|The Rolex Rankings No. 12 from the USA is making her debut appearance in Australia.|
THE MODERATOR: Paula, welcome to Melbourne.
PAULA CREAMER: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: But I can tell by the sound of you, you're not very well.
PAULA CREAMER: I'm not feeling the best but it's alright, it hasn't made my welcome here any worse. It's very nice to come to Australia, it's my first time.
THE MODERATOR: You've had a chance to look at the course?
PAULA CREAMER: I played 18 holes this morning. I think it is great for golf. I think it's in awesome shape, the greens are fast, and the fairways are perfect. The bunkers are tough, every bunker's kind of different but I really like it. I think it suits my game really well and I'm looking forward to the tournament to start on Thursday, get another practice round in tomorrow and hopefully it'll be ready for four good days.
THE MODERATOR: Is it all you imagined, no doubt you've heard things overseas and people talking about playing in Melbourne?
PAULA CREAMER: It's better, it's definitely better. I'm very pleased, everybody's been so nice, they've been very welcoming and the golf course, like I said, it's just awesome. You have to be a good ball striker, you have to be really precise with your irons and it exceeded my expectations for sure.
Q. Paula, first question, why is it this year that you came to Australia, what made the difference there rather than any other year and the second one was does the course and the setup, do you think that it will have a bit of a US Open type feel about it, in the sense that you'll have to grind it out? It's probably not going to yield really low scores, would you think?
PAULA CREAMER: Well the first question, there's no reason why I've never come to Australia, it's just been schedule conflicts. As you can see in the last couple of months, my friends get married in the off season and a lot of the times it's been around the dates of the Australian events and I haven't been able to come over. This year I'm wedding free [LAUGHS] so I was able to make the trip over. Like I said, my 10 years out on tour, I just can't believe I have not been here. Driving through from the airport here to the city and everything, it's just so beautiful. Hopefully one of the days I can go out and kind of venture out and see parts of it.
The second part, I know that a lot of it is going to be determined where the pin positions are. I know they're not going to put them in the middle of the greens; they're going to make it tough. There's a bunch of those run offs that you just can't go for flags. It's not the longest golf course, I think when the wind picks up it will be a little bit different, so I'm glad I'm playing in the afternoon tomorrow, to see that, because I played very early where it was very calm. But it's going to dictate just where the pins are for how low the scores will be. If you hit a good putt on line where you want, these greens are so good that it's going to go in. It's just giving yourself opportunities of making birdies and you're kind of pulling back when the pins are in the difficult spot.
Q. Sorry to focus on your ailment, is it just a cold that you've got?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, 16 and half hours on a plane is [LAUGHS] probably not ideal. I felt good coming here on the plane, maybe just tired or a little bit. My body's just a little bit achy but I think by Thursday I'll be good to go. I don't think it's anything real serious but I don't sound very good. A good night's sleep tonight and I think I'll be fine.
Q. A good night's sleep rather than push through?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, a good night, yes. I'll be ready; I'll try and figure it out [LAUGHS].
Q. Paula, you talked about having other weddings to go to but pretty soon you're going to have your own to go to. You just got engaged. I know you've talked a little bit about how happy you are right now. Can you just kind of elaborate on that a little bit and how much that's helped your game?
PAULA CREAMER: They always say a happy person always plays good golf and this and that. I have been ever since I picked up a club but this is just something completely different. I had one of the best off seasons of my life, that's for sure; when you get to get a new shiny ring on your finger, there's nothing better than that. Diamonds are a girl's best friend but the fact that I get to marry my best friend is something that is so exciting. Everybody talks about it and my friends make so much fun of me because I'm always in La-La land floating around, I'm so happy over here. It has, it's made a big difference in the way that I look at my life and the way I look at the opportunities and the things that I've been blessed with. I've taken it in a new and exciting way. Ten years out here and I'm 27 years old, time goes by but I'm ready for the next 10.
Q. We think in Australia we're lucky, we have so many good players coming through, men and women. Cheyenne Woods won last week and I'm not sure just how much of that you actually saw but I'm sure, like everybody, you're aware of the burden she's had to carry with that surname. How significant a win do you think that was given what she's had to live growing up with?
PAULA CREAMER: I mean, any time you have to deal with other outside agencies, type of stuff like that, I think it's impressive. It just shows golf and the way it's going and the way the talent is, it's pretty neat that you can be able to watch something like that. I'm sure in her career, that's not the first and that's not the last.
Q. At 27 you're still young yourself. You haven't been out here for 10 years, in the time that you've been watching and playing, has the quality and the depth of quality increased significantly as far as you're concerned?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, for sure. I’m 27, I'm ancient out here, I'm old. Twenty seven when I started, when I was 18, I thought that was young and now - gees I'm a veteran [LAUGHS]. But it is. It's the way golf it going, it's the way women's golf has been. When I was 18 I was given so many opportunities, sponsor's exemptions and things like that, and now that's happening so much more for young girls to be around it.
I don't necessarily think just because you're 16, 17 years old you need to go and turn professional, it's not for everybody. You need to grow as a person, you have the rest of your life to come out here and be a professional golfer. I think that the team that's around you and the support that you have is a huge part. I still travel a lot with my parents. They're not here these three weeks but I think it's very important to be grounded.
When I was 18, it's so different. I had to grow up so much faster and embrace the role that you've been given and like I said, it's not for everybody but when you have a good solid person, you're given that opportunity and they'll take it and they'll run with it.
Q. The athleticism of the young players coming through, have you noticed a different type of athlete is finding its way into the women's game?
PAULA CREAMER: I mean you see it in almost all sports. I mean you saw it in the men's with Tiger and you saw it out her with Annika, she really started to get fit and we had to keep up with it. I feel very lucky and very blessed that I'm out in this era right now, where nutrition and being physically fit - I mean, I travel 30 weeks of the year, all over the place, it's not the easiest of lives of having your body be your job, so you have to learn how to take care of it. The equipment and balls, that's a whole other story, and just even the way you work with your golf swing, all these videos, TrackMan, this and that. I mean, it's just amazing. I don’t even know what it's going to be like in 20 years, what the kids in junior golf are going to have.
But I am, I feel very lucky that I'm a part of this era and we're here today the way that Annika changed the bar and that's going to continue going on from here in out.