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September 2, 2009

Paula Creamer


DANA GROSS-RHODE: Everyone, thank you for joining us. Paula, welcome to your pretournament press conference at the CN Canadian Women's Open. You've been out. You've played the course a little bit. Can you talk about the condition of the course and what you look forward to this week?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah. It's my first time out here and in Calgary, so it's very nice to come to this part of Canada.
The golf course is very nice. The greens are, you know, not the best greens we've ever had. They're pretty bumpy. There's lots of -- there's bentgrass and then there's poa annua grass, so there's kind of these little bumps everywhere, so hitting it close to the pin is going to be the most beneficial out there.
But it's a fun track. There's a lot of really good holes. There's a lot of birdie holes, and there's some holes where it's kind of risk-reward.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: We'll take questions for Paula.

Q. Paula, how are you feeling?
PAULA CREAMER: You know, every day is a different day. I have the flu and I have bronchitis. I'm pretty much over my flu symptoms. It's just the bronchitis out here is not going over so well. It's just every day gets a little bit better.

Q. Is the heat helping or hurting that?
PAULA CREAMER: It's more the altitude. You know, I already feel like somebody's sitting on my chest, and then when you're walking up these hills, it is pretty difficult. So I've been trying to pace myself.
Today was the first day I played 18 holes. The heat's not bad. It's just the altitude.

Q. When you have to adjust to the greens as you suggest, what's your thought process as you go into round one and for the tournament? Is there anything special you try to think about in terms of how you approach the game?
PAULA CREAMER: For putting or --

Q. Yeah. Putting or just to deal with the situation.
PAULA CREAMER: Well, all I can do is go out and try and hit as good of putts as I can. If they go in, they go in. It's the same for everybody in that sense.
The mornings are probably going to be a little bit easier for the putts. There's not as many people walking around out there. So morning tee time I want to try and take advantage on the front nine more.
But you know, like I said, it's a great golf course. It's unfortunate the greens aren't, you know, perfect, but it gives it a little bit of some character out there.

Q. Paula, just wondering, did you give any consideration to maybe going home and trying to recover from your illness?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes. I did -- yes. I had thought about that. I know this year has been pretty crazy, and you know, it would be nice to, you know, kind of get healthy again, but at the same time, you know, I took off those days last week -- took off, meaning couldn't move. So I did get some rest, quote unquote, but it's been difficult.
You know, going home and then coming here would have been an awful lot, so I just kind of toughed it out last week, and we'll see. Like I said, I'm on the mend. So that's all you can ask for.

Q. Paula, does this course play to your strengths, now you've had a chance to look at it, and any best guess what the winning score will be?
PAULA CREAMER: It's difficult to say a number. If the wind picks up in the afternoon, it's too hard to actually pinpoint a certain goal in mind.
However, there's going to be a lot of birdies made. But I think this golf course, if you get a little greedy, get a little carried away with it. The greens are getting pretty firm, so you can't go flying at flags, which is going to make it a little bit tougher.
But pars out there are good scores as well. It's going to be interesting with the pin placements because these greens are -- there's also undulation, so depending on how hard they want to make it with the pin placements.

Q. Paula, you mentioned the effects of altitude on your health. What about the effects of altitude on your ball striking? Have you noticed any difference out here?
PAULA CREAMER: The ball definitely goes further. Unfortunately I've been pretty sick. I've lost a lot of distance. So for me it's kind of not really changing it as much. I'm actually hitting it how I would normally hit it because I've lost distance, but the ball is going further for most players.

Q. With regards to your health, how much of the idea of the player-friendly LPGA takes into consideration your desire to be here? Does it make it a little harder for you to decide to go home?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, it's the hardest thing in the world withdrawing from an event. It's the most difficult thing. And then even last week, here I am, I'm 20 minutes from the golf course or I have to go to the golf course to see the doctor and everybody's out there playing and then the fans.
Like I said, it's one of the hardest things having to withdraw from an event, and I hate doing it. It's awful. You know, but I don't have to do it this week. Knock on wood.
But I love coming to Canada. The fans here are awesome. We've always had such great galleries. You know, the people just really respect golf, and that's what we like. We like to come to a place where we can perform, you know, and in front of such a wonderful crowd.

Q. Do you feel like you're a star on the LPGA? And how does your role kind of reflect that?
PAULA CREAMER: You know, I feel like I do have a -- you know, I have a role that I need to fulfill. I've always been lucky enough to have been mentored by some great veterans out here, and hopefully I can influence young girls to get involved with the game like how I was influenced. So I guess in a sense I do have a role I guess I have to fulfill.

Q. Veterans such as?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, gees, Nancy Lopez, Juli Inkster, Kathy Whitworth. They were huge mentors to me.

Q. Were you surprised, then, at the reception you got Monday when you were on the driving range here? There was a lot of people just looking to get your autograph and say hi.
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah. It's a wonderful feeling. It's never a problem, but it's a great problem to have when you're going from tee to green, there's so many people that want your signature. You wish you could do everybody, but at the same time you gotta get your practice done and work on it.
But on a Monday afternoon, there was 50, 60 people out there just watching me. I was the only one out there hitting golf balls, so it was pretty neat.

Q. I see you're living up to your nickname with what you're wearing today. How much time and effort do you put into what you're going to wear for the tournament, and can you talk a little bit about the glam factor that some of you young gals are bringing to the game?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I love clothes. I love fashion. Luckily I'm sponsored by Adidas, which is a wonderful company that's both athletic and very feminine. And for me, if I feel good, I always play good.
It's just kind of something that I've gone through my junior career, if I like what I'm wearing and I feel good. But you know, when it comes to picking out the actual outfit, I don't know. I don't sit there for two hours and say, okay, this sock goes with this, that kind of thing. I'm pretty matchy-matchy, but I'm not that much.
But I think being a girl out here and being an athlete is so neat. It's a great way to feel good about yourself, but also bring different aspects of other sports and working out into what you do.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: Any more questions for Paula? Thank you all for joining us. Paula, good luck this week.
PAULA CREAMER: Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts

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