Paula Creamer sank a 75-foot eagle putt and probably the best of her career in a sudden death play-off to clinch her 10th career LPGA victory at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.
Creamer drained a 75-foot eagle putt on the second sudden-death playoff hole to defeat Spain’s Azahara Munoz. The victory snaps a 79 event winless streak for Creamer that dated back to the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
“It might be one of my favorite wins, and that's going -- taking a pretty big leap right there,” said Creamer. “But you know, it has, it's been almost three years and you know, so much has happened…It has been coming and it just shows you perseverance. That's why I love the game. I work hard for this reason. And holding that trophy, gosh, it was so nice.”
Creamer shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to force the playoff with Munoz who finished with a 2-under 70. The duo finished at the top of the leaderboard at 10-under par. She said she had flashbacks to the 2012 Kingsmill Championship where she lost in a 9 hole sudden-death playoff to Jiyai Shin and promised herself she would let it go that long again.
“I guess I've come close and playoff with Jiyai and wasn't going to go play it eight times and come back the next day, that's for sure,” said Creamer.
Creamer and Munoz escaped a three-player playoff with Hall of Famer Karrie Webb who had a late round collapse to fall out of contention. Webb bogeyed three of her final six holes including the par 5 18th hole where she hit the lip of a fairway bunker. She had a three-shot lead after seven holes and said some bad decisions down the stretch put her in trouble spots. The 20-year LPGA Tour veteran finished with a 2-over 74 and one shot out of the playoff.
“Just not a lot of good decisions,” said Webb. “I mean, bad swing on 15 but -- just bad decisions. I shouldn't have probably hit 3-wood off 16 just because I missed with that club for some reason this week. I've had that club in my bag for ten years and it's going left, so might need to look at a different 3-wood I think. Just shouldn't have hit 3-wood off there but I made a good par.”
Webb said she didn’t think it was the pressure that got to her but there were some lessons to be learned from club selections down the stretch. Webb already has a win this year, two weeks ago at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
“Two weeks ago I handled the pressure well and made very good decisions coming down the stretch and I made all the putts I needed to make,” said Webb. “It just sometimes just go your way. Doesn't feel great at the moment. There's lessons to be learned from the decisions made. Even if you learn those lessons, sometimes you're going to repeat in that situation. I've doubled the last to lose a tournament to Se Ri Pak before. You know, it's happened to me before. It's not the first time.”
Creamer said the win was even more special to share with close friends who stayed to watch her finish. Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lang, Cristie Kerr and Irene Coe were the first ones along with caddie, Colin Cann to congratulate her.
“My friends were next to No. 9 across, and Morgan was there in front of my best friends and Brittany and Cristie and Irene, they are all just standing over there,” said Creamer. “I literally looked right at them, because as a golfer, you know, things happen for reasons, and when it went in, it's so neat to have your friends there, and of course Colin, he was just shaking his head.”