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July 29, 2009

Paula Creamer


COLIN CALLENDER: Ladies and gentlemen, we have Paula Creamer in the interview area. Paula, you've played here before, in 2006, how do you reckon the conditions compare between now and then?
PAULA CREAMER: There's a lot more bunkers, that's for sure, especially off the tee. This golf course is truly based by the wind. I've played it three days now, and every day has kind of been a different direction of wind. I know tomorrow it's going to be completely opposite from what it was today.
Really, I love this golf course. It sets up really well for my game. You have to hit pretty straight tee shots here. You have to be able to control your ball flight and you have to hit to particular parts of the greens. The greens are so large here, it puts a premium on giving yourself opportunities.
COLIN CALLENDER: We had Karen Stupples in here about an hour or so ago and she reckoned that level par, if the conditions stay like this, level par would be a good score. Do you reckon that to be the case?
PAULA CREAMER: It's so hard to determine a winning score, especially at the British Open, especially here. The weather can change every hour. But even par every day is a good score. However, you just have to take what the golf course gives you that morning.

Q. Are you coming in with good form at the moment, you must be pleased with your game?
PAULA CREAMER: I am. I'm starting to play really well now. I'm hitting the ball great. I've have a lot of confidence with my putter and I'm just trying to play each shot as it comes. I did some swing changes in my couple of weeks off and I've now been able to take them to the golf course with confidence. I feel like I'm headed in the right direction.

Q. Do you find the course easier this time around than the last time you were here?
PAULA CREAMER: It's very different. It's much more dry when we played here in 2006. It's very soft. Well, not soft, but for a British Open course it's soft. The greens are not as fast as I thought they were going to be. They are a little bit soft with all of the rain we have been having, but at the same time they can't be lightning; otherwise we would be out here for seven hours. I think the way it's set up, is different and most importantly the bunker changes will have an influence on a couple of holes.
COLIN CALLENDER: You mentioned a couple of swing changes; can I ask what they are, please.
PAULA CREAMER: Sure. Namely I tend to get very flat in my golf swing, so I've been trying to get much more steeper on the ball and setting my wrists much quicker. It's always been one of my tendencies for me to not do that.
So I've been working hard on getting the club in front of my body, and hopefully I can do that for four days out here and we'll see what happens on Sunday. But those swing things are something I worked really hard on in the off-season, and when I got sick, things like that went the other direction.

Q. Are you able to practise full-force now?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, everything is fine. I've been practising a lot, hitting a lot of balls. Here, you want to play more than you want to beat balls on the range which is a good thing for me.
I haven't had any pain. It hasn't been swollen. I haven't had any discomfort out on the golf course since the Open. So I've feel like brand new.
COLIN CALLENDER: For the benefit of the British journalists who might not know, can you describe what the injury was?
PAULA CREAMER: I had to withdraw from Wegman's and the Owens Corning Classic on the LPGA schedule. I had tenosynovitis in my left thumb, and I had to get two cortisone shots and I tried to play at the Women's Open and that was the first tournament back. But I had to withdraw. I couldn't play.

Q. Lorena seems to be having a little bit of trouble at the moment. Is it a goal of your to take over her place as No. 1?
PAULA CREAMER: It is. That's always been a goal of mine. However I'm fifth right now. There's four people in front of me, not one. I have to be able to come out and play some good golf and move my way up the rankings. I feel like I've been in contention a lot. I just need to get a win under my belt this year.

Q. Have you had to have more patience --
PAULA CREAMER: Yes, it's been a very frustrating year, it has. I think it's been a year that I can look back on and really know that I have to be tough. It's been unfortunate. I've gone through a lot, but it's getting better after the illness with my stomach and then my thumb happened.
So hopefully we have got everything out of my system for several, several more years. But it has been very hard emotionally and physically. I want to go out and I want to play every week and I want to be in contention and when I have to sit out, especially when I have to sit out of those tournaments, one of my favourite events; especially when you're defending, it's very hard to withdraw from.
But I had to do it and you have to look at your career in the long run, and like I said, it has been a very hard year, but we are definitely going on the way up.

Q. How do you feel about the women's tour, and what would be the best possible thing that could happen this week?
PAULA CREAMER: The first question was how do I feel about the current state of the women's Tour? Well, I feel that we have the best product that we have had in a long time, especially what I have seen, there's a lot of wonderful players out there. Every week, there's a different winner. I just think that the tour is getting much more deeper. You know, there's been a lot of changes that have happened and hopefully we can see some changes in the next couple of years.

Q. What would be the best thing to happen for the Tour?
PAULA CREAMER: For just this week or in general? I really think that we just need to keep doing what we're doing. I think our tour, like I said, we have a wonderful product. But basically it's all about relationships with our sponsors and knowing that we care a lot about them and we want them out here and we are very excited to be playing, especially this week. The RICOH Women's British Open is one of our top events and they are a wonderful sponsor and it's all about relationships.

Q. Do you see in the future, fewer events?
PAULA CREAMER: I hope not.

Q. Well, do you think it will get back to the number it has been?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes, for sure, I do. Without a doubt, I really feel strongly about that. It's been an interesting couple of years, but I feel it's happened and we have to kind of move on and get our tour back to the way it was.

Q. When do you think that will happen?
PAULA CREAMER: I'm not sure. I hope soon. I think it will be soon. It is a difficult economy right now, but at the same time, I think we can do that as soon as we can.

Q. You were mentioning before the different wind direction playing a part this week. Some players will not have seen links conditions before. Are you troubled by the wind, or are you quite happy to play in it?
PAULA CREAMER: I am. I'm happy playing in hard conditions. I've always felt that's one of the strengths of my game. I kind of feel like if it's not raining here, we are not here, so mentally I am prepared to come out in my rain gear and kind of slop around out there.
I think it's fun. We don't get that opportunity as much in the States. When we come over here, it's all about mental toughness and just kind of grinding your way through. That's what I feel my game can do.

Q. Some guys on the mens's tour have come out and said recently they came back from injury too soon. Do you think you did that.
PAULA CREAMER: No, I don't think so. I took my couple weeks off and I felt that that's what my body needed, and I did that for the long run. I didn't do it for the short -- these couple of events.
I'm 22 years old and I'm not going to do anything that's going to harm or jeopardise my career.

Q. Have you tried any of the local food yet?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes, I had my fish and chips, yes, but I didn't eat all the fries.

Q. What fish? And was it out of newspaper?
PAULA CREAMER: I had halibut, yes. No, I sat down, but I didn't take out. But I will, I think that's the coolest thing taking them away in the newspapers. You can read it after or you can read it while you're eating. How cool is that.

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