Kingsmill Championship Pre-tournament Notes and Interviews May 1

Paula Creamer
Photo Credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Paula Creamer reacts to her missed putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the Kingsmill Championship at Kingsmill Resort on September 9, 2012 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort, River Course
Williamsburg, Virginia
Pre-tournament Notes and Interviews
May 1, 2013

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 11

The LPGA Tour heads to the East Coast for the first time this season this week for the Kingsmill Championship (@KingsmillLPGA) in Williamsburg, Va. The Kingsmill Resort, River Course welcomes a field comprised of 144 elite LPGA players including each of the top-10 players in the current Rolex Rankings who will contend for a $1.3 million purse and a $195,000 first-place prize.

Last year's event ended in dramatic fashion as Jiyai Shin (@sjy1470) and Paula Creamer (@ThePCreamer) battled through nine playoff holes before Shin took the victory Monday morning. The two were sent into extra holes after Creamer missed a par opportunity on the 72nd hole to seal the win at the end of regulation on Sunday. After going par-for-par on the 18th hole eight times in a row with darkness creeping in, the two players decided to continue Monday morning. They resumed the playoff on the 16th hole and after similar approach shots, Creamer three-putted to make bogey on the hole, giving Shin an easy putt for par to take the win.

Shin went on to win the season's final major, the RICOH Women's British Open, the following week and started her 2013 campaign with her 11th career LPGA win at the season-opener in Australia.


Grip on No. 1: With her win last week at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, Inbee Park (@InbeePark) took a stronger grip on the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings and will have some breathing room this week at the Kingsmill Championship. If Park were to miss the cut this week, projections show that she would have 10.02 average points. If No. 2 Stacy Lewis were to win, she would make things interesting and would be projected to have 9.99 average points, only a .03 average point margin.

It's starting to become more crowded at the top of the Rolex Rankings, making the stakes higher each week on Tour. The remaining players in the top 5 are currently within 1 average point within each other: No. 3 Na Yeon Choi (8.14), No. 4 Yani Tseng (7.97) and No. 5 Suzann Pettersen (7.84).

Can't be disappointed at No. 2… Just a few short weeks ago, Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) was just beginning to get comfortable with her role as the Rolex Rankings No. 1 but once Inbee Park took over before the Tour headed to Hawaii, Lewis admits she felt the pressure to get it back. She admits she may have let the position get the best of her but can't complain about being where she's at now. 

"I think you get to No. 1 and you try to not do anything different but I think it's in our nature to put more pressure on yourself," said Lewis. "Inbee's playing great and there's nothing I can do about that except I have to play well, too.

"I think the last few weeks I was definitely putting some pressure on myself, had the expectations a little bit too high, and really I had two Top 10s the last two weeks so I can't be upset at all with that.  I'm playing good golf.  You just keep playing well and the rankings and all that other stuff will take care of itself."

Although Lewis' campaign as the No. 1 golfer in the world was short lived, she can't help but still feel content about her consistent play this season as she currently leads the Tour in top-10 finishes with six.

"I had to tell myself after Hawaii, actually I was disappointed I finished 9th there, and kind of tell myself, all right, I've won twice, at the time I had five Top 10s, I shouldn't be upset right now," said Lewis. "I'm playing good golf and I just needed to kind of reel things back in." 

Win it outright: Rolex Rankings No. 11 Paula Creamer (@ThePCreamer) returned to Kingsmill Resort this week with no intention of spending much time on the 18th hole on the River Course, a hole she played 12 times over four rounds and a playoff last year. 

"I played the front nine yesterday so today was the first time I've seen 18 since last year," said Creamer. "I saw it so many times, I don't think I need a practice round on that hole ever again."

Creamer has no hard feelings coming back to the venue where she came so close to earning her 10th career victory and battled tirelessly through the LPGA's longest two-player playoff in history. The 26-year old said that it's not the epic playoff that comes to mind when she thinks of Kingsmill, but how she missed on her opportunity to seal the deal in regulation play. She did an extra run through on Wednesday to help make sure it wouldn't happen again this time around.

