Search Articles: Home About Us Our Community Contact Us Article Submission   Advertising Info  
 
Auto Savvy

Business and Finance

Creative Cooks

Family and Parenting

Health and Nutrition

Legal Information

Beauty and Fashion

Sports and Fitness

Women Of The Month

Home and Garden

Relationships

Motivation and Inspiration

Travel and Adventure

Technology Today

Society

WomanOf the Month 6-05: Golfer Paula Creamer

Among the excitement surrounding the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open set for June 23-26, a youngster is drawing some of the focus away from women’ golf giant Annika Sorenstam. LPGA Tour star and recent high school graduate Paula Creamer, who will play the Open in Denver , just became the second-youngest winner in LPGA history in later May at the Sybase Classic. Only Marlene Hagge won at a younger age, claiming the 1952 Sarasota Open at the age of 18 years and 14 days (Hagge also won the 1952 Bakersfield Open at 18 years, 2 months, 15 days). Both of Hagge’s wins came in 18-hole events, so Creamer is the youngest winner of a multi-round tournament in the LPGA’s 55-year history. She just graduated from high school at The Pendleton School in Bradenton , Fla. , she’s fourth on the ADT money list, and she’ll return to the LPGA Tour at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where last year she tied for second as an amateur. So what are the recent graduate’s thoughts on these whirlwind events?

In a recent interview with the media, Creamer shared her feelings.

Q.Paula, maybe you can start with an opening statement about how this week has been for you to get your first win, and then with graduation as well as all the media requests you###ve been filling this week.

Creamer: It###s been difficult, a whirlwind. It###s been fun to come home after a win and spend it at my graduation and with all my friends and my family and my teachers. It###s just been very chaotic but well worth it.

Q. How big was your graduating class, and can you estimate the number of potential professional athletes in the Pendleton class of 2005?

Creamer: I believe there were 83 seniors, and there###s just so many other sports in my senior class. I think there were probably about 15, 20 golfers, and then the rest were soccer, baseball, basketball and tennis. I don###t really know a lot of the athletes, but I know that there will probably be a handful.

Q. You had mentioned about how your goal is to get onto the Solheim Cup this year, a pretty tall order. I###m just wondering if you could talk about that and what some of your other priorities are before the end of the year.

Creamer: Definitely my main goal is Solheim Cup. With the win it helps me with my confidence knowing that I can win on Tour and try to achieve my goals, under Nancy Lopez. But it###s not done yet.

I have several months before the team is finalized, but if I keep playing good and get some more points, I hope I can get up in the captain###s pick, if not make it in on my own.

Other goals are just to win out here, and I feel that if I make Solheim Cup team, everything else just kind of falls into place with the Solheim and winning out here, and I###m going to try to win a major, as well.

Q. I wanted to find out what kind of reception you received at home after winning last week, and if you had any moments this week to kind of just take a break and rest.

Creamer: Well, not really, and I haven###t had a break yet. It###s been-- everybody here has been just so awesome with the whole thing and they###ve been very supportive of me, and I###ve been going through it here and they###ve been very supportive, and I###m very lucky that everybody around is an athlete and they know what it takes to win, and they support it.

Q. With the people around you, how have you kind of tried to ensure that some of the pressure, now that you###ve won a tournament, not letting it get to you as you move forward now?

Creamer: Well, there###s always pressure. I always put the most pressure on myself, but now it###s kind of-- it###s really releasing a lot of different kinds of emotions knowing that I feel very confident on the golf course, and I feel that I can win. I have before, but now I know I can because I###ve done it. It###s just now going into every tournament, I feel very confident and I will always remember Sybase, knowing that I can perform under pressure.

Q. A lot of players have tried to make the jump from high school directly into the pro ranks, and most of them had to spend a few years before they posted their first win. What is it do you think it is about you and your game that###s enabled you to be so successful so quickly on Tour, and in what ways does your game still show that you###re a rookie?

Creamer: The second question, I know that my game shows that I haven###t-- I don###t have much experience on these golf courses. I###ve only played a handful of them from playing in the sponsor###s exemptions. I know about five or six of those. So that is definitely a sign of being a rookie because everybody else gets to play the courses so many times.

Q. What has enabled you to be successful so quickly making the jump from high school to the professional ranks where maybe other players haven###t been able to do it?

Creamer: With me right now I###m very driven and I set high goals that I want to achieve, and I###m going to do-- I want to do whatever it takes to get there, and I###ve been working really hard at it. My coach David Whelan and I and my whole team are very supportive of me, and I have such good people around me that I feel very confident with what everybody is doing.

Q. One of the perks of your win is you qualify for the LPGA Tournament of Champions played in Mobile at Magnolia Grove where you###ve had a lot of success at the Labor Day AJGA tournament. I###m wondering if you###ve thought about that, going back to that course? Any memories you have of Mobile from your junior days?

Creamer: Actually my mom and dad and I were just talking about that, how I got into that event and I###ve won before there, and I###m feeling really good about that tournament. I hope it works into my schedule right now. If all goes well, then I will definitely be there and try to play that tournament. That was awesome. It was the last tournament of the year and I have a lot of good memories.

Q. I guess you###re getting good vibes now from the New York/New Jersey area, so could you talk about playing in the HSBC Match Play that###s going to be later this summer and what###s it like to play in a match play format, and if that suits your game and if you###re looking forward to it?

Creamer: I###m really looking forward to it. It###s a new event, new golf course, and with match play it###s a totally different event than anything that I have been in. I love match play and have had a lot of success with that.

Going back up to the Northeast is always a great thing for me. I love playing those kinds of golf courses, the traditional kind of golf courses, and I###m really looking forward to it. And match play sets up well for me because I am a pretty aggressive golfer on the golf course, and my game plan has always been to take-- if you have a shot, take it, and match play, you###re just playing your partner, you###re not playing the golf course.

Q. In what way is Annika Sorenstam an influence or a standard or a model? How do you view her presence now?

Creamer: Annika, she has raised the bar in women###s golf and is making me practice hard to where I want to get to, and if I want to be the No.1 player in the world it means I have to go out and practice here and outwork her. She###s done that for women###s golf and has made it very competitive.

Q. I understand that your dad tried to get you to golf when were younger and you kind of said you didn###t want any part of it and you were an acrobatic dancer. Can you just tell me what that story is about and what was harder to learn, the dancing or the golf.

Creamer: Yes, I used to be an acrobatic dancer and we lived on the golf course. I lived on the 1st hole, so I was always around golf but was never interested. Then one day my other dancing friends and I, we went and we did golf lessons as a group, so there was about five of us. That made it so much fun because I was with them and it was maybe a half hour, 45 minutes together. Then when I was in 6th grade I had to decide whether to be a chief leader or on the golf team, and I chose golf team, and at that age I just dropped all the sports and I stayed with golf and I###m here today. It###s been one of the best things that###s ever happened to me.

Q. In that same vein, talk about what your parents-- I know your dad switches bases out from the Bay Area to Miami and just your parents moving out to Florida to kind of help you pursue your dream a little bit.

Creamer: Yes, they###ve been awesome. They###ve definitely be