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August 21, 2013

Paula Creamer


THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I guess it's not quite afternoon; we're a little before noon.  But we'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 11, Paula Creamer into the interview room.  Thank you so much for joining us today.  Sure, it's nice to be back here in Edmonton.  The last time we were here in 2007 you finished runner up to Lorena Ochoa.  What are your memories of being back here to this golf course, and was it nice being out here yesterday and kind of seeing this place again?
PAULA CREAMER:  It was.  This is such a great golf course.  I remember why I think I played so well.  It's my type of golf course, tree‑lined, thick grass, tricky greens, got to put it in the right spots.  Coming off the greens last week, they were so fast.  I wasn't really quite sure what to expect coming into the next tournament with greens, and these are just as fast as they were last week.  So I kind of have that going for me, which is just visualizing pace, and breaking putts going in.
But it is.  It's so great to be just in Canada in general.  The fans here are so supportive, and it just shows you how lucky we are whenever we get to come back to a great place like this.

Q.  Talk about coming off last week when you're in a team, emotional, totally different format, how do you get back into the mindset of being back in stroke play again, four rounds, getting back to the grind of everything?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, it's a little harder the fact that you don't have your teammate there, but it's just one week every two years.  Being on a team is so fun.  It really was a great week for us.  We bonded really well.  Coming into this event, it's a new event.  You kind of unfortunately have to put last week in the past and move on to this one.  This is a big event for us.  Getting your rest at the beginning of the week is very important, and just trying to kind of be mentally prepared for the weekend.

Q.  I know things have been going well in your golf game.  Four top 11 finishes in your last five events, and two of those coming at the majors, tied for 11th at the Ricoh Women's British and tied for 11th at the U.S. Women's Open.  How do you feel about your game now and how things seem to be coming together for you?
PAULA CREAMER:  I feel really good, hitting the ball well.  I didn't quite hit the ball as well as I wanted on Sunday at the Solheim, but I've been putting better and I've been making some more putts here and there.  That is the biggest difference.  I'm just really trusting what my coach David Whelan and I have been working on.  Colin is very aware of all my swing changes and things like that and just really when we go to the range, we work on what we need to do and keep that going, keep my drills going, and really just doing it out when you have to in a tournament.

Q.  What is it about the Canadian Open that draws such a talented crowd here?
PAULA CREAMER:  First off, this is a great golf course, this is a great venue.  CN does a wonderful job of hosting us every time we come to Canada.  Just as a player, we look forward to coming to these events.  Nothing is taken for granted.  There is always a little special something that happens during the week, and the hospitality is just the best.
I think that's one of the reasons why you see so many top players here because of the elite status that CN has in our eyes.

Q.  In 2010 you win the U.S. Women's Open, just speak to the fact that you've had a lot of top 10 finishes, but just being able to, I guess, the third and fourth place finish, the difference between that and obviously first just the competition and how hard it's gotten?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, obviously, Inbee has been playing awesome.  You're kind of going against someone that it's a different level of playing out there right now.  My game is coming along.  I've always been very‑‑ my game has been consistent and trying to constantly be in contention.  I just need that one moment of breakthrough, and I think it will be a big difference.
It took a while after my surgery on my thumb to really get back.  I think people kind of forget that it doesn't happen miraculously overnight.  It does take some time just in trust and being able to do new things with my golf swing.  I feel like now I'm stronger than I've ever been.  I've been able to do different things with my golf swing.
I'm starting to believe in it and make more putts.  Making putts is what it all comes down to.  Inbee is the best putter out here, and I need to get better.  So those are the thing that's I need to work on to breakthrough.

Q.  You mentioned different levels of play; is it just the competition coming up or how would you sort of quantify that?
PAULA CREAMER:  The level of play?

Q.  The level of play right now.
PAULA CREAMER:  With Inbee's level.  She has so much confidence.  She just really believes.  It's tough to go against someone that is playing as well as she has been.  But it's making me get better, it's making every other girl out there practice harder and get better to give her a challenge and to fight for it.
But just in all, our level of play has gotten stronger, for sure, since I came out here even in the last five, six years.  It's definitely getting deeper into the field as well.  It's not only four or five top players.

Q.  I know you want to look ahead, but sort of back to last week when Charley Hull asked you for an autograph, were you sort of taken aback?
PAULA CREAMER:  No, not really.  I think that was pretty cool.  I kind of wish I would have asked Laura Davies or something like that in my first Solheim.  But it was‑‑ it was nice.  I didn't take offense or anything like that to it.  I thought it was pretty cute the way she asked for it.
But that's kind of the way that golf is going these days.  It's getting younger and younger.  So to be a role model or whatnot, it's a little strange for me to say that, but it was cool.

Q.  Can you just talk about the character you need as let's say a 15‑year‑old like Lydia Ko, to pull off a win here?
PAULA CREAMER:  I mean, it's going to be a big week.  I think that with Lydia, I've played a lot of golf with her the last couple times she's come to some of our events.  I've played with her at Wegmans, and she's just a great person.  She has a really good head on her shoulders, very much into her school and her golf and very well‑rounded.  If anybody can do it, she can do it.
I think her work ethic is great.  When she wants to rest, she rests.  It's not like she's out there just beating balls all day long.  She just really is very specific on what she does, and I think that's going to help her for the rest of her career.

Q.  What is the mindset of the Americans coming in?
PAULA CREAMER:  We feel good.  We got beat.  Plain and simple, we got beat.  You ask every one of us‑‑ I played really well.  Honestly, Sunday wasn't my best form, but the other matches that I played in, I played pretty solid.  I made a lot of birdies.  We just went up against a tough team.  They, like I said, they beat us.
You know, it's tough to say that, but it's something that we all know.  We're very proud of ourselves and how we conducted ourselves and how we feel we represented our country.  All I can say is we can't wait for Germany.  That is going to be a long two years.  It's a long four years without the cup, but we've got to get better.

Q.  You personally over the last couple of years, are you encouraged by the fact that you've been so close or frustrated by the fact that you haven't broken through?
PAULA CREAMER:  Both.  I think maybe last year was a tough year for me, just forcing things, trying to make things work.  I've kind of come to grasp a reality, I've been in talks with my dad, and my coach, and my caddie, and just letting it happen.  You find that you force things and you kind of get uneasy out there.  I had to kind of step back and just really enjoy the process of getting better and enjoy the process of trying to become better with my irons, become better at just golf in general, and it will all happen.  So I think it was more frustration, and now it's more just I'm excited to be at a tournament and to watch what's going to happen come Sunday.

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