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January 24, 2014

Paula Creamer


THE MODERATOR:¬† Good afternoon, everyone.¬† We'd like to welcome in Paula Creamer into the interview room.¬† Congratulations, a great 8‑under par round today, which included a double bogey on the first hole.¬† So there were plenty of birdies out there for you today.¬† Take me through that first hole and then how did you recover so well after that to go on such a birdie binge?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Well, I hit my tee shot left on 1.¬† It was kind of next to the cart path, and just hit it out and gave myself about a seven‑footer for par and I three‑putted.¬† I was above the hole, and I had about four and a half feet coming back, and I horseshoed it back right at me and walked away with a 6.
After that, hit a good tee shot on 2 and Colin said, okay, let's go, make some birdies, and I did.¬† I love playing in windy conditions.¬† I always have.¬† The more difficult, the better I feel that he and I work out on the course.¬† We just really stuck to our game plan.¬† You have to be kind of a feel player out in these kind of situations and trust what you're doing and committing to your shots, and that's something that I really worked hard on in the off‑season doing, and it just kind of paid off today.
THE MODERATOR:  You weren't the only hot player in your group.  Jessica was in here talking about how much she fed off what you were doing.  Is it a good thing whenever you've got another player in your group that's kind of getting that momentum, too?  Do you feed off of that?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, you want to keep up with someone who's playing well.  You don't want to get too far back or anything like that.  But she was hitting the ball really well the last two days and putting really well.  You know, it's important to kind of keep your momentum going in either situation, if nobody is playing well or if somebody is, to keep going.  Yeah, when I'd hit a good shot, she'd hit a good shot, or vice versa.  If she made a putt, I made a putt.  It was fun.  That's kind of what you want out there, especially when it's this difficult.
THE MODERATOR:  You were coming off a good season last year.  You seem to be working on a lot of things in your swing in recent years and things are coming together.  You also seem to be in a great place personally, just recently got engaged.  I see the very pretty ring on your finger.  What has that done for you, what's been happening in your personal life, to kind of carry over and show on the golf course?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Well, actually I think I have to give credit to Randy Mell for the pro‑am that we had on Wednesday, showing off those great putting skills.¬† I think that's what I'm accounting this to.
No, I'm just kidding (laughing).
No, it has.  I am in such a great place.  I'm so happy.  Derek just makes me want to be better, makes me want to be a better person.  This is my 10th year out here, and it's just kind of a refreshing new thing.  I needed something to kind of help with things.  It's always hard, life out on Tour as it is, but now being able to share things other than with my parents and Colin, it's been very exciting.
You know, this off‑season was great.¬† I only took about a week and a half off from golf and just was working on my things that I needed to work on, but also at the same time it's the greatest moment of my life for sure this past off‑season when I got engaged.

Q.  Can you go over the best moment of your life?
PAULA CREAMER:  That had to be it, for sure.

Q.¬† How did he‑‑
THE MODERATOR:  She wants details.
PAULA CREAMER:  How much time do we got here?
Well, I thought we were going to a winery, and Derek is very romantic.¬† He's like that, and I'm thinking, okay, well, maybe this is where it's going to happen, and then he pulls into this place, and I'm thinking, this is not a winery, and it was an indoor skydiving.¬† I said‑‑ he goes, we need to be a little bit more adventurous.¬† I said, adventurous?¬† Indoor skydiving?¬† So I called my dad, can I even do this, am I allowed to skydive?¬† I'm in like a leather skirt, a blouse, I had heels on.¬† I'm like, I don't have any clothes.¬† He's like, you can change.¬† So we go, indoor skydive, and the next thing I know they're saying, okay, are you ready for your jump.¬† I'm like, what jump, what are you talking about.¬† There's the plane over there, and the guy I tandem jumped with was a Green Beret.¬† My dad talked to him, everybody talked to him.¬† His resum√© was far enough beyond what anybody needed to call him, but that's the way it was, especially in my family being an only child and everything.
But there we went, and it was so romantic.  It was kind of cool.  I didn't think that it would be skydiving, that's for sure.  But he likes to be a little bit out of the ordinary, too.
But yeah, I was fine.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, skydiving.  You never feel like you're falling.  It's actually a really cool feeling.

Q.  Was that a bigger plane than the one we were on flying in?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Not really, no.¬† It was a prop one, too.¬† We beat it down.¬† It came like five minutes later after we made it.¬† Like geez, it had big jaws on it.¬† It was a big shark.¬† I'm like, why can't it be like an angel, something nice?¬† It's like this mean‑looking shark.¬† I'm like, I don't want to go up there and jump out of a perfectly good airplane that looks like Jaws.
It's pretty neat to be able to share stuff like that.  Not a lot of people get to voice kind of what happens in their life, and I've always been very private with everything, and people I don't even think knew I had a boyfriend.  But it is, it's been really fun, and being very open about it is kind of a new step for me, as well.

