Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer are dynamic dominant


2009 Solheim CupSUGAR GROVE, Ill. ' The U.S. Solheim Cup team dug deep late Friday here in suburban Chicago and found a winning formula that produced a one-point lead heading into Day 2.
The two key ingredients of that formula: Paula Creamer and Juli Inkster.
The Americans dynamic duo is invincible in Solheim Cup foursomes. Theyre a perfect 3-0 now in the alternate-shot format having won once in 2005, 2007 and now this year, a 2-and-1 victory over Europes Scottish pair of Catriona Matthew and Janice Moodie. (They have a combined 3-1-1 overall record together; Creamer is 3-0-2 in five career foursomes matches.)
Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer
Juli Inkster and Paula Creamer celebrate a victory at the Solheim Cup Friday. (Getty Images)
This version at Rich Harvest Farms wont go down in history as their best performance, but it could be considered their grittiest. They were even par when the match ended on 17, which is insignificant only because of the victory, but they did struggle at times, mostly with Inksters putting and precision off the tee.
Creamer, 23, and Inkster, 49, were 3 up after Inkster hit an approach on the 12th to kick-in range. But they found difficulty on the 13th and 14th holes, made bogey on both, and coughed up a big portion of what once looked like an insurmountable lead. But Inkster, still on of the best players on the LPGA with a wedge in her hand, chipped her third shot to a foot on the 15th and they moved back to 2 up.
Inkster hit a wayward tee shot on the 17th hole, Creamer punched out short of the water, Inkster hit wedge to 25 feet then Creamer drained the par putt to end the match.
Its pretty easy to ride a stallion, Inkster said. I just kind of go out there and say giddy-up and she goes.
Despite a 25-year age difference, this pairing works for so many reasons. For starters, Creamer idolized Inkster while growing up in California. They both have a similar personality, similar games, the same desire, work ethic and a competitive fire burning within that despises losing.
She reminds me a lot of me when I was her age, Inkster said. But I never wore the heels she wears.
Creamer began her Solheim Cup career, oddly enough, partnering with this years U.S. captain Beth Daniel in 2005 at Crooked Stick in Indiana. The Americans halved that foursomes match against Carin Koch and Catriona Matthew. Later that afternoon, Creamer joined with Inkster in fourball and lost, 4 and 3, to Laura Davies and Suzann Pettersen.
Since that match, Creamer has never lost at the Solheim Cup.
She and Inkster smoked Davies and Maria Hjorth on Day 2 at Crooked Stick, they defeated Davies and Becky Brewerton the first day in Sweden two years ago then halved with Pettersen and Sophie Gustafson the next day.
After going 2-0 Friday Creamers career Solheim Cup record is 7-1-4.
Its ironic that their latest point together pushed Inkster to the top of the list as highest point earners in the history of the U.S. Solheim Cup team. Although Inkster hopes to add to her total with more victories this week, she knows one day that her record will be shattered. And she has a pretty good idea who is likely to break it.
Records are made to be broken, Inkster said. And Ill be here to see it.
Creamers fast rise in this competition can be attributed to great play, but also a blossoming relationship with Inkster, who essentially has been her big sister and showed her the ropes over the years. Theyve been through a lot together in a relatively short time and they dont know how many more of these matches theyll play together now that Inkster is quickly approaching 50.
Juli has always been my partner, Creamer said. We get along really well out on the golf course. We know how to talk to each to each other. I know Jules is trying just as hard as I am out there, but at the same time, I know when she needs a little push, and I know when shes kind of trying to rein me back in.
I look up to Juli, and I never want to let her down.
So far, so good.
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