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October 13, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Paula, welcome, we're probably going to talk golf, but first, Price is Right. You made your TV host debut. How was it?
PAULA CREAMER: It was great. It was a lot of fun. I filmed it a couple of weeks ago in L.A., very nervous. You're only going to get one shot, to say all your lines, it was like a live audience and everything. You kind of -- I don't know how I did it. I'd rather be putting a 5-footer than doing this right now.
But it was a great experience. Drew was really nice. Very nice to meet him. You know, we had a winner, so it was nice.
Q. So you're back home. Talk a little about how does it feel to play a home game?
PAULA CREAMER: It feels good. I've been more relaxed than I think I've ever been coming home. This week's kind of special since open and everything, and I have my trophy here. It's just exciting to be able to come home and kind of celebrate that with everybody.
But at the same time, I have a tournament to play. You know, I think in previous years I put so much expectations on playing well, and just trying to go out there and be so perfect. I kind of have realized I just go at it like any other event and work my way up that leaderboard, and see what happens on Sunday.
Q. So the US Open trophy you're putting at your home club, Friday?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, Friday.
Q. Talk a little about that. Born and raised there, to bring that back to them?
PAULA CREAMER: It's going to be really neat. I know everybody that watched me grow up, and it's kind of been an influence in my life. Whether it's getting me a Diet Coke and a grill or whatever it is. It's nice to have that.
When I was growing up, Pat Hurst was a Junior Merit member there, so I got to see her picture with the U.S. Am Trophy, just growing up constantly and looking at that. Now the fact that I can put the U.S. Open Trophy in there is pretty cool.
They're going to have it for about a month, and then I'll take it back. But it's as much mine as it is theirs, so it's nice to be able to share that.
Q. How's your thumb? Obviously still have tape on it. How was it last weekend? Is it progressing at all?
PAULA CREAMER: I think it is progressing. I've been able to hit balls, maybe 20 balls after I play, which I haven't been able to do in a really long time. Probably since, or before my surgery was the last time I was able to do that. It's not many, but I still can. Today I won't. It was a little bit sore today, just because of the firmer ground.
But I'm feeling good. I'm doing everything that I can. Taking a lot of precautions. But at the same time I'm table to go out there and start swinging with a little bit more, I guess you could say just force or whatever you want to say. I can kind of go after it a little bit more now than I was able to a couple of weeks ago.
Q. Is that just tape?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, it's tape and it's support basically. It's kind of my security blanket in a sense. If it's not on there, I've never hit a shot with it not on.
My doctor did come out last week on Sunday, since I had surgery in Birmingham, and Dr. Hunt came out and he watched. He said something funny. He goes now I can start being your fan rather than your doctor at all times. It's looking really good. The swelling's going down. It's just on these stretches you never know what's going to happen.
You never know what kind of lie you're going to draw, that kind of stuff. It's more what I do before the tournament. I have to really be careful how much I can do. How many balls I can hit. Where, before, it was either I play or I practice. I practice or I play. But now I'm starting to build both.
Q. He came down on Sunday?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, right after I was done playing in the scoring tent. I ripped off the tape because he wanted to see what it looked like after I was done playing. The swelling was not too bad. I'm starting to get my lines back in my thumb. Not many, but that's kind of how you can tell if it's getting better, just the natural wrinkles in your skin.
Q. He was the one that operated?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes.
Q. What was his name?
PAULA CREAMER: Dr. Thomas Hunt.
Q. Was that the first time he'd seen it?
PAULA CREAMER: No, he'd seen it many times.
Q. But it had been a while?
PAULA CREAMER: Last time he saw it was after the British Open. I took those last five weeks. When I went to see him after the British, that's where he talked about my schedule and what I could do, and couldn't do. He said no-brainer, you've got to take five weeks off, so I did that.
Q. When you go out there, you can't practice and play. When you're out there like today, are there any shots you can't get?
PAULA CREAMER: I would say knock downs are tough. When I got to keep my hands low through the ball, that kind of puts a little bit of extra just through the ball. It puts a little bit more force kind of on my joint and that's where I can get my pain.
You know, I'm not out there hitting and swinging out of my shoes. I can't do that. I've got to play within my own swing. I know if I can go after something, you know. The hardest part for me was just hitting those high, soft pitches, kind of like a 30, 40-yarder where you have to really set your wrists, because I've kind of lost a little bit of my motion through that. But that's coming back. So those are really it.
