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March 19, 2014

Paula Creamer


THE MODERATOR:  What everybody has been asking you about, I think we are now calling it the putt, because it's been everywhere and we have seen it, and there's a video we posted on LPGA.com of all the different announcers from around the world that talked about that.
Take me back to that moment and what it's been like since the reaction of sinking such a remarkable putt.
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, it's been pretty cool to come back.  It was nice to have two weeks off after that and just truly enjoy it.  It's been a long time coming; I think just to hold a trophy, let alone in that style and that fashion for sure.
But it was remarkable.  The time that it happened, everything, and my reaction was just, that was me.  I had‑‑ what do you do?  You can't plan for that?  That's just pure genuine of holy smokes, it just went in the hole from that far away.
You know, it was, it was exciting, and I never realized how big the putt really was.  I just was excited I finally won, let alone like I said, a 75‑footer.  It is; that's golf, that's the way things happen, and Colin was shaking his head at me just because, you know, we've had a lot of up‑and‑downs on the golf course with things and finally something kind of went my way, on a moment, he just shook his head at me.
THE MODERATOR:  For having to endure so many times of being asked when are you going to get back in the winner's circle, I think you put an exclamation point on ending those questions for sure.
PAULA CREAMER:  Now it's going to be:  When are you going to win again probably or your next major, but that's okay.  We take one at a time.
THE MODERATOR:  The victory, overall how you've been playing this year, seems you've been the most comfortable with where you've been in your game and where you're at.
PAULA CREAMER:  I definitely feel like how I started as a rookie coming out and playing and just a lot of confidence, and you have a good mind‑set of if you hit a bad shot, it's okay.  You go get it up‑and‑down or go do something remarkable, and that's kind of always been the way that I've played.
I feel very comfortable with my swing now.  David Whelan and I, I keep saying we've been working so hard and people have kind of questioned, you know, why were you doing this, why were you doing that; it's all to get better.  It's all to move forward and to try and reach my goals, and I do.  I feel confident and making some more putts, and when that happens, good things had only happen.
THE MODERATOR:  We've been talking a lot about the Race to the CME Globe and you're leading the points, and we're still very early in the year.  What does it mean to see yourself at the top of the Money List early, showing that your performance is coming together?
PAULA CREAMER:  It's definitely a good start.  It's still very early in the season, and my goals are always to maintain and be consistent.  I can't complain with how I've started, that's for sure.  But you can't control anybody else.  You can't control what people do.  You can only do what's in your own hands.
I'm just going to keep continuing playing, trying to play the way that I have been and stick with my same swing thoughts and things and hopefully when it comes time to play for that million dollars, I'll be in that group of nine and hopefully have a chance.

Q.  When John Senden won last week in Tampa he had a big, ten‑foot breaking putt that he hit to inches so save his par and win his tournament, what he said is he just looked at it lightly.  How hard did you work on that putt of yours?
PAULA CREAMER:  You could see I was walking over because there's so many ways to play those long putts.  I was talking to Colin, it's more about from that distance, what you leave yourself, and I wish you could kind of hear‑‑ I said, I know the higher I play it, it's going to be the fastest coming down, but it's really the only way that I can get it somewhat close or make it type of way to putt.
I could go farther left and be a little bit safer and kind of be maybe hopefully just inside off his mark, but I don't play that way and he knows that and he just said just do it‑‑ you know what you're doing and that kind of thing.
But those are just feel putts.  It was 75 feet but it was really like 35 feet because I was putting it sidewise across the ridge and the last part of it was just straight downhill. 

Q.  As you well know, this is a frustrating game, and ten years that you've been out here, you've had one caddie, one coach, one agent, one equipment company.  A lot of players when they struggle a little bit make changes; how did you stay so patient and so committed to the people around you?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I'm very big into loyalty.  I've been so lucky to have a coach that understands my type of play; a caddie that is just such a hard worker, and he took a chance with me.  You know, 18 years old, a rookie, coming out, still in high school, and at that time, that was kind of unheard of, and now it's like, normal.  But it was; it was different, and the same manager with Jay.
It's funny you look at it, with my sponsors, I've only played one ball also, TaylorMade Bridgestone, and I like that.  I think that they took a chance with me, and I've always felt very strong with them.  I think the biggest, not recognition or whatnot, but it needs to go to them.  They have always dealt with me.  I'm not‑‑ I'm easy but I'm not that easy.
David has definitely‑‑ I must have sent him ten videos in the week, just each week of my golf swing; I was just constantly working on it.  We have such a good relationship and that's what it comes down to is communication, relationship.  In those tough times it was very easy to get frustrated and mad at each other, like why isn't this working and you had to be patient, and you had to learn that.
That was probably the biggest thing I've ever learned is how to mature in a situation like that, because they only want what's best for me, too.  It's hard to kind of think that way when you're making bogeys and you're not hitting it down the fairway and you look at them and it's easy to blame them.  But it all came down to me and I think that they kind of saw that near the end.  The beginning was tough.  I was looking at them like, what are we doing, why are we doing this and they are just like, keep it going, keep it going and I'm like, okay, and it all kind of happens for a reason.

