Creamer shares 36-hole lead at Oakmont
OAKMONT, Pa. – Paula Creamer shares the 36-hole lead at the U.S. Women’s Open. The big question, of course, is whether she can maintain that position, and earn her first major championship.
There are two obstacles standing in her way: her surgically-repaired left thumb and history when contending at the Open.
Creamer shot 1-under 70 Saturday to tie Sakura Yokomine for the lead at even-par 142. Creamer had to play 16 holes Saturday after the second round was delayed due to rain. The third round will resume Saturday afternoon.
Creamer is playing her fourth tournament since having surgery in April to repair a torn ligament and a joint in her left thumb. Creamer’s thumb is taped while she plays. She iced it almost immediately after signing her card Saturday.
“(The rough) is pretty nasty for anybody, especially for me with my one hand over here,” Creamer said. “If I’m in the rough, I’m not trying to be a hero.
"My hand gets tired after each round. Today should be interesting. I’ve never played this many holes, so we’ll see how it feels this evening.”
Creamer was one shot off the lead through 36 holes at last year’s Open, but shot a third-round 79 to end her chances. In 2008, she began the final round one behind leader Stacy Lewis, but stumbled to a 78 and ended up tied for sixth.
Creamer finished seventh in her return from surgery at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, but struggled since. She tied for 42nd at the LPGA Championship, then missed the cut last week at the Jamie Farr.
She said the injury has taught her patience, something that has helped cope with a difficult Oakmont setup.
“I had to be patient my whole time. You get your cast off, and the first thing you do is want to put a golf club in your hand,” Creamer said.
“I think that I have learned a lot in these last couple months about myself and what I want, and I know that I can get in my way. I think that I have matured over these last couple months. It shows.”