Paula Creamer replaces Jessica Korda on U.S. Solheim Cup team

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Paula Creamer replaces Jessica Korda on U.S. Solheim Cup team

LPGA Tour

Paula Creamer replaces Jessica Korda on U.S. Solheim Cup team

She’s back. Paula Creamer, a player who has bled red, white and blue for more than a decade, will bring her special brand of grit to another Solheim Cup. Captain Juli Inkster announced on Tuesday that Creamer will replace an injured Jessica Korda in next week’s matches in West Des Moines, Iowa.

For Inkster, the reason was simple. Because Korda could be replaced up until pairings were announced next Thursday, Inkster wanted to make sure she put the name of an experienced player in the envelope.

“I didn’t know when Jessica was going to make this announcement, and I just felt Paula, if she had to come in Wednesday night and tee it up Friday that she could handle that,” Inkster said. “I needed the experience. I needed someone that was not afraid to step in at that point and contribute to the team.”

Inkster made her two captain’s picks – a couple of rookies in Austin Ernst and Angel Yin – on Sunday after the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Korda, who qualified on points, sent her captain a text later that Sunday evening to call her. Inkster called on the drive to Edinburgh around 11:30 p.m., and learned that Korda would not be able to play.

Korda made the announcement, with Inkster’s blessing, via Twitter the next day.

Creamer, 31, is a veteran of six Solheim Cups (the U.S. won four of those) dating back to her rookie year in 2005. She boasts a 14-8-5 career record. Inkster said she didn’t have anybody else in mind for the job.

“Been a bit of a roller coaster, that’s for sure,” Creamer said. “You know, I played really hard these last couple of weeks, and I’ve tried to give it a big push as much as I could … you never want to hear somebody say you’re not picked.”

Creamer qualified for the Women’s British last Monday and then closed with a 69 for a share of 16th place at Kingsbarns Golf Links. She finished 16th on the Solheim Cup points list, behind several other players who didn’t make the team, including Angela Stanford, Marina Alex, Mo Martin and Jennifer Song.

Two years ago, Creamer relied on a pick from Inkster to make it to Germany and then rose to the occasion, going out in the first match on Friday and anchoring a nail-biter of a singles session on Sunday.

A confident Creamer said she’s in an even better place than she was two years ago.

“It was a different experience because I knew my game at that point going into Solheim, it wasn’t my best,” she said. “I definitely wasn’t showing any good scores right around then. I know I missed the cut before at the Canadian Open and I was just distraught and devastated, and now I’m in a place where I’m in total control of my own game. I feel so confident. It’s just a very different situation, and in terms of where I am at mentally and also physically.”

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