Paula Creamer unveils U.S. Senior Women’s Open trophy, pays tribute to predecessors

USGA/John Mummert

Paula Creamer unveils U.S. Senior Women’s Open trophy, pays tribute to predecessors

LPGA Tour

Paula Creamer unveils U.S. Senior Women’s Open trophy, pays tribute to predecessors

Gasps filled the room when Paula Creamer unveiled the trophy for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open on Friday night in Miami Beach.

Creamer won’t be eligible to compete in the event until 2037, but the current LPGA standout relished the chance to watch LPGA Hall of Famers light up at the sight of the grand sterling design. 

“They should’ve had this event many years ago,” said Creamer, “but at the same time it’s happening now, and you have to embrace it.” 

Creamer and Amy Alcott took a selfie with the trophy during the U.S. Golf Association’s Annual Meeting. The inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open will take place July 12-15 at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill., and Pat Bradley, Alcott and Betsy King are among those who plan to compete in the 120-player field. 

Participants must be 50 years old and have a handicap index not exceeding 7.4. Sectional qualifying sites will take place throughout the country. Seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port and three-time U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champ Diane Lang are among the amateurs who plan to earn their spots via qualifying.

Creamer, a 10-time winner on the LPGA, has two trophies on display at her home in Windermere, Fla.: a replica from her 2010 U.S. Women’s Open victory at Oakmont and one from her most recent title at the 2014 HSBC Women’s Champions. 

“I definitely have a newfound respect for what goes into a trophy as well,” said Creamer, who described Nicholas Winton’s design as both feminine and strong. It took the Englishman one year to complete.

Bradley, a six-time major winner, said she’s had the Senior Women’s Open on her calendar for 17 years. 

“I once thought I might miss my tee time,” she quipped.

Nancy Lopez believes walking 72 holes might be too tall of a task after recent knee surgery. The competitor in Lopez didn’t want to play just to play.  

“I always say I’m a country club girl now,” she joked.

But the show won’t go on without the American icon at least on the first tee. The USGA has asked Lopez to serve as a starter that week.

Creamer marveled at the site of a blank USGA trophy. Her idol, Juli Inkster, will be a heavy favorite to have her name etched into history. The 57-year-old still competes regularly on the LPGA in between television commentating and her duties as U.S. Solheim Cup captain. 

The significance of Friday’s unveiling was not lost on 31-year-old Creamer, who understands fully that her fruitful career would not exist without the tenacity of previous generations. It also made her eager to win again. 

“It was really special to be a part of that,” she said on her way out of town. “That’s something that I will remember forever.” 

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