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July 10, 2009

Paula Creamer


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Paula Creamer, even though she did an extensive interview at the flash area, was kind enough to come be with us. We appreciate it. First of all, you shot 68 today. Your total is 2 under par. You're doing great. To me, you look so much more relaxed, so much happier. Is that because your physical ailments are improving or not bothering you? Is that why you seem -- or is it just that you shot 68?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I think it's -- you know, being able to play pain-free is very nice, and not having to withdraw or worry about my thumb is a very nice feeling.
However, you know, I played really well today. Well, I managed to get the ball in the hole really well today. I didn't hit the ball quite as well as I envisioned. Mentally I'm pretty tired, I guess you could say. It was a grind out there, you know, confidently making par saves, lots of big breaking putts out there. The pin placements were pretty difficult.
You know, there were certain ones that weren't quite as hard as yesterday, but on different holes today they were much more difficult.
However, the golf course played pretty quick. You know, it's getting firmer out there. The greens are getting very fast. If you get above the hole, you know, you just have to lag it around.
You definitely can't be, you know, not playing break out here, which is what I tried to do this whole week. You know, today was a grind, but hopefully tomorrow I can go out and, you know, kind of fix a couple things on my swing.
RHONDA GLENN: Let's quickly go over the card. You had two birdies I believe on the front 9, No. 5.
PAULA CREAMER: No. 5. Yeah, I went driver -- I hit it in the left bunker, fairway bunker and I had about 155 yards. I hit a 6-iron to about three feet.
The birdie on 9, I had about -- it's a perfect 5-wood for me, about 205 yards to about eight feet.
PAULA CREAMER: 10, I hit it in the fairway bunker left. Had about 105 yards, hit a little pitching wedge to about 25 feet.
RHONDA GLENN: Then you bogeyed 11.
PAULA CREAMER: That bogey on 11 felt like a par. I hit it in the right bunker, and then I actually hit my bunker shot on the top tier, and the pin was on the front right. And then I made about maybe a six-footer for bogey. It was a great putt from up top. I didn't think I could keep it on the green, but somehow I did.
And then the bogey on 13, I hit my drive right in the right rough. I hit a 5-wood up to kind of maybe 10 yards short in the rough and I missed -- I didn't hit a very good chip and missed about a 15-footer.
The birdie on 14, I hit -- what did I hit? Hit a driver, and then I had about 130 yards. I hit a 9-iron to about 30 feet. And then the birdie on 18, driver, 4-iron to pin high on the right. I think it was about 35 feet, and --
PAULA CREAMER: -- I made that. But I didn't give myself as many opportunities from the fairway today, but that was my biggest thing.
RHONDA GLENN: But you made some long putts, particularly on 18. Was that kind of a surprise to do that?
PAULA CREAMER: I've been working so hard on my speed that, you know, a lot of these putts today all had a chance to go in. And that's something I've been really working hard on.
To win a Major championship, it's all about 2-putts, and I've kind of ingrained that in my mind. I talked to Rosie Jones -- it was actually Wednesday night. She was at the same restaurant. We talked, you know, What do you think it takes to win Majors out here?
She said she talked to Hollis Stacy, and she said, It's all about 2-putts. It's something I keep telling myself, and hopefully these next two days I can go out and do it again.
RHONDA GLENN: We'll take questions from the reporters.

Q. Did you accidentally run into Rosie, or did you go out to...
PAULA CREAMER: She was there. Accidentally, yeah.

Q. The other thing is when the putt on 18 went in, your reaction, was that exhaustion or excitement? Tell us what was going through your head.
PAULA CREAMER: It was every emotion you can imagine. It was just -- it was a big breaking putt. Actually I said earlier I practiced that putt about six, seven times in the practice round from that right side, so I knew, you know, where to putt it.
And then for it to go in was just relief. And, you know, not having to grind out the next one -- you know, Colin, on 17, my caddie, goes, All right, Paula, one more, one more hole.
It's exciting. Those are big putts. Those are what keep you going out there. That was nice on the last hole in front of everybody, too.
RHONDA GLENN: How much would you say that putt on 18 broke?
PAULA CREAMER: It was about a good nine feet.

Q. The pink ball, you're using it all four rounds. Tell us about that, the decision. You haven't done it before, have you?
PAULA CREAMER: I have played it before, LPGA events, Corning -- or Jamie Farr, Owens-Corning. I've played it there. But I don't know. Since I didn't play in Jamie Farr last week and play the four balls, I decided, well, why not do it this week?
It's nice -- it's a nice change and it looks good out here on the green grass, so we'll keep it going.

Q. With the greens running as quick as they are, how important is it to leave yourself a second putt that's more or less a tap-in rather than something that's in the four-, five-, six-foot range?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, even sometimes as good as you can do it is five feet, but as long as they're uphill. I keep telling myself, Your next putt has to be uphill. Don't leave yourself -- don't try to get too cute with the big breaking putts and give yourself even a harder putt on the next one.
Those putts are what's so grinding, are those six-, seven-footers. That's why I've been saying about speed. As long as you can get it around that hole and have an uphill putt below, that's all you can ask for.

Q. Is everything about the pink ball exactly the same as the white ball?

Q. Except the color?

Q. Can you see the pink one better in the air?
PAULA CREAMER: I hope so. I mean, it doesn't matter. I'm so used to it. I mean, I see it fine.

Q. So you see the white one fine too in the air?
PAULA CREAMER: The pink one is prettier, though. (laughter)

Q. There has been a lot of talk this year about how the Koreans have dominated the Tour and everything. Granted, we're only 36 holes into it, but we have three Americans at the top of the leaderboard. Is there any significance to that, or...
PAULA CREAMER: I don't think so. I mean, it's just -- it's another week out here. You know, same players play every week, and there's obviously some different ones this week with the amateurs and whatnot, but I can't tell you why there aren't more Koreans or not on the leaderboard.

Q. As you just said, we're only halfway through the tournament, but wondering if there's any change in mindset now that you've gotten 36 in. There's not necessarily a lot of separation there, but there's a little bit, not too many players under par. What's the mindset for you?
PAULA CREAMER: For going into this weekend?

Q. Yeah.
PAULA CREAMER: Just to grind out pars. You know, I'm pleased with how I've been doing that. You know, a lot can change on this golf course, a lot. You know, somebody makes a birdie and the next hole -- every hole out here is not an easy hole.
You have to be so into every shot mentally. You're going to be tired. I think the biggest thing for me is just getting rest at night, being able to be prepared for the 18 holes.
I mean, like I said, it's hard. It's difficult. There's a lot of thinking that's involved out there, where you want to leave the ball in the right spot.
But I think that just going out -- this weekend is going to be hard. The USGA is not going to make it easy on us, that's for sure. I'm going to have to be prepared for that. I'm going to hit some good shots and not be rewarded. I'm going to hopefully hit some good shots and be rewarded.
RHONDA GLENN: Is there anything that you do to your thumb when you complete a round? Do you put ice on it?
PAULA CREAMER: Ice, ice only. Ice and Advil.

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