Paula Creamer gleamed with American pride last week at the 13th staging of the Solheim Cup, even though the biennial event ended in a U.S. defeat.
Making her fifth appearance in the Red, White and Blue, Creamer posted a 1-3-0 record, which marks the most losses the 27-year-old has contributed while a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team. Feeling the sting of defeat for the second time, Creamer knows what it takes to shake off a loss and look forward to future.
“The Solheim Cup brings the best and worst out of you,”’ said Creamer. “But we fought hard. I really tried as hard as I possibly could. But, you know, it’s match play. It's unfortunate, we had some good chances and made some good shots, but we just didn't make enough. Going into Germany, we have got two years to sit on this and four years since we have won the cup and I can tell you we'll be ready to go.”
Creamer travels to Edmonton, Alberta this week to participate in CN Canadian Women’s Open. With little sleep following an exhausting week of high emotions and intense competition, Creamer says she feeds off of the adrenaline felt at the Solheim Cup and thrives in the events that follow.
“I feel like I play well afterwards because you’re so intense and every shot matters and it all counts,” said Creamer. “You’re just going on so much adrenaline. It feels a little weird going to a normal event after that but you’re game is right where you want it to be. It’s just getting the rest that you need.”
Notching more than 20 top-20 finishes in events surrounding the Solheim Cup, Creamer feels that it’s not the emotion the event brings out in her but also the timing of it that has helped to elevate her game.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there are some really big events around this time of year and you’ve got to play really well in the majors,” said Creamer. “That’s what we all kind of care about the most. It’s something that I want to do well in. At the same time, you’re halfway through the year and you’ve been working really hard on your game and playing a lot more.”
Creamer is no stranger to having setbacks in her career, but even more so, overcoming them with unwavering success.
Playing through a hand injury following her first major championship win and ninth-career victory at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, Creamer has struggled to piece her game back together and get back to her winning ways. Just when she started to make her way back onto the leaderboard, Creamer was faced with losses beyond golf course. Having two grandparents pass away in less than a year, she played through bereavement during two major championships and managed to notch top-15 finishes at both.
“Just going through those things and trying to perform at the same time, it’s very hard,” said Creamer. “But we all go through it and mentally I’ve just had to be very strong and tough. I think that’s kind of helped these last couple of months. Just fighting through things and being mentally tough. I never give up. It’s just a little bit of added strength just going through tough times like that.”
Creamer’s ability to fight through adversity has only strengthened her passion and dedication to golf. Now a nine-year veteran on the LPGA Tour, Creamer feels her experiences on and off the golf course have contributed to a fresh attitude she’s developed this season.
“Personally, I feel like I’m in a very good place,” said Creamer. “I think I’ve finally started to embrace the role that I have out here. You get thrown into a mix of just being a professional athlete at a very young age and having success and doing well. You don’t realize all the things that go on around you. So I’ve grown to learn what the meaning of being a role model is.”