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June 19, 2010

Paula Creamer


MODERATOR: Paula, welcome.

Q. First, we'll run through the card real quick. Birdie on 1?
PAULA CREAMER: Let's see. Oh, driver, and then I had about 90 yards and I hit a 52-degree wedge to about 25 feet. Birdied on 3; driver, 3-wood. I think I had about 220 front, and I hit it in the left bunker, and I made about a 12-footer for birdie.
Birdie on 6; driver and I had about 190 and I hit a 4 rescue to probably seven feet. Birdie on 8, 3-wood. It was about 75 yards. I hit a 58-degree wedge to like a couple of inches, say a foot.
Birdie on 10, 3-wood, and I had 100 yards and I hit a 52 to about five feet.
Bogey on 11. I just hit way too much club. I hit it over the green, I hit a 4-wood over the green, and I had like the worst possible lie you could imagine. It was like in a hole, in the rough, and I chipped it out to 12 feet and missed the par putt.
Birdie on 12, 3-wood, about 80 yards. I hit a 56-degree to about six feet, five feet. And then birdie on 18, driver, and then I laid up a 3 rescue, and I had about 80 yards, but I just mis-clubbed my wedge, or the wind, and I made a really long putt. I don't even know how long that was. It was long. Let's say 45 feet or so above the hole. It was a big, big swing.
MODERATOR: Give us some thoughts on the round. Obviously another good one for you. And then obvious question is how is the thumb feeling?
PAULA CREAMER: Today was probably the worst I've felt, just in the sense of the whole day. It just kind of was achy. I don't know if it was because of the turnaround last night wasn't as long as I'm used to, but it'll be nice to tee off a little bit later tomorrow. I can kind of save it.
But you know, I feel that I played really well. I played solid. I just played how I could. There's a lot of those holes where you have to hit knock-downs, and I had to play more club. I can't hit that knock-down shot yet.
Even off the tee is where I can lose hold back into the fairway and hitting such a long club into it. But I kept grinding away, giving myself chances on a lot of holes. Made two good saves coming down the stretch, and it's always nice to end with a nice long putt on the last hole. Should be a lot closer with the wedge, but we'll take it.
MODERATOR: Questions?

Q. Just overall, I guess when you came back and someone told you you'd be in the lead or if no one moves up in the afternoon group --

Q. What are your thoughts about where you are right now in the tournament?
PAULA CREAMER: I mean I would take it in a heartbeat. I mean that's for sure.
Honestly, coming into this week it's all about just seeing how far I can go, seeing how much my thumb can handle. If I play great, great. You know, and that's kind of what's been happening.
It shows you how you can definitely over-think things way too much. You know, my priorities are just trying to stay within myself, stay patient, and okay, I can only do certain shots, so that's all we're going to have to work with.
But I mean I'm grinding it, too. I mean I'm not out there just on a Sunday stroll. I mean I want to win. That's a goal of mine, of course, but it's also, I have to look at the big picture and I have to realize that, you know, this is what I have to go through to overcome these little mounds for my thumb.

Q. I see you with that bag of ice everywhere. After a round how long do you ice it down for and do you do it throughout the night and everything?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, probably, honestly, I ice my thumb a good 10 times a day at least. I mean today, gees, I'll be icing it all the time. Last night I iced it about -- it's every 20 minutes; 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Last night I think I iced it about six or seven times before I went to bed, and it gets so cold I have to kind of move it around.
It's so stiff. That's the problem, so I can't ever ice it before or else I won't be able to move my thumb. But I'll be icing it a lot today. I can feel it's kind of puffing over the tape. So it's a little bit swollen. I won't hit any balls afterwards, that's for sure.

Q. Do you think there might be some sort of mental advantage to the fact that you're having to focus on much on the thumb right now? Is that helping you at all playing wise?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I know I always say I'm thinking about my thumb, but in reality I'm trying not to think about it, too, because it hurts. It does hurt, and I'm trying to just kind of avoid the pain.
I mean, yes, I'm very cautious of my thumb, but I'm not trying to think, oh, man, that hurt a lot or that was okay. I'm just trying to go, okay, we have this club. Let's hit it and try to keep going, keep the momentum going.
But mentally, I guess. I mean I feel fresh. I mean I should be. I haven't played for a while. But I'm very excited to be out here. I think that that has kind of a benefit to it that I want to be out here so badly. I want to play. I want to play well in front of the fans. You know, there's a lot of those kind of things that I think are helping me through this, too.

Q. And the fact that you're playing so well, even though you're playing a very different kind of golf right now, is that going to make you reassess how you play in the future? Are you going to change your game at all?
PAULA CREAMER: No. I think I'll just be adding to it. If I can keep this mindset and feel just so free on the golf course, and if I can do it now, there's no reason why I can't do it in three weeks, why I can't do it next week.
You know, I think that that's -- it's a good lesson to show, and we have tomorrow. And we'll see what happens, but I'm still going to go in it with the same mindset as I'm going to go out and play 18 holes and see what happens.

Q. And lastly, you may have said this earlier in the week, but how long do the doctors give you until you're going to feel completely fine again?
PAULA CREAMER: About a year. They think about a year it'll be where I won't have any problems at all. Maybe when it's cold, you know, they say your joints are going to hurt in the cold, it'll bother you. But that's what they say, a year.

Q. You talked about pain. Is there anything you can do for it besides ice? Can you take Cortisone?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, no more Cortisone for me. I've had so much Cortisone. No, I could take like an antibiotic type thing for a painkiller, but right now my doctor, Dr. Hunt and I, we've kind of decided that I have to feel the pain to see if it's still the same, if things get better, if things are getting worse.
And that's also -- I don't want to push it too much. If it starts really hurting and it's disguised by some type of pain medicine, I could be doing damage to it. So I'm not taking anything for the pain, just stuff for the swelling.

Q. How often do you flinch, like right before the ball thinking, oh, my gosh, this is going to hurt? Does that happen very much and how do you convince yourself to just fight through it?
PAULA CREAMER: It happened before. When I first came out, I was -- sometimes when I miss it left, it's because of that. I kind of get a little bit scared almost.
But it's not happening as much now. I'm getting more and more confident with it knowing that, okay, this hand's gotta be right here. Here it comes, that kind of thing. But that's why I keep practicing so much, just so I don't really -- it hurts when it gets tight and it hurts when it gets so stiff, and that's when I can feel it, or with like my driver. But if I take a couple of practice swings, it kind of helps loosen it up.
But before, I had that, that kind of twitch thing. I'd hit it thin or that kind of terrible shot. But I haven't had that been here this week, so that was good.

Q. Paula, you mentioned different shots, knock-down shots and things like that. As you go through your pre-shot routine now as opposed to preinjury, how does the club selection enter into things now? I mean are you saying, gees, this is a solid 8-iron, but I have to hit a blank?
PAULA CREAMER: No. It's hard because I see the shot that I want to hit. I see these knock-downs or see these hold-offs with the wind. I see a little cut or draw, and I would say to Collin, okay, let's knock it down. Oh, wait. We can't, that kind of thing. Or if I try, it just doesn't happen. It's so weird.
You know, you think it would. When I'm on the range, you know, sometimes I -- my whole range warmup is off the tee. The only balls I hit off the ground are my wedges at the beginning, and there I even want to try knock-downs, but it's just not ready yet.
And you know, who knows, maybe next week I'll try a couple. But those hurt. Those are the ones that actually I feel a lot of pain with, so I try not to hit those as much.
Like even on 18 today, I kind of stepped away with Collin and was like, do we want to even attempt a knock-down? It's straight into the wind, and he's like, no, it's a three-shot hole. So I just hit it high and went into it. I have to lay up and totally change the game plan.

Q. Paula, seemed like the atmosphere out there was pretty neat. I was wondering, what does it mean for a player to see that many fans and to have the tournament back here?
PAULA CREAMER: It's really special. It's really neat. It's a great feeling. Yesterday on the tee was, you know, brought tears to my eyes because it's so nice that you have so many people pulling for you, you know. And the fact that the tournament is back here at ShopRite, you know, this is a great event for us. We've always loved coming here, and when it was taken away the last couple of years, it was sad. And to be back is really nice.
And for me, for my first tournament back in the States, it's a great, great feeling. There's a lot of people out there today, and I'm sure there will be even more out there tomorrow.
All right, thanks, guys.

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