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April 2, 2013

Paula Creamer


KRAIG KANN:  Thank you for joining us here in the media center.  I'm joined now by Paula Creamer.  (System not switched on.)
Let's talk about the car accident.  How are you?  The very next week you're playing and contending.  Was that base you were relaxed because you had no expectations?  Did you surprise yourself?
PAULA CREAMER:  You know, I'm a person that if I'm literally not on my death bed then I will be playing golf.  I've always been that way.  Takes a lot for me to sit out.  Takes a lot for me to withdraw from anything.
I'm a fighter.  I asked the doctors and the physio lady that was there, am I doing any harm to my body going out and playing?  They said, No, not really.  I said, Okay.  That's my green light and here we go.
I didn't see the golf course.  I didn't play it.  I called on my caddie the whole time.  I guess it kind of proved a couple points to me when I did that.
KRAIG KANN:  Talk about this week and how you're feeling with your game and the importance of this event to you.  You obviously won a major championship, and another opportunity to win this one.
PAULA CREAMER:  I do.  I feel great.  I love coming here.  I have a lot of family and friends that come out.  And watch the tradition and everything behind this event, it's one of the best.  That's why it's been around for so long.
Just being able to come to a golf course that we played so many times, the condition is perfect.  I don't think I've seen it this good in a long time.  The greens are starting to firm up; they're getting fast.  It'll be a good weekend.
KRAIG KANN:  Questions from the audience?

Q.  What do you need to do that's a little different to improve the results you've had in this tournament?  You've played well but never really been there on Sunday afternoon.
PAULA CREAMER:  My biggest thing for me, and I've looked over the past ‑‑ jeez, this is my ninth one as a professional, and I played it as an amateur as well.  I have to just do better at par‑5s.  I have not really taken advantage that.  I'm a great iron player.  I play well on the par‑4s, the par‑3s.  I need to do a little bit better on the par‑5s.
I think that'll help a lot.  This golf course is all about thinking and being smart, where to be a little bit more aggressive in spots out there, and just really trusting lines on putts.
This is my ninth one as a professional.  You get a lot of the same putts over and over again because of where the pin placements are.  Just trust that.  You know, all the stuff that has the effect on the greens, it's definitely there and you have to be aware of it.

Q.  I assume that on the par‑5s, 2 and 11, are those the par‑5s that you even think about going for in two, or are you wedging them in there?
PAULA CREAMER:  That's a lot of it, is the pin placements, where they're at, where you're at.  Sometimes on normal golf courses, 30, 40 yards short is fine.  You have a good shot is.
But these greens are so firm and bouncy you're sometimes in no‑man's land with little pitches.  I've put myself there, so there are times I'm laying up far back if I can't go for it, or I am going to try and get into the bunker and use my short game.
This last week I worked so hard on the wedges and short game because of that very reason, for the par‑5s.
KRAIG KANN:  I know you were in the back during Stacy's press conference, who is now No. 1 in the world.  I know that's a goal of yours.  Thoughts of an American being on top on this tour.
PAULA CREAMER:  I think it's great.  Stacy is great player and a fighter.  I like grinders.  Juli Inkster is my role model.  I like people that grind and are never going to quit.  She's raising the bar for golf.  It was only a matter of time when an American was going to step up.
She's deserved it.  It's hard because obviously that where I want be.  I want be the No. 1 American, the No. 1 player in the world.  At the same time, I have to take care of my own business.  She's making me work harder.

Q.  How many people can win this week?

Q.  And talk about the growing depth of the tour.
PAULA CREAMER:  Gosh, this week it's up for anybody.  It's a tournament where you can be right out in the lead the first couple days, and when the weekend hits you never see the leader.
It's a golf course that really doesn't fit one person's game.  You can be long, and some of the holes it doesn't really matter.  I think it's more about your short irons.  You're obviously making putts, things like that, but it's harder to say five players that are going to be in contention just because of the way the golf course is.
And the second question?

Q.  The depth of the tour right now.
PAULA CREAMER:  It's growing.  I think this is one of our best schedules we've had for a while.  We're able to be in the States more often and play here.  Just being able to play and have opportunities to come out here has changed so much.  I think younger girls are taking advantage of that and seeing what it's like and being able to come out here.
KRAIG KANN:  You've got nine victories and that major championship.  It has been a little while, probably impatience for you.  You've talked about that before.  Is that as much about Paula Creamer and her game or the depth of the tour and how much more difficult it may be to win out here?
PAULA CREAMER:  No, that's 100% me, I think.  I've gone through a lot the last two years just recovering from surgery, recovering from a lot of different things.
I think that my body is actually where it should be right now.  You know, it's hard when you have a major surgery and then to come back right away, especially with the expectations and the goals that I have.  I think I might've pushed myself a little bit too hard, too fast.  It's a learning experience.
Do I wish I could be back in time in the last year and have won?  100%, yes.  It'll come.  Sooner hopefully rather than later.  I have to really continue what my coach and I have been working on and not push too hard.
KRAIG KANN:  That leap into Poppy's Pond, I'm sure you thought about that a few times.  Been some good and some mediocre jumps.  Have you played that out in your mind?  Do you have a springboard thing planned?
PAULA CREAMER:  I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but obviously it's very easy to think about it.  You talk about it every day.  I don't think I would be very graceful.  I think I would go for a cannonball.  That would be a great moment.  Hopefully that will come one day.
KRAIG KANN:  Paula Creamer, thanks for joining us.  Appreciate it.

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