Augusta National’s new colors: green and pink

Paula Creamer during the final round of the U.S. Women's Open.

Paula Creamer during the final round of the U.S. Women's Open.

It’s believed to be the first time a pink ball has grazed the exceptionally green grass of Augusta National Golf Club.

“That’s right,” Paula Creamer said, grinning. “It’s been touched with pink.”

Creamer, who is in Mobile, Ala., for the Avnet LPGA Classic, played Augusta National twice last week with her longtime swing coach, David Whelan, agent Jay Burton and Bill Griffin, president of Oakmont Country Club and an Augusta member.

(Small-world note: Griffin is married to Burton’s cousin, the former Lynn Elkins.)

At night, Creamer laid her head down in Butler Cabin.

“I’ve never played a golf course where I smiled the whole time,” Creamer said. “If I hit in a bunker, it didn’t matter because the greatest players ever hit it in that bunker.”

Creamer, who won last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont, was at the Masters as a spectator earlier in the month and returned April 21 for her first tee time. She shot 75 the first go-round from the members’ tees, birdieing the par-3 12th hole with an 8-iron. She then took a trip around the par-3 course, posting a 4-under 23 score. That night, she dined on steak, potatoes, collard greens and black-eyed peas at the clubhouse.

Creamer, a resident of the upscale Isleworth Country Club community of Orlando, Fla., found Butler Cabin tastefully done.

“Here’s your bed; here’s your shower,” she said. “It’s still nice, but it’s not out of control. It’s all about golf.”

The next morning, Creamer had breakfast at the club and mistakenly asked for a menu. There are no breakfast menus. Order what you like.

The second time around, Creamer shot 72. She birdied the 18th hole to leave with an even bigger smile.

On the way out, she ordered a pimento-cheese sandwich – toasted.

“Watching it on TV, and then walking it during the Masters and then playing it: all three so different,” she said.

And special, in their own ways.

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