Q.  Did it happen after you got on the ground?

Q.  So you couldn't read it from the sky?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, I could read it.

Q.  Did you think the proposal was out the window, you didn't think it was going to happen when you were getting on the plane?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, what ultimately ended up happening was it was really, really windy and they wouldn't let us jump and everybody was leaving and we were the only ones getting into the airplane, and I'm looking at him thinking, why are all these extreme sports people leaving and we're going on this plane.  I can't put the two together.
We went up, and then we came back down, and all of our family was there, and we were able to‑‑ then he proposed then, and then we went back up and we jumped and the signs were out and everything.
But I was thinking‑‑ at that point I had no idea anymore.¬† I was too tired of trying to figure out what was going on and really trying to let me brain realize that I'm going to go jump out of an airplane, too.¬† There was a lot going on at one time.

Q.  Wasn't that what you were going to do after you won an Open?
PAULA CREAMER:  I was going to do it at media day in Colorado.  I was going to jump with an Air Force team, and it happens to be he's in the Air Force, as well.
But no, it was too foggy.  The visibility, and then it was too windy this time.  I'm thinking, it's just not meant to be, guys.  It's okay, we've tries two times.  That's fine.  They're like, third time's a charm.  I'm like, I hope so, because there's a lot riding on this jump.
So enough about my personal life.

Q.¬† You've always been a good iron player, but today you were just throwing darts out there.¬† Can you talk about anything you worked on in the off‑season that you were really pleased with how it was working?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Well, I pretty much broke down my golf swing before we went to Asia last year.¬† At the time it was a really big decision to‑‑ I've always been working on my golf swing, but this was something that I really needed to do.¬† Yeah, you could look at it and say, why do you wait for the off‑season to do what I was trying to do, but I wanted to learn to take it from the driving range to the golf course.
So I didn't finish off the year the way that I wanted, but I was seeing a lot of positive things happen.  My misses at that time were just so bad, and that caused a lot of my higher numbers and things like that.
You know, I just wanted to stick with those changes, and I put a new driver in.¬† I'm hitting the ball a little bit further than what I have in the past, in the last year.¬† But just really just trusting what David Whelan and I have been doing and playing a lot more.¬† I became way too technical, way too much wrapped up about my golf swing, which you have to do that when you're making those changes, but taking it from there to the course in the off‑season was probably the biggest thing. ¬†I needed to become a player again, and I lost that for a while, and I definitely have found just assessing lies, things like that, I was so wrapped up about hitting on a flat lie, and I kind of forgot what we needed to do out on the golf course.

Q.  What was it in a nutshell?
PAULA CREAMER:  Like the swing basically?  You know, obviously everybody looks at it and I lose my height, but I really lose my height in the takeaway.  Once you start going down, then the only way is to get steep and start cutting across it, and I was just pulling basically everything, but I was hitting it left to right, I was hitting cuts and fades.  It's easy for me to show you, it's hard for me to tell you.  But basically it's loading into my right side and making my hips bump more lateral, like this way, instead of turning, whereas that's what causes my right shoulder to get high, and I'm trying to keep my right shoulder low.  That way I can come more on plane, and then I can start it out to the right and hit those draws.
But the timing of that and the release, I am so on the negative with my angle of attack with my driver, that's why I'm a good iron player, but I needed to change that.¬† So I basically for a little while had two golf swings, trying to feel like I'm hitting it over a mountain and then trying to switch back to an iron swing, and it was really difficult, and the timing of it was the hardest thing for me.¬† And then, like I said, then going out here and playing left to right, right‑to‑left wind, stuff like that, basically just to keep my body behind the ball more might get my swing plane on path.

Q.  Is the added distance off the tee more the swing tweaks or was it some equipment stuff?
PAULA CREAMER:  I would say it's both.  For sure golf swing.  I mean, I'm tall, I'm a strong girl.  I should have always hit the ball fart with my driver, but when you're hitting the ball down it's just spinning so much.  You're not going to hit it what I should.  I have long arms and my arc is wide, things like that.  I did put a new driver in, the jet speed TaylorMade, and then I put in the new Bridgestone RX ball, and for all those three things, yeah, it's going to go farther.  The good golf swing makes the equipment better, which makes your ball go farther, things like that.
THE MODERATOR:  I think we covered a lot of everything.  Thanks, Paula.

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