Paula Creamer will make her return from wrist surgery as one of the headliners at the third annual Diamond Resorts Invitational Jan. 12-14 in Orlando.
Creamer told GolfChannel.com Tuesday that she’s excited to get a chance to test herself in competition before the LPGA season begins in earnest next year.
“I miss playing,” Creamer said. “It’s already been a long time away, but I’m doing well, so far. I feel positive about the decisions we’ve made, and I’m definitely eager to get back out there and start practicing again.”
Creamer will be making her first appearance in the 54-hole event, a mixed tour competition that will feature LPGA pros, PGA Tour Champions pros and celebrities at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Disney World Resort. LPGA and Champions Tour pros will compete for a $750,000 purse with celebrities competing for $500,000 and Florida Hospital for Children benefitting from proceeds.
Creamer will join fellow LPGA pros Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang in a modified Stableford scoring format. Ray Allen, Roger Clemens, Brian Urlacher and Jeremy Roenick are among the early celebrity/athlete commitments. All three rounds will air on Golf Channel.
Creamer, 31, hasn’t played since withdrawing in pain in the middle of the first round of the Evian Championship on Sept. 15. She tried to rest and rehab before deciding to undergo reconstruction of the left wrist on Oct. 20. Dr. Thomas Hunt repaired a torn ligament and tendon damage in a procedure in Houston. She had a cast removed from the wrist last Wednesday.
“And I was doing rehab the next day,” Creamer said.
Creamer said she has about another week or two before she is likely to begin putting, then another two weeks before she can begin chipping.
“Then you work yourself into hitting,” Creamer said.
Creamer, whose 10 LPGA victories include the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, said she has been struggling with recurring wrist pain the last two years, requiring multiple cortisone shots. The recurring inflammation affected the changes she has tried to put into play since moving to swing coach Gary Gilchrist.
“I’ve always put in a lot of time and worked hard, and when that’s taken away, you feel a little bit like a lost soul,” Creamer said. “The last year was the hardest. I would start figuring something out, and the wrist would get inflamed and I wouldn’t be able to practice.”
Creamer said her practice regimen will probably never be the same.
“It’s going to be quality over quantity,” Creamer said. “But I miss the game, and I’m excited about playing again.”