WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – The Solheim Cup, more than any other event, makes Paula Creamer summon her best.
The red, white and blue. The crowds. Her team. Her partner. Creamer lives to play in this event.
Two years ago in Germany, Creamer was a questionable captain’s selection. She delivered a 2-2 performance.
This year, she wasn’t a captain’s selection, but was added to the team when Jessica Korda pulled out because of a forearm injury. She’s paired with rookie Austin Ernst to collect a 2-1 record.
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“All those Twitter people out there that told me that I shouldn’t have picked Paula, shame on you,” U.S. captain Juli Inkster quipped.
This is Creamer’s seventh consecutive Solheim Cup. Her two victories this week tie her for second place with Inkster at 18 1/2 total points for the U.S.
“I felt like I have to kind of pull my own end of the weight once again in this situation,” Creamer said. “I just feel like I can do that. And I hit some good shots at some good times.”
And when Creamer was not hitting good shots on Saturday, Ernst was hitting them. Creamer was miffed at herself for poor course management on the 15th hole even though they were 2 up at the time. Just then, Ernst chipped in for birdie for a crucial halve.
“I was so upset,” Creamer said. “And then, that’s just like the most amazing moment. I’ve seen Juli chip in in a Solheim moment, and it’s pretty awesome when she dances around.
“But I’ve never thrown a glove before out on a golf course. I tomahawked my glove into the ground after that chip shot. It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen.”
Said Inkster: “Paula is a leader. She’s really mentored Austin this week.”