When Paula Creamer turned up to play the ShopRite last month in Atlantic City I truly thought she was making a huge mistake. She was limited in her full swing practice, the types of shots she could play from the fairway, and her ability to play anything from the rough.
Reportedly doctors had told her she could do no more harm to the surgically repaired left thumb and that playing golf was a matter of how much pain she could tolerate. I was concerned that she might alter her swing in a sub-conscience effort to alleviate that pain.
The graveyard of 'former touring pros' is filled with talented players that have come back to soon from injury.
I've never been wronger. After
watching her performance last week I'm convinced that the thumb actually helped her, in a BIG WAY.
It served to take the heat off Paula by lowering her expectations. Quite possibly for the first time since her mid teens she was able to go out and play the game without feeling like she was carrying the weight of the golfing world on her shoulders.
I also feel that limited practice sessions and time away from the game helped keep her fresh and fueled her love for the game. You gotta love playing this game and nothing makes you love it more than mandatory time away from it.
Congratulations to Paula Creamer and her team! And finally, there are lessons to be learned here. I hope others draw similar conclusions from observing Paula's big win that I have.