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February 26, 2008

Paula Creamer


MIKE SCANLAN: Paula, welcome back to Singapore. This is your third time playing here. You've won this year already. You've got to feel good. Just talk about coming into this event and how it's one of the top-notch events now on the LPGA Tour.
PAULA CREAMER: I'm looking forward to this week. Obviously I have a lot of momentum coming off of my win last week. I like the golf course, and it was fun to play match play on this course and now it'll be interesting to see what happens in streak play.
But it's just as good as I remember. The greens are tough. It rained a lot last night, but the course is fairly dry, and it's pretty windy out there, which makes it dry quicker.
I'm very excited to be here. Last time I came, I really enjoyed my time. Everybody was so nice, and I'm glad to be back.
MIKE SCANLAN: I know you said in Hawai'i that you were kind of dreading your flight here and it ended up not so bad. How did it turn out?
PAULA CREAMER: It was fine. I think I smiled the whole time on Monday. But no, it was good. It was very long, but it was very -- I guess I thought a lot about the last week, so it was nice.
MIKE SCANLAN: This tournament definitely you probably put a target on it with the field and the purse and the HSBC sponsoring it. Can you talk a little bit about the tournament?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It's a great field. Any time you go to an event that there's the No. 1, 2, 3, 4 top players in the world, that's an event you want to win, that's an event you want to play in and do well.

Q. Everyone is talking about Lorena and Annika. Does that kind of give you and the other girls extra motivation to prove that there's not just two players here this week but a bunch of other good players?
PAULA CREAMER: Of course. Kind of every week you have to go out and you're kind of the underdog when the No. 1 player in the world is here. Lorena managed to win her first tournament this year, and I'm sure she's prepared and I'm sure she's ready to go, and Annika, as well. But it's nice to be able to just go out and play golf and not kind of deal with the stuff that goes along with that. But it's nice to have a goal, too. That's something to look forward to.

Q. Just as a follow-up, would it send a message if you or one of the other girls, Karrie, were to win this week, to the rest of the people that it's not just about Lorena and Annika?
PAULA CREAMER: Can you repeat that again?

Q. If you or Karrie or any of the other girls win this week, what sort of message would that send out, particularly to Lorena and Annika, the battle for the world's No. 1 spot?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, think they both know that everybody is gunning for the No. 1 spot, and I think that they're very aware of that, and so am I. That's where I want to be just as much as Karrie does, just as much as Lorena does and Annika does. We'll see at the end of the year what happens, but this is the start of a new year, and a lot of things changed during that year. You just have to go out and play your own game; you can't worry about that.

Q. Talking about the start of a new year, how critical is it for someone like yourself to get a win under your belt to move forward?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, it's huge. The amount of momentum that I have and just feeling good about what's going on is big. Especially to have your first win the second week out in back-to-back years. That's pretty impressive in my off-season of what I prepared to do. The biggest thing now is to keep it going and try and win back-to-back.

Q. Mentally does that sort of help you focus or physically show that you're in good shape?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, it does, yeah. Mentally having that win already kind of off my shoulders, hopefully my next win won't be until October like it was last year. But it'll be a big week for me just to try and go back-to-back because I've never been able to do that.

Q. Was there anything different about your preseason preparation this year than in previous years?
PAULA CREAMER: A little bit more of an off-season. I took about six weeks off, six or seven weeks, where I just really didn't do anything. I might have hit balls ten times. I just tried to stay at home, just put the clubs down and just mentally have a break. I've never done that ever since I started playing golf. I think that was a good thing for me. I did that kind of the year before but not as long and extensive.

Q. How are you feeling physically? Have you recovered from your flu?
PAULA CREAMER: I feel a lot better. The only thing I'm worried about is the jetlag. My body is already kind of fatigued from what it went through. I've been trying to drink as much water as I possibly can and just trying to stay very hydrated. I think if you're run down it's easy to get sick, so I've been taking a lot of vitamins and taking it day by day. It's kind of the same for everybody, the jetlag, but my body is a little bit more fatigued.

Q. Have you had an opportunity to play at all with the young Korean girl Ji-Yai Shin, and if so, could you tell us your thoughts about her?
PAULA CREAMER: I don't think that I have played with her. I have not.

Q. With the Koreans and the Asians being such a dominant force these days on the Tour, do you feel the U.S. Tour should move tournaments over to Asia, not just for the fans but for the players to develop, as well?
PAULA CREAMER: I do, I love coming over here. I like being able to go overseas and play golf. I think it's great that the LPGA has the opportunity to do that, now in Singapore, and hopefully we'll get to go other places more often. But it's nice to be able to play back at home, too, in front of your fans and whatnot, and your family.
But I love coming overseas. Everybody just loves golf so much and they really respect it, and I think that's the neatest thing is when you go to countries overseas is that they respect the game a lot, and that's nice to be able to play in front of people that do that.

Q. With so many international players on the LPGA Tour, and of course Americans playing on your home Tour, do you see yourself playing a role encouraging more American youngsters to take up the game?
PAULA CREAMER: Definitely. That's a big goal of mine is to give back to junior golf. I've been given -- I've said it many times, I've been given so many opportunities to come out and live my dream. I'm 21 years old and I think that I can make a statement in young boys' and girls' lives and help them get involved with golf. I've done a lot with the First Tee trying to make a building for a First Tee programme in Sarasota where I used to live. Just the opportunities, there are so many life lessons in general about golf, and I would love to help boys and girls to get involved, definitely.

Q. There's a 16-year-old Singaporean girl in the field this week who actually attended a clinic you gave during the Lexus Cup two or three years ago. She's a very nervous young lady. What advice would you, having been in a situation, pass on to her before she steps out here?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, everybody is nervous. I'm nervous every time I step on the first tee, so that's something not to be afraid of.
But no, I think that obviously she's playing in this event for a reason, for her talent and the success that she's had. She should go out and enjoy it, playing with the best players in the world, and there's nothing better than that. That's what people want to do week in and week out. And I think at 16 it's pretty remarkable that she's going to be able to do that.
MIKE SCANLAN: Paula, good luck.

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