Q.  Cheyenne Woods was in here earlier‑‑ what do you know of her‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:  I think that she's definitely handled herself very well and she will continue to.  She has a great golf swing.  She's won and she knows what it's like to feel and how to do it and get the job done, and I'm sure she's going to be around for a long time and her names going to be more and more on the leaderboard as it goes.
I think a lot of it, her going and playing on the Ladies European Tour, I don't know what that's like, I can't relate to that but I know competition is competition wherever you're at and I think it was a smart thing to do.  Just like I said, her name will be much more on the leaderboard here in the LPGA, as well. 

Q.  What makes playing here at the LPGA Founders Cup special to you?
PAULA CREAMER:  Oh, just the title of the tournament.  I mean, I think the fact that Marilynn Smith comes out and watches me for three holes today and calls me over after I hit a slot and says, "I need to tell you something."   She goes, "I don't care if you want to hear it or not, I want to tell you."
I'm like, "Okay."
She's like, "You need to keep your left foot down; you're getting too jumpy on your golf swing."
I was like, "okay," and then I went out and started hitting the ball pretty well, pretty decent.  It's one of my tendencies.
But to have Marilynn Smith call you over in front of a hundred people that are standing there:  Paula, I need to tell you something; okay, it's what you do.  I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the Founders.
Phoenix is a great place and great spot for golf.  We always get such great fans, and they do a lot for girls golf here and for the juniors.  And what's what it all comes down to is showing the game to the young ones.  They are the future of golf.  If they can't see it, how are they going to get involved the in game.
So many families come out.  But just the fact that it is for them and it's a tribute and we can do what we can, because like I said, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them.

Q.  In this tournament, Stacy and Karrie both did the Singapore, Phoenix double; do you think the way it fits in the schedule where you're on the super high and you get a chance to catch your breath and you're still really riding the momentum, that maybe that has something to do with that?
PAULA CREAMER:  You mean like off of a win?  It's nice that you do get two weeks off in between.  It's not‑‑ you can kind of regroup and then come back out and play.  It's hard to go tournament, tournament, tournament and do well and to win back‑to‑back, that kind of way.
But to have the two weeks off, yeah, I can see why‑‑ and those girls, you know, this golf course fits their games really well, too.  It's nice when you can come to a golf course after you win and feel comfortable on it and to go out and do it.  But I think it's a nice rest but it's also‑‑ these golf courses are a lot like what we play in Asia with the run‑offs and that kind of thing.  There's no rough.  Even though we're in Asia over there, it's similar to that, you don't have to hit a flop‑shot or things like that.  It's still the same type of game.

Q.  You've always been someone who paid close attention to the Founders and made sure you went over and talked to them and just the elder generation.  Did someone pull you aside when you were younger and say, hey, this is really important, because not everyone's like that or did you just think within yourself that this is the right thing to do?
PAULA CREAMER:  I guess my parents taught me well, too.  You know, it's respect.  I have tons of respect for them, for what they went through‑‑ in any sport, especially women, trailblazing a path for us just as female athletes.
I got to meet Kathy Whitworth when I was very young.  I played in her tournament, and I went and talked to her.  I think my parents were always very big on, don't be shy, don't be nervous, go up and if you have a question, ask.  They'd be more than glad to come and help you and that kind of thing.
And I do; like I said, it's just a respect.  I finds that it's important to give that when you don't normally get to see these women.  I wasn't there to watch them play and things like that.  I find it remarkable what they have done.  But I would have to say my parents kind of taught me what‑‑ how to do that.  I'm interested to learn, too, about what they went through.

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