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February 22, 2012

Paula Creamer


MIKE SCANLAN:¬† Welcome back to Singapore to the HSBC Women's Champions.¬† If you would, let's talk about your off‑season and what kind of things you were up to on and off the course, any changes you made.
PAULA CREAMER:  Yes, I went to Taiwan in December and played, and then after that, I did took a couple of weeks off and started back strong in January.  I have a new trainer that I've been working with since, I would say, September, October, and I have noticed some really big changes with that.
And most importantly, I have worked so hard with my coach, David Whelan, on my golf swing.  It's probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do, change something that you've had a lot of success with in the past but hopefully this will help me get more consistent longer and just be an overall better player.
So taking that on to the golf course is my new challenge this year.
MIKE SCANLAN:  What's your motivation to make the changes?  Is it winning more or just flaws that you felt you had last year?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† It's getting better.¬† It's just trying to be better on the golf course.¬† Length has always been somewhat of an issue.¬† So I really‑‑ I basically now, in a nutshell, I have two different golf swings.¬† I have a driver swing and then my iron swing.¬† When it's working, it's great and when it's not so good, it's a little different.
But just being so technical is something that I'm not used to.  I've been a feel player my whole golf career, and to be on the technical side is a lot harder.  I have to do it and I think hopefully at the end of this year I'll look back and say this is the greatest move that I've made.
MIKE SCANLAN:  Let's talk about this event, amongst the players, there's always a lot of buzz to come back to Singapore.  How do you feel about this event and what would it mean for you to play well this week.
PAULA CREAMER:¬† I love Singapore.¬† It has to be one of my Top‑5 favourite places that we go to.¬† The people here are incredible.¬† The fans, they love women's golf.¬† It's really nice to come to a place like, that and overall, HSBC does a fantastic job of running an event.
You know, tonight we have Tiffany's thing, we get to wear all of these diamonds and things like that, those are things we don't normally get to do.  It's very nice and very welcoming, and I think everyone wants to come and win and be the HSBC Champion.
MIKE SCANLAN:  So they recruited you for the diamonds?
PAULA CREAMER:  I'll be wearing some diamonds tonight, I'm very excited.  I might take a run, a hiatus with those things on (smiling).

Q.  We are seeing the emergence of a lot of young stars recently.  What do you think this means for women's golf, and do you feel like some of the upcoming American stars are starting to overshadow you?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I think that women's golf is getting more and more opportunities, and I believe that the younger players are getting opportunities to play in events, sponsor invites, or just playing their way through in qualifiers, and they are getting a taste of it; everybody is working hard for it.
I truly believe that it's going to be this way for a while.  I see a lot of juniors where I train, and they just put a lot of time in and practise and hopefully they do the same with school, as well, because that's just as important.

Q.  You were considered young when you turned pro, but now you must look at them, and think, I wasn't really young at all.
PAULA CREAMER:  I was 18 and it was kind of unheard of, people not going to college at that time.  I think before me it was Cristie Kerr, who didn't go to school, and it was kind of a big deal.
Now I'm 25 and I'm considered old and a veteran.¬† It's interesting, that's how sports‑‑ what it's all about.¬† It's the young, the new ones and you just have to keep up.¬† If not, I can only control myself.¬† I can't control anybody else.¬† This is my eighth year, and time flies.

Q.  It's a big sea change in what's going on, isn't it, suddenly kids at 14 can beat these adults.
PAULA CREAMER:  It is.  We always like to say, it's just a number.  But in reality, there's a lot of things that happened with younger players.  I think there's a no fear factor involved.  There's no expectations and you can just go out and play the best you can.
The rookie years are always interesting to see; these young players have so much talent, like Jessica Korda, a great amateur player, and took herself a year to get used to being out on Tour.¬† It's a different life when you have to play week‑in and week‑out and I think it's kind of a realisation of what is going on, playing against the best players in the world.¬† But that's golf and what you have to deal with.

Q.  Can you just talk about the quality of the course you're playing this week?
PAULA CREAMER:  I think Tanah Merah is a fantastic golf course.  I believe the greens are running a little bit slower than they have in the past.  It's not too wet out there but it's definitely not firm and fast.
It's a shot‑maker's golf course.¬† You have to hit it on the right parts of greens, and it comes down to reading the grains and the breaks on these putts, because that's where all of this golf course is, around the greens.¬† Tee‑to‑green is pretty straightforward.¬† It's just who is going to make the most birdies and the least mistakes.

Q.  You mentioned earlier that as one of the veterans, you find yourself having to keep up with some of the younger players.  Do you feel added pressure when you come up against some of them?
PAULA CREAMER:  I don't necessarily feel I have to keep up with younger players.  I feel that I can take care of my own self out on the golf course.
I put the most pressure on myself, I'm the one that's out there wanting to be out there and be the best player that I can be. ¬†Nobody else can do that.¬† That's all inner motivation and self‑motivation, and that's what I like.¬† I have my goals and I want to achieve it, and then, you know, if somebody plays better, then I have to work harder.
Right now, the person that I think if there is somebody, it's Yani.  She's a fantastic golfer and not only that, she's a good person but she's the No. 1 player in the world.  That's the people that I look at, people that are better.
MIKE SCANLAN:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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