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March 16, 2012

Paula Creamer


THE MODERATOR:  All right.  We'd like to welcome Paula Creamer into the interview room.  Congratulations on a great round out there today.  68.  Can you just take me first off through the day and what was working well for you?
PAULA CREAMER:  I hit 16 greens today.  I gave myself a ton of chances.  I could have gotten so much lower than 68.  But I'm pretty pleased with how I hit the ball, and I hit a lot of great putts, just they didn't go in, but saving them for the weekend in a sense, and I just feel very confident out here.
I like this golf course a lot.  It fits my eye well, and once I get on a roll with making putts, then I think I can go pretty low out here by how well my ball striking is.
THE MODERATOR:¬† I was going to ask you about that.¬† You played well here last year.¬† It seems ‑‑ what exactly when you play well on a course, does that carry over into the next year?¬† Do you think about that a lot when you're out there?
PAULA CREAMER:  You always want to go to places where you've played well and you have fond memories, and I like it here.  I like Arizona.  It's pretty dry, but other than that, you know, I like the golf courses.  They're kind of demanding in certain areas.  It just fits my game well.
I've been practicing really hard on my new golf swing and just trying to take it to the golf course as much as I can.  And it's starting to show a little bit more with how many greens I have been able to hit the last two days.
THE MODERATOR:  This is your third event of the season, and you've had a little bit of time now to kind of work on those technical changes.  Is it starting to feel more comfortable?  Is it becoming more natural?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Yes and no.¬† I'm pretty technical, the most technical I've ever been, and it's just the way it's going to be for a while.¬† I'm okay with that.¬† It's hard.¬† It's never ‑‑ I'm a feel player, and I'm kind of transitioning into somebody else, but eventually I hope that we can say at the end of the year that I'm back to where I'm at and hopefully better than I've ever been, especially consistency wise with my golf swing.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Paula.

Q.¬† Right out of the gate there in the first four holes you had about three eight, nine‑foot birdie putts in there and you got one of them, I think.¬† You're hitting a ton of greens.¬† Is it getting frustrating that the birdie putts aren't going in?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Yes and no.¬† Yes, obviously, I mean I want to make as many birdies as I can and I want to move up the board.¬† I mean I can't tell you how many nine‑footers, inside ten feet I've had today.¬† I would say a good 11, 12.
There was only a couple of holes where I really had to work for par, and unfortunately I three‑putted 8, my 17th hole and didn't finish in a sense great in that way, but it's ‑‑ you know, the more I give myself the chances, the better I feel confidence wise over the putts.
It's tough.  You know, you're constantly getting looks at it, you miss and you kind of want to forget about it, but at the same time you keep giving them to yourself, you're going to make them sooner or later.
But yes, there were some times there where I was very frustrated.¬† But I'm hitting it better, so I can't ‑‑ it's a Catch‑22 kind of thing.

Q.  What are you working on your swing right now?
PAULA CREAMER:  What am I working on?  Many, many, many things.

Q.  For example?
PAULA CREAMER:  How much time do we have?  No, just a lot with my posture.  You can see in my practice swings I float the club forward, and I'm trying to get my wrist being able to set more.  With my thumb surgery I kind of lost some flexibility in my left hand and I'm really working on being able to set my hands and keep my width.  But more tighter, I guess you could say, not as flat at the top.
You know, I kind of have not necessarily two different golf swings, but my driver setup is much different.  I'm hitting it much further off the tee when I hit it good.  You can tell when I hit it good, it goes far.  And when I miss it, I hit this kind of peeler off to the right.  But I've definitely picked up yardage, which is something I was trying to do.

Q.¬† This is the reason why yesterday on the par‑5 you were too long and then you have a problem?
PAULA CREAMER:  Which one?

Q.¬† I think yesterday on the par‑5, No. 5, you were too far and you were in the bush and you stayed there a long time?
PAULA CREAMER:  I made par, though, so that was good from the bush.

Q.  Amazing par.
PAULA CREAMER:  Thank you.

Q.¬† Your driver‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Yes, today I hit a 3‑wood.¬† No, it's not really ‑‑ it's a weird tee shot.¬† It was 280 through and down the right side.¬† It's just visually from the tee box it looks like you have no room to the left and everybody bails out to the right when you really do have a lot more room down the left side.¬† And 3‑wood I can be more aggressive and I can just swing.¬† Driver, I kind of have to hit it perfect and have a shorter club.¬† But I still went 3‑wood, 3‑wood today and I was fine.

Q.¬† So the driver yesterday was miss‑aiming or it was ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:¬† It was miss‑hit, yes.¬† It was a big cut down to the bush, as you saw.¬† But made par, so I was pretty excited about that.

Q.  It's been a while since you've won.  Is it frustrating or are you just kind of resigned to the fact that you're learning some new stuff?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I'm so competitive.  Of course I miss being in the winner's circle.  That's what I live for.  I love being in contention on Sunday, on the weekend.  There's nothing better than that.  That's why I play the game, to be in contention.
I feel that I'm a much better player than I've been showing.  I definitely have been going through a lot of things out on the golf course, and just overcoming things as well.  I hope by the end of the year we won't be saying that anymore, but if I just keep doing what I've been doing, I know that I can get there.
There's no reason why I can't win again multiple times and that's my goal.

Q.  You almost did it here last year.  Was that your best chance last year when you played here?
PAULA CREAMER:  To win last year?

Q.  To win?
PAULA CREAMER:  I played well at CME.  I took a ton of Top 10s last year.  Just never had four great days to win.  Obviously Yani played exceptionally well last year and was tough to beat.  But I had my moments where I kind of let some things go out on the golf course.  I've looked at it.  I've looked at the differences of when I could win four times in a year and why I didn't win last year and the year before I only won once at the Open.  And it just comes down to making putts and eliminating the bogeys.
And so far I'm very aware of it and I'm trying to get back to that mentality of a lot of greens and you know if you eliminate the mistakes, you're going to be in it.  And I'm two back right now and could have been a ton lower.  Now I have two more days left.

Q.  Some of the other players have mentioned to us that today the greens seemed to be a lot tougher.  They were all hitting the greens in regulation, and it seemed like they were missing those birdie putts like you were just saying.  Was there something different about the greens today that did that or was it just a mechanical thing with you?
PAULA CREAMER:  No.  They're tough to read.  They're tough greens.  You gotta constantly think of downtown and this and that, and you know, looking at a putt you want to say it's left to right, but you gotta look at where the low spot in the valley is, and it's hard.
It's difficult to play that way, you know, but I hit a lot of great putts and I guess they were just miss‑reads or whatnot.¬† I burned a lot of edges.
But it is, they roll very true, so if you start it on line, they're going in, but that's the hard part is getting it going where you think it should be.¬† There was constantly a couple times where I had to call my caddie and say, okay, is this here or here, and sometimes you tend to over think it, and I think that's kind of what my tendency was a little bit today with those eight, nine‑footers.
THE MODERATOR:  Any more questions for Paula?  Thank you very much for joining us and best of luck the rest of the week.

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