"But it's nice, it's good memories," said Creamer."I guess the interesting part about it was I obviously had a chance to win it just in the outright play and I 3‑putted, so I putted that putt a couple times today.  Those are the things that yeah, I did, it was memorable, a long playoff, that kind of thing, but I had the opportunity just to win it outright and I think more about that really than I do the playoff."

Stacy Lewis is looking ahead. It's been almost a year since Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis took over as the top American on the LPGA Tour. Filled with anticipation, she can't help but look ahead to the next three events on the schedule and see two tournaments that played key roles in her success last season – the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, where she won her first victory of the season, and the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where she became the top American With much enthusiasm, Lewis says she is eager to head back to courses she has already mastered.

"More than anything I'm excited to get back on golf courses that I had success on and that I played well and they fit your eye," said Lewis. "I don't think people kind of realize how much, when you're really comfortable on the golf course, how much that helps you play well so I'm just excited to get back there."

Lewis says she hasn't changed her game plan this week as she prepares for the weeks ahead.

"This week it's kind of just keep working on the same things," said Lewis. "Golf's a crazy game that you can win one week and miss the cut the next week, so you have to really stay on top of your game and always keep working on little things."

Breaking back in: Nine-time LPGA Tour winner Paula Creamer clearly knows how to win on Tour. But the California native has gone on a streak of 60 consecutive starts without a victory and says it's a topic that continues to come up each week. When asked how she mentally deals with it, Creamer made light of the situation, laughing off dullness of the topic.

"I just say it like that, ‘I haven't won in a while.'  I haven't and I'm reminded of that constantly and I know.  It's not like I don't know I haven't held a trophy in my hand for a couple years.  You know, I think for a while there I thought about it way too much and I'm just trying to become a better player for myself, trying to get out there and do what I know I can do."

Since her runner-up finish at Kingsmill last season in September, Creamer hasn't gone off the radar, having registered three top ten finishes including two third place finishes. She has her coach, David Whelan, onsite with her this week and feels really confident with her swing right now.

"David, my coach, and I, we've been working just so hard on my golf swing and it's getting so much better, which is great to see the progress," said Creamer. "But even with Colin (my caddie) and I, this is our ninth year together and we've been grinding it out, trying to figure it out as well.  Just have to work harder, have to make more putts, have to hit more greens and be in the winner's circle.  Sounds easy, right?  But going out and doing it is a little bit different."

Kingsmill gets some love. In year's past, LPGA Tour pros frequently termed the Kingsmill Championship as the Tour's "fifth major" mostly because of the challenging course, breathtaking views of the James River, the star-studded fields and extra love from the locals. This year, now known as the "sixth major" after the addition of The Evian, players continue to rave about the excellence of Kingsmill experience.

"This is one of my favorite stops, they just know how to do it here," said Paula Creamer. "Everybody that works here, whether it's in the locker room, the clubhouse, even the person at the front gate, they're just so welcoming, so nice and it's all the little things.  The golf course is in just immaculate shape, it's so well taken care of.  Obviously it's a little bit wet this year, but just looking at it, it's beautiful.  It's a fun, fun golf course.  Like I said, when you can come back to a place that just really loves golf and loves women's golf, you kind of embrace it so much more."

Stacy Lewis says the Kingsmill Championship would rank among the favorite victories for any player that's walked away with the title.

"It's a place we've been successful in the past and it's a place I think we've had history," said Lewis. "Great players have won on this golf course.  You look at the list of winners that have won here, it's a pretty good list.  I think if you win here, it's definitely one to add that goes kind of high on the list."

