Daniel and Creamer The Odd Couple

By Associated PressSeptember 9, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Solheim CupCARMEL, Ind. -- One of them is the oldest player in Solheim Cup history. The other is the youngest.
Beth Daniel didn't need to be reminded of their ages -- she is 48, Paula Creamer is 19 -- to realize they come from different generations. She recalled the first time they played together in an LPGA Tour event earlier this year, and the conversation Creamer had with her caddie as they walked off the first tee.
Beth Daniel and Paula Creamer
Beth Daniel and Paula Creamer earned a half-point in the morning foursomes.
``She was telling her caddie how last night she washed her hair, then straightened it, and then she marked her balls,'' Daniel said. ``That's not the conversation I would have had with my caddie.''
They were an odd pairing Friday morning at Crooked Stick, but it worked.
Creamer made a strong debut at the Solheim Cup, setting up a string of birdies to give the Americans control of the opening alternate-shot match, then hitting a clutch shot from the bunker and watching Daniel calmly roll in the 4-foot par putt to earn a halve.
Stranger still, they weren't even supposed to play together.
The Americans intended to send out Creamer with Juli Inkster for the opening match. But Inkster developed an infection in her right index finger, and she had to get an injection Thursday to control the swelling.
That's where Daniel came in.
``I found out I was playing with her yesterday on the range,'' Daniel said. ``We had never played together. We had never practiced with each other. Paula and Juli have really bonded, and I haven't bonded as much with her. I just told her, 'We're not really comfortable with each other, but let's make the most of it.'''
The most nervous player on the first tee?
Daniel, of course.
Even though Daniel has played on seven previous teams, she had never felt more pressure hitting the opening tee shot, which found the left side of the fairway. Part of that was a responsibility to lead the way for the rookies.
``But I also felt pressure playing for Juli, wanting to get points for her,'' Daniel said. ``I got two hours of sleep.''
Creamer, the first LPGA Tour rookie to earn a spot on the team, had flags painted on both cheeks and on the both sides of her ankle. She had a yellow ``Support Our Troops'' ribbon painted on her left arm.
The kid called out the European team two weeks ago by saying, ``They had better get ready, because they're going to get beat.'' There were some snickers when her 9-iron sailed over the first green as Europe took the lead.
All talk and no game?
Not quite.
Daniel noticed a change on the par-5 fifth hole, when Creamer smoked a fairway metal to the front edge of the green, then rolled in a 30-inch birdie putt to square the match. That's all it took for Creamer to look like a star in the making, a high school graduate with two LPGA victories and more than $1.2 million in earnings.
Creamer hit her next two approach shots to 6 feet and 3 feet, then holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the eighth for a 2-up lead, and made an 8-foot birdie putt to halve the next hole.
Daniel was all smiles as she walked through the clubhouse parking lot toward the 10th tee.
``I'm riding the pony,'' she said. Then she heard the crack of a metal driver ahead of her -- it was Creamer, belting another tee shot down the middle of the fairway.
They weren't perfect. Creamer missed birdie putts of 10 feet on the 11th and 6 feet on the 13th that might have put the match away. Europe hung in there, despite Carin Koch missing five birdie putts inside 12 feet, and squared the match when Creamer came up 7 feet short on a birdie putt and Daniel missed it for par on the 17th.
But if Creamer felt butterflies on the first tee, it was suffocating on the 18th.
Daniel hit her approach into a bunker, and Creamer had to stand with her left foot on the side of the hill. She blasted out to 4 feet to earn a crucial half-point that the Americans desperately needed.
``There is nothing like this,'' Creamer said before leaving to get ready for her afternoon better-ball match -- this time with the 45-year-old Inkster.
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.