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November 19, 2011

Paula Creamer


THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Paula Creamer into the interview room, another solid round for you today. I know probably not the finish that you were hoping for. Can you take me through the round and hot start on the front and then what happened on the back?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, I birdied three out of my first five holes, so that was a nice start, kind of different than the other days. I think I hit two out of the first five greens the last couple days, so that was a nice change.
Overall I played well. Kind of a bummer coming down the stretch with the three-putt. I can't tell you the last time I had a three-putt. Didn't have any in Guadalajara, and not sure if in Japan I had a three-putt or not. But that was just a poor course management error.
And the bogey on the last hole, I just didn't hit a good putt and a good chip, and not where you want to be with that. But overall I'll take two shots back, second to last group, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: We were talking to Suzann when she was in here about how crowded the top of the leaderboard is and there's a lot of top players who are up there. How do you consider your chances two shots back and how good do you feel having put yourself in that position?
PAULA CREAMER: I feel great, I really do. Obviously not real pleased with the way I finished, but actually I'm ready to get back out there and go play another 18 holes right now if we could. But I do, I feel good. My golf swing is getting better out there. I hit some good putts. I hit a couple more greens today than I have in the past, which is positive for me, and hopefully I can get off to a good start but finish strong tomorrow.

Q. Looking at the leaderboard, there's some awfully good players in the top half dozen, and you're one of them. Can you do something tomorrow or do you kind of have to wait and see, see how the golf course is playing? People say the front side is where you're supposed to make your birdies, so how do you manage that?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, obviously you take what the golf course gives you. If it's windy, scores aren't going to be -- the wind kind of died down on the back side for us, and I made some mistakes when I should have been able to make some birdies on the back side. But overall you've got to give what it takes. Unfortunately you can't be super aggressive with some of these holes, and you're just going to have to make some 20-, 25- footers because of pin placements. I saw some of the dots for tomorrow and there's a lot of sucker pins, and you're just going to have to make some putts early on and not let the leaders get too far away from you.

Q. You will be playing with Suzann, right?

Q. Have you guys played much together lately, and what's it like, I would imagine -- you're both pretty intense players. What's it like when you're paired?
PAULA CREAMER: It's good. We push each other. Suzann is a good friend of mine. We give each other a hard time, but it's a very mutual -- we've a lot of respect for each other. We both work very hard, and I think that that's neat when you have two athletes that give each other some grief, but it's all out of 100 percent respect, which is nice. It'll be a good day. Tomorrow hopefully we can go out and push each other and see what happens.
But I have played -- I played with her in Guadalajara. I think we played together, as well, in Asia before Mexico. But I like playing with Suzann.

Q. How often do you play Grand Cypress?
PAULA CREAMER: I've played it, I think, three times before this tournament. I don't come out here. The driving range is a little rough for me.

Q. Do you scoreboard watch tomorrow?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I'll know where I stand. Maybe not the beginning. I'm trying to -- the first couple holes, those are birdie holes, so I'm going to try and do what I did today. Par-5, No. 2, pin is really, really tucked far left, so it's going to have to be a good two-putt type of thing, that type of mentality. But yeah, I mean, why not? I've got nothing to lose to go out there and hopefully finish off a strong tournament at the end of the year.

Q. Given the frustration you expressed yesterday with some parts of this year, what would winning tomorrow mean?
PAULA CREAMER: I think it would be -- to say out of all the seven years that I've played, I would say this has been probably the hardest year. I thought last year was difficult, but this one is much harder. It would mean a lot, just perseverance, patience with myself, and my coach David Whelan and I, it's tough. Of course I want to go out there and fire at pins, do these things, but at the same time in the back of my mind I know two years from now if I make this change I'll be thanking him and saying, okay, and that type of thing.
A lot of it is a confidence issue, and for me to win would definitely -- it would help that. No doubt in my mind I feel I can win. I believe I can win, but it would make going into 2012 that much better.

Q. Last year you had a party at your house this week.

Q. Did you do anything this year? Did you have anyone over? Are you trying to keep it a little more low key?
PAULA CREAMER: I didn't have anybody over. I think we're going to do something maybe tomorrow night at my house, just a -- nothing as crazy as it was last year. But we'll definitely try. A lot of the girls live here in Florida, so before they go home on Monday, I have some rooms in my house that everybody can stay and hang out and just kind of have an end-of-the-year party. We'll see how it all goes.

Q. Just going back to your swing changes again, if you had to put a percentage on where you are in that process, especially with the driver swing, are you 70 percent there, 80 percent there? Any way to sort of quantify it?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, today wasn't quite as good as the other days with my driver, especially down the stretch. I don't know, obviously it's a little bit different, too, with the wind because you're knocking shots down, you're hitting cuts, draws, this kind of thing, whereas on the driving range it's a little bit more, okay, this is where I am, my posture and everything. But I did revert back to my old habits a little bit today. So I'll go back to the range and try.
It's a tough thing. It's hard to do out there. You try to do it as much as you can, but pulling the trigger and doing it is another thing.
I caught myself, I can feel it. I can feel the difference, and I think that's something that I haven't felt before, more of asking Colin did I do it there or asking David is that it, that kind of thing, and now I actually can feel when I do it and when I don't.

Q. Particularly on the driver swings?
PAULA CREAMER: Particularly on the driver. I had it going the front nine for sure and then I kind of lost it a little bit on the back side. But the front nine I was hitting it great, really good irons and some really good drives, just didn't quite finish with it.

Q. The leaderboard has got four players right at the top of it that are in the top seven, eight in the world, including yourself. Is that notable to you? Is that a pride thing? Do the players like that?
PAULA CREAMER: Definitely. I mean, that means if you win tomorrow you beat the best players in the world right there. They're all at the top, so it's a battle of will, it's a battle of getting the job done, and Yani is right there, so she's -- she knows what it's like to win, and you can't -- you've got to look a little bit further down. Who knows what the weather is going to be like tomorrow. But yeah, that's what you want. That's what tournaments want. That's what I want. I want to go against the best players head-to-head. If it's my day, it's my day, and if not, I know what I need to work on.

Q. Does this course reward better ball strikers or putters?
PAULA CREAMER: We've been kind of talking about that. It's a good question. I think ball-striking personally, because it's -- you have to hit it sometimes into hills, you have to hit it just on top of a hill, and if your ball-striking is not there, you have to improvise on your chipping, and I think chipping on this golf course is the hardest thing about it because the rough is just so sparse, and you can get some crazy lies. It's a tough one. Both is my answer.
A lot of it is just creativity. There's some shots today where I went up a club and a half, and I tried to hold it against the wind, things like that. There's so many different ways to play iron shots. But I would say a ball striker.

Q. And also, have you had much of a chance to play with Hee Young Park?
PAULA CREAMER: We've been paired together before. I don't think I've been paired with her this year. Maybe once or twice. But when she gets hot with her putter, you saw coming down the stretch these last five, six, seven holes there were putts going in from everywhere. That's her game; she's an aggressive putter.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Paula.

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