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April 1, 2008

Paula Creamer


TERRY WILCOX: Hope everyone is having a good time here in the desert and the warm weather. I know a lot of our people come from Minneapolis and Chicago and New York, so they love it. Hope you're having a good time.
I'm going to take just a minute on behalf of Kraft Foods. I think most of you know that we've had an association with Paula now for -- this is starting the third year.
Officially today, and we announced to our customers on Sunday night, that now we have started her endorsing our Crystal Light product and so that she is going to carry forth for I hope several years and certainly for the next year, and we hope that that continues.
But Paula has been a great member of our professional staff, and as I think all of you are aware, she's represented us quite well, and we are really pleased with the association and we are very anxious with this Crystal Light alliance to broaden that association.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: You have to be excited about endorsing Crystal Light. You've been playing well this season and this is a major and now you're one of the players that are considered one of the top players on the Tour without winning a major, does that motivate you?
PAULA CREAMER: It does. It definitely motivates me. I definitely wanted to win a major, and this would be a great week to start this out. I've put a lot of pressure in the past on majors, and this year I'm trying to take it more low-key, and I think that it's going to work. I've been hitting the ball really well and changed my putter last week, got one tournament under my belt, which is something that you need to have confidence-wise, and I feel good. I feel really good going into this week.

Q. Is winning pressure in terms of trying to play perfect golf, or is it pressure in terms of meeting everybody's expectations?
PAULA CREAMER: I think it's a little bit of everything. Everybody puts emphasis on majors because they are the best tournaments to win and they are on this pedestal of being the top tournament to win. I think going into them that mentally, it's not been the same as any other week, and I think my best golf playing is when I'm relaxed and know the golf course.
I've played here since I was 17, so I know this golf course and I know what to do out there. It's just a matter of timing and being patient. That's probably the biggest thing that's ever affected me not being able to win a major is patience. I make a lot of pars and a lot of birdies, and I just have to eliminate those bogeys.

Q. The Masters is the one major that goes back to the same course and there's so much baggage with demons because they keep going back year after year; when you come to a place like this, how do you balance taking the excitement and the good stuff from being here from places where you've screwed up along the way over the years?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I try not to remember the bad things that have happened on golf courses. Probably the best ball-striking day I've ever had in my golf year was here last -- I think Friday or Saturday, I shot like a 68 or 67. It was one of the best rounds that I've ever played, just really consistent and really solid. I know if I can do it during the hardest moments in golf there, that makes me feel good coming to this golf course.
Like I said, my patience, and I think it was more my maturity got in the way on Sunday last year trying to force things, when in reality, I didn't need to. I think I started the day at 3-under or 2-under or somewhere and that's what ended up winning. So if I just would have gone out and played my own game instead of trying to force things, I would have been more in contention.

Q. (What do you remember about Sunday of the tournament last year)?
PAULA CREAMER: I never started that day off solid, I started off on the back foot and missed a couple fairways early on and was making bogeys, and then after that, I think Suzann was at like 7-under or something early on or 8-under, and then everybody kind of had that domino effect of going backwards.
But I remember trying to just force things all the time, just trying to hit it close, hit it close, instead of trying to make pars and maybe make a 25-footer. You know, I'm constantly reminded by that, and I think it's kind of a negative thing but it's a positive of knowing anything can happen on this golf course.

Q. This is the first year that the LPGA has had this partnership with GSCA; can you talk about what you're seeing this year, is there anything with that and what have you thought of conditions this year compared to last?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I was actually introduced to somebody recently, yesterday, and we talked a lot about it on the golf course and I think it's a great program. I think it's wonderful for us to have, you know, the right greens and the rough and the fairways and all that, and just the input and the input that they take from us is very important.

Q. Have you noticed any changes so far condition-wise?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I mean, last week was -- geez, that was unbelievable. The golf course was in such good shape. The greens were perfect. Not a blade of grass was out of place. That was pretty nice to play.
This week is going to be the same. I think this weekend the rough is going to be a lot thicker and the greens are going to be a lot faster. They are firm, which is what they want, but that speed still needs to get there.

Q. Aside from Crystal Light, what do you like to eat? Do you really eat Kraft Nabisco products?
PAULA CREAMER: Macaroni and cheese, come on. Yes, I do, I do eat Kraft products. Crystal Light I have always used. I love the flavors and the little packets I think I've always used, and the packets are great on the golf course, and I drink so much water it helps. I'm a big cheese person and luckily Kraft makes the best cheese, so that's nice.

Q. Were the changes to the bunker and the additional bunker out there all that noticeable?
PAULA CREAMER: Definitely. There's no lips anymore. You hit it -- I think one of the bigger ones is on -- the bunker on 11, that right bunker, the one that was added.
But just taking away, it's kind of a shame because it makes hitting it in the bunker a lot harder, that kind of thing. But at the same time, it looks nice. But I wish that the lips were still there.

Q. I had a question about the added length to the golf course. Certainly one of the most noticeable ones would be the par 3, 5th hole, but also 6 and 7 are substantially longer. What are your thoughts about those changes, and do they play in your game?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, the par 3, No. 5, that's good I think. That's a relatively easy green so, when you're hitting a 4- or 5-iron into it now, or a 6- or 7-iron to the front, I think that's good. So the par 3s are good.
The next hole, 6, the crazy hole, I've always hit driver down the right side, so it makes it even easier this year if somebody it's driver down the right side.
7 is a good hole. I think that's one of the best holes out on golf course because as a longer hitter, you can take it over the left side and have a shorter iron into that green. But I think those holes are more necessary to add length to, so I think that's a good change.

Q. You don't seem old enough to have that title hanging over you, best player not to win a major. When you hear that, what's the first thought that comes to mind?
PAULA CREAMER: I think the best one was in my slump in my sophomore year when I didn't win. I liked that one. That one was good.
I don't know, I think it's nice that I have that ability in people's eyes to win majors as much as they believe in me to do that, so that's exciting.
At the same time, I'm trying my hardest. It's not like I want to sit here without a major win. That's something I've always wanted to do, and to be the No. 1 player in the world is something that I want to work as hard as I can at to get. And I know if I win a major and I win some more tournaments this year, I'll have a chance at that eventually.

Q. Which one is the hardest do you think to win?
PAULA CREAMER: Which major? Well, we only have to concentrate on this one this week. I think that's the most important part is not get far ahead of yourself and it's getting back to it that patience of playing one day at a time and at that moment you have to be 100% focused. The majors, they bring in everybody. It not just the top players. Somebody can have a great week that week and win.

Q. We have had two No. 1 players in your three-plus years out here, and as you're trying to chase a name on the leaderboard, which one is more daunting, Annika or Lorena?
PAULA CREAMER: I mean, I'm not -- when I'm playing out there, I'm not really playing a person. I'm playing the golf course. I'm playing myself.
You know, Lorena right now, she is the No. 1 player in the world, and that's the person that you have to beat to win. She's shot 20-under par the last couple tournaments; that's pretty low. That's something that you have to remember, that she makes a lot of birdies, and you know, unfortunately you need to make more than her, and when she does that every week, it is kind of hard.
But Annika is right in the mix, and she's been playing great, just as well. I played with her in Tavistock Cup, and haven't seen her hit the ball like that in while and I thought that was very impressive. I think it's great for women's golf to have that.

Q. (About what impresses her about Annika).
PAULA CREAMER: Numbers, without a doubt.
DANA GROSS-RHODE: Thank you very much and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

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