ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel are in position to make a favorable final impression before the U.S. Solheim Cup team is finalized Sunday after the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Creamer opened with a 1-under-par 71 Thursday at Kingsbarns Golf Links, Pressel with a 68.
After completing her round, Creamer sounded hopeful captain Juli Inkster is still considering her as a pick for the American team that will take on the Europeans in Iowa in two weeks. The team will be finalized Sunday after the Women’s British Open.
“Where my game is at right now, I feel really good, but it’s not my decision,” Creamer said. “Unfortunately, for the past couple months, I haven’t shown her that, but now I am.”
In six Solheim Cup appearances, Creamer (14-8-5) has amassed 16.5 points, more than any American outside Inkster (18.5) and Cristie Kerr (17.5). But it hasn’t been a good year.
Creamer has slipped to 92nd on the LPGA money list and No. 120 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. She has one top-10 finish this year, missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open and had to qualify Monday to earn a spot at Kingsbarns. But she tied for 13th at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open last week and finished second in the qualifier.
Creamer says all the hard work with coach Gary Gilchrist has her believing she can help the Americans win another Solheim Cup.
“I played well last week,” Creamer said. “I’m hitting a lot more fairways and giving myself a lot more opportunities. My ball striking is back where it should be.
“I feel like I know what I’m doing, I know where the ball is going. My putting is good, my short game is good. It’s a matter of putting it all together.”
If Creamer, 30, were to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open, she still wouldn’t qualify for the U.S. team on points, though she would make a world rankings push that might automatically qualify her. Otherwise, Creamer needs another captain’s pick, like she received two years ago. Certainly, a victory also would more than justify Creamer as a captain’s pick.
“Two years ago, I wasn’t playing that well and I got a pick,” said Creamer, who went 2-2 and won the anchor singles match in the historic American Solheim Cup comeback in Germany. “I felt like I did well and carried my own weight. Juli put me in some pressure situations, first out in the matches and then last out in singles, and I handled it.”
Pressel is 10-7-2 in five Solheim Cups, but she also has struggled for form this season. Her 68 moves her in early contention to win her second major championship.
“At this point, I'm just really working on playing good golf, for myself more than anything,” said Pressel, 29. “It's been a struggle this year, and I just really would love to continue to play well this week. That's my plan, not really too much worried about Solheim. Whatever happens will happen, and it'll take care of itself.”
Right now, Nelly Korda, Angela Stanford, Austin Ernst, Mo Martin, Marina Alex and Angel Yin appear favored in the running for captain’s picks if they don’t make the team on points or through the world rankings.
Creamer was asked if she has tried to communicate any messages to Inkster as qualifying comes to a close.
“She knows I definitely can pull my own weight, and I know what I’m doing in an event like that,” Creamer said.