Creamer fighting tears, making 'Pops' proud

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Paula Creamer could barely get herself to look up into the grandstand behind the 18th green after she finished the second round Friday at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

That’s where her grandfather, whom she called “Pops,” used to stand in the back row, near the TV tower. This marks the first time in Creamer’s 10 appearances at Locust Hill that Tom Creamer hasn’t been up there smiling at her. He died earlier this year at 94.

“This is by far the hardest year for me, without Pops,” Creamer said. “I’ve kind of been dreading this week without him here. He’s never missed an event here. That’s been the hardest part, mentally. Every time I walk up to 18th green, I get tears in my eyes, because I look up behind the green where he usually is.”

Pops used to drive over from his home in Ithaca, N.Y. Traveling was difficult as he aged, but it was a convenient trip for him.

Pops would have liked Creamer’s second round.

With an even-par 72, Creamer sits tied for second just a shot off the lead.

“Where I’m at, I feel good,” Creamer said. “I’ve played solid. It’s going to be a good weekend.”