2005: ‘Excited’ Creamer opts for IMG
The Paula Creamer bidding war is over and the path is cleared for her to concentrate solely on her LPGA rookie season. After months of being courted by several major management firms, Creamer, 18, told Golfweek Jan. 17 that she has signed with IMG. Jay Burton will be her manager.
“I’m excited for this to be happening and for it to be going so smoothly,” Creamer said. “I have a great plan ahead of me. I’m in good hands and I’m ready to do this.”
Although Creamer didn’t elaborate, IMG and Gaylord Sports Management were believed to have been the leading candidates for some time. Endorsement deals are in the works and announcements are imminent, according to those close to Creamer.
Perhaps the more interesting news coming from the Creamer camp is that veteran caddie Colin Cann will handle looping duties. (Cann previously worked for Annika Sorenstam, Grace Park and Se Ri Pak.) Cann caddied in December for Creamer at LPGA Q-School – which she won by five shots – but said then that he wished to remain with Pak, his employer for the past four years.
Cann changed his mind during the holiday break, however, and told Pak a few days after Christmas.
“I enjoy working with younger players and enjoy the involvement,” said Cann, who has been on the bag for four major championship victories (two with Sorenstam, two with Pak). “It’s a bit of a gamble but I like a new challenge. Paula has a great head on her shoulders and I see her doing very well. I think she has a great future.”
Said Creamer: “I’m so excited about Colin, we get along great. We know when it’s golf time and we know when it’s fun time. Hopefully we’ll be together for a long time.”
Creamer is in Bradenton, Fla., preparing with swing coach David Whelan for the LPGA season-opening SBS Open Feb. 24-26 in Hawaii. Her schedule then calls for the MasterCard Classic in Mexico and the Safeway International in Phoenix. If Creamer is in the top 15 on
the money list after Safeway, she’ll qualify for the Kraft Nabisco Championship the following week. She already is exempt into the U.S. Women’s Open June 23-26 because she tied for 13th last year. She plans to play 20-22 events.
Among her goals: To make the U.S. Solheim Cup team at Crooked Stick in early September, win a tournament and be named Rookie of the Year.
“The Solheim Cup takes care of everything,” Creamer said. “If you make that, Rookie of the Year, money list and everything else are all in line.”