Mar 04

Paula Creamer Sinks Big One

Paula Creamer Sinks Big One in Singapore – HSBC Championship

Now I know what I want for Christmas this year. I want a lag putting lesson from Paula Creamer, or better yet, some good instruction on how to make lag putts go in. After watching the conclusion of the HSBC Women’s Golf Championship played in Singapore this past weekend, I’ve been trying to think of the various ways in which one can relate to the measurement of seventy-five to eighty feet, all the possible twists and turns that can affect a golf ball in rolling such a distance, and the size of a regulation golf hole, complete with the odds of hitting it from so far away.

paulaSeventy five feet – thats a quarter of a football field, 25 yards, interesting. That’s the length of twelve and a half six-foot people from head to toe. For some of us, it’s almost too far away to see a golf hole, requiring a little flag tending. I guess I could throw a football or baseball that far, at least I used to. If I don’t shank it, a wedge is fine at that distance, but a putter?

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Creamer came from behind to take over a lead held by last week’s winner Karrie Webb, who ran out of magic down the home stretch, coming in with a 74. If Webb hadn’t stalled, she might have been part of a three-way playoff with Creamer and Azahara Munoz, who was not running out of magic at all. On the second hole of the playoff, Creamer thought that birdie was going to win this hole, and that she’d better get close enough to ensure at least a tie, possibly a win – No problem.

The “Creamer Putt of 2014” resembled something NASA might come up with, trying to hit a little tiny planet from an astronomical distance away. Creamer sent the ball on its way in an entirely different direction from the hole, a portending of massive breaks to come during its journey. More impressive, however, than the read, was the distance. In terms of distance, it was the perfect Goldilocks putt – not too hot, and not too cold – just right.

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Among other questions, I’d love to know, given the time rules for slow play, how Creamer was able to read everything that needed to be read. There were at least six or seven major events that putt had to go through, and she nailed every single one of them. Judging from her happiness following the result, it’s clear that she must have a ballet background – in short, she went nuts – gracefully.

paula 2Judging from her comments after, she suggested that this could be one of her favorite wins. I would think so – winning is great, but winning in such style is even more memorable. I was worried that Paula had actually forgotten how to win, since her drought without a victory was now stretched to almost eighty events. Given the ferocity of the field currently on the LPGA track, that’s not so dismal. Nobody’s winning all the time, but Paula isn’t a happy camper in second place – she love those cups, and the three under 69 was just what the doctor ordered. Her last victory, she’s glad to know, is no longer the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, and she is again a force on tour, not just a presence.

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Her victory didn’t come out of nowhere. If you’re into leaderboards like I am, you’ll have noticed that she’s been hanging around at the top a lot lately, and generally playing well. I think it was only a matter of time until everything in her game fell into phase within the same four-day period.

So, when (if-sigh) I get my long-distance putting lesson this Christmas. I’m going to ask a lot of questions about reading green topography, gauging speed and keeping one’s knees and arms from trembling while you contemplate an impending four-putt. After all, for the likes of her, seventy-five feet is an awfully long putt. For the likes of me, it’s the other side of the world, especially if I’m putting for eagle (which I rarely am).

paula 3Yes, it was quite a sight, and I can’t remember seeing a cameraman forced into such a wide angle to get the whole thing. The announcer must have known something was up, as he started “oh! oh! ohing” about two thirds of the way through.What would it feel like to sink one of those things, I wonder. Maybe some day she’ll tell me.

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