Wendy’s Round 1 assessment: Paula Creamer, real deal

mulligan, 25 August 2005, Comments Off on Wendy’s Round 1 assessment: Paula Creamer, real deal
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As I said below, I followed Paula Creamer and Annika today at the Wendy’s Championship. After watching Paula play, I am not surprised at all that she’s already won 3 pro tournaments in her rookie year. She’s good, real good. Impressions of her round:

1. Stuffing approach shots: The strength of Paula’s game is her iron play and wedges. Paula is not that long off of the tee (Annika typically outdrove her, sometimes by 20 – 30 yards, although on a few holes Paula outdrove Annika and on the back nine they appeared closer). But Paula’s irons shots were very pinpoint today. By my count and layperson’s eye, Paula’s approach shots left her with very makeable birdie putts of 12 feet or less on 9 holes. (Only on 2 holes did Paula leave herself with a birdie putt of more than 25 feet, and she made regulation on all holes except for maybe 1, the one she bogeyed discussed below.) Paula converted on 5 of those birdie putts, which is over 50%, but I thought she could have made a couple more, given the short length — and she probably does to. She uses the two-ball putter, which seemed on and off today. Of course, I should also note again that Tartan Fields was playing very easy today (if not usually because of the generous fairways), as you can tell by the large number of under par scores (Leaderboard here).

2. Self-inflicted bogey: Right after she said “time for a birdie” walking to the tee of the easy 4th hole, a 503-yard par 5, Paula proceeded to bogey the hole, her only bogey of the round. She bogeyed it basically because she — or her caddie — miscalculated the yardage to lay up. Her lay up shot bounded into a huge fairway bunker that guards the green about 30 yards away. Paula was visibly upset, tossing her club to the ground and appearing to have a few words with her caddy, my guess, over the yardage.

3. Saved by Wendy Ward: On the 136-yard par 3 17th, playing partner Wendy Ward may have saved Paula from a 2 stroke penalty. Paula’s caddy tried to measure 2 club lengths from the tee markers, so Paula could back up to hit her tee shot, but the caddy measured it from the end of the marker (which was about a foot in length). The observant Ward told Paula right before she was about to hit, she should measure it from the front end of the tee marker. When the caddy did, Paula decided to move up a foot or two. She owes Wendy a drink!


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