Quotable: "On No. 5 yesterday, hole‑in‑one, 6 iron.  Drinks were on me last night, so it was good.  It was great.  It was my third one.  We were talking about it today how one of my strengths is my ball striking and my irons and it's only my third one, and actually two of them have come in the last year.  The other one was when I was 16, so now hopefully they'll just keep coming.  The one on 17 is for the cruise, so I'm hoping I can dial it in on that hole." – Paula Creamer on getting a hole in one yesterday during her practice round

Tweet of the Day: "Things you don't see on a PGA Tour range. #sparkles" --@Golfweek_Baldry

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

MODERATOR:  All right.  I'd like to welcome to Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis in the interview room.  Stacy, thanks for coming in.  Must have been an exciting week last week getting to play in front of your home state.  Can you talk about that experience and playing in front of the big Texas crowds?  Did you get to do anything fun?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, you know, last week I had some family in town so it was nice to just get to hang out with them.  Last week we had some pretty ‑‑ we had some unbelievable crowds, we had a ton of kids out there on the weekend and it was just a really cool week for first year of a tournament to have the turnout that we did.  I played well on Sunday, kind of finally got things together so it was nice to go out with some positive things.

MODERATOR:  It's been a battle these last few weeks with you and Inbee Park battling for the No. 1 spot and Inbee has a slight lead now.  Talk about your mindset going into the past few tournaments and how you approached ‑‑ did you approach it differently?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think you get to No. 1 and you try to not do anything different but I think it's in our nature to put more pressure on yourself.  Inbee's playing great and there's nothing I can do about that except I have to play well, too.  I think the last few weeks I was definitely putting some pressure on myself, had the expectations a little bit too high, and really I had two Top 10s the last two weeks so I can't be upset at all with that.  I'm playing good golf.  You just keep playing well and the rankings and all that other stuff will take care of itself.

MODERATOR:  You're leading the Tour in Top 10 finishes with six.  Last year you tied for 9th here at the Kingsmill Championship.  Can you talk about the state of your game and just coming back to a course that you had success?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I had to tell myself after Hawaii, actually I was disappointed I finished 9th there, and kind of tell myself, all right, I've won twice, at the time I had five Top 10s, I shouldn't be upset right now.  I'm playing good golf and I just needed to kind of reel things back in.  Really to have another Top 10 last week, that's a goal of mine is to be in contention, to give myself chances to win.  The more Top 10s I have, the better.  I played pretty good here last year, didn't make as many putts as I should have, but it's a different golf course.  Last year was pretty firm and fast.  This year it's obviously very wet.  It's a different golf course.  It's going to play longer but you can also play a little bit more target golf.

Q.  You talked briefly about the course and everything.  Can you talk about how your game kind of matches up with the course?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think with the course being wet, you can ‑‑ length definitely helps you, so I think anybody that hits it far this week is definitely going to have an advantage, and then from there it's just making putts.  I've been putting pretty well all year, so it doesn't matter what golf course you go to, if you're putting well, you're going to have a chance on Sunday.

Q.  In your time here, what do you like about Kingsmill?
STACY LEWIS:  It's the same every time we come back, which is I think why a lot of players like to come.  The golf course is always in ‑‑ is one of the best we play all year.  It's hard.  You can make some birdies but it's also hard.  It's always in great shape.  It's one of those places you come and you know what you're going to get every time you come here.  The LPGA I think has done well in smaller markets, a small town, not super small but a small town like this.  It's a place we've been successful in the past and it's a place I think we've had history.  Great players have won on this golf course.  You look at the list of winners that have won here, it's a pretty good list.  I think if you win here, it's definitely one to add that goes kind of high on the list.

Q.  With this being a tremendous field, how does that elevate your game, make you play better when you face some of the top golfers on Tour here this weekend?

STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, we're pretty fortunate every week that we have the top players playing almost every week so when you win, you know you just beat the best players in the word and I think that's the most satisfying thing.  Some weeks you can say, well, Inbee wasn't here or Yani wasn't here, but weeks like this you can say if I won this week, I truly beat the best players in the world and that's pretty satisfying at the end of the week.

Q.  Stacy, you mentioned how well you've been playing, you have to remind yourself of that.  How satisfying is it, golf and sports in general is littered with socalled onehit wonders and to follow up on last year's success, to sustain it this year, just how rewarding and is that important to you?
STACY LEWIS:  Coming into this year, I knew I needed to keep the expectations in check.  I didn't know how I was going to come back and play, so to come back this way, to win in Singapore early on to get the year started right and to take No. 1 in Phoenix, I mean it all happened so fast.  I don't think I truly got a chance to enjoy being at No. 1 because everything was so crazy.  It's just nice to see the hard work paying off.  I put in a lot of time in the gym, time on the course and it's just nice to see all of that kind of coming together. 

