PAULA CREAMER, Rolex Rankings No. 10
DAVID HIGDON: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome. We have a special guest today. Paula Creamer will introduce her.
PAULA CREAMER: This is Malia everybody.
DAVID HIGDON: I actually thought I was your No. 1 fan, but I hear that this lady is your No. 1 fan. Do you want to tell the media about your experience and how this came about today.
PAULA CREAMER: It's actually very nice. Her father is a major in the U.S. Air Force, and, you know, he definitely keeps or country safe. And the little things that we can do to give back, I know that you love golf and you like pink as well, so it was nice to have her come out and watch and whatnot. Obviously with the tournament and the project that they work with, it all kind of fell into place. It's nice when you see little people who want to make a difference in the world. When they have role models and influences like your dad, truly it is really special. You're a very lucky girl. I wish you nothing but the best. My dad was in the military as well, so we have a lot in common in, of course, the color pink and golf. So you keep practicing hard, you're gonna be in this chair one day.
DAVID HIGDON: Very excited to have you here. Obviously the first time you've played at this event. Tell us your first impressions of the course, the facility, the city, and anything else that you would like to reflect on.
PAULA CREAMER: This is my first time here. Golf course is really nice. The greens are huge. They're probably the biggest greens I've ever played besides, you know, somewhere at the British Open. It is a good track. They don't look as pretty right now, the greens, but they're rolling pretty nicely. Quick. It all comes down to putting the ball in the right place. You can't have 45‑footers all over. But there are some really good holes. 17 is a great par‑5; I like 16, a good par‑3. It's kind of like the last couple finishing holes or the big part of the golf course.
Q. Your last win was a major, right?
PAULA CREAMER: My last win, yeah.
Q. So is everything else like the icing on the cake for you this year?
PAULA CREAMER: I would say so, yes. It was a huge win. It was a big win for myself and everything that has come along with it. But it's happened, and now I'm here this week. Of course I want to play well. As long as long as I give myself a chance on Sunday, that's all I can ask for. Coming down the stretch, last nine holes, if I'm in contention, I will be happy. It's been a difficult, hard year. We've got a couple more events left that I can fight through, and 2010 will be done with.
Q. A lot of people are really excited to have you here this week. What is the thing that set this tournament out for you this year that hadn't in years past?
PAULA CREAMER: I think it's a great tournament. Navistar does a wonderful job hosting it. It's a wonderful golf community. I've actually had some success in Alabama, so it's nice to come back to that. Just it seemed in the past it never fit in my schedule, and this year it does. I'm glad to be here, and hopefully many more years to come.
Q. You alluded to things that have come with your U.S. Open win. How has your life changed since you won that?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, it's funny, I can walk into my house and see a U.S. Open trophy on my kitchen table, which is kind of nice. A little different. I've never been a trophy person, but this one is so beautiful. I can look at it all day long. But, you know, nothing's changed. I'm still the same person and still the same golfer. Obviously a big goal of mine was to win a first major, but now it just makes me want to win so many more. I miss the feeling of walking down the 18th fairway knowing that you can have a chance to win another trophy. The fact that it was at Oakmont was one of the neatest things I think I've really ever accomplished just because of all the tradition and history behind that golf course. But overall, like I said, I'm still the same person. I want to go out and win every week. Want to be the No. 1 player. I mean, it hasn't changed.
Q. Golf is a huge part of your life. Do you ever sometimes forget that people just continue to watch you and that you're their role model? Obviously to be where you were in your career, you have to stay so focused. Does this ever surprise you sometimes, Oh, yes, people are watching?
PAULA CREAMER: It's hard not to miss all the pink everywhere, so I am reminded a lot. It's great. It's one of the neatest things that I think I've ever been able to actually say that I'm a part of. If I can influence one little girl or boy out there to pick up a golf club, I think my life has been fulfilled with what I want. It's a great game; you can learn so many wonderful things through it. Not only, you know, whether it's any other sports, but just life in general. If it's the fact of I have the color pink or the fact that I wear a ribbon in my hair turns a light switch on, then I'm a happy person.
Q. You made a little girl's dream come true. You must get a lot of requests for something like this. How did this happen? The request was made by her dad to your agent.
PAULA CREAMER: Like I said, I would do almost anything, pretty much anything for somebody who serves our country. You know, like I said, I come from a military background. God bless you, because it's amazing that I'm able to come out here and hold a golf club in my hand and there are people over there fighting for us. The fact that she's 10 years old, I started when I was 10 years old, we have a lot in common. If you can touch one person's heart, and maybe something I said out there today or whatnot helps her get better or achieve her dreams and what she wants, then I will be a happy person.
Q. When you were 10, was there someone that you looked up to as she looks up to you?
PAULA CREAMER: I always looked up to Nancy Lopez, Juli Inkster. Kathy Whitworth was a huge inspiration in my life. I played in her golf tournaments and I've met her several times and I still talk to her to this day, always e‑mailing, on the phone, that kind of thing. You know, they've helped me. It's nice when you have people who reach out and want to help somebody. This world is very competitive. Especially with women it gets a little bit crazy. When you have role models like that, it makes life so much easier and you know you can go to them whenever. To this day, I talk to Nancy pretty much once, twice a week. She helps me a lot. I see Juli out here all the time. She's my partner in Solheim, so it's amazing how I watched her play in these tournaments. I carried Juli Inkster's bag at Solheim Cup for one hole, and it was the highlight of my golf career. I think I was 16 years old, and now we've played, I don't know, five, six matches together as partners. It's just amazing how things really happen.
Q. For those that don't know, what's the story behind the pink?
PAULA CREAMER: I just have always loved the color pink ever since I was a little girl. Didn't matter what it was. If it was ice cream or a pencil, I wanted it pink. I stuck with it. When I was 16, my nickname ‑‑ like I said, I always wore pink. My friend goes, What do you think, you're the Pink Panther? The Pink Panther stuck. Now it's on my golf bag, on my golf ball. He's everywhere. But it's kind of a funny story just because the color pink.
Q. Do you have a pink ball?
PAULA CREAMER: I do. I am not going to be using it this week, but I do use a pink ball every Sunday.
Q. Have you met Pink yet?