Paula Creamer

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Paula Creamer
— Golfer —
2007 LPGA Championship - Paula Creamer.jpg
Creamer at the 2007 LPGA Championship
Personal information
Full name Paula Caroline Creamer[1]
Nickname The Pink Panther
Born (1986-08-05) August 5, 1986 (age 28)
Mountain View, California
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Nationality  United States
Residence Windermere, Florida
Career
Turned professional 2004
Current tour(s) LPGA Tour (joined 2005)
Professional wins 12
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour 10
LPGA of Japan Tour 2
Best results in LPGA major championships
(Wins: 1)
ANA Inspiration T13: 2013
LPGA Championship T3: 2005
U.S. Women's Open Won: 2010
Women's British Open 3rd/T3: 2009, 2012
Evian Championship 7th: 2014
Achievements and awards
American Junior Golf
Association (AJGA)

Player of the Year
2003
Golf Digest
Junior of the Year
2003
Golf Digest
Amateur of the Year
2004
LPGA Rookie of the Year 2005
(For a full list of awards, see here)
Creamer during a practice round at the 2009 LPGA Championship

Paula Caroline Creamer (born August 5, 1986)[3] is an American professional golfer on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour. As a professional, she has won 12 tournaments, including 10 LPGA Tour events. Creamer has been as high as number 2 in the Women's World Golf Rankings. She was the 2010 U.S. Women's Open champion.

As an amateur, Creamer won numerous junior golf titles, including 11 American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments. Creamer joined the LPGA Tour in the 2005 season, and her victory in that year's Sybase Classic made her the LPGA's second-youngest event winner.

Early life and amateur career[edit]

Creamer was born in Mountain View, California[4] and raised in Pleasanton, the only child of an airline pilot father and stay-at-home mother. The family's home overlooked the first tee of the Castlewood Country Club's golf course. Creamer participated in acrobatic dancing and gymnastics during her childhood,[5] and started playing golf when she was 10 years old.[6] At the age of 12, she won 13 consecutive regional junior events in northern California,[6] and the following year she became the top-ranked female junior golfer in the state, before moving to Bradenton, Florida in 2000 and enrolling at IMG Academy.[5][7]

During Creamer's amateur career, she won 19 national tournaments, including 11 American Junior Golf Association events,[6][8] and was named Player of the Year by the AJGA in 2003. On two occasions (2002 and 2003), Creamer played on the United States team in the Junior Solheim Cup. She was a semi-finalist in the 2003 U.S. Girls' Junior and U.S. Women's Amateur, and reached the same stage of both events the following year.[4] In June 2004, Creamer placed second in the LPGA Tour's ShopRite LPGA Classic, finishing one stroke behind Cristie Kerr. Later that year, she tied for 13th in the U.S. Women's Open and represented the United States in the Curtis Cup.[9]

In December 2004, Creamer won the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament by five strokes to secure membership on the Tour for the 2005 season.[10] She opted to turn professional immediately after the event at the age of 18.[11]

Professional career[edit]

2005–2007[edit]

Upon joining the LPGA Tour in 2005, Creamer quickly became a top player. On May 22, she holed a 17-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Sybase Classic in New Rochelle, New York to win by one stroke.[12] Creamer became the youngest winner of a multiple-round tournament in LPGA history.[13] (Marlene Hagge won twice at a younger age than Creamer. Both wins came in 18-hole events.)[12] Her record lasted until 2011, when Lexi Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic at the age of 16.[14] On July 23, she claimed her second title of the year, winning the Evian Masters tournament in France by an eight-shot margin.[15] She became the youngest and quickest player to reach $1 million in LPGA career earnings.[16] In August Creamer won the NEC Open on the Japan LPGA tour,[17] and added a victory at the Masters GC Ladies tournament two months later.[18] Creamer earned a spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup Team, becoming the youngest player to do so.[19] She helped the U.S. team win the cup, going 3–1–1 for the competition.[11] Creamer won the LPGA Rookie of the Year award for her season,[13] in which she earned over $1.5 million, second on the money list behind Annika Sörenstam, and recorded eight top-three finishes.[20]

After her strong first-year performance, Creamer was second behind Sörenstam in the inaugural Women's World Golf Rankings, which were released on February 20, 2006.[21] Her 2006 season, however, was not as successful. She did not win a tournament, and was hampered by wrist and foot injuries during the year.[22] Creamer still managed to earn over $1 million and make the cut in all 27 LPGA tournaments in which she played, compiling 14 top-10 finishes. Her best result of the season was a tie for second at The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions.[23]

In 2007, Creamer rebounded with two LPGA Tour titles. On February 17, she won her third career LPGA title at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay, making a 40-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole of the final round to defeat Julieta Granada by one shot.[24] In November, Creamer won The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, defeating Birdie Kim by eight strokes.[25] She also played in her second Solheim Cup, leading both sides in points earned. Creamer went unbeaten in five matches as the U.S. team retained the cup.[26] For the season, she posted 13 top-10 finishes and earned over $1.3 million, third on the money list.[27]

2008–2009[edit]

In the 2008 season, Creamer won a career-high four LPGA events and made more than $1.8 million, the highest amount she has earned in a season. In February 2008, she earned her fifth LPGA title at the Fields Open in Hawaii, coming back from a late two-shot deficit with birdies on the final three holes.[28] On April 27, Creamer came up short in a bid for her second win of the year, losing in a sudden-death playoff to Sörenstam at the Stanford International Pro-Am.[29] The following week, Creamer bounced back at the SemGroup Championship by defeating Juli Inkster in a playoff.[30] At the U.S. Women's Open, she entered the final round one shot off the lead and in good position to claim her first major championship victory. However, a five-over-par 78 on the last day dropped her into a tie for sixth.[31]

On July 10 at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, she shot an 11-under 60, just one stroke off of the LPGA Tour record of 59 by Annika Sörenstam.[32] She shot 60-65-70-73 to beat Nicole Castrale by two strokes.[33] Creamer's fourth title of 2008 came in October's Samsung World Championship, where she won by one stroke and became the first American with four or more wins in an LPGA Tour season since Inkster had five tournament victories in 1999.[34] In November of that same year, Creamer teamed with team International to defeat team Asia for the Lexus Cup.[35]

At the LPGA Playoffs at the ADT, the last event of the 2008 season, Creamer was hospitalized with a stomach ailment, which was originally thought to be peritonitis. The ailment continued to affect her in the opening few months of the 2009 season, with doctors unable to make an exact diagnosis.[36] At the 2009 U.S. Women's Open, held at Saucon Valley Country Club, Creamer finished tied for sixth.[37] In her third Solheim Cup, she was 3–1 as the U.S. again won the competition.[38] Creamer finished 10th on the 2009 LPGA money list with earnings of over $1.1 million. Her highest finishes during the season were a pair of second-place results, at the LPGA Corning Classic and Lorena Ochoa Invitational.[39]

2010–2011[edit]

Creamer withdrew from the first event of the 2010 season with a left thumb injury, which she had first sustained in June 2009 at the Wegmans LPGA tournament.[40] The injury, believed to be stretched ligaments, required surgery in March after rehabilitation efforts proved unsuccessful. During the surgery, more severe damage to her thumb was discovered, including ulnar collateral ligament and palmar plate tears. She was forced into an extended absence from golf, and her thumb was still healing by the time she returned in June.[41] In her return event, the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Creamer finished in seventh place at 10-under-par.[42] On July 11, 2010, in her fourth tournament after returning from her thumb surgery, Creamer won the U.S. Women's Open. She was the only golfer under par for the tournament, with a score of 3-under-par, four strokes ahead of Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi. It was the first victory in a major in Creamer's career.[43] The U.S. Women's Open was her only win of the season, but she had four top-10s in 14 starts.[44]

Creamer did not win a tournament during the 2011 season, though she did have seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes. Her highest finishes of the year were a pair of ties for second, at the HSBC Women's Champions and CME Group Titleholders.[45] Creamer was again selected to the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 2011. She posted victories in three of her first four matches, but lost in the singles to Catriona Matthew by a 6&5 score, as the American team lost to Europe.[46]

2012–2013[edit]

At the 2012 Kingsmill Championship, Creamer finished the tournament tied with Jiyai Shin, and the two entered a playoff. They played eight playoff holes, each parring every time. The playoff was then suspended because of darkness, and it resumed the following day. Creamer bogeyed the ninth playoff hole, losing to Shin's par. It was the longest two-player playoff in LPGA Tour history.[47] The following week, she recorded a third-place finish at the Women's British Open.[48]

Creamer earned over $800,000 and had seven top-10 finishes in the 2012 season, but was again unable to win any events.[49]

During the 2013 season, she made over $800,000 and finished in the top-10 six times.[50] She also appeared in the 2013 Solheim Cup, but lost three of her four matches as the U.S. team lost 18–10.[51] As of the end of the 2013 season, Creamer was eighth on the all-time LPGA career money list with earnings of $10,426,297.[52]

