Paula Creamer felt like a kid on the first day of school as she was driving into Wildfire Golf Club on Sunday. She phoned her mom and dad to express her excitement. She joked about forgetting how to pack for a road trip and even had to phone Adidas for new gear.
“I had to remember where the locker room was, I didn’t have my player badge of course,” joked Creamer, who smiled the entire 15 minutes on the stage at her Wednesday presser. “After all these years it’s pretty neat to still get those emotions and butterflies.”
Cut Creamer some slack as she’s making her first start in six months. She was asked to list all the things that are new in her life and it took a few minutes, but she managed to remember them all.
“I’m new, I feel like,” said Creamer. “New Ball – Taylormade TP5. Then I have M3 irons, M4 driver, M4 3-wood, M3 5-wood, new Titleist wedge, Kevin (Craggs) and I’m back working with my old strength coach Chuck Wolf and my golf bag is brand new too.”
Got all that?
She also confirmed reports that she has split from her husband of three years, Derek Heath.
The other long list she has marinating in her head are her goals because she hasn’t come close to achieving them all despite winning ten times in her career and owning the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open trophy.
At the top of the goals list?
Being number one in the world.
It’s lofty as she currently ranks No. 146 in the world heading into the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but remember that everything is new.
“I want to be back in the winner’s circle,” said Creamer, who hasn't been ranked in the top 10 since 2014. “All my mid-term goals are three-week (stretches), I want to have top-10s and I want to be in contention, but my main thing is taking what I’m doing with Kevin (Craggs) into competition.”
Craggs is Creamer’s new coach and she gushed about the difference he has made.
“We just have this amazing relationship, there is a lot of trust,” said Creamer. “He can be incredibly serious and then at the end of a strong statement he knows I love to eat and he’ll just ask ‘where do you want to eat’. His presence is very strong and confident.”
Fans will notice a different posture, grip and more on-plane backswing from Creamer this season. They’ll also notice a more ferocious swing.
After off season wrist surgery, the most important thing is Creamer is healthy.
“This is the healthiest I have been, the best I have honestly felt,” said Creamer. “The rehab was brutal, but it made me realize how much I wanted to get back and how much fire I still had to achieve all I want in this game.”
The Pink Panther is back, folks.