Right now the Tour, I think we need some American players to kind of play better.  I get tired of answering all those questions and just let golf speak for itself.  I think the Tour's in a great place.  I know the better I play, the more I help.

Q.  Stacy, how important is the No. 1 ranking for you?
STACY LEWIS:  It's somewhat important.  It's not the number one goal.  The rankings are ‑‑ unfortunately it's kind of an awkward science.  You get a strength of field every week that is based on the current rankings and then the rankings change after that, so it's a rankings based off of itself.  So whether it's truly accurate or not, you never really know.  So I just think the more wins I have, the better.  That's my goal every week is give myself a chance to win on Sunday and the awards, the recognition, everything else takes care of itself.

Q.  Stacy, all that said, talk about your role now as the top American player.  I mean, that's a status that I think, never mind the rankings and the points and all that, right now you're the top American player.  Just talk about how you feel about that and are you comfortable in those shoes?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, going into last year, that No. 1 American spot was my goal and I took that over in June of last year when I won at ShopRite.  It's definitely been different.  There's a lot of requests, because we are an American‑based Tour, there's a lot of requests for American players, so a lot of those things have come my way and we had to say no to a lot.  It's been a challenge juggling my schedule and still making sure I had practice time.  It's definitely not easy, but I welcome it.  We have a lot of young Americans that are looking at me and watching what I'm doing, so I need to stay on my toes and make sure I'm setting a good example for them.  You look at Jessica Korda and Lizette Salas, they've been playing great all year and they need somebody they can look up to, and maybe if they need help, I'm here for them.

Q.  I'm from Rochester and with that major coming up now, you finished tied for 2nd there last year.  It's the next major on the list, so talk about going into Wegmans and the feelings you have on that golf course and what your expectations are going to be that week.
STACY LEWIS:  Well, anytime a major comes, you're excited.  I think every year I've slowly improved so maybe this will be the year in Rochester for me.  I love that golf course.  You have to hit golf shots.  You can't just kind of skank it around and get the ball in the hole, you have to hit good shots.  It's always a challenge, it's always hard, the rough is long.  I love hard golf courses so I'm looking forward to it.

Q.  You're about to head to Mobile to go defend your title.  Are you approaching this week any different than others to prepare for that?
STACY LEWIS:  No, not really.  I'm excited that in two of the next three events I'm defending.  More than anything I'm excited to get back on golf courses that I had success on and that I played well and they fit your eye.  I don't think people kind of realize how much, when you're really comfortable on the golf course, how much that helps you play well so I'm just excited to get back there.  This week it's kind of just keep working on the same things.  Golf's a crazy game that you can win one week and miss the cut the next week, so you have to really stay on top of your game and always keep working on little things.
 

Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 11

MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Paula Creamer into the interview room.  Thanks for joining us.  You've been one of the most vocal supporters of this venue, a place you've played really well at, a place you kind of hold close to your heart.  Talk about being back here and how good it feels to be back in Williamsburg.
PAULA CREAMER:  This is one of my favorite stops, they just know how to do it here.  Everybody that works here, whether it's in the locker room, the clubhouse, even the person at the front gate, they're just so welcoming, so nice and it's all the little things.  The golf course is in just immaculate shape, it's so well taken care of.  Obviously it's a little bit wet this year, but just looking at it, it's beautiful.  It's a fun, fun golf course.  Like I said, when you can come back to a place that just really loves golf and loves women's golf, you kind of embrace it so much more.

MODERATOR:  I remember you saying last year you were so surprised about how many people came out on Monday morning for two players to watch the playoff but they came out in crowds.  I saw a pretty big crowd today just at the proam.  Talk about the support here with fans that, like you said, are a very knowledgeable, passionate fan base.

