ORLANDO, Fla. – Before hopping into her black Range Rover to head to a photo shoot, Paula Creamer took out the trash. She also laid out the ingredients for that night’s dinner (maple-braised pork chops) on the kitchen counter. The woman who grew up in a pink cocoon – coddled by loving parents, an entourage of supporters and fans from around the globe – even cleaned up after her rescue puppy, Tank, who chewed her patio furniture, but thankfully, not her Christian Louboutins.
“I never went to college, so my parents and I never had that separation,” said Creamer, a nine-time winner on the LPGA who purchased her nearly 4,000-square-foot home in the upscale Isleworth community two years ago. “It was time for me to grow up, do things a normal person has to end up doing.”
Creamer, 24, could step out onto her back patio, tee up a ball and hit the roof of her parents’ villa. But that’s not the point. She needed space. And while most 24-year-olds find that in an apartment filled by roommates and hand-me-down furniture, Creamer’s talent affords her upscale, “matchy-matchy” taste in a neighborhood of all-stars. As the only LPGA player who ...
BOCA RATON Fla. –The small silver trophy blends so effortlessly into the vast lime green space that a visitor might overlook it. There, between a pair of funky white chairs that Pressel bought to freshen up her home, sits the 2007 Kraft Nabisco replica.
Pressel, 22, became the youngest player to win a major championship at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days. Her youthful energy can be seen around the edges of the nearly 6,000-square-foot home that she bought fully furnished last March. Pressel slowly has been working her way around the house, adding a few modern twists.
An architecture junkie, Pressel finds a passion and delves headlong into it, whether it’s cameras, interior design or golf. She’s sharper than most, having missed only one question on the math portion of her SATs.
Pressel moved into Boca’s posh St. Andrews community at age 8. When her mother, Kathy, died of breast cancer in 2003, Pressel moved in with her grandparents a mile down the road. She lived there until last year.
“Moving out has been great,” said Pressel, who resides on the same street where she lived with her parents. “I’m able to relax more ...
Yani Tseng just wants to talk. The LPGA’s No. 1 player wants “all the people” to know her story. She wants, in essence, to be embraced by the world.
From a distance, that might sound arrogant. But put in the context of the LPGA, where international players – particularly Asians – grow stronger each year, and the message becomes more about language and cultural understanding than self-promotion.
“I want them to know I can speak English, so they can talk to me,” Tseng said at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix, the tour’s first domestic stop in 2011. “Don’t be afraid to talk to me, because I’m very easy to get close to.”
Indeed, Tseng’s hearty laugh and genuine personality makes those around her relax. She’s 22, wide-eyed and impressionable. And, after starting 2011 with four consecutive victories, she’s riding high with confidence.
“She’s loving life,” said Tseng’s swing coach, Gary Gilchrist.
Immediately after wrapping up LPGA Player of the Year honors at the Tour Championship last December, Tseng got up early Monday morning and went to an English class. The Taiwan native spent three weeks working on vocabulary and grammar ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – Gary Gilchrist was instructing Yani Tseng’s opponent when he watched the compact 15-year-old from Taiwan win the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. Gilchrist was at Golden Horseshoe in Williamsburg, Va., to watch his