2014[edit]

Creamer's 2014 began with two T-3 finishes in her first two tournaments, the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open and the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.[53] On March 2, 2014, Creamer captured her first LPGA tournament since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open. At the HSBC Women's Champions tournament in Singapore, she was tied with Azahara Muñoz after 72 holes. On the second playoff hole, she sank a 75-foot eagle putt for the win.[54]

Playing style[edit]

Creamer's drives are relatively short; her 2012 average driving distance of about 245 yards ranked 193rd on the LPGA Tour.[49] Former player Beth Daniel has said of Creamer that her short hitting is "stopping her from being a dominating player".[55] However, she has ranked among the tour leaders in greens in regulation percentage,[55] and is considered an accurate ball-striker.[9] Creamer ranked outside the top 100 in putts per round in 2012,[49] and Golf World magazine's Ryan Herrington described her putting as "sometimes balky".[6]

Due to her fondness for wearing pink, Creamer's friend Casey Wittenberg nicknamed her the "Pink Panther."[56] The sobriquet followed her when she turned pro. In addition to her pink outfits, Creamer sports the color on several of her golf accessories, including her club grips and golf bag.[57] Creamer also uses a Pink Panther club head cover, in a nod to her nickname. From 2006 to 2009, she used a pink golf ball, provided by Precept Golf, during the last round of some tournaments.[58][59][60]

Personal life[edit]

Creamer graduated from the IMG-affiliated Pendleton School the week after her first LPGA victory in 2005.[7] In 2007, she moved to Isleworth, a gated community in Windermere, Florida.[22]

Creamer has endorsement deals with many companies, including TaylorMade-adidas, Citizen Watch Co., Ricoh, and Bridgestone Golf.[61][62] Forbes estimated her 2013 endorsement income to be $4.5 million, and her total income placed her among the 10 highest-earning female athletes that year.[63] Her likeness has been featured in EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of golf video games.[64]

Since 2005, Creamer has done charitable work for The First Tee, an organization that benefits junior golfers. She hosts the Paula 4 Kids Celebrity Event, an annual outing that raises money for The First Tee of Sarasota/Manatee.[65] In addition, Creamer has appeared at youth golf clinics and donated scholarships to IMG Academy.[66] She also has a foundation that aids junior golfers and military families.[67] On December 16, 2013, Creamer announced her engagement to Derek Heath.[54][68]

Professional wins (12)[edit]

LPGA Tour (10)[edit]

Legend
LPGA Tour major championships (1)
Other LPGA Tour (9)
No. Date Tournament Winning
score
To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
1 May 22, 2005 Sybase Classic 69-68-71-70=278 −6 1 stroke South Korea Jeong Jang
South Korea Gloria Park
187,500
2 Jul 23, 2005 Evian Masters 68-68-66-71=273 −15 8 strokes Mexico Lorena Ochoa
United States Michelle Wie
375,000
3 Feb 17, 2007 SBS Open at Turtle Bay 67-70-70=207 −9 1 stroke Paraguay Julieta Granada 165,000
4 Nov 11, 2007 The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions 67-65-68-68=268 −20 8 strokes South Korea Birdie Kim 150,000
5 Feb 23, 2008 Fields Open in Hawaii 66-68-66=200 −16 1 stroke South Korea Jeong Jang 195,000
6 May 4, 2008 SemGroup Championship 70-71-69-72=282 −2 Playoff United States Juli Inkster 270,000
7 Jul 13, 2008 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic 60-65-70-73=268 −16 2 strokes United States Nicole Castrale 195,000
8 Oct 5, 2008 Samsung World Championship 68-74-68-69=279 −9 1 stroke South Korea Song-Hee Kim 250,000
9 Jul 11, 2010 U.S. Women's Open 72-70-70-69=281 −3 4 strokes South Korea Na Yeon Choi
Norway Suzann Pettersen
585,000
10 Mar 2, 2014 HSBC Women's Champions 67-73-69-69=278 −10 Playoff Spain Azahara Muñoz 210,000

LPGA Tour playoff record (2–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2008 Stanford International Pro-Am Sweden Annika Sörenstam Lost to par on first extra hole
2 2008 SemGroup Championship United States Juli Inkster Won with birdie on second extra hole
3 2012 Kingsmill Championship South Korea Jiyai Shin Lost to par on ninth extra hole
4 2014 HSBC Women's Champions Spain Azahara Muñoz Won with eagle on second extra hole

LPGA of Japan Tour (2)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runners-up
2010 U.S. Women's Open −3 (72-70-70-69=281) 4 strokes South Korea Na Yeon Choi, Norway Suzann Pettersen

Results timeline[edit]

Results not in chronological order before 2014.

