Paula Creamer helps give American lead at Solheim Cup

By Associated PressAugust 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' Instead of dancing, Juli Inkster dropped to her knees.
 
Paula Creamer made a 20-footer late Friday afternoon to give the United States a 4 1/2 -3 1/2 lead at the Solheim Cup, and make Inkster the highest-scoring U.S. player in the events history. The 49-year-old has scored 17 1/2 points, one more than Meg Mallon, now an assistant captain for the U.S. team.
 
That just means Im the oldest, Inkster cracked after her and Creamers 2-and-1 foursome victory over Catriona Matthew and Janice Moodie.
 
Well, that is true.
 
But the seven-time major champion can still play, as she showed time and again Friday with sharp iron shots and clutch putts.
 
Christina Kim
Christina Kim celebrates her 4-and-2 victory Friday afternoon at the Solheim Cup.(Getty Images)
I love playing with Juli, said Creamer, who also won her fourball match with Cristie Kerr. We have a great chemistry together on the golf course. We know when we need to talk to each other and when we need to pump each other up, we just have that good connection. We went out, we played good, we got up early and we just stayed there.
 
Inkster hasnt won since 2006, and her best finish this year is a tie for 11th. But U.S. captain Beth Daniel didnt hesitate to make her a captains pick, and Inkster showed why with a critical point against Matthew and Moodie.
 
The Solheim Cup, much like the Ryder Cup, is part pep rally, part sporting event ' cheers of U-S-A! U-S-A! echoed all afternoon, and one fan came dressed as the Statue of Liberty ' and momentum can be just as big a factor as booming drives and birdie putts.
 
The Americans led by 1 1/2 points after the fourball matches, and looked to end the day ahead with Natalie Gulbis and Christina Kim easily handling Sophie Gustafson and Suzann Pettersen and Inskter and Creamer up 3-up after 12 holes.
 
But Inkster missed par putts on the next two holes, putting a big dent in their lead. With Becky Brewerton and Gwladys Nocera and Maria Hjorth and Anna Nordqvist winning their matches right about the same time, the Europeans seemed poised for a big shift in momentum.
 
Inkster, however, is quite possibly the most competitive person on the team, and she responded with a spectacular chip on the par-5 15th, running it a foot past the hole from 120 yards. After halving the 16th hole, the worst the Americans could do was a half-point for the match.
 
We got them back to 1, and then they made a good birdie at 15 to go back to 2, Matthew said. I thought we had a chance there, but cant do much about that.
 
They wanted that full point, though. The Americans need 14 points to win their third straight Solheim Cup while Europe needs 14 1/2 points to win its first on U.S. soil. There are another eight doubles matches Saturday.
 
Matthew missed a long putt that would have won the hole, leaving Creamer with that 20-footer. Make it, and the Americans finish the day ahead.
 
Miss, and at least there was still a hole to play. But Creamer struck the ball perfectly, and was pumping her fist before it even dropped in the hole.
 
About time my partner made a putt, Inkster joked after her and No, it was good. We had some sloppy play in the middle ' I did. The thing with alternate shot, is youve just got to ham-and-egg it, do the best you can and ride it out. We were fortunate enough to throw a few birdies in there, and Paula had a phenomenal putt on 17.
 
As good a golfer as Inkster is shes that bad of a dancer, and her celebratory moves are infamous. On Friday night, though, she simply threw back her head and dropped to her knees when the putt went in. The rest of the U.S. team quickly surrounded the two, with Michelle Wie ' only a few months older than Inksters oldest daughter ' giving Inkster a big hug.
 
Only Europes Annika Sorenstam (24 points) and Laura Davies (23) have scored more points than Inkster in Solheim Cup play.
 
When I first started playing, I thought Id play five years and quit, and here I am, she said. The Solheim Cup to me is the ultimate golfing venue, and Im honored to be where Im at.
 
Europe might be in a different spot if it could have gotten something ' anything ' out of Pettersen and Gustafson, its top pair.
 
Pettersen, the top European player in the world, and Gustafson came in with a combined 14-7-8 record in doubles, including a 1-0-3 record together. But the two couldnt get anything going all day Friday, losing in both the morning and the afternoon.
 
Creamer and Kerr beat them 1-up in fourball, and Gulbis and Kim cruised to a 4-and-2 win.
 
Just because they lost, it doesnt mean they really played bad, Inkster said. They just might have run into a buzz saw.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Solheim Cup
  • Getty Images

    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.