Creamer Confident in World Cup Partner Gulbis

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 19, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 WomenFriendship is the No. 1 reason that Paula Creamer chose Natalie Gulbis as a partner in the Women's World Cup of Golf played this week at the Sun City Resort in Sun City, South Africa. But it isnt the only reason. Gulbis also happens to be a very capable golfer.
I feel that we have similar types of golf games, said Creamer. We get along very well and we are good friends. We always have fun together and we both want to win out here. I'm not saying I don't think anyone else wants to win, but I feel very comfortable with Natalie. I think you have to be very confident in your partner as well.
The tournament features 20 two-women teams representing their respective countries. The event is co-sanctioned by the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour with countries qualifying from both tours. The event is a three-day, 54-hole competition with a different format on each day: 18 holes of foursomes; 18 holes of four-ball; and 18 holes of stroke play. The winners will be determined by combining each team's scores from all three days.
Japan returns as the defending champion as LPGA Q-School medalist and Japanese superstar Ai Miyazato will team up with new partner Sakura Yokomine. Miyazato teamed with Rui Kitada to win the 2005 Women's World Cup of Golf. The team from Sweden will be world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam with partner Liselotte Neumann.
The 19-year-old Creamer finished second on the 2005 ADT Official Money List with eight top-five finishes. Gulbis recorded 12 top-10 finishes, including seven top-fives.
The American pair has actually already been partners in a few team events, having been a part of the victorious Solheim Cup squad and also partners at the Lexus Cup. Creamer has already taken the lead in how to play the course.
We played our first practice round together on the golf course and we were really starting to mesh, said Gulbis. She helped me out a lot today in terms of the golf course and where to hit it.
Creamer sees a big difference in the Sun City layout and courses in the U.S., especially in the rough, she said. The ball either sits up or sits down and you have to hit a 58-degree wedge out. It is just one of those things.
Like Natalie said, it is a great golf course and a very good test of golf. You are going to have to hit demanding shots out there. You can't just hit it anywhere and you have to be on your A game.
Both the Americans have enjoyed their off-season, though they didnt take much time to simply relax away from the course. I practiced and worked out a lot, said Creamer.
I took two weeks off. It was very difficult, but I did it. The five few days of it I was struggling without my golf clubs. It definitely motivated me when I got back out there and I practiced hard and get stronger. It was a good off-season and I'm glad I have this event before Hawaii. Then I will have about three weeks before Hawaii and get back to practicing and find out what I need to do to get better after this week.
Gulbis pestered coach Butch Harmon for advice on how to handle the down time. At the end of last year I said Hey coach, what am I going to do in the off-season? And he said, 'Take time off,' she related.
I have never taken time off, so I almost got through a week, but then I went out and putted and chipped. I live in a golf community so I drive by the golf course everyday. I don't think it hurt. We love to be out there and we love what we do so it was hard to take time off.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Women's World Cup of Golf
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  • Field - Women's World Cup of Golf
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