Two weeks into her LPGA return, Paula Creamer had quite a turbulent start at the Kroger Queen City Championship.
But amidst all the ups and downs, two “nice little” releases stand out from the rest.
The 36-year-old, who started Round 1 on the back nine, holed out for eagle at the par-4 fifth. Then after two consecutive pars, Creamer stepped up to the par-3 eighth and hit a “perfect” 7-iron, 155 yards, which rolled into the cup for an ace.
“Unfortunately,” Creamer said after his round, “my scorecard is a roller coaster. But that’s golf.”
Creamer finished the day with an even-par 72, but started it with two birdies. What followed were two bogeys and a double on her front nine and then a 2-under back nine despite three more holes on her scorecard.
Kroger Queen City Championship Full Court Scorer
“Hole-in-one is great, hole-out and everything,” she said. “Just too many three-putts today. I’ll putt a little later.”
Eight years removed from her 10th and most recent LPGA victory, the 2010 US Women’s Open winner returned to the tour at last week’s Dana Open – after giving birth in January – for the first time in over a year, but missed the cut.
In 2021, she made just one cut in seven starts. But after becoming a mother, Creamer has embraced the grind back, working with Grant Waite since last September while “pregnant and all.”
“We took advantage of (downtime while on maternity leave) and we’ve changed every aspect of my game,” Creamer said. “I trust him and I trust what he envisioned with my golf swing and what we can do and now it’s just up to me to take it to the course.”
Maybe not with her putter Thursday, but at least with her iron, Creamer was able to see some of the progress they’ve made over the past year.
But as she embarks on a new chapter in her golf career – and life – Creamer has a different perspective now.
“I (play) not only for myself, but I do it for (my daughter),” she said. “To be able to tell her, actually, you were here (for the ace) when I did it. You were in the hotel, but you were here physically. It’s special.
“I keep thinking that when I’m out here, I just want to show her that you can overcome adversity, you can overcome anything. Put your mind to it and you’re strong enough to achieve what you want .”