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June 3, 2009

Paula Creamer


JASON TAYLOR: Welcome to the Springfield media center. You've enjoyed a pretty nice year so far. You have a couple top three finishes. You've come close a couple times this year. If you would, just talk about the year, just being here in Springfield.
PAULA CREAMER: Well, thank you for coming. Yeah, I'm excited to be here. This is my first time playing in this event. I'm really looking forward to the tournament starting tomorrow. I think this golf course is totally determined on the wind. Every day so far that I've played it has been a different type of wind, a different type of condition.
But it sets up really well for my game. You have to focus on your iron shots. There's really small greens out here. You can't make a lot of mistakes. You have to keep it in the short grass and hit as many greens as you can.
JASON TAYLOR: Questions.

Q. This is your first time here, so your frame of reference is new or different than the players that have been here for a couple years. They've lengthened up a few holes. Do you remember 15, a little bit of a dogleg left? It's been lengthened up somewhat. What do you think of it as a golf hole? In the past, it was up where they could cut it.
PAULA CREAMER: It's a good hole. Like I said earlier, depending on the wind on that hole, you can take it over those trees, if it's downwind. Today, it's straight left to right. Makes it difficult to even hit that fairway just because of where you're landing the ball.
But you still have a long iron going into it, 5-iron, 6-iron. It's nice to have that hole when you have a reachable par 5 right after it.
I think that stretch on that side, with the par 3 before, it's a great hole. You have that par 5. The back nine to me seems like you really ought to hit better golf shots, just more key things coming down the stretch.

Q. Does this course remind you of a few that you ladies have played on the tour over the last couple years?
PAULA CREAMER: I think the layout reminds me of in Columbus when we played the Wendy's tournament. I forget what the golf course is called. I'm sorry. The layout reminds me of that.
The rough, however, is thick. It's kind of like -- almost like a major, when we have that thick rough that you can't hit 5-irons out of it. If you have a good lie, maybe you can. But you've got to really think. Especially around the greens, it makes it really difficult.

Q. You mentioned the rough, kind of how it's set up a bit like a major. Does this course feel like a major? Is that a good kind of segue going into next week?
PAULA CREAMER: I think the rough is definitely very beneficial playing in this before next week. When I practice in Florida, we don't have that, so it's nice to be able to practice it.
At the same time, you know, this golf course requires proper golf shots. You have to be able to hit fades. You have to be able to hit drives. That's what I like. Especially if it's windy. The harder the conditions out here, you know, I feel the better I play just because it makes it so much more difficult.

Q. What about the field in general? 49 of the top 50 money winners are here. How does this feel compared to anything that you're gonna face?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, you just said it. We're missing one person. I mean, that's amazing. It's great. I think all tournaments should be like that. I really feel that this tournament deserves that. I believe this is, what, the 34th year. It should have a top field. The volunteers, everything about it has earned that, earned that respect. It's earned the top players.

Q. Is the scheduling change the biggest factor in it?
PAULA CREAMER: I think in the past it has been. But at the same time, you know, it's important to play. You know, I think it's very important to come to this event. Like I said, this is my first time here. People have been saying about the one in four rule, but it doesn't affect me this year. I chose to come here. I feel like it's necessary for my preparation for other events, as well.

Q. If it had been in September or mid July like it was in the past, would the field be the same?
PAULA CREAMER: I don't know. I don't know. It depends on the schedule of the tournaments.

Q. I know it's been talked about a lot, you're probably tired of these questions, but you've been having the stomach problems. Where does it stand right now? Is it a factor still somewhat?
PAULA CREAMER: It has its moments. I'm not on my medication anymore, which is a positive. It was hard taking a lot of pills and being out in the sun all day long.
But I am feeling better. I've gained most of my weight back. I'm back to my normal health-wise, that condition. I can still feel myself at times. I have my moments. I pretty much can eat what I want now. Haven't gotten sick or anything like that, which is the best part.

Q. Were they ever really able to pin it down? They ruled out really serious things, but...
PAULA CREAMER: No. My doctors, they haven't found anything, which I guess is a good thing. At the same time it would have been nice to have known exactly what it was from. Maybe it was bad luck. I don't know. I take, you know, pretty good care of myself when I leave the country. I do everything that they say to do. It's just maybe something happened.
But it's unfortunate. It was hard. I can tell you these last couple months have been really difficult just being 22 years old out here, feeling not like I'm 22. I've said it a couple times, that golf is so hard when you're feeling a hundred percent. When you're not feeling it, it just makes life a little bit more difficult.

Q. You had several second places. You've come close this year. Even though you didn't win at Corning a couple weeks ago, that last putt, with your grandfather there, I don't know if you've had a chance to watch it, but in your career, even though you didn't win, is that still one of your favorite moments?
PAULA CREAMER: It was a huge moment. Just seeing my grandpa, because the balcony -- the pin was back left, but he always sits on that balcony right behind the 18th hole. A camera guy actually took pictures of him right after I made it. I saw them. It was the neatest thing. He's sitting there, his hands are up in the air. It's just so special just having my family there, and it being the last putt of the tournament, let alone for the event. It was pretty special.
I felt like I won that event in itself. But Yani played awesome. I couldn't have done anything else so...

Q. Even though this is a new course for you, a new event, with a really outstanding field here this week, with the stomach stuff and everything, do you feel as good as you felt going into a tournament so far this year?
PAULA CREAMER: I'm really working on things in my golf swing right now. I feel very confident. I mean, there's no reason why I shouldn't feel confident after the three-week stretch that I just had.
But it is a new golf course. However, I feel very, very comfortable with it. Pretty much what you see is what you get. At the same time it all is determined by the wind. You can hit a lot of long irons into these greens. The next day you can hit a lot of short irons.
But I do, I feel ready to play. The greens are great. That's what I like. I like playing a golf course that is set up well. You either come and play and it's difficult and it's challenging, and that's what I feel. Its name is Panther Creek, how cool is that?

Q. The Solheim is going to be here in Illinois in a couple months. Have you been up there to the course?
PAULA CREAMER: I haven't been up there yet.

Q. From what you've heard about it or anything, what have you heard? Does it sound like it's going to be a good Solheim?
PAULA CREAMER: I hope so. Hopefully. I've heard only good things. Heard it's playing narrow off the tee. Some crazy tee shots that you have to hit. I don't know much more than that. I know that they can set it up in so many different ways. Hopefully we can take that to our advantage, knowing what our team will be before that, seeing how we can handle that.

Q. A couple of practices between now and then?

Q. With tournaments not being every week like in the past, with the breaks, what have you noticed? Does it affect your game not being able to play every week?
PAULA CREAMER: For me, I like playing tournaments in a row. I feel like I can kind of get on I guess a momentum roll. You kind of are used to what you're doing every week and you get more into a play mode rather than week on, week off. I mean, it's nice to be at home, but at the same time I love playing tournaments. That's the biggest thing. I want to be here and I want to play events here.

Q. You almost get sick of practicing in Florida where you'd rather be playing?
PAULA CREAMER: I like to play. I'm not a big practice person. I think it's said and done out on the golf course. For me, I like to play as much as I can. If I miss an event, there's a pretty good reason why I'm not there.

Q. Have you seen it affect your game so far this season?
PAULA CREAMER: The schedule?

Q. Yes.
PAULA CREAMER: Well, just not as many tournaments. I think that's the biggest factor. It's incredibly unfortunate. Hopefully we can all get on the right track again with that.
I wish I could have played more this year so far, yes.
JASON TAYLOR: Thanks, Paula.

End of FastScripts

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