Creamer looks for second consecutive major

By Doug FergusonJuly 28, 2010, 12:10 am

Ricoh Women

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Paula Creamer still plays with a bandage. What she no longer plays with is a burden.

Even though Creamer won’t turn 24 until a week from Thursday, after she returns from Royal Birkdale and the final LPGA major of the year, few other players so young have received so much scrutiny for failing to win a major.

At least that’s one question she won’t face this week at the Women’s British Open.

“No, I’m sure it will be, ‘Do you want to win two in a row?”’ Creamer said with an easy laugh just four days after her U.S. Women’s Open victory at Oakmont.

Paula Creamer
Paula Creamer has three consecutive top-10s at the Women's British Open. (Getty Images)
“I feel like my whole career, it’s always been about majors,” she said. “That was the one thing I didn’t have. And now that I do, I only want more. It’s like opening a can of worms. I can’t wait to play the British Open, because I know what it takes to win.”

Creamer endured some tough lessons along the way.

Three times she was poised to win the U.S. Open, the biggest stage in her sport, only to fall apart with bad swings or a bad decision. As an 18-year-old rookie, Creamer was one shot out of the lead going into the final round at Cherry Hills in 2005 when she closed with a 79. Two years ago, she was one shot behind and in the final group when she shot 41 on the front nine at Interlachen and had to rally for a 78.

Last year at Saucon Valley was the toughest to take. She can live with a bad swing. This was a bad decision. One shot behind going into the third round, she tried to drive the 10th green and wound up making triple bogey, sending her to a 79 and ending her hopes.

But she learned, just as Lorena Ochoa did before her.

On what is reputed to be the hardest golf course in America, with her left thumb bandaged from reconstructive surgery that kept her out four months, Creamer stuck to a conservative plan she cooked up with swing coach David Whelan. She never buckled until she had a four-shot victory at Oakmont.

That gives Creamer nine victories and a major. She has played on three winning Solheim Cup teams, losing only twice in 14 matches. That’s not a bad record for someone still only 23.

By her own admission, however, Creamer is an “old 23.”

She won her first LPGA event a week before going through high school graduation, and in her first Solheim Cup as an 18-year-old, she crushed Laura Davies (7 and 5) in an opening singles match that set the tone. Off the course, she is one of the most marketable players on the LPGA. Creamer has had to learn how to fit in with business executives at corporate outings.

“I think I am older than my age,” she said. “I had to grow up pretty fast. There are times when I’m a young 23, but on the golf course, I’ve definitely matured much faster than my age. But there’s still so much I have to learn.”

Greatness in women’s golf doesn’t wait very long.

Annika Sorenstam won the first of her 10 majors in her second year on tour. Se Ri Pak won two majors as a rookie. Karrie Webb won her first major in her fourth season on the LPGA, and then she had the career Grand Slam two years later.

Creamer is only 23, but this is her sixth year on tour. She risked getting left behind, especially with a thumb injury that caused her to wonder if her career was over much earlier than she had planned.

That’s why it was important to get that first major.

Equally important is where she goes from here. Creamer is No. 7 in the women’s world ranking, although No. 1 has never been so close. There is not a dominant player at the moment, not like Sorenstam when the ranking made its debut, or Ochoa who followed.

Three players have been No. 1 during the last three months – Jiyai Shin, Cristie Kerr and Ai Miyazato. It gives the LPGA something to talk about every time there’s a change at the top, but what it really needs is a veritable star.

It doesn’t hurt that Americans are starting to show up. Kerr won the LPGA Championship by 12 shots, and Creamer won at Oakmont by four shots. If an American wins at Royal Birkdale, it would be the first time since 1999 that a Yank captured three majors in a year.

“Right now, it’s going to be a battle,” Creamer said. “It’s going to take awhile for one person to dominate. We’ve got eight players, 10 players who can win every week. We’ve never had that. We’ve never had that strength. We had Annika dominate, Lorena dominate. This makes it exciting. But somebody has to push a little.”

Golf is always better off when the game is “King of the Hill” instead of “Musical Chairs.”

Creamer has talked about being No. 1 since she was a teenager and finished second to Sorenstam on the money list as a rookie. That seems like a long time ago. She needs to be a young 23.

“One person is going to have to branch out of that group and work harder than anybody,” Creamer said. “I want to be that person.”

 

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.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm