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March 3, 2015

Paula Creamer


MOLLY GALLATIN:  Good afternoon, I'd like to welcome the defending champion, Paula Creamer into the interview room.
Paula, obvious first question today is about the putt last year.  Can you talk about it a little bit, and will you ever get tired of seeing those replays?
PAULA CREAMER:  No, never.  I never will get tired of that.
I've played the back nine yesterday, and I went and putted it a couple times to see.  The golf course is in different shape than it was last year.  The greens were a little bit faster, and the fairways weren't quite as wet as they are right now.
So it did‑‑ I putted to about three, four feet and I'm thinking, I remember this last year, trying to hope that it would stay on the green.¬† It was neat to see the plaque on the 18th fairway, and go up there and kind of look at the green and just remembering the moment of that going in.
I played with Morgan yesterday, and it was kind of cool.  We were talking about how the first time I hit the fairway was in the playoff holes and stuff and just bringing back those great memories.
MOLLY GALLATIN:  So you tried to recreate the putt yesterday?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Yeah, of course.¬† I don't ever have to do it again like in that setting‑‑ well, hopefully, you never know.¬† But it would be pretty rare if I had that same exact putt.¬† But yeah, I tried it again.¬† I didn't stand there and putt 25 balls.¬† I just thought that one or two times would be kind of fun.
MOLLY GALLATIN:  So looking back on it, you said after your press conference last year, it might be one of your favourite wins.  Now that you've had a year to reflect, is it up there.
PAULA CREAMER:  Oh, for sure.  Just I wasn't won for so long, and that drought and the fashion that it went down, just a playoff, and that long, the reaction, everything that came about.  I just think that it was definitely a moment that I will remember, more in a personal way.
I think my U.S. Open was just great golf.  There's obviously every win that you have is a little bit different but this one was so big to overcome, and just the mental block, as well.
MOLLY GALLATIN:   Last year you said something to the effect of, the pictures and the moments are something that you're going to show your kids and grand kids one day.  Do you envision that moment being something hanging on your wall at home?
PAULA CREAMER:  Besides my U.S. Open trophy, it's my only other trophy at my house, and I think that says a lot, just my parents have all my other trophies, but it did, yeah.
So it's not a picture on the wall but it is something that means a lot to me and I look at it pretty much every day I'm home.  I see it and it reminds me of just perseverance of working hard. 
       Obviously there's a little luck involved in that, too, but I made some good saving shots coming down in the real 18 holes played that day before the playoff, so, yes, it is something that I will keep around.
MOLLY GALLATIN:  This is your sixth time playing here; what is it about Singapore and the HSBC Women's Champions that you like coming back to?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† I just have always had such a great time when I'm here.¬† I think when you enjoy yourself at golf tournaments, or just in general anywhere, it brings the best out of you.¬† I love the city.¬† I love the food.¬† I love the people.¬† I really like the culture here and like I said, it's a great week.¬† I think HSBC does such a good job of hosting us and putting on a well‑run tournament.¬† It's something that, I've played in team events here and I've played by myself, individual tournaments and I've always just had a great time.
MOLLY GALLATIN:  Today, you're participating in the photo call, aren't you?
MOLLY GALLATIN:¬† You're one of the more fashion‑forward players on Tour.¬† Are you excited?¬† Are you looking forward to it?
PAULA CREAMER:  I love fashion.  I love everything about it.  I think that's another reason why I like Singapore so much is everybody just dresses so nice and they look so well put together and presentable; and fashion obviously here with the malls and the stores is right up my alley.  But I try to spend as much time as I can here, so I don't have to do it when I'm back there.  It's easy to get swept away.
But it will be fun tonight.  I guess we're wearing some really pretty dresses.  It's neat to be able to do something a little different.

Q.¬† Regarding the spectacular putt last year, winning in that way, it's a moment that I guess is difficult to top.¬† So what is your mind‑set coming in, are you under more pressure with that weight of expectation on you?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† I think if I had to putt again, I would have ‑‑ more pressure would be put on me to do it again.¬† I would take a tap‑in to win a tournament.¬† I don't need to have that big, long putt again.
But you know, there is‑‑ the most pressure comes from myself and not from what people think or what their expectations are for me.¬† It comes from what I want and my goals.
I struggled a bit in the last couple of years.¬† Whenever you change things and swings and change your golf swing, you're going to go through some up‑and‑downs, and people kind of question doing that.
But I know for the longevity of my career for my body, I had to do it.¬† And that putt last year and that win was just‑‑ kind much helped me realise that it's okay to be going backwards a little bit.¬† It was a motivating type thing for me and going into this year, I love the golf course.¬† I played really well on Sunday.¬† Actually played pretty well the whole week in Thailand last week.¬† I just had some bigger numbers than I normally do.
But I do, I feel good.  I feel like there really isn't any pressure on me.  I just want to go out and play good golf.

Q.  Now that you're married, has there been a change of emphasis when you play golf, when let's say, you've had a less good day, who would you tell, your dad or your husband?
PAULA CREAMER:  That's a bad question.  Both ways I get in trouble (laughter).  I do.
But you everybody goes through this.¬† I just‑‑ everybody watches me go through this.¬† Not everybody gets to sit in front of interviews and talk about getting married.¬† I mean, how many people in this room are married and they go through life things, and just being able to deal with it with your family and I deal with it now with my husband.
On the tough days, it's nice to actually be able to call both of them.  Now I have more people I get to call.  And on the good days, I have more people to call.  But you know, life has changed.  I think if anything, after my honeymoon, I have never been so motivated.  I felt well rested.  I felt excited.  The fact that Derek has so many wonderful things going on in his life, as well, and that he's working towards, it's rubbing off onto me.  With his new job.
It's exciting to see somebody that wants to work hard at something and it just was very refreshing, after all said and done, getting married.¬† I've worked my butt off.¬† I haven't had that long of an off‑season because of the wedding and things, but I've put in a lot of time and I really do feel this is going to be a good year for me.

