're here today.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: Thank you all very much. Paula, good luck this week.

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