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May 28, 2008

Paula Creamer


MIKE SCANLAN: Just a reminder. If you have a question, please use the mic because we have a transcriptionist on the line. The mic's right here. All right. Paula, thanks for coming in. So far you're having a great year this year, and I don't doubt that this will be a tournament you're really gunning after, hosted by Annika, one of your idols. If you could, just talk about being here in Charleston and how much you want to win this week.
PAULA CREAMER: This is a very big event for us. It's right before our major next week. You know, I am, I'm starting to play really well, get confidence. Last week I didn't play quite the way I wanted to, but I've worked on a lot of things the past couple of days and try to take it onto the golf course in tournament play, and I'm starting to get there, but I do, I feel really prepared, and I feel really ready for this event to start tomorrow.

Q. Can you just comment on maybe on Lorena being out and the thoughts of the players?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah. I just found out today that she won't be playing, and my heart goes out to her and her family, and hopefully everything is 100 percent okay. And it's a shame she could not play this week, but it's totally understandable to go home and be with that.

Q. What do the rest of the players say about the dynamic of the field when the top player in the world falls out?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, it was a family emergency, wasn't it? I mean -- yes. I think falling out isn't really the right term, being family. It is unfortunate. You know, I don't think anybody wants to withdraw because of a family emergency, and you know, it is hard, but we have a golf tournament to play here, and I'm sure she wishes she could play if there was no family emergency going on.

Q. What do you think of the dynamic of the possibility of winning with the No. 1 player being gone?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I think every week, I mean I go out every week playing the golf course, and on Sunday that's when you have to go out and really see what's going on on the leaderboard in the last nine holes and push for it that way. I don't think that you can play a golf tournament trying to play one person. There's just so many people in the field.

Q. Paula, does the fact that this tournament is hosted by Annika, does it make a big difference in your mind as to the quality of this event and the importance of this event?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I think it's pretty neat that she is hosting this event. I know she did last year. It's nice to play in a tournament with somebody that has done so much for women's golf. It would be very nice to win, you know, along those lines, but Annika has always been such a big influence, and to play in a tournament hosted by her, it's nice. And it does, it brings a little bit more, I guess, excitement to playing in a golf tournament than other events because of her being a part of it.

Q. Can you just talk about this course and what you remember from it from last year?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, it's actually in totally different shape than it was last year. The greens are really soft right now. You can pretty much fly at every stick that you get a chance to. The rough is very thick. It's just the greens speeds aren't as quick as it was.
Hopefully they won't water it as much come the weekend, make it a little tougher, a little bit harder. But it is, I love this golf course. You have to hit really good golf shots out here. You have to hit, you know, fairways time in and time out or else, you know, the rough is just so brutal that you can't ever give yourself good looks at birdie.

Q. Paula, I don't know if you ever imagined yourself at this stage in your career being so young. According to the numbers right now, you're the top American --
PAULA CREAMER: Right. Q. -- on Tour. Talk about the responsibility, maybe the surprise of being in that position right now at your age.
PAULA CREAMER: Well, a goal has always been to be the No. 1 player in the world, and to be the No. 1 American is something that I think is another goal just as much as that. You know, I love representing my country. I think it's so exciting whenever I get to wear red, white and blue and do that, and to be the No. 1 American is quite an honor.
It is some shoes to fill there, especially with all the Americans, Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst and Sherri Steinhauer and players that have done that before. I just think that it's something that I'm learning how to do, and hopefully I can be a role model to young girls and get them involved with golf.

Q. Paula, with what Lorena and also Annika have done this year, winning nine times, it's been kind of easy for those of us on the outside looking in to maybe say they own the Tour, but who else out there in your mind besides yourself is playing well enough coming in here to be a threat to win?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, there's a lot of players that are playing well that have been in contention. I mean JJ played really well last week and has been. You know, you go out there and it's anybody's week. You know, obviously there's been people who have dominated more times than others, but you never know. You never know what's going to happen when you step on that golf course. You know, you feel it, and some weeks you don't.

Q. Paula, it seems like you have an attitude out there that you're enjoying yourself. Yes, you're playing golf and you're trying to win money and you're competing, but you also realize that it is a game, and I saw you out there with a -- how old was that girl?
PAULA CREAMER: Three, three-and-a-half.

Q. -- having fun. You're laughing, joking around. It seems like you bring something extra out there for the gallery and for the people that are watching you. Just talk about that approach that you have to the game. Do you make a conscious effort, or that's just kind of the way you are?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I'm 21 years old, and I'm playing against the best players in the world. You know, this is -- it's an incredible -- I guess you can't even really call it a job. I'm just -- I'm very lucky that I get to do something that I love, and to be able to go all over the world and play golf courses for a living, I think, is a dream come true, and I have worked very, very hard to get to where I'm at today, but how can you not enjoy what I do? And to see little girls like Ella today, three-and-a-half years old, dressed head to toe in pink, you know, trying to putt a ball on 18, I think that's so special, and to be able to have those moments, that's what keeps bringing me back, time in and time out.

Q. You talked a little bit about the three- or three-and-a-half- year-old girl and stuff like that. With Annika's recent announcement she's going to step back and have a family, is that something that at some point in your career that you think about?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, without a doubt. I would love to have a family, you know, have children and so on. Not right now. I think Annika is in a little different position in her life than I am, but I do. It is something that I want, and I totally understand what she's doing. And it's the best decision for her, and she's always done what's best for her, and I'm very happy for her, her and Mike. I hope that they live a happy life together. I'm sure they will. But I think it's really neat that there's so many players out here that can have families and play golf, but I do want to just have a family away from golf.
MIKE SCANLAN: All right. Paula, thanks a lot.

End of FastScripts

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