Singapore miracle breaks drought for Creamer
American Paula Creamer screamed in ecstacy towards the group of fellow professionals nervously watching on, then sank to her knees after draining one of the most incredible putts ever seen to break a 79-event winless drought at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.
Creamer sank a 75-foot eagle putt with more dips and turns than an amusement ride at one of the nearby Sentosa theme parks to defeat Spain’s Azahara Munoz on the second sudden-death playoff hole, claiming a long awaited 10th career LPGA Tour title and her first since the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.Paula Creamer (Credit: HSBC Women’s Champions)
“It might be one of my favourite wins, and that’s taking a pretty big leap right there,” 27-year old Creamer said. “But you know, it has, it’s been almost three years and, you know, so much has happened.”
After the pair had tied at 10-under in regulation and the deadlock could not be broken on the par-five 18th on the first extra hole, the players returned to the tee and again found the fairway. Munoz opted to lay up which opened the door for Creamer to be more aggressive and attempt to reach the green in two for the first time this week.
Reach it she did, but she left herself a precarious putt from the right to the pin in the front left corner in a sunken area of the green.
After Munoz pitched to within birdie range, Creamer set the ball out at least 20 feet to the right of the pin and watched as the ball edged towards the precipice in the green before turning sharply left, picking up pace and diving directly in the middle of the hole for a stunning eagle.
“It’s one of those putts where if you just get it in the right spot, it’s going to fall down,” Creamer said. “But I could stand there all day long and putt that and I don’t think get it within six, seven feet.”
For much of the day, it appeared that Australian Karrie Webb would close out her second victory of the season when she cleared out to a three-stroke lead, however she stumbled with some bad decisions and swings at critical moments to limp to a three-over par back nine to finish a stroke behind Creamer and Munoz in third place.
Webb was still tied with Creamer and Munoz playing the 72nd hole but unsuccessfully attempted to play a rescue club from a fairway bunker, hitting the lip and staying in the trap, to end her frustrating afternoon with another bogey.
Creamer has put herself in position to win on countless occasions over the past three seasons but good fortune has not fallen her way, including a 9-hole playoff loss in 2012 at the Kingsmill Championship to Jiyai Shin. That run of misfortune ended today in the most stunning fashion.
“It has been coming and it just shows you perseverance. That’s why I love the game. I work hard for this reason. And holding that trophy, gosh, it was so nice.”