PAULA CREAMER SOARS ABOVE SITE OF U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN WIN
After her hard-fought victory at the U.S. Women’s Open in July, it was fitting that Paula Creamer’s return visit to the Pittsburgh area last week included a celebratory fly by over the site of her first major championship victory in an F-16 fighter jet.
While the experience was meant as a fun one for Creamer, whose father Paul is a former Navy and commercial airline pilot, the day also had an important purpose to her.
“My father was in the military, so I was brought up being very conscious and appreciative of the sacrifices they make to keep us safe,” said Creamer. “I wanted to be able to learn more about their jobs, and of course experience the thrill of flying in a fighter jet, but I also wanted to be able to say ‘thank you’ for all that they do.”
Creamer was piloted by Capt. Kristin Hubbard, one of the first female pilots to be named to The Thunderbirds, the United States Air Force’s aerial demonstration team. Capt. Hubbard didn’t hold anything back as the rookie Creamer experienced flying upside down, inverted loops and barrel rolls but she was also given a unique aerial view of Oakmont Country Club, the site of her major championship victory earlier in the summer.
“It was pretty cool to see Oakmont that way,” said Creamer. “It brought back some great memories from July, but it also gave me the chance to really appreciate all the hard work that went into it. More than anything though, it was a great opportunity to learn about the commitment and skills of our servicemen and women.”
Before her flight, Creamer spent almost three hours preparing including medical checks, procedural briefings with Capt. Hubbard, and instructions on using her parachute. It would be enough to have most civilians rethinking the idea, but not Creamer.
“My main goal was to not get sick,” said Creamer. “I knew if I could do that it would be the experience of a lifetime. I made it and would love to do it again…just not tomorrow!”
Topics: Creamer, Paula