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May 17, 2005

Paula Creamer


JOEL LAMP: We have Paula Creamer here in the interview room. Paula, right now you're leading the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race. Talk about leading the rookie race rate now and how well you've played this year.

PAULA CREAMER: You know, I started off pretty good. I've gotten used to things with Colin out on the golf course. We've had some good tournaments, and I feel that I could have done better, and I'm just learning and experiencing new things.

JOEL LAMP: We'll take questions.

Q. Getting to the heart of the season, sometimes you hit a wall, have you had any problems with that?

PAULA CREAMER: No, I think we've scheduled my tournaments in a good way. I think that, you know, we know how much I can take and we're learning that, but I know that I can't play more than maybe four tournaments, five tournaments in a row and that's my max. And I'm trying to get prepared for the majors and things like that, so I'll probably take next week off and graduate, then I have five.

Q. Does next week mean anything to you in terms of high school graduation, or is that just another step in the process for you?

PAULA CREAMER: Oh, it means a lot to me. It's pretty exciting. I get to go home and see my friends and things like that. Obviously, it's an ending of a chapter in my life, and I think that it's very exciting for myself and my family, too.

Q. Do you feel like you've had a normal high school experience, or is it because of what you're involved with, taking away from some of the things that you might have enjoyed?

PAULA CREAMER: I think for me it's normal, but I think for anybody else, it's far from normal. It works with my schedule and it's all I'm used to. I think the other kids who don't go to academies and things like that, their life is normal. But to the normal 18 year old, it's definitely not the same.

Q. What kind of relationships do you have since it is such a specialized school? Are there people that you will remain in contact with for the rest of your life?

PAULA CREAMER: Oh, for sure. There's some talented people down there training to be what I am trying to do and to be the best player in the world with all sports, tennis, baseball, soccer, all of that, basketball. So you see a different variety of athletes trying to be the best.

Q. Any contests at all?

PAULA CREAMER: No contests. We have we'll play tennis or golf or something like that, but it's all in fun.

Q. If it wasn't golf, would it be

PAULA CREAMER: If I would do any of them, it would probably be tennis or something like that, maybe soccer, but I would probably be goalie because I don't like to run that much.

Q. Do they give you a ring, knowing that you're out there; do other students ask what it's like to be competing at this level?

PAULA CREAMER: Oh, yeah, with tennis players, I would like to know what it's like with them, with that being competitive out there. Maria Sharapova went to the Academy, as well. So there's a lot of people in common. We talk about it in different totally, you know, just off the golf course or off the tennis course or whatever.

Q. With what Annika is doing lately, while promoting the game of women's golf, has it overshadowed a lot of what everybody else is doing out here?

PAULA CREAMER: I don't know about overshadowing. She just has raised the bar for women's golf, and she's made it, you know, obviously a better sport right now. She's brought the more physical aspects into the game, being longer and stronger. And just the main thing is she's just stronger and can hit it further than anybody out here right now and that has a huge advantage. I mean, she just has raised it for I think so many players.

Q. Did you follow her or anybody in particular before you were out here? Is there anybody you've patterned yourself after, certain players?

PAULA CREAMER: Well, a lot of Annika I mean, the best player in the world, you're going to have to try to do things that she does. You know, I've watched a lot of the players at the beginning. I started to do that and now I'm trying to do my own thing.

But when I first got out here, I was amazed at Juli Inkster. She's my role model, so I watched a lot, watched what she did. I talked to her. And Lorie Kane has helped me a lot. I talk a lot to Nancy the last couple of weeks, Lopez, so she has helped me tremendously.

Q. Anything in particular?

PAULA CREAMER: Just routine wise. The thing that I find with Annika is that she does her work and then she leaves. She doesn't hang around. She just gets it done and that stays focused, and that's what I'm trying to do is learn from that. If she goes in the locker room, she gets her water and she leaves.

Q. She's not really hanging out with the other players on the range or on the practice tee?

PAULA CREAMER: I mean, there's people that do. I'm trying not to do that. I think that, you know, work really hard at the beginning and then do whatever amount of hours that you're going to do. And I've planned it out and I'll get home from here. Then I'll go work out, and my workout should be done by 5:15, and then I have the rest of the day to do something. I think time management out here the best player out here obviously is Annika and she has the best time management.

Q. How has the reception between from other players? Have they been warm to you?

PAULA CREAMER: They have welcomed me. They have all come up to me and introduced themselves. I've gone up to them and things like that. They share stories with me and they share the insight of what they think I should do in terms of just any kind of type of thing if it's out on the golf course. On the way here, there was several players playing and they told me a lot about the golf course and what holes not to be above and the famous, I get, 16 hole, 16th here and things like that, which was very nice. I mean, they didn't have to do that and they did.

Q. Do you feel any personal rivalries developing? A lot of people talk about you and Michelle Wie already. Do you think there is some benefit in terms of the attention it brings, either to the individuals or to the sport itself?

PAULA CREAMER: I don't know about benefits. I think, like I come out every week playing the golf course and there's 140 players every week and then there's 70, and then it's just you and the golf course at all times. I think that I've never been really like playing against someone else; only if it was in match play obviously. For me, I just try to go out and be No. 1 to win, which is to beat the other 140 players.

Q. Has anything caught you by surprise or is it what you expected or not what you expected? How would you say things have gone compared to what you thought it would be?

PAULA CREAMER: You know, I think it's a little different. Each week keeps going on. At the beginning I always said I think it's identical to what I thought it would be like. Now it's the same thing every week. Nothing changes, just a different location and it's the same routine every week. I thought that was really neat. And now it's kind of like a routine, which I'm finding myself more comfortable out here.

At first it was me being more excited type of thing, and now I'm realizing this is what I'm going to be doing for the next 25 years of my life, which is, you know, it's a good thing. But it's just, it wasn't really what I expected.

Q. Is it what you thought it would be?

PAULA CREAMER: I thought that it would be different, just the routine wise. I thought you would have more free time, I guess you could say. Just it's all business right now. It's all golf, and I think that life out there would be more free time to go shopping or something like that type of thing, but it's definitely not. There's a lot of hard work involved and a lot of I didn't think I would be able to practice as much, and now I didn't for a while and then my game kind of started going downhill, and now I have to start practicing again because there are little things that I have to learn.

Q. Are you happy with $158,811 after Easter?

PAULA CREAMER: Yes, I am. It's good. I wish it could be right now Top 10 was my goal so far, and I think I'm like 18th now or something; I dropped a spot from last week, or 19th. I know I dropped a spot.

Q. For most 18 year olds that don't make that

PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I think that's good. It's not my standards but until I win, I feel that will be up to my standards.

Q. Do you perfect your age to what you're doing inaudible?

PAULA CREAMER: No, not really. I just love golf and I love being out here and it compliments itself.

Q. Was there some point in your life when you thought, "I can do this," and now you've done it

PAULA CREAMER: Oh, definitely, or else I would have gone to school if I didn't feel so

Q. Were you 14 years old

PAULA CREAMER: No. It was about when I was 17 16, 17, I was starting to think about it. I always wanted to go to school. I really want to go so to Stanford and Duke and Oklahoma State. Those are my three choices I was leaning towards.

You know, it's just I started playing well in some of these events, and I gained confidence in myself and I took second at ShopRite; and then the 13th at the Open, and that opened my eyes up a little bit more, and went to Q School and played well. I don't know if there was a specific time for it, no.

JOEL LAMP: Thanks a lot, Paula, and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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