Now Paula’s truly in the pink
Paula Creamer has claimed the first major of her career in style at the 65th US Women’s Open at Oakmont.
Paula Creamer claimed the first major of her career in style on Sunday when she won the 65th US Women’s Open by four strokes at tough and unforgiving Oakmont Country Club.
The 23-year-old American, nicknamed the Pink Panther because she very often plays in pink clothing, added some substance to the style at the famous Pennsylvania course.
She shot a final-round, two-under-par 69 – her third under-par round in a row – to win at three under par from Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi.
Creamer had resumed her rain-delayed third round at the 65th US Women’s Open at one-under for the week and with a three-stroke lead over fellow American Wendy Ward with six holes to play.
She returned to complete a round of 70, still three ahead of Ward and four in front of Pettersen, American Christina Kim and Amy Yang of South Korea.
When the final round eventually got under way, Ward blew her chances with a triple-bogey seven at the first, going on to card a 77 and finish at eight over in a tie for 14th.
However, Creamer opened steadily – her only bogey on the front nine came at the fourth and she quickly cancelled it out with birdies at the fifth and ninth holes.
Her back nine followed a similar pattern and Creamer went to the last four in front of Pettersen – who had shot a 69 – and Korean Choi, who carded a five-under 66, tied for second at one over.
That enabled her to enjoyed her walk up the 18th fairway and she calmly made par to win her ninth professional title and first women’s major.
Creamer said: “It’s just incredible, it really is. It’s been amazing.
“I’ve always thought of myself as being a pretty solid player, but the question always lurked: ‘How come you never won a major?’
“And now we have, and we’ll never get to get asked that question again,” she said with a laugh.
“That’s kind of a big relief off of my shoulders, but I knew that the time would come, I just had to be patient.”
Not only was she the only woman in the tournament to finish under par to complete back-to-back major wins for American women – her victory followed Cristie Kerr’s LPGA Championship win last month – but Creamer also triumphed after having missed three months of the season following surgery on her left thumb.
She continued: “These last couple of months were the most crucial months I think I’ve ever had to go through.
“They were just maturing, learning how to handle adversity, learning how to, I guess, become more of an adult in a sense, and you have to really count your blessings every day.
“I had my surgery and there was a time before my surgery where I thought ‘oh my gosh, I may never play golf again or, if the surgery goes wrong’ but it was what I had to do, and here we are with a US Open championship.”
South Korea’s IK Kim was fourth at two over after a 68 and her compatriot Yang tied for fifth after a 71, finishing alongside first-round leader Brittany Lang (69) of the US and another Korean, Jiyai Shin (68).
Fifteen-year-old Alexis Thompson tied for 10th place at six over with Japan’s Sakura Yokomine and Taipei’s Yani Tseng, who won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April, the first major of the year.
World number one Kerr finished tied for 17th at nine over while Scotland’s Mhairi McKay was the leading Briton, a closing 73 leaving her at 14 over in a tie for 34th.
That was a shot better than Karen Stupples of England and defending champion Ji Eun-hee, both of whom shot 73s.
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