PAULA CREAMER:  I think what you said, the knowledgeable part.  They just really understand golf here and they understand good shots and things like that.  That's really nice.  I've seen a lot of the same faces out here.  The fact that they do so much also with the First Tee and bringing in the kids and I had a little girl walk with me for 18 holes today.  It's just really nice that they can just match everything together and kind of just show the game of golf, and the fans and the people here of Williamsburg support that.

MODERATOR:  Now, you're coming back here, you played well here, you've come very close as we all know.  Did you think, "I don't really want to see 18," or how does the mindset come back in obviously being so close and coming through one of the most memorable finishes on LPGA ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:  I played the front nine yesterday so today was the first time I've seen 18 since last year.  I saw it so many times, I don't think I need a practice round on that hole ever again.  But it's nice, it's good memories.  I guess the interesting part about it was I obviously had a chance to win it just in the outright play and I 3‑putted, so I putted that putt a couple times today.  Those are the things that yeah, I did, it was memorable, a long playoff, that kind of thing, but I had the opportunity just to win it outright and I think more about that really than I do the playoff.

MODERATOR:  Just talk about the state of the LPGA now.  Inbee has gotten a grasp on 1, she's kind of playing lights out right now but healthy competition, which has kind of been the storyline recently with the Top 10 or so players kind of taking control of the Tour.  Talk about that competition and how, you said it before, how it drives everybody to try for that No. 1 spot.
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, Inbee's been playing great.  I played junior golf with Inbee, so I've known her for a very long time and we did go head to head in junior golf as well when we were 14, 15 years old.  She was like that then, too.  When her putter gets hot, she just has so much confidence and that's what's happening right now with her.  It's fun to see people that you grew up with play well.  Obviously I wish I was right there in her shoes, but at the same time she's making me play better.  Anybody that you're constantly in contention, you know that they work hard and she's just in such a great place in her life outside of golf too and it's nice to see that and hopefully she's enjoying the ride that she's on right now.

MODERATOR:  Word on the street, you had a holeinone yesterday.  Run us through that, a couple days early unfortunately.
PAULA CREAMER:  On No. 5 yesterday, hole‑in‑one, 6 iron.  Drinks were on me last night, so it was good.  It was great.  It was my third one.  We were talking about it today how one of my strengths is my ball striking and my irons and it's only my third one, and actually two of them have come in the last year.  The other one was when I was 16, so now hopefully they'll just keep coming.  The one on 17 is for the cruise, so I'm hoping I can dial it in on that hole.

MODERATOR:  You finished last week pretty strong with a good final round.  Talk about just your game, what you're specifically pleased with and how you feel coming into this week.
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I've had some good Sunday finishes that's ‑‑ I had a good Sunday finish in Hawaii, played well the last three days in Texas, had a rough first day.  My golf swing hasn't been quite what I've been wanting it to be, my ball striking hasn't been as good, but my coach David Whelan's out this week, which is great to have him out here, and hopefully kind of get things dialed in a little bit more than what they have been and I can be in contention all four days and not just have a good solid weekend.  It's coming.  Like I keep saying, golf's a marathon, it's not a sprint.  Just trying to pace myself with things and hopefully I'll get in the winner's circle as soon as I can.

Q.  Paula, you mentioned about your love for the course and the great turnout last year.  Off the heels of that memorable playoff, what will it mean to win this year at Kingsmill?
PAULA CREAMER:  It would be great.  Just coming back here, I have so much family that lives around here so they all come out Thursday, Friday, and the weekend a bunch more come out.  It's really nice.  Like I've said, I've had so much support with the fans here and they've just really have been behind me ever since I came out my rookie year here.  That's really nice to see and to have.  I have great memories with my grandpa here so I'm always kind of in a peaceful place when I come just because of those great times when he got to watch me here.

Q.  When you look on the list of winners here, it's pretty amazing the caliber of player.  What's that say about this course?
PAULA CREAMER:  It just shows that the top players rise, or they come to the top.  It's a demanding golf course.  It's not the most narrow ‑‑ the rough, things like that, it's not very penalizing but at the same time you have to hit the ball in the right spot certain doglegs, things like that.  You have to be a great putter.  There's undulations out there but they're slight.  You have to be able to play this golf course many times.  It comes down to making birdies.  We haven't played in this time of year for a while here and it's a completely different golf course.  It's playing long, it's really wet.  I've hit more long irons and woods into par 4s here than I think I have, jeez, in forever.  Last year so dry, so much firmer, reaching some of the par 5s.  Now, like I said, it's a completely different track and I think that the scores will show that, but hopefully we can get some good weather and it can dry up a little bit.

Q.  Paula, you mentioned your grandfather.  Around this time last year you were dealing with a lot of things, I know, and one of those things was the loss of your grandfather and some swing changes you were going through also.  Was that the grandfather that you lost that you mentioned had come out to this course with you a few times?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah.

Q.  It's not something you just get over overnight, I know, but how long did it kind of take you to sort of internalize that and maybe deal with it a little bit, and have you undergone any swing changes this year and how is the swing at this point?
PAULA CREAMER:  It's hard to talk about my grandpa because he just meant so much to me.  Yeah, it's been a hard year.  I just lost my grandma at Easter.  People forget you also live in a real world, too, and dealing with things like that, it's hard.  It is, it's very difficult, and when you are in the public eye trying to deal with certain things like that and trying to play golf against the best players in the world and trying to get better, learning how to handle all of that is something that I've been getting pretty good at, trying not to show too much emotion with it. 

It's a part of life, everybody goes through things like that, and I'm not over it, I don't think I ever will be.  I miss him very much and I myself my grandma.  Everybody has stories like that, but he was just so involved in my life.  And when I do come back to places like this and when I go to Rochester, when I played in Corning, things like that, it's hard.  It is peaceful, like I said, but it's also something that in a sense you don't really know what to expect and those are the things that people don't get to really see or to know about.

Q.  Was that his wife?
PAULA CREAMER:  No, it was my mom's mom.

Q.  Did playing 18 repeatedly last year become monotonous and are you glad that they've changed the playoff format for this year?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, playing it eight times, yeah, it was, to that back pin.  I was actually, I don't know, upset's not really the word but I'm just confused about why we didn't go back and play it again on Monday.  I still kind of question that to this day, why didn't we switch it on the fifth time we played it, something like that.  Why did we all of a sudden change it that day.  But those aren't decisions that I make and now it's written in big bold letters what holes the playoffs are on and I think every tournament after this one now has a strategic plan for playoff holes, so I think we changed a lot of ways that tournament directors and associations to look at events.  But it was eight times on that hole and I think I hit it within five yards every single time.  It was, but that's just the way it is and it will go down in history and it's unfortunate I didn't win it.

Q.  Talking to Marty, he was saying the Tour prefers to vary playoff holes because they don't want one hole to favor a particular player who might hit a draw or a fade over the other.  Did you feel at a particular competitive advantage or disadvantage with Jiyai on that hole last year?
PAULA CREAMER:  No, I don't think so.  It's a good hole, you're just waiting ‑‑ it's not a birdie hole, not with that pin.  The other pins, sure, but not with that one.  It was who was going to make a mistake first, and we both kept getting up and down and making some good lag putts.  But I think looking back on it there were different ways that we could have done it maybe, but that's playing against Jiyai is match play and it was her versus me and who was going to win is going to win.

Q.  You alluded to Rochester in your comments a little earlier there.  Going into this year, similar to last year, there's a lot of mystery as to whether it's going to be the last time you're going to play there because the sponsorship deal is very much in flux.  Just share your opinion what would happen if that tournament is no longer, if you guys don't go back to Rochester after 37 years, the last four being a Major?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, hopefully we won't have to go through that, but Wegmans has been an unbelievable supporter of women's golf and it would be incredibly sad.  There's just the fans are one of a kind there.  It's a great golf course, it's a great venue, and hopefully they can all figure something out and we can come back because it would be missed greatly on our Tour.

Q.  I know I've asked you this about five years in a row, but I know it's one of your favorite places, you've been very public about that.  Are you getting tired of not winning the golf tournament there?
PAULA CREAMER:  Getting tired of not winning just in general, but yeah, like I said, I'm so competitive with everything and doesn't matter what I do, I want to be the best at it and I want to win.  Rochester, I have come very close and it's been tough not to have won there.  The golf course is just perfect for my game.  It's very much kind of like this golf course, you've got to hit it in the right spots in the fairway, you've got to hit it in the right parts of the green and you've got to think your way around, be aggressive when you can, take your par and move on in certain spots.  Hopefully maybe this will be the year, I don't know.  You can't really say why haven't you done this, why haven't you done that, someone's always played just a little bit better than I have and hopefully this year I can be that person.

Q.  You mentioned not winning in a while.  How you do you react to that and how do you deal with that?
PAULA CREAMER:  I just say it like that, "I haven't won in a while."  I haven't and I'm reminded of that constantly and I know.  It's not like I don't know I haven't held a trophy in my hand for a couple years. 

You know, I think for a while there I thought about it way too much and I'm just trying to become a better player for myself, trying to get out there and do what I know I can do.  Like I said, it's been an incredibly hard year for me like I said emotionally.  David, my coach, and I, we've been working just so hard on my golf swing and it's getting so much better, which is great to see the progress.  But even with Colin and I, this is our ninth year together and we've been grinding it out, trying to figure it out as well.  Just have to work harder, have to make more putts, have to hit more greens and be in the winner's circle.  Sounds easy, right?  But going out and doing it is a little bit different.

Q.  I actually saw on Twitter yesterday where you hit that holeinone.  What club did you hit.
PAULA CREAMER:  I hit a little 6 iron.  Yeah, it was nice.  Last year actually in the practice round I holed out on 9 with my 5‑iron.  So this year now I have a hole‑in‑one, I'm like, one better than we did last year, so maybe we'll do one better than, you know, and we'll get first place this year.

Q.  Just to follow up on the question I asked earlier about some of the swing changes you went through last year, from my understanding it was a lot of work off the tee with the driver and sort of tightening up your irons.  Have you continued to tweak this year or are those things that you have kind of worked on from that point and not changed at all?  And also, have you undergone any club switches or changes?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, pretty much yes to all of those questions.  I have definitely done a lot of driver work, constantly working on my irons, just trying not to get as flat.  I really didn't take much time off in the off season, I just wanted to kind of keep it going from the hard work that we've been doing.  Yes, you have to get away and get your brain kind of back to normal, but I also didn't want to get too far away with what we were working on.

Last year I think was great because I did take it to the golf course and now I'm a lot more confident with that and I've had some great ball striking weeks.  When I'm on the road, sometimes it goes back a little bit, it reverts back like anything does, and having David out here like I said was great.  But I switched almost all of my clubs in my bag, brand new irons, driver, 3‑wood, 5‑wood, the same 7‑wood, the same wedges, and I think that that is something that you have to go through, too.  I think it's only helping me, that's definitely not hurting me.

Q.  Paula, you mentioned the frustration of not winning.  Is it now more mental?  How do you kind of like mentally get that out of your system and not focus so much on not winning for a long time and just focus on doing what you have to do to get back to the winner's circle?
PAULA CREAMER:  I have a lot of short‑term goals.  I've always been very goal oriented with everything that I've done.  My long‑term goals, my intermediate, my short term, things like that and kind of what I need to get back on, and that's the mentality that my team and I have right now is just focusing on on the things that I can control. 

I can think my way around a golf course a little bit better, there's certain ways that I can try and eliminate mistakes.  Really, just like I said, trusting my golf swing.  These are changes that hopefully in five, six years I can look back on and be like it was the greatest thing I've ever done.  Is it the hardest thing?  A hundred percent.  Why would you want to fix something that wasn't broken?  But I really feel that I'll look back at this, these couple of years, and I'll say, yeah, this is why we did it.  You've just kind of got to jump over some hurdles here and there and you'll get through it.

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Kingsmill Championship, Creamer, Paula, Lewis, Stacy

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