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Kraft Nabisco Championship DNP T45 T19 T24 T15 T21 T17 DNP T19 T20
LPGA Championship DNP DNP T3 T49 T6 T10 T16 T42 T3 T9
U.S. Women's Open CUT T13TLA T19 T16 T16 T6 T6 1 T15 T7
Women's British Open DNP DNP T15 T22 T7 T9 T3 T21 T43 3
Tournament 2013 2014
Kraft Nabisco Championship T13 T34
U.S. Women's Open T4 T15
Women's British Open T11 T21
LPGA Championship T58 CUT
The Evian Championship ^ T19 7

^ The Evian Championship was added as a major in 2013
LA = Low amateur
DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
T = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Kraft Nabisco Championship 0 0 0 0 0 8 10 10
U.S. Women's Open 1 0 0 2 5 11 12 11
Women's British Open 0 0 2 2 4 9 10 10
LPGA Championship 0 0 2 2 5 6 10 9
The Evian Championship 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 2
Totals 1 0 4 6 15 36 44 42
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 41 (2004 Kraft Nabisco – 2014 British Open)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (twice)

LPGA Tour career summary[edit]

Year Tournaments
played
Cuts
made*
Wins 2nds 3rds Top 10s Best
finish
Earnings
($)
Money
list rank
Scoring
average
Scoring
rank
2003 3 2 0 0 0 0 T67 n/a n/a 74.80 n/a
2004 7 7 0 1 0 1 T2 n/a n/a 71.42 n/a
2005 25 24 2 4 2 11 1 1,531,780 2 70.98 3
2006 27 27 0 1 2 14 T2 1,076,163 11 70.62 6
2007 24 22 2 2 2 13 1 1,384,798 3 70.50 2
2008 26 26 4 1 2 15 1 1,823,992 2 70.56 3
2009 21 20 0 2 4 10 2 1,151,864 9 70.62 10
2010 14 10 1 0 0 4 1 883,870 10 71.00 10
2011 21 21 0 2 2 10 T2 926,338 9 70.84 5
2012 23 23 0 1 1 7 2 815,574 15 70.95 11
2013 23 23 0 1 1 6 2 831,918 11 70.80 14
2014 11 10 1 0 2 3 1 432,776 11 70.98 14
  • official as of May 25, 2014[69]

* Includes matchplay and other tournaments without a cut.

World ranking[edit]

Position in Women's World Golf Rankings at the end of each calendar year.

Year World
ranking
Notes
2006 8 [70]
2007 5 [71]
2008 4 [72]
2009 6 [73]
2010 11 [74]
2011 5 [75]
2012 12 [76]
2013 13 [77]

Team appearances[edit]

Amateur

Professional

Solheim Cup record[edit]

Year Total
matches
Total
W–L–H
Singles
W–L–H
Foursomes
W–L–H
Fourballs
W–L–H
Points
won
Points
%
Career 23 12–6–5 3–2–0 5–2–3 4–2–2 14.5 63.0%
2005 5 3–1–1 1–0–0 def. L. Davies 7&5 1–0–1 halved w/ B. Daniel,
won w/ J. Inkster 3&2
1–1–0 lost w/ J. Inkster 4&3,
won w/ C. Kerr 1 up
3.5 70.0%
2007 5 2–0–3 1–0–0 def. M. Hjorth 2&1 1–0–1 won w/ J. Inkster 2&1,
halved w/ J. Inkster
0–0–2 halved w/ M. Pressel,
halved w/ B. Lincicome
3.5 70.0%
2009 4 3–1–0 1–0–0 def. S. Pettersen 3&2 1–1–0 won w/ J. Inkster 2&1,
lost w/ J. Inkster 4&3
1–0–0 won w/ C. Kerr 1 up 3.0 75.0%
2011 5 3–1–1 0–1–0 lost to C. Matthew 6&5 1–0–1 won w/ B. Lincicome 1 up,
halved w/ C. Kerr
2–0–0 won w/ M. Pressel 1 up,
won w/ B. Lincicome 3&1
3.5 70.0%
2013 4 1–3–0 0–1–0 lost to C. Hull 5&4 1–1–0 lost w/ C. Kerr 2&1,
won w/ S. Lewis 1 up
0–1–0 lost w/ L. Thompson 2 dn 1.0 25.0%

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]