Q. (No microphone)?
PAULA CREAMER: I'm learning how to do it with one hand.
Q. What one thing worked for you at the U.S. Open despite the injury?
PAULA CREAMER: I had --
Q. Because you missed the cut the week before?
PAULA CREAMER: I did. And I've had some success. If I miss the cut, I always seem to win or take Top 5 after. I don't know. I don't like doing that. It makes me mad, and I go out and play well the next week.
But I felt like I was really prepared. I had a game plan that I wanted to stick to. I was hitting it so bad going into that tournament, so bad. I worked every day with my coach. It was actually the first week I was able to hit balls not off the tee, but just off the grass that week. That was like an accomplishment in itself.
I putted really well, and my attitude, just my demeanor on the golf course is, I believe, what won that golf tournament.
Q. (No microphone)?
PAULA CREAMER: There's going to be some low scores. Have to make a lot of birdies. This is the best I've ever seen this golf course, that's for sure. The greens are great. The fairways are lush. Normally we can have those dry spots out there, and you can get some really nasty lies. But I think you've got to keep it in the fairway, and keep the ball below the hole here. That is something that's really important on this golf course.
Q. You mentioned Pat Hurst earlier. How much was she an inspiration for you having gone through the Junior Merit program?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, Pat Hurst was a big inspiration. Dana Dorman was out there. I've known Dana before I even played golf. I watched her practicing, and I didn't even like golf and I watched her play. They were big.
When you have role models, and you have a lot of success and you're a young girl who wants to be there, that's a big part of how you get to the next level.
Q. Do you think there is going to be a 12-year-old girl now that will look at that trophy and say (no microphone)?
PAULA CREAMER: I hope so. I hope so. Yesterday I spoke to, I think it was like five chapters of the First Tee. You know, they all come out in their pink, and they're so excited. Hopefully, if there's one sentence I said that day that will stick to them and they'll understand maybe that they can be in that same spot.
That's all I want to do. I just want to be able to introduce a game of golf to somebody and hopefully they'll learn something. Whether it's through the game of golf or through First Tee, you have your nine core values and take it into everyday life.
Q. Do you think that's important for all players. During the international state of the game now?
PAULA CREAMER: I do. I think it's important for any player. You are a professional athlete. You have been blessed to be able to go out and play a sport. And I think that when you have young girls and young boys looking up to you, you need to embrace that.
I certainly think it's a very humbling experience. You know, if you have to -- I love it. I think it's one of the greatest things when you have these little girls and boys out there in their pink, it makes everything so much better. Doesn't really matter what you shoot, however your performance is what's key about the whole thing.
Q. You talked about not putting much pressure on yourself this week as you've obviously done in the past? How important is your chance?
PAULA CREAMER: Right, my first two days I'm fighting back on the weekend. No, that's going to be a big thing for me. I feel like I can contend. I had a lot of birdies last week. This is 18, 19, 20 birdies, something like that last week.
I had too many mistakes, but I haven't played for five weeks also, so I was a little bit rusty. I feel good. I'm hitting the ball well, putting well. It's a matter of putting four good days of golf together.
This year has been a crazy year. I'm excited to come here and play golf in front of everybody. At the same time, everybody knows I want to win.
Q. Who are you playing in front of since you're playing in your backyard?
PAULA CREAMER: Both. Members of the country club, my high school friends or actually middle school friends that I grew up with because I didn't go to high school here. My middle school friends, lot of family, family friends. The weekend should be a little bit crazy, but it will be a good thing if I have a late tee time.
Q. You've obviously been imagining a lot what it would be like to win. What would -- it would be different, I assume, on Sunday on the back nine?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I've always said this week does remind me a lot of the U.S. Open. For me, I just -- you come out and it doesn't matter if you're going to dinner or pulling into the parking lot. Everybody's saying, hey, Paula, good luck. Hopefully you'll do really well and that kind of thing.
You want to play well and do that, and I believe if on the back nine on Sunday, if I'm in contention, yeah, it's going to be like that.
Q. (No microphone).
PAULA CREAMER: Maybe, if you're going to have two sitting in there, that would be nice.
Q. Are they going to give you back the trophy?
PAULA CREAMER: They better give me back my trophy or make me come back and get it. .
End of FastScripts