All apologies to Don Adams and his most renowned quote from the TV series Get Smart, but this certainly applies to the trials of Paula Creamer.
Heading to the 18th hole at the Kingsmill Championship, Creamer held a one shot lead over Jiyai Shin. Considering that the 18th had played as the 3rd hardest hole for the final round, the chances of Shin making a birdie were slim at best. Creamer only needed a par provided that Shin parred as well. That’s all that stood between Creamer and a two-year winless drought.
Same could be said for Shin, but that matter was out of her hands. It all rested on Creamer and her putter.
Shin would make her par on the tournament’s 72nd hole. All Creamer had was a five-footer for her par. The ball ever-so-slightly dove off to the side of the hole, forcing a playoff as Creamer brushed in her bogey putt. That would not be the last critical par-putt Creamer would miss.
In fact, many chances were lost in seeing either player take home the win during an eight-hole playoff on Sunday evening. After the 8th time playing the 18th hole and dwindling daylight, bith players made their way back to the 18th to attempt to play the 18th one more time. As Creamer and Shin arrived at the tee box, both acknowledged that there was not enough light in order to play.
So…it was come back this morning to continue.
It didn’t take long for a winner to emerge. The manner was eerily similar to how the tournament got away from Creamer’s grasp.
The site on this occasion was the 16th, not the 18th. Both players made the green in regulation. Creamer was approximately 30 feet away while Shin was about half that distance from the cup. Creamer was first to putt and even though her ball grazed the side of the cup, she was left with a six-foot par putt. As was the case the previous evening, Creamer was unable to sink her par saver leaving the door open for Shin, who was also in the midst of two years without a win.
Unlike Creamer, Shin was able to convert her putt and take home top honors.
The “loss” was obviously disappointing to Creamer. It could be heard in her voice as she tried her best to hide her disappointment while conducting an interview.
But things are looking up for Creamer. She has made every cut this year. She also has five top-ten finishes this season. Sure, her Rolex Ranking has fallen due to not notching a win, but you have a feeling that drought is not far from being snapped.
And when it does, the tears you see will not be from disappointment, but from jubilation.