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June 1, 2012

Paula Creamer


THE MODERATOR:  All right.  We'd like to welcome Rolex Ranking's No. 13 Paula Creamer into the interview room.  Congratulations.  A great round today, especially a great way to finish.  Can you take me through the day out there and what was working well for you?
PAULA CREAMER:  It played tough.  The golf course definitely played hard.  It was very windy.  The harder holes on the golf course were even more hard.  I don't even know how to explain it, except to say even more how tough it was, a lot of long clubs into some par 4s that normally we're hitting 6, 7‑irons and now we're hitting woods into.
Overall I hit the ball really well.  Didn't make too many mistakes.  I still had two bogeys, but I gave myself a lot of opportunities and just kind of was plugging along.
The scores weren't super low early on that I saw, so I knew just try to do what I can and made some birdies early on, and finished with an eagle, which is always nice.
THE MODERATOR:  Can you take me through that eagle on 18?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah.  I hit driver, 3‑wood around about 235 it was to the hole, and you know, I hit it pretty good and just kind of went up to about five and a half, six feet, and it wasn't a gimme by any means, so I grinded it out and made a good six‑footer and it was nice.  It was a nice way to finish.
THE MODERATOR:  We've talked a lot this season about the changes you've made in your swing and what you've been working on.  Do you feel like your game is starting to peak and is this a good time knowing the majors that are coming up?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I don't want it to peak too soon by any means, but yes, I do feel the work I've been doing is starting to pay off.  I've had a lot of really good practices on my week off, but I think last week was probably one of the best ones I've had in a long time.
I don't know what it was.  We did a lot of video work, and something just really clicked, and I feel my golf swing a lot more than what I have in the last several tournaments, and you know, I can do it on a driving range day in and day out.  It's just taking it to the golf course.
And then when you get conditions like this where it's windy and you have to hit different shots, it makes it even harder to (not) revert back to your bad habits, but I've just been really trying to stick with it because when it's good, it's really good.  I know that.  I can feel it, and I just have to keep persevering through it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Paula?

Q.  Paula, with an event like this only being 54 holes is there the idea that you have to throw in a super low number somewhere to win, that it's going to take a 65 or 64 or lower?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, definitely 65 today was a great score.  The golf course played hard.  But three‑day tournaments, I think they're almost harder than four days because you have no room for error.  If you start off on the wrong foot, then you're chasing the whole time.  You don't really have that much golf left, but if you put yourself in contention it makes it a lot easier going into tomorrow and Sunday.
I like it.  I think it puts a premium on trying to have as many good holes as you possibly can, and you can't backpedal.  But it is.  I think it's a little bit different mindset, a little bit more aggressive at times, because you just can't make those mistakes and birdies are where it comes down to, especially on this golf course.

Q.  Speaking of this golf course, it's the shortest one you play all year, and we have a pretty good forecast for the weekend.  It seems the wind is going to die down and you're going to have some good scoring conditions out there hopefully.  Is this something that you feel is a really good thing for the LPGA Tour or do you wish the courses were longer in general or do we need more courses like this?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I mean I've always grown up on tree‑lined narrow golf courses, making ‑‑ you have to shape the ball, work the ball, do all types of things, have creativity.  That's what I like.  I enjoy that.  I don't think it necessarily has to be 7,000 yards to prove somebody is a good golfer.
If you can hit a 10‑yard fade into a hole or have a tree in the middle of the fairway and you have to work around it, that to me is what golf is all about and it always has been.  You know, technology and obviously equipment has changed the game.
But I do.  I like golf courses like this.  I've always played well when you have kind of ‑‑ you have to think your way around.  It's not necessarily take your driver and just pound it down there, you can hit it anywhere type of thing.
I do.  I think that we need some golf courses like this.  It just kind of is fun to play.

Q.  Does it showcase the LPGA players' talents better?
PAULA CREAMER:  I mean it's 50/50.  I mean yes and no.  There's going to be a lot of birdies made.  I do think that we're a very good tour.  We have a lot of great long players and we have a lot of great players that don't hit it quite as far but are great wedge players.
You know, what looks better, 15‑under par or 7‑under, I don't know.  As long as you're near the top of the leaderboard, I guess that's all that really matters.

Q.  Quick question also on your swing.  You said that something clicked in this last week.  Can you give us a little bit more detail on what that was or is it just a general feeling?
PAULA CREAMER:  No.  It's specifically more my downswing.  I've always fought setting my wrists, taking it back and especially now after halfway back having a fully set wrist.  I've really struggled with that basically my whole career, and then when I had thumb surgery it made it even worse because I lost a lot of range of motion; and that's starting to come back.  I use a swing guide and things like that, but mainly my downswing is more just straight down instead of basically I'm cutting across.  That's my miss and I start hitting these fades.
And for some reason right now I can just really feel it I guess dropping into the slot kind of thing, and I haven't been able to feel that for a while.  And that's where I can gain my power, and I've kept up with the girls today which is a good thing for me.

Q.  Paula, you mentioned yesterday that this course is kind of special for you for obvious reasons.  Is there something like specific to the course that brings out the best in your golf?
PAULA CREAMER:  Just I think the greens, they're small, they're tiny and there's certain spots you can't miss.  And I'm a very good iron player.  That's one of my strengths has always been my irons and my wedges and it puts a premium on that out here.  And I feel that I constantly am giving myself looks at birdies, and that's what you have to have.  In conditions like this it puts even more of a premium on hitting the middle of the greens and you're never very far away.

Q.  You teed off in the sunshine and it was pretty nice.  How did the conditions change?  Did you find the winds shifting or coming from a different direction than in the practice rounds?
PAULA CREAMER:  Definitely.  When I first started out it was sort of left‑to‑right, and it still kind of stayed that way but then it started to change and then kind of went back.  My aunt went and got my umbrella.  I didn't have it.  I was freezing at one point and then I got hot at the end of the day.  It was like the British Open out there.
But I like playing this golf course harder.  I think it ‑‑ like I said, you have to hit good iron shots.  The par 4s play a lot tougher.  When you're hitting 5 and 7‑woods into these narrow little skinny greens, it brings a lot of trouble into play.
So it does.  It affects that.  But the weather, like you said, I guess it's not going to be nice here on the weekend, so you're going to have to make even more birdies.
THE MODERATOR:  Any more questions for Paula?  Thank you very much and best of luck going into the weekend.

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