CN Canadian Women's Open Pre-Tournament Notes and Interviews Aug. 21

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Amateur Lydia Ko of New Zealand smiles as she walks to the 18th green on her way to a three shot victory during the final round of the Canadian Women's Open at The Vancouver Golf Club on August 26, 2012 in Coquitlam, Canada.

CN Canadian Women’s Open
Royal Mayfair Golf Club
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Pre-tournament Notes and Interviews
August 21, 2013

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Charley Hull, Rolex Rankings No. 147
Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Team Canada: Jennifer Ha, Augusta James, Brittany Marchand, Brooke Henderson

The LPGA Tour heads north of the border for the second time this season for the CN Canadian Women’s Open where 16-year old amateur Lydia Ko will defend her first LPGA victory. Ko rewrote the Tour’s record books last year when she became the youngest winner in LPGA history at 15 years and four months old after a 13-under par performance in Vancouver. The New Zealand native will tee it up with 155 of the world’s best female golfers again, this time at Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton.

What pressure? The golf world was introduced to 17-year old Charley Hull last week at the Solheim Cup when she became the youngest competitor in the biennial event and had a show-stopping performance on Sunday when she trumped American stalwart Paula Creamer 5&4 in her singles match.

But it wasn’t only her stellar play that earned the respect of her teammates and fans. The laid-back Englishwoman received high marks from 11-year LPGA Tour veteran and European Solheim Cup teammate Suzann Pettersen.

“I'm really impressed with her as a person, as a player, the way she handles herself ‑‑ the way she handles herself on the golf course, off the golf course,” said Pettersen. “She's just one of a kind.  I mean, she's very genuine, you know?  It's fun to watch her; it's fun to listen to her.  She brought a lot of good laughs to the team room just being herself, but also just being fearless and feisty and wanting to go out and win a point for the team.”

When the duo was asked whether the pressure that the Solheim Cup was different than stroke-play events on Tour, Pettersen deferred to Hull who notably said she didn’t feel any nerves on the first tee in Parker last week.

Is the pressure different?” Pettersen recited. “I think maybe Charley should answer that, because I think she has a great answer.”

Hull responded with a smirk and two simple words that put her naïve and youthful demeanor on full display. “What pressure?”

Pettersen followed up by asking Hull if she ever felt nervous throughout any of the rounds. Hull’s response showed that the teenager already has a unique perspective on course management, even during one of women’s golf’s biggest events.

“When I really got nervous was on 17.  I felt like on the first tee, it's match play, so if you hit a bad drive, you've got like one hole.  But that on 17 was the turning point of the match, see, so I was a bit nervous about that.”

New face in the crowd: Charley Hull wasn’t known to many golf fans outside of Europe prior to last week’s Solheim Cup but the 17-year-old England native delivered her breakout moment on a big stage. Helping Team Europe to its first Solheim Cup win on U.S. soil, Hull endeared herself to many in the golf world as she became the youngest person ever to compete in the Solheim Cup.

“It was amazing, because you're always dreaming of being able to play, and getting to Solheim, especially with it being my first year on tour, it was just a dream come true,” said Hull. “I absolutely loved every moment of it.”

The Ladies European Tour rookie is in the field this week at the CN Canadian Women’s Open as a sponsor invite. It’s not the first time she’s competed in an LPGA Tour event in North America, as she competed in last year’s Kraft Nabisco Championship as an amateur where she finished T38. And American golf fans could be seeing much more of Hull next season.

Hull, who turns 18 on March 20 next year, petitioned LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan to be eligible for membership pursuant to the successful completion of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament and the Commissioner accepted her official request. Based on the entry criteria for the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, Hull will compete at Stage II to be held Tuesday, October 8 - Friday, October 11, 2013 at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla. Hull, who has posted four runner-up finishes on the LET this year, is looking forward to the opportunity to earn a spot on the LPGA Tour for the 2014 season.

“The LPGA Tour is where everyone wants to be,” Hull said. “The crowds are bigger, and everything is bigger and better.  It's where the best players in the world are.  So it's always been a dream of mine to be on the LPGA and get on it as soon as I can.  So it's great that they're letting me come to the second stage.  Just really looking forward to it.  Playing all these different golf courses over here, it's rather nice.”

Oh Canada!  Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis has had plenty of success over the past two years in her ascent to the top of the Women’s World Golf Rankings. So it’s no surprise that The Woodlands, Texas native has delivered her share of top finishes in Canadian events over that time span.

“I don't know what it is,” said Lewis. “I've played well just in Canada in general in the last few years…I love hard golf courses.  I love that there is a challenge there to it.  So I don't know.  I think I've had a couple of seconds, so hopefully I'll just keep knocking on that door.”

Lewis finished tied for second in 2011 at CN Canadian Women’s Open that was played outside Montreal and she finished T6 last year when the event was held Vancouver. Lewis enters this week’s event coming off a great performance at the LPGA Tour’s last stop, the RICOH Women’s British Open, where she won her second career major title. It was Lewis’ third victory of the 2013 season  and her seventh in the last two years. But despite Lewis’ tremendous success recently, she still has been chasing Inbee Park for the top spot in the world rankings.

“Winning the major was huge for me, because Inbee winning three it felt like, gosh, I must be playing horrible or something,” Lewis said. “I think you just have to go out there day by day and just kind of take care of yourself and know that golf you get peaks and valleys, and you can only be on those peaks for so long.

“You have to keep taking care of yourself, do the best you can, and know that the best player usually wins every week.  You're going to have bad weeks.  Inbee's going to have bad weeks.  I'm going to have bad weeks, and just to try to take advantage of that when she's not playing well.”

Quotables: “Before I played, my friend was like, ‘oh, can you get Paula Creamer's autograph, please?’  I was like I don't really like asking people for their autographs.  So I thought at the end I was like I've got a good chance of getting it now, so I'll just get it.” Seventeen-year old Charley Hull on asking Paula Creamer for her autograph after she beat her 5&4 in singles at the Solheim Cup

“Well, it seems like longer than a year it's been.  But the back nine that she played that day was unbelievable.  Whether you're 15 or whether you're 30, it was unbelievable.  So it just shows the talent that's there.  She still needs time to mature and to play week‑in and week‑out, but it shows she can have those great weeks and she can win out here.” Stacy Lewis on playing with Lydia Ko in the final group last year when Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history

Ready to roll: Rolex Rankings No. 11 Paula Creamer will try to drain out the sting of losing last week in Parker, Colo. at the Solheim Cup with positive memories of an outstanding performance the last time the LPGA played at Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton in 2007. Creamer finished runner-up to Lorena Ochoa at the CN Canadian Women’s Open after rounds of 68-69-66-68 and finished at 13-under par. When asked if it was nostalgic stepping back onto a course she played so well at, Creamer said she remembers why she had such a good week.

“It was,” said Creamer. “This is such a great golf course.  I remember why I think I played so well.  It's my type of golf course, tree‑lined, thick grass, tricky greens, got to put it in the right spots.”

Coming off a week playing at the Colorado Golf Club where the Solheim Cup players fought exceptionally quick greens all week, Creamer said Royal Mayfair’s are rolling at a similar speed.

“Coming off the greens last week, they were so fast,” said Creamer. “I wasn't really quite sure what to expect coming into the next tournament with greens, and these are just as fast as they were last week.  So I kind of have that going for me, which is just visualizing pace, and breaking putts going in.”

Creamer has had four finishes in the top-11 in her last five starts including a runner-up finish at the Marathon Classic in Toledo, Ohio. She said the extra work trying to get her putter rolling has paid off.

“I didn't quite hit the ball as well as I wanted on Sunday at the Solheim, but I've been putting better and I've been making some more putts here and there,” said Creamer. “That is the biggest difference.  I'm just really trusting what my coach David Whelan and I have been working on.  Colin is very aware of all my swing changes and things like that and just really when we go to the range, we work on what we need to do and keep that going, keep my drills going, and really just doing it out when you have to in a tournament.”

Of Note…There are 20 Canadians in the field this week including University of Central Arkansas alum Nicole Forshner who earned a spot on Monday after shooting 71 at the qualifier.

 

STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 2

MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 2, Stacy Lewis into the interview room.  First off, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon.  This event is always looked at by so many people as one of the premier events on Tour during the year, National Championship here in Canada, Golf Canada and CN do such a great job.  What is the favorite thing about coming back to Canada for this event each year?
STACY LEWIS:  I think everybody loves this event, one, it's one of the better purses.  I think that definitely helps.  But it's always at a nice golf course.  They always take care of us.  You know coming here it's going to be good.  So I think that's why we get such a good feel every week at these events.  This week is no different.
           
The golf course is in unbelievable shape, and it's going to be hard, it's going to be tough, and I think most players, we want those hard, tough golf courses because that's when you get your true champion.

MODERATOR:  I was going to say you played very well in this event the last two years.  Tied for second in 2011, and tied for sixth last year.  What is it about these golf courses?  I know you see tough golf courses too, but does it bring out the best in your game?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know what it is.  I've played well just in Canada in general in the last few years.  So I don't know what it is.  I love hard golf courses.  I love that there is a challenge there to it.  So I don't know.  I think I've had a couple of seconds, so hopefully I'll just keep knocking on that door.

MODERATOR:  Last year you were in that final group and got to watch Lydia Ko make history as the youngest winner in LPGA history.  Now having had a year to look back on what an amazing accomplishment it was, what do you think when you see video of that and what she was able to do in beating a great field?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, it seems like longer than a year it's been.  But the back nine that she played that day was unbelievable.  Whether you're 15 or whether you're 30, it was unbelievable.  So it just shows the talent that's there.  She still needs time to mature and to play week‑in and week‑out, but it shows she can have those great weeks and she can win out here.

MODERATOR:  The last event you played in was the Women's Ricoh British Open, and you won that.  Congratulations.  Second major championship.  Then to go to the Solheim and go to a completely different format, team event, Match Play, how do you get back into the mentality of being back in stroke play again and kind of building off what you were able to do at the women's British?
STACY LEWIS:  It's an easy transition, I think.  You know, Match Play is so stressful over every single shot, but it's almost easier once you get into stroke play because you know you can make some mistakes and it's going to be okay.  It's almost a little bit of a relief.  You're not playing for quite so many people now, and you can relax and get some more sleep this week.  It's nice to be back just kind of taking care of yourself.

Q.  Can I ask you about Shauna Estes‑Taylor, she was with you in summer of 2003; she was there when you came off the course at the British Open.  What's she meant to your career and would you be here today without her?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, she was the assistant coach at Arkansas my very first year I was there.  She is a great player in her own right, so I learned ‑‑ she had just stopped playing when she became the assistant coach, so she was still in that playing mentality where she could hit those shots around the greens and she had a great short game.  So that is something that I learned a lot from her.
           
I mean, I didn't win an up and down competition for the first couple years I was there.  So she helped me really develop my game.  These last few years she's helped me a lot with the mental side, and always challenging myself and finding ways to get better.  She's somebody that I may win a golf tournament, but she's always helping me find ways how I can even get better for the next one.  It's very easy to say I wouldn't be where I am without her.

Q.  What did it mean to you to have her there at No. 18 when you won at St. Andrews?
STACY LEWIS:  It was really special.  She was there for the Curtis Cup when we finished there, and she loves the history of golf, obviously.  I mean, most golfers do, but she loved the history there, so she wanted to be there at St. Andrews.  Just to have her there and to be able to celebrate that with her, I told her when I hugged her, I said this one's for you because I wouldn't have enjoyed that style of golf before I met Shauna.  She was the one that put me on the side of the hill and made me get up ask down.  She kind of created that creative side to me.

Q.  With all the success you're having, there is a value‑added component obviously in the one and two tussle going on.  How do you manage that and stay focused on your game, but still I'm sure you're fiercely competitive and you want to be No. 1.  How do you deal with all of that and stay in your own zone?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it's tough.  I mean, it was hard when winning the major was huge for me, because Inbee winning three it felt like, gosh, I must be playing horrible or something.  But I don't know.  I think you just have to go out there day by day and just kind of take care of yourself and know that golf you get peaks and valleys, and you can only be on those peaks for so long.
           
I don't know you have to keep taking care of yourself, do the best you can, and know that the best player usually wins every week.  You're going to have bad weeks.  Inbee's going to have bad weeks.  I'm going to have bad weeks, and just to try to take advantage of that when she's not playing well.

Q.  On your website, the label is The Next Great American Golfer, and that is kind of scratched out, and it says Best Golfer in the World, I think.  Is that a self‑motivating tool or just having fun?
STACY LEWIS:  When I first turned pro my agent did my website and they put that title on there and I saw it, and I didn't really think that of myself, so I said they must think that of me.  Should I be thinking this of myself?  I don't know.  When I turned pro I wasn't on those lines at all, but it made me kind of think like, oh, I have people here that believe in me.
           
I have people that believe I can be the top American player.  So it was really cool for them to support me like that and kind of put that thought in my head.  But then when I got to No. 1 in the world, they decided to scratch out the next part of it.

Q.  Inbee has the wins, but if you look at the numbers, you could make the argument that you are the most consistent player on the Tour this year in terms of Top 10 finishes, putts per green, scoring average birdies, right?
STACY LEWIS:  Uh‑huh.

Q.  Is that just a growth of your game or how does that sort of reflect your approach to the game?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, the consistency part is something that I've been kind of focusing on over the last couple years because, you know, my rookie year I would play great one week and then miss the cut the next.  That was the most frustrating thing in the world to me.  So I wanted to get to where I was consistently making cuts, and now it's consistently top 20s, Top 10s and giving myself a chance to win.
           
I'd rather finish fifth two weeks in a row than win one week and miss the cut the next.  I think the consistency part, fans get to know you more.  People think you're doing better.  You feel like you're doing better than you are when you're playing more consistent.
           
So I think the top 10 has kind of been a goal, leading top 10 has been a goal of mine in the last few years.

Q.  Solheim Cup is obviously a bitter disappointment for the team.  How do you quickly flip the switch from being down to being up and ready to maybe win here?
STACY LEWIS:  I didn't play well on Friday and then Saturday and Sunday I actually played some good golf.  So I think that's what I take from it.  With Match Play, you can play well and lose the match.  That is just kind of the way it is.  So you can't look at, well, this was my record last week versus somebody else, you know.  I know how I played.  I know what I was doing good and what I was doing bad.  You just kind of ‑‑ I don't know.  You're always kind of critical of yourself and just trying to find ways to get better.

Q.  Tough one to swallow Sunday night?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it was tough.  We had a lot of things that week that didn't go our way and things that were out of our control that we couldn't do anything about.  That was probably the most disappointing part.  But, overall, we had chances and we just didn't get it done.

Q.  You win the British; you lose the Solheim.  Where is your head at today?
STACY LEWIS:  It's frustrating because there are a lot of people here that I haven't seen since the British and they're congratulating me on the British, but I'm still kind of down about Solheim.  So I guess I'm kind of in the middle right now.  I don't know.  I mean, it takes you a little time, I think, to get over Solheim and to get over it because you spend so much energy doing it and putting so much time into it.  So it will take a little bit to get over it.
           
But once you're out on the course, especially a course like this, you can't be thinking about anything else.

Q.  Every time you reach for your driver, you're pulling off a Razorback club head, club cover.  You just donated $100,000 to the university last year, I think it was.  Why is that?  Why does your alma mater mean so much to you?  Is it because they stuck with you in '03?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I signed my letter of intent to go to Arkansas and before I found out I even had to have surgery.  And they supported me 100%.  They honored my scholarship.  They gave me all of the doctors and everything I needed to rehab and get better.  I mean, they've been such a great support system.  The AD, every time I win or do well he's calling me, texting me, sending me letters.  It's like a little family to me.  I'm the only female player on Tour ever.  So I feel like a little bit I'm carrying that banner a little bit.  I want to get that hog.
           
I asked Mizuno if I could carry that hog around every week, and in Japan they didn't quite understand the mascot thing, so it took a little while to get that done.  But eventually, they understood it.  I'm just so appreciative of the opportunity that they gave me.  And part of the giving back of the $100,000 is to say thank you, because I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if I had gone to any other school.

MODERATOR:  One last question I have for you, Stacy.  Everybody's talking about the disappointment of Solheim.  Normally you have to wait two years for a team event to get back and play for your country.  Next year we're introducing the International Crown where four players from eight countries will be competing to determine the best country in the world.  What does that opportunity mean now kind of having a team event where you're going to have it every year, and having another opportunity to wear the red, white and blue, and represent and possibly win and show that the Americans are the best golfing country in the world?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I'm really excited about this International Crown.  Just in team events you get the personalities of the players.  You get the best and the worst of it, but you get the personalities of the players, and I think that's what I'm most excited about.  For the fans to really get to know those top Asian players the way we do every week.  I think that's going to be really cool for them.
           
To represent your country, any time you're wearing the red, white and blue, and it's got USA on it, that's an honor to represent your country.  So for us to get to do it more consistently every year and leading up to the Olympics is going to be really cool.  I'm excited to see how the format all works out.  Hopefully, the U.S. comes out on top.

MODERATOR:  It will be interesting the competition for that one.  Four spots will be pretty tight.  If you look at that Solheim team, you have 12 players and only four will make it for International Crown for all the countries.  It's going to be pretty exciting to see.

Q.  A couple young Canadian players were speaking earlier, and two of them mentioned you as a role model that they look up to.  Particularly what you went through, your medical history?
STACY LEWIS:  Right.

Q.  How interwoven into your career is that knowing you are an inspiration to younger athletes, both for your excellence in play and for overcoming very tough circumstances?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, at first, when I first came on Tour, I didn't want to talk about it a lot.  I didn't understand why everybody wanted to know about my back.  I wanted to be known as a good golfer.  The better I played, the more I realized that people are drawing inspiration just by me playing golf.  It didn't matter how good I played or just the fact that I was teeing it up every week, people are drawing inspiration from that.  It's always going to be a part of me.  It goes with me wherever I go.
           
I had, I think my agent said, 15 to 20 requests last week at Solheim for a one‑on‑one sit down meeting with kids.  Which, obviously, I didn't have time to do, but that's how big it's gotten.  I get it, because at that age you want somebody who has been through what you've been through.
           
You want somebody to say it's going to be okay.  That's what I try to do.  Whether it's writing them a letter or I get emails from parents asking questions.  It's really become a big deal.  At the time, I didn't think it was.

 

SUZANN PETTERSEN, Rolex Rankings No. 3
CHARLEY HULL, Rolex Rankings No. 147

MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 3, Suzann Pettersen and one of our sponsor invites this week, Charley Hull who is ranked No. 147 in the Rolex Rankings. 
Thank you, ladies, for joining us this afternoon.  First off, congratulations on a great week last week.  Team Europe coming out with a huge victory.  Their first ever on U.S. soil.  First off, ladies, if you could share what that experience was like?  I'll start with Suzann who was playing in her 7th Solheim Cup.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Obviously, the Solheim Cup is a pioneer event.  I think for all of us who can play in the Solheim, it's probably our favorite event out of the year.  We had a fantastic European team, a really great blend of young players and more experienced players.  Players like Charley.  I think it was a fantastic week, and we all complemented each other, and I think all of us performed really well.
           
Everyone really fought hard, and it was a tough task.  We were standing in front, but we fought together and we stood tall at the end.  So it was a nice victory.

MODERATOR:  Charley, what was that first experience of playing in the Solheim Cup like for you?  You were the youngest ever competitor to play in the Solheim Cup.  What was it like to play with Suzann and coming out with a victory?
CHARLEY HULL:  Yeah, it was amazing, because you're always dreaming of being able to play, and getting to Solheim, especially with it being my first year on tour, it was just a dream come true.  I absolutely loved every moment of it.

MODERATOR:  Suzann, if you could talk a little about being a teammate of Charley, knowing someone so young.  You've been through a lot of these events and what it takes to win those points and with her impressive singles victory too on Sunday?  What were you most impressed by in Charley's play last week?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Well, I'm really impressed with her as a person, with Charley as a player, the way she handles herself ‑‑ the way she handles herself on the golf course, off the golf course.  She's just one of a kind.  I mean, she's very genuine, you know?  It's fun to watch her; it's fun to listen to her.  She brought a lot of good laughs to the team room just being herself, but also just being fearless and feisty and wanting to go out and win a point for the team.
           
I thought she handled herself overly well.  It's a tough week.  You never know how you're ‑‑ you never know what you're facing first time out, and you never know how your body is going to Cope with it.  But Charley did excellent, and I think she'll be a great role model for everyone coming behind.

MODERATOR:  Charley, you got the experience of playing in the Solheim Cup last week, and now a sponsored invite to play in the LPGA event this week.  And I know the news came out that you're going to get to play in stage two of qualifying school coming up to help make it on the LPGA Tour.  What makes you want to play on the LPGA Tour and what's impressed you about seeing the play and getting out in this event this week?
CHARLEY HULL:  Well, LPGA Tour is where everyone wants to be.  The crowds are bigger, and everything is bigger and better.  It's where the best players in the world are.  So it's always been a dream of mine to be on the LPGA and get on it as soon as I can.  So it's great that they're letting me come to the second stage.  Just really looking forward to it.  Playing all these different golf courses over here, it's rather nice.

MODERATOR:  This week you're playing in what is considered a great event.  I know Suzann's a past winner here at the CN Canadian Women's Open.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  (Laughing) Quite a few years ago.

MODERATOR:  2009, not that many.  Suzann, the last time this event was played here, you finished tied for 10th.  What is it about this event and what Golf Canada does, and what CN has brought to this event that's made it such a special event that we see so many elite players coming out as champions.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Well, first of all, I think CN and Golf Canada has been a tremendous supporter of the LPGA and women's golf, not only through my kind of time on tour, but also way earlier than that.  So it's been a fantastic event.
           
It's always been one of our prime events most of us always want to play.  I think it's fun that we rotate around Canada, and the reception we get from the crowds is usually enormous.  Doesn't matter what town we go to.  I was there in '07 when Lorena won.  And I played the course today, and this is a great track, great conditions, and it's just fun to come back here.  Edmonton is a great sports town.  I just wish we can keep coming back to the Canadian Open next year.

Q.  What is the story about you asking Paula Creamer for her autograph after you beat her?  She laughed it up and thought it was funny?
CHARLEY HULL:  Yeah, before I played, my friend was like, oh, can you get Paula Creamer's autograph, please?  I was like I don't really like asking people for their autographs.  So I thought at the end I was like I've got a good chance of getting it now, so I'll just get it.

Q.  There are a lot of really good players that don't seem to thrive in the Solheim Cup or even the Ryder Cup, and there are others that are just warriors in that event.  What is it about the event that separates players?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I just think what separates us is individually you're out there as a team.  I can only talk for the Europeans, but for all of us Europeans, we're all very friendly and get along great.  For us, it's a very natural chemistry to go out there and you really fight to the bitter end because you don't want to let your fans down.
           
This is my seventh, and each one has a story, but being part of this young team that we just had up in Colorado, I think it was a really well‑needed change of players.  It was a new spirit, a new energy, and it was a great show.  I mean, it was great to be a part of.  I'm really proud of all the players and all the youngsters the way they handled themselves and the way they played.  They played outstanding.

Q.  Was it different than the regular event?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Is the pressure different?  I think maybe Charley should answer that, because I think she has a great answer.
CHARLEY HULL:  What pressure?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Did you get nervous out there?
CHARLEY HULL:  When I really got nervous was on 17.  I felt like on the first tee, it's Match Play, so if you hit a bad drive, you've got like one hole.  But that on 17 was the turning point of the match, see, so I was a bit nervous about that, yeah.

Q.  Charley, Suzann spoke a little bit about this golf course.  You did get to play out here yesterday, what were your thoughts on this golf course and how does it suit your game?
CHARLEY HULL:  Yeah, I think it's a lovely golf course.  It's quite tight.  It's nice to play a golf course where you haven't really got short irons in.  We've got a nice medium iron in, and you don't really ‑‑ you can use driver off the tee sometimes.  But it's a lot different to last week.
           
I think it's a really good golf course, and the rough is quite nice as well.

Q.  Is that something you're going to have to get used to, Charley?  Playing the different types of golf courses on the LPGA Tour?  Just talk a little about that.
CHARLEY HULL:  Yeah, I've played quite a few youngster tournaments out here, but that was only in Florida.  I played in the Kraft Nabisco last year at the amateur, and I really like the golf courses out here because the greens always seem to be nice and fast.  Because in Europe, you always play in ‑‑ they're usually a lot slower, the greens, I find out there.  But, no, I really like America.

Q.  Charley, I have to ask a question about the hat you're wearing.  I was reading in a newspaper article today that you didn't know what the NY stood for.  That it was a Yankees hat when you first got it.  What is the story behind the hat?
CHARLEY HULL:  Well, basically, all my friends wear them, so I was like I'll wear it.  My sister's boyfriend got it to me.  It's actually my sister's boyfriend's hat, and I stole it off him.  And he said can you please wear it when you play in America?  And I was like, okay, then, I'll wear it because it's really comfortable on my head, so (laughing).

Q.  Can you talk about being so young, 17 years old, and obviously, what kind of role model you are for younger girls?  There are a lot of them out here on the golf course today watching you, trying to emulate what you're doing.  Talk about the importance of being so young and what that means for the sport?
CHARLEY HULL:  I don't know.  I think it's great, because young kids can probably see that it's not an old man's sport, you know and just go out there and play.  There are a lot more juniors joining my golf club at home which is really good and great for the new generation.  It's weird, because I still look up to players, and now I'm starting to be looked upon too.
           
I think that's pretty special in a way, because you've always been dreaming about getting up higher and higher, and now you're getting there, and it's really good.

Q.  Charley tomorrow is paired in a group with Lydia Ko who became the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour last year.  When you see groups like that with 16‑year‑olds, 17‑year‑olds out here who are such top talents, what's it say about the future of this game, and what are your thoughts on seeing such talented young players coming up on tour?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Well, I mean, it's incredible.  What Lydia did here last year was incredible.  Obviously, Charley is right up there with her.  She's good enough to be in this field.  She's good enough to win.  For them to be paired together, I don't know if you guys played together?
CHARLEY HULL:  I know we played in the British a few years ago, but I never really played with her.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  It's fun that two great youngsters can meet on the LPGA, which is kind of the future platform for both of them, and also for kids that are coming up behind them.
It's fun to see how the LPGA has changed over the years.  I've been on Tour now for maybe 10, 11 years, and the Tour has really changed.  There is a new group of players coming up, and it's just fun to be a part of it.  As much as all the stuff that they bring to the table makes us kind of push it even further.  So I think it's a good kind of energy that kind of brings both ends together.

 

PAULA CREAMER, Rolex Rankings No. 11

THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I guess it's not quite afternoon; we're a little before noon.  But we'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 11, Paula Creamer into the interview room.  Thank you so much for joining us today.  Sure, it's nice to be back here in Edmonton.  The last time we were here in 2007 you finished runner up to Lorena Ochoa.  What are your memories of being back here to this golf course, and was it nice being out here yesterday and kind of seeing this place again?
PAULA CREAMER:  It was.  This is such a great golf course.  I remember why I think I played so well.  It's my type of golf course, tree‑lined, thick grass, tricky greens, got to put it in the right spots.  Coming off the greens last week, they were so fast.  I wasn't really quite sure what to expect coming into the next tournament with greens, and these are just as fast as they were last week.  So I kind of have that going for me, which is just visualizing pace, and breaking putts going in.
           
But it is.  It's so great to be just in Canada in general.  The fans here are so supportive, and it just shows you how lucky we are whenever we get to come back to a great place like this.

Q.  Talk about coming off last week when you're in a team, emotional, totally different format, how do you get back into the mindset of being back in stroke play again, four rounds, getting back to the grind of everything?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, it's a little harder the fact that you don't have your teammate there, but it's just one week every two years.  Being on a team is so fun.  It really was a great week for us.  We bonded really well.  Coming into this event, it's a new event.  You kind of unfortunately have to put last week in the past and move on to this one.  This is a big event for us.  Getting your rest at the beginning of the week is very important, and just trying to kind of be mentally prepared for the weekend.

Q.  I know things have been going well in your golf game.  Four top 11 finishes in your last five events, and two of those coming at the majors, tied for 11th at the Ricoh Women's British and tied for 11th at the U.S. Women's Open.  How do you feel about your game now and how things seem to be coming together for you?
PAULA CREAMER:  I feel really good, hitting the ball well.  I didn't quite hit the ball as well as I wanted on Sunday at the Solheim, but I've been putting better and I've been making some more putts here and there.  That is the biggest difference.  I'm just really trusting what my coach David Whelan and I have been working on.  Colin is very aware of all my swing changes and things like that and just really when we go to the range, we work on what we need to do and keep that going, keep my drills going, and really just doing it out when you have to in a tournament.

Q.  What is it about the Canadian Open that draws such a talented crowd here?
PAULA CREAMER:  First off, this is a great golf course, this is a great venue.  CN does a wonderful job of hosting us every time we come to Canada.  Just as a player, we look forward to coming to these events.  Nothing is taken for granted.  There is always a little special something that happens during the week, and the hospitality is just the best.
           
I think that's one of the reasons why you see so many top players here because of the elite status that CN has in our eyes.

Q.  In 2010 you win the U.S. Women's Open, just speak to the fact that you've had a lot of top 10 finishes, but just being able to, I guess, the third and fourth place finish, the difference between that and obviously first just the competition and how hard it's gotten?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, obviously, Inbee has been playing awesome.  You're kind of going against someone that it's a different level of playing out there right now.  My game is coming along.  I've always been very ‑‑ my game has been consistent and trying to constantly be in contention.  I just need that one moment of breakthrough, and I think it will be a big difference.
           
It took a while after my surgery on my thumb to really get back.  I think people kind of forget that it doesn't happen miraculously overnight.  It does take some time just in trust and being able to do new things with my golf swing.  I feel like now I'm stronger than I've ever been.  I've been able to do different things with my golf swing.
           
I'm starting to believe in it and make more putts.  Making putts is what it all comes down to.  Inbee is the best putter out here, and I need to get better.  So those are the thing that's I need to work on to breakthrough.

Q.  You mentioned different levels of play; is it just the competition coming up or how would you sort of quantify that?
PAULA CREAMER:  The level of play?

Q.  The level of play right now.
PAULA CREAMER:  With Inbee's level.  She has so much confidence.  She just really believes.  It's tough to go against someone that is playing as well as she has been.  But it's making me get better, it's making every other girl out there practice harder and get better to give her a challenge and to fight for it.
           
But just in all, our level of play has gotten stronger, for sure, since I came out here even in the last five, six years.  It's definitely getting deeper into the field as well.  It's not only four or five top players.

Q.  I know you want to look ahead, but sort of back to last week when Charley Hull asked you for an autograph, were you sort of taken aback?
PAULA CREAMER:  No, not really.  I think that was pretty cool.  I kind of wish I would have asked Laura Davies or something like that in my first Solheim.  But it was ‑‑ it was nice.  I didn't take offense or anything like that to it.  I thought it was pretty cute the way she asked for it.
           
But that's kind of the way that golf is going these days.  It's getting younger and younger.  So to be a role model or whatnot, it's a little strange for me to say that, but it was cool.

Q.  Can you just talk about the character you need as let's say a 15‑year‑old like Lydia Ko, to pull off a win here?
PAULA CREAMER:  I mean, it's going to be a big week.  I think that with Lydia, I've played a lot of golf with her the last couple times she's come to some of our events.  I've played with her at Wegmans, and she's just a great person.  She has a really good head on her shoulders, very much into her school and her golf and very well‑rounded.  If anybody can do it, she can do it.
           
I think her work ethic is great.  When she wants to rest, she rests.  It's not like she's out there just beating balls all day long.  She just really is very specific on what she does, and I think that's going to help her for the rest of her career.

Q.  What is the mindset of the Americans coming in?
PAULA CREAMER:  We feel good.  We got beat.  Plain and simple, we got beat.  You ask every one of us ‑‑ I played really well.  Honestly, Sunday wasn't my best form, but the other matches that I played in, I played pretty solid.  I made a lot of birdies.  We just went up against a tough team.  They, like I said, they beat us.
           
You know, it's tough to say that, but it's something that we all know.  We're very proud of ourselves and how we conducted ourselves and how we feel we represented our country.  All I can say is we can't wait for Germany.  That is going to be a long two years.  It's a long four years without the cup, but we've got to get better.

Q.  You personally over the last couple of years, are you encouraged by the fact that you've been so close or frustrated by the fact that you haven't broken through?
PAULA CREAMER:  Both.  I think maybe last year was a tough year for me, just forcing things, trying to make things work.  I've kind of come to grasp a reality, I've been in talks with my dad, and my coach, and my caddie, and just letting it happen.  You find that you force things and you kind of get uneasy out there.  I had to kind of step back and just really enjoy the process of getting better and enjoy the process of trying to become better with my irons, become better at just golf in general, and it will all happen.  So I think it was more frustration, and now it's more just I'm excited to be at a tournament and to watch what's going to happen come Sunday.

 

TEAM CANADA, Jennifer Ha, Brittany Marchand, Augusta James, Brooke Henderson

THE MODERATOR:  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the media center.  Thank you for joining us.  Pleased to be joined by four of our 20 Canadians.  The four members of our National Women's squad are competing here this week as amateurs.  From the far end, we have Brooke Henderson.  We have Augusta James, Brittany Marchand and Jennifer Ha.  Jennifer is from Calgary, so she's one of our Albertans that's playing in the field.
Obviously, it's a big experience for everybody.  Why don't we start with Jennifer, sort of going across.  This is your first event.  Tell us about your first LPGA experience so far, being at this course.  How has it been for you the first couple of days?

JENNIFER HA:  It's been amazing.  It's nice that it's so close to home.  I played in the Pro‑Am event here in '07, and it's just a nice experience being back.  Not playing in the Pro‑Am, but being in the field with all the names that you always hear about, so it's a great experience so far.

THE MODERATOR:  Brittany, it's your second event.  You played last year.  You've gotten a bunch of experience, I'm sure, now into your second LPGA Tour event, busy course, loaded school.  What is your experience coming into this year?
BRITTANY MARCHAND:  It's another amazing opportunity.  Any time I get to play an LPGA event, obviously, it's a great opportunity.  It's good, like Jen said, to be able to play with the people you look up to, and the course is beautiful.  This is always a great tournament.  I love playing as a Canadian in this event.  It's just a really good opportunity.

Q.  Augusta, you joined us last year in Vancouver, T12 at the World Amateur.  Talk about the LPGA experience, the collegiate experience at NC State, the World Am, that whole connection of being at premier events and playing and training for it?
AUGUSTA JAMES:  Yeah, I've had the opportunity over the last ‑‑ this is my third Canadian Open, and I've had the opportunity over the last couple years to play this event, and like you said, Dan, World Am.  The way this event is run and its prestige around it is phenomenal.
           
The Canadian golf support really shines through, so I'm excited to be back here, and I obviously have some lofty goals that I want to achieve in my third year here.  I'm looking forward to getting the week started.  The course is in phenomenal shape.

THE MODERATOR:  Brooke, you've had a very busy summer, amateur and professional as well.  T35 at the Manulife Classic, and making the cut at the U.S. Women's Open, playing in your second event.  Tell us about your experience now coming from last year's event, this year as well, preparation for this week?
BROOKE HENDERSON:  I've been looking forward to this event all year.  Highlight of my summer was playing in the Manulife, Canadian Open this week, and U.S. Open.  It's such a great atmosphere here with the pros here and the beautiful golf course.  It just all the fans that are going to come up this week, I'm just really looking forward to it.

THE MODERATOR:  Real quick, we'll go from Jennifer over, having the chance to spend time with these LPGA players, these international superstars, how does that prepare you for kind of what you're trying to do?  And what is the vibe for you and that whole experience of being next to and training with and playing with the best players in the world?
JENNIFER HA:  It just shows how far that Golf Canada has come.  It's an amazing experience being with the people that you look forward to meeting and you look up to and you watch on TV all the time.  It's a good experience.

BRITTANY MARCHAND:  It's always good to play with the LPGA pros.  Obviously, that is our goal and that's what we want to achieve.  So it's great being able to play with them.  I know some of us have some really good pairings this week.  It's really good to watch their games.  But also I think it just builds your confidence because you can see how close you are.
           
I think we've trained a lot, and Tristan and Ann have given us so many tools to be able to practice like the professionals do.  I just think it really shows when we are out there on the practice range or we are playing that we are really close.  We do still have work to go to get there, but I think our games are all able to play with these people, so it's good.

AUGUSTA JAMES:  Definitely, similar to Jen and Britt.  We definitely have world class coaching helping us out all year with Tristan and Ann.  Obviously, our sponsors for Golf Canada are what make all our travel opportunities happen, and give us the tools and the training aids and everything that we need to train like the pros.
           
So, like Brittany said, being able to play out there with them you can measure yourself up but ut's a learning experience, a chance to maybe ask a few questions to see how their games are.  I'm hoping with my pairing that I get to play with some good players this week.  I just think it will help me achieve my goals because I want to play to that level and get that experience.

BROOKE HENDERSON:  With the opportunities that Golf Canada gives us, we're all just trying to get better and work hard every week so that we can improve and hopefully be out here someday.  So it's awesome.

Q.  With Charley Hull playing so well at Solheim Cup last week and Lexi Thompson has already won on the LPGA and of course Lydia Ko won last year at a young age, all teenagers, does this put any added pressure on you guys to sort of develop quicker and keep an eye on turning pro a little bit earlier than we've seen in the past?
GOLFER:  Well, for me, I'm halfway through my college career and I plan to finish that out.  I know that each of us have different goals.  Teenagers across Canada have different goals as far as college and turning pro maybe before, after, halfway through.  But everybody kind of develops at their own pace, and you can see that there are veterans out there still ripping up the links.
           
So I try not to feel any pressure from younger kids, but I'm trying to develop at my own pace.  I know if I put in the hard work, I'll get there eventually.

AUGUSTA JAMES:  I'm just trying to improve every time I get on the course, just for myself.  There are definitely great players out there and I look up to them.  But like I said, I'm just trying to improve for myself.

BRITTANY MARCHAND:  I'm a little past teenager now being 21.  So I'm past that, but I think same as Augusta, I'm going into my fourth year at university, and I don't think I would have done it in a different way.  I think that the college experience is really me having to study and playing golf at the same time, helped me a lot.  It made me grow as a person.  I think it's given me good experiences.
           
I still think me preparing to go professional while I'm at school is still one way that you can do it.  There are so many people like Stacy Lewis who graduated and is one of the best in the world now.
           
So it doesn't matter what way you do it.  There is always a way.  If you work hard and put the time in, then I think it's possible.

JENNIFER HA:  I agree with Augusta and Brittany.  Into my third year at university, and it's the same for me.  Being in school and golfing at the same time, it teaches me a lot of things about time management and life in general.  I think that's going to help me prepare for when I decide to go pro.  Yeah.

Q.  With golf in the Olympic games in 2016 and thereafter, does that become part of your goals as well long‑term?
BROOKE:  I think we all would love to play for team Canada and the Olympics.  It's definitely a big goal.  We love playing for our country, wearing Canadian leafs on our shirts every time we step on the course would be a great opportunity, and that is something that we're looking forward to.

Q.  A lot of you have a tough act to follow in Lorie Kane.  Would you tell us what you've been able to take away from being with her both on and off the course?  Are you able to emulate what he's done over the years?
BROOKE HENDERSON:  I've had the opportunity to play with Lori in the final round of the Manulife.  It was a pleasure for sure.  She's a great player and definitely a huge role model for all of us being Canadian, and the amazing player that she is.  She's taught me so much and given me a little bit of advice here and there.  It's awesome to be able to know her well.

AUGUSTA:  I don't think the rest of us know Lori as well as Brooke does.  But down in the locker room, we're registering and she comes up and says hello, and she's always very kind to us, and an excellent role model.  Her resume speaks for itself, so...

BRITANNY:  Yeah, same as these guys.  She's just, you know, someone to look up to.  It's nice to have that.  Obviously, we don't have too many Canadian women who have been very, very successful, but it's nice that we have those few and there are so many more up and coming, like girls that we play with on the National Team, and now they're starting their professional careers.  It's just exciting that there are a lot of people following in her path now because it wasn't that way for a little while.  So it's nice that we're the next people to come up and follow in her footsteps.

JENNIFER:  Same as the other girls said.  I briefly met Lorie for the first time in the locker room on Monday.  She's just an amazing person.  She has a huge list of all of her accomplishments and yet she's still so genuine.  It's amazing to see that.  It's kind of how I want to be if I ever get that there.

Q.  I think you've all alluded that Lorie Kane is an obvious role model and maybe more direct for some of you than others.  But for some of the Canadian women, I was looking through the record books, they're not really of your generation, who have been your influences or mentors in your careers so far?
           
AUGUSTA:  Canadian specific?  I mean, we all know Marlene Streit and Cathy Sherk on some level.  I know them a little bit closer, so they've obviously had an influence on my golf career.  They're kind of from another generation for sure, so they kind of bring that part to me.
           
I like to look up to more current role model of Stacy Lewis.  I think the hardship that's she went through with her surgeries and finishing college, she's now a top player in the world, I think she's a great person to look up to.
           
BROOKE:  I agree.  I grew up watching my older sister Britanny play, and she's definitely been a huge influence on my game.  Definitely Morgan Pressel and Lorie Kane are two that I've always looked up to.  I've had the opportunity to meet both of them and play with both of them in events.  So it's been truly amazing.
           
BRITANNY:  Same as these guys, I know Marlene Streit a little bit from junior golf and amateur golf.  She's always been a great influence in the Kane aspect.  Obviously, people like Stacy Lewis, like Augusta said, it's good to see someone who has gone through school and gone through challenges and been able to come out on top.  I've always looked up to ‑‑ I loved Lorena Ochoa when she was playing.  She was great.
           
Also, I've always looked up to some of the other girls, Canadian girls, who have just started being professionals.  Monami and Sara‑Maude, they went to school and worked hard in starting their careers.  It's good to watch what they're doing and ask them questions and see how their games are growing.
           
JENNIFER:  For me, the first pro I ever played with was Karine Isher, she was from France, and I played with her at Royal Mayfair in '07 in the Pro‑Am, and she just inspired me to get my game to the level I want it to be at.

Q.  Jennifer, this year you sort of came into your own.  You medalled at the MAC Championships and then won another junior event.  What happened this year that sort of turned the switch on and you seemed to have developed a lot quicker?
JENNIFER HA:  Yeah, the beginning of this year in January I had a little bit of a rough patch and my coach, Mike Morrow at Kent State, he retired, and I was very close with him so it was kind of hard.  I was kind of going through a slump right they be.  Making a few changes in my swing and my putting, and that was big.
           
Tristan and Ann definitely helped me a lot get over that.  And Rob Wakeling kind of took over the women's program in our school, and he really kicked my butt.  He made me a stronger person, and I think that helped me throughout the season.

 

Topics: Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Notes and Interviews, Lewis, Stacy, Pettersen, Suzann, Creamer, Paula [+]

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