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July 21, 2010

Paula Creamer


MODERATOR: We're here with Paula Creamer at the Evian Masters, reigning Women's U.S. Open champion. Can you talk a little bit about how it feels to be back here in France.
PAULA CREAMER: I love coming here. This is one of my favorite events that we play during the year. It's a great golf course. The atmosphere, the venue, if you don't like it here, then I think there's something wrong.
It's always been very nice to play a golf course that you feel comfortable on and that you've won. Every year I try and come with the same expectations like I did in 2005. Hopefully we'll have that chance on Sunday to win.
MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. What's the last week or is been like for you?
PAULA CREAMER: The last week, oh, goodness. It went by very fast. I couldn't -- emotionally there's no way I could have played in another tournament that week. I'm glad we had a week off.
It was nice to get to go home and sleep in your own bed. You just lie there and think, Oh, my goodness, U.S. Open champion. It's crazy. But it was -- I couldn't play golf. My hand was really bad. My thumb was really swollen the whole week and it hurt a lot. I had to really limit how many balls I hit. I probably only hit 30 or 40 balls.
But it was nice to go home.

Q. The hand, is the pain gonna go away eventually? Have the doctors said this is temporary? What's the prognosis?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, it'll take about a year for the pain to go away. You know, I think if somebody didn't go through the stress of what I do to it every day within weeks and weeks of each other, I think it would be different.
But what I do in my job is to play golf and use my hands a lot, it's gonna hurt and swell up. It's not doing any harm. I'm gonna go see my doctor after the British Open for sure. We have to keep checking on it to see.
But it's painful, and it's just you're gonna have to fight through it.

Q. Is it the type of pain that might cause you to alter your schedule some this year?
PAULA CREAMER: Um, yes and no. I feel that these next couple tournaments, I'm lucky I have some breaks in between. After the British there's two weeks, then two tournaments, then three weeks, and then tournaments.
So that kind of favors me. I can go home and get my therapy done on my hand; I can do strengthening exercises more than coming out here and doing it. My hand and thumb gets very fatigued, so I can't do as much when I'm out here.
But it might have a chance to alter my schedule. Right now, no, but we'll see how it goes.

Q. I was reading that you used rice bags and newspapers. Are these special exercises? Could you just explain. I was lost there.
PAULA CREAMER: No, it's actually rice buckets. It's like a bucket full of rice. You go in and you squeeze the rise. At Wegman's, I bought -- because we used to have rice on our trailer, but the mice ate it all in the off-season. Of course, that's like one of my main exercises, so I went and bought two big bags of rice. It's Paula's bucket in the trainer.
But I go in and do about 10, 15 minutes each day with the rice. It just strengthens your forearms and your hands and fingers. It's actually just a good motion for my thumb.
And the newspaper, you go like this to it and crumble it up.

Q. Having won a major, is there some sort of release as well, another thing ticked off?
PAULA CREAMER: Without a doubt. It was hard -- this is my sixth year on tour, and after my second year I was already asked, Well, best player that never won a major. I mean, two years. I was 20.
But it is, it's a big relief. My coach, David, he wasn't able to stay. We were thinking about changing the flight, but every time that we do something like that something bad happens. He refuses to take the blame for that one. He was there in spirit.
But that was the biggest thing, just the relief of having my first major. I know what if feels like. I know why it feels like on Sunday. I know what it feels like on Saturday. It's gonna help me in the future for sure.

Q. What did you treat yourself to?
PAULA CREAMER: I didn't buy or do anything last week. I ate a lot. I really didn't get -- the one thing that I really wanted was that Birkin bag, so I had my research done with that. And skydiving was another thing, but that won't happen for a while. I can't jump out of any planes right now.

Q. I read you said you played 60% of your capacity. Is it still the case or is it better?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I still think it's there. Last week was really hard. I was just in a lot of pain. It's gonna take a while when I feel 100%. It's gonna take a while before I can stop icing my hand or the tape on my thumb. It's just gonna be there, and I'm okay with that.
I know that that's just -- if I have to get to where I want to be and I have to do this, then that's fine. But 60%, I would say, is definitely where I'm at right now. Uh-huh.

Q. I like to know - maybe it's difficult to answer - how bad you miss Lorena and Annika?
PAULA CREAMER: How bad do I miss them? They're both very nice people and have done so much for the game of golf. You know, having them out here is different. Annika, she's been gone for a couple years now. The surprise with Lorena, you know, I just think it's very, very neat that they both went out on their own terms.
I think that's very respectful as an athlete. They had their vision of what they wanted to do, and they're doing it. I think that's the coolest thing. They weren't forced or hurt or anything like that. I think that's a big sign of what kind of people they are.

Q. I just had a question regarding the golf course, your impressions of the condition, how you feel about how the greens are running, et cetera?
PAULA CREAMER: Today it was very wet. The fairways were -- I mean, there was no roll; whereas yesterday was a bit firmer and the greens were a lot faster. I'm not sure if they just didn't cut them today, but they were bouncing a lot.
Today, for some reason, it was very, very wet. Hopefully they don't put too much water on it tonight. I know there's supposed to be some storms. It makes some of those longer holes a lot longer.
Now you have to be much more aware of your spin because the greens are much more receptive.

Q. Do you think the course is okay for a major event? What do you think of this course?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, to be a major, I mean, they do everything great with the venue and how they treat us, that's all very nice, and the tradition they have is definitely there.
The golf course, you're gonna have to make the rough a lot thicker and bring in the fairways even more. These are some of the narrowest fairways that we play. The greens are just gonna have to be much faster.
It's more the course changes they need to do. Certain holes would have to be longer. You can move tee boxes back here, and that's the neat thing. I know they have brought up a couple since last year.
But for a major, they would have to make it much more difficult.

Q. Compared to some other venues, what do you think? It's a big difference between the U.S. Open this year in Oakmont, by example? Is it a very big difference between Evian?
PAULA CREAMER: This golf course and Oakmont? Yes, there's a very big difference. Oh, gosh. I don't even know how to begin the differences. They're both hilly. You have to stay below the hole. Oakmont was much, much, much more firm. The greens were the fastest I've ever putted on in my life.
It's more of a penalty when you miss fairways or shots there than it is here. There's always a safe place you can hit it out here and you don't have to be -- you can hit driver a lot ever places. It's not a penalty for that.
I would think to be a major, you would have to really grow the rough, bring the fairways in, and the greens would have to be much, much firmer and faster.

Q. For the moment, do you think Evian is a little bit too easy for a major event?
PAULA CREAMER: I wouldn't say easy. It's just very difficult to say. You know, I can't really comment on if it should be a major or not.
I've always loved coming here. Like I said earlier, it's a great place. There are a lot of good fans in the galleries here that come out and watch. But I really can't determine if it's major-worthy or not.

Q. I have a not very politically correct question. Do you still like pink, and don't you dream sometimes to change colors?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes, I do love pink. That's I think one of the main reasons why I like coming here. Pink is everywhere.

Q. You never get fed up?
PAULA CREAMER: No. It's really neat now especially because with little girls and little boys, you can kind of have a little bit of a chemistry with them if that's their favorite color.
That's what's been the neatest part about having that as your color. You can kind of adapt when people want to watch you or want to support you. You have that theme in common. But I don't think I'll ever not like the color pink. It's my favorite color. I can't explain it.

End of FastScripts

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