Paula Creamer Returns To LPGA Tour Action

The 2010 US Open winner is back after more than a year out with a new baby and a new swing too

Paula Creamer is back on the LPGA Tour after more than a year away on maternity leave
(Image credit: Getty Images)

 

Former US Open champion Paula Creamer has returned to LPGA action following more than a year away to have a baby.

The 10-time LPGA champion, who tasted Major success in 2010, is teeing  it up at this week’s Dana Open in Sylvania, Ohio, more than a year since her last appearance. Daughter Hilton Rose, born in January, is not the only noticeable change since the 36-year-old’s last appearance, with a new swing the result of a lot of hard work with a new coach during her spell away from the game.

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“I’m really fired up, honestly,” she told Golf Digest. "I know what it takes to be great. I know what it takes when you’re younger and all you have is golf to focus on. I understand that I have to use all of my years of experience and take what is good and put it all into my new life.

“This is a new chapter, and it doesn’t have to be the chapter of me going off into the sunset. I was never going down that path. There were times out there that were reality checks for what I needed to do. These girls are good. They don’t have a baby and aren’t 35 years old. They don’t have other distractions in their life. Now, I have to figure out how to beat them.”

Part of figuring out how to beat her younger rivals was to employ the services of Kiwi golf coach, Grant Waite. The two started working together when Creamer was five months pregnant, meeting at the nearby driving range of Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere, Florida.

Creamer told Golf Digest: “I had to be vulnerable in telling him, ‘All right, I really trust you. This is not my last shot by any means, but this is a big moment for me—that I have the ability to come back and just go guns blazing. I’m not holding anything back.'”

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Waite has been impressed with Creamer’s openness to change, given she’s an established winner rather than an up and comer looking for a breakthrough. He told Golf Digest: “She’s taking this seriously and working diligently, doing all of the things I’ve asked her to do. It’s impressive because this is a successful LPGA Tour player. This is not someone trying to get to that level. She’s a proven winner. She knew her game wasn’t where it needed to be.”

Waite has worked to make Creamer’s swing less about her arms and more full-bodied, making a much wider turn. The results have been impressive, with her swing speed jumping from 93 to 99mph.

With her parents in tow to help with childcare, Creamer headed back out onto the LPGA Tour with a new swing and a new confidence that her long wait for an 11th title might not be too far away.

Jeff Kimber
Freelance Staff Writer

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!