Q.  You mentioned about the course being in different shape than last year.  Can you expand on that a little bit?  And might you also compare the Sentosa Course to some of the courses you play in North America?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, this golf course is just beautiful to play, and walking off the first hole and on the green you see the beautiful waterfall in the background, too, all the ports and boats out there and the ships and the cruise ships coming in, I think it's just one of the most beautiful places.
So to clarify for the North America golf courses, it's similar in the sense of, you've got to hit good golf shots but the greens are just so much bigger than what we play in the States.  Similar styles with the bunker and things like that.  But I think the beauty of it is so different.
And to how it's playing different this year, the golf course is just much more‑‑ it's soft but the greens are firm.¬† It's a very weird combination.¬† I don't think the greens are as fast as they were last year, but it is still Tuesday, so I feel like they can go out there and they will get the greens a little quicker and they will get the fairways a little bit shorter.
The rough is not really‑‑ it doesn't really come into play that much.¬† Bunkers are great.¬† I would just say it's not‑‑ the ball isn't going as far here as it has in the past.

Q.  And how is it after coming from pretty fast greens last week?
PAULA CREAMER:  I think that's the other part of it is last week's greens, they were so fast.  These are fast but they are nothing like what they were, so I think that has a little bit to do with it, as well.
But I do feel like they will get them quicker and it will be back to kind of, by Sunday, hopefully there's not much rain.  I know they need it out here.  But for us it would be nice to let it hold off for a little bit longer.

Q.  A lot of players now are looking towards 2016 and the Olympic Games; what are your thoughts about golf being in the Olympics will you try and make the team?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† That is my No. 1 goal.¬† That is what I want to do.¬† That is everything that I have ever wanted, to represent my country in the Olympics.¬† I have a little bit over a year to kind of get my butt back into shape and get into that‑‑ make that team.
There's only a couple girls that get that opportunity to do it and to play, and that is something that I would love to do. I know I have to work hard because everybody else is working hard, as well.  But I'm going I would be honoured to be on that, and I think it's great for golf in general that it's in the Olympics.

Q.¬† How confident are you of can he fending your title and what do you have to say about the wave of young talent coming up?¬† And also, is it better or worse now that you are better‑‑ it's your 11th year on Tour now.
PAULA CREAMER:  Basically I'm getting old, is what you're saying.  I'm 28 years old and I feel like this ancient woman whack walking around there but in real life, 28 is not that old but out here you're like a grandma.
It's great to see younger girls playing well.  It just shows how many opportunities that we're give willing junior golf and all over the world they are practising and they are giving young kids a place to play golf.
You know, I think that there's a big difference of learning how to grow up, as well, and not just say, here is a golf club and go play.  You have to really, truly love the game.  And to have a long career, I think that's what shows, you know, somebody who really loves the game, how long they play, not just these little bursts.

Q.  How confident are you of defending your title and fighting off the challenge?
PAULA CREAMER:  Like I said, I feel great, I really do.  I've always played well at this golf course.  I think it sets up really well.  You've got to hit good golf shots.  You've got to make some good putts.  There's some key holes that you just need to make par on and there are some key holes where you've got to take advantage on the par 5s.
I'm really looking forward to Thursday.  I think that it will be a good week but also I'm not going to sit there and put tons of pressure on myself to try and do something and go against my plan of what I want to do on the golf course.

Q.  At what point in your career would you say you've stopped worrying about what this person is doing or what that rival is doing and just simply mind your own business and concern yourself with your own score?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† I don't know if it was necessarily a point where you stop looking at what people do or what's going on.¬† I think it's more of just, for me, it was probably right around 2010 when I had surgery, your life just changes and things get just a little bit different, and the mind‑set of, well, if I don't ever get to play golf again, when I go back out there, I am going to be all about what I want to do, not what anybody else wants, not what they feel, and just take care of my own game and my own life.
I would say that was probably the only moment, really.  But I've never been a person that's just watched a lot of girls.  I've never really paid attention to any of that stuff.  I just go out and play.  If you get wrapped up in all that, I think it makes life a little bit uncomfortable, too.  You step out of your own comfort ground, and I think it's important to really be real with what your goals are and your expectations.  And I think that's something that I learned when I did have surgery was to be real with my whole team around me and be honest and tell them what I want.

Q.  Last year the LPGA added a fifth major championship in Europe.  Are you a little bit surprised that given the amount of LPGA events in Asia now and the number of Asian players that there is not an LPGA major right here in Asia, possibly here in Singapore?
PAULA CREAMER:  Really, I can't really answer that question.  That's Commissioner's job for you on that one.  I'm just going to the tournaments and playing them.
Evian is a great event.  All tournaments, honestly, that we play, they are big.  They are big tournaments, and this is one of them that all the players love.  That's why we are all here.

Q.  Last week your fairways in regulation were really good.  Your driving seemed to be really good.  So where do you think you need to improve this week?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Last week‑‑ well, I switched irons a couple times this year and I'm actually about, I would say a club and a half, almost two clubs longer, literally in two weeks, just because of my equipment change.¬† I've been kind of working with my numbers and things like that.
So being a little bit more precise with my irons and hitting more greens out was something that I definitely need to improve on.  I'm cutting a little bit of slack just because they are new and trying to figure that out.
But I've been driving the ball well.  I've gained some distance and some yardage off the tee which is good, and my putting has been pretty much on form with where I want it to be, and you know, I think that the biggest thing is hitting more greens and giving myself more opportunities.
MOLLY GALLATIN:  Thank you, Paula.

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