Daniel and Creamer The Odd Couple

By Associated PressSeptember 9, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- One of them is the oldest player in Solheim Cup history. The other is the youngest.
 
Beth Daniel didn't need to be reminded of their ages -- she is 48, Paula Creamer is 19 -- to realize they come from different generations. She recalled the first time they played together in an LPGA Tour event earlier this year, and the conversation Creamer had with her caddie as they walked off the first tee.
 
Beth Daniel and Paula Creamer
Beth Daniel and Paula Creamer earned a half-point in the morning foursomes.
``She was telling her caddie how last night she washed her hair, then straightened it, and then she marked her balls,'' Daniel said. ``That's not the conversation I would have had with my caddie.''
 
They were an odd pairing Friday morning at Crooked Stick, but it worked.
 
Creamer made a strong debut at the Solheim Cup, setting up a string of birdies to give the Americans control of the opening alternate-shot match, then hitting a clutch shot from the bunker and watching Daniel calmly roll in the 4-foot par putt to earn a halve.
 
Stranger still, they weren't even supposed to play together.
 
The Americans intended to send out Creamer with Juli Inkster for the opening match. But Inkster developed an infection in her right index finger, and she had to get an injection Thursday to control the swelling.
 
That's where Daniel came in.
 
``I found out I was playing with her yesterday on the range,'' Daniel said. ``We had never played together. We had never practiced with each other. Paula and Juli have really bonded, and I haven't bonded as much with her. I just told her, 'We're not really comfortable with each other, but let's make the most of it.'''
 
The most nervous player on the first tee?
 
Daniel, of course.
 
Even though Daniel has played on seven previous teams, she had never felt more pressure hitting the opening tee shot, which found the left side of the fairway. Part of that was a responsibility to lead the way for the rookies.
 
``But I also felt pressure playing for Juli, wanting to get points for her,'' Daniel said. ``I got two hours of sleep.''
 
Creamer, the first LPGA Tour rookie to earn a spot on the team, had flags painted on both cheeks and on the both sides of her ankle. She had a yellow ``Support Our Troops'' ribbon painted on her left arm.
 
The kid called out the European team two weeks ago by saying, ``They had better get ready, because they're going to get beat.'' There were some snickers when her 9-iron sailed over the first green as Europe took the lead.
 
All talk and no game?
 
Not quite.
 
Daniel noticed a change on the par-5 fifth hole, when Creamer smoked a fairway metal to the front edge of the green, then rolled in a 30-inch birdie putt to square the match. That's all it took for Creamer to look like a star in the making, a high school graduate with two LPGA victories and more than $1.2 million in earnings.
 
Creamer hit her next two approach shots to 6 feet and 3 feet, then holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the eighth for a 2-up lead, and made an 8-foot birdie putt to halve the next hole.
 
Daniel was all smiles as she walked through the clubhouse parking lot toward the 10th tee.
 
``I'm riding the pony,'' she said. Then she heard the crack of a metal driver ahead of her -- it was Creamer, belting another tee shot down the middle of the fairway.
 
They weren't perfect. Creamer missed birdie putts of 10 feet on the 11th and 6 feet on the 13th that might have put the match away. Europe hung in there, despite Carin Koch missing five birdie putts inside 12 feet, and squared the match when Creamer came up 7 feet short on a birdie putt and Daniel missed it for par on the 17th.
 
But if Creamer felt butterflies on the first tee, it was suffocating on the 18th.
 
Daniel hit her approach into a bunker, and Creamer had to stand with her left foot on the side of the hill. She blasted out to 4 feet to earn a crucial half-point that the Americans desperately needed.
 
``There is nothing like this,'' Creamer said before leaving to get ready for her afternoon better-ball match -- this time with the 45-year-old Inkster.
 
Related Links:
  • Scoring - Solheim Cup
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup
     
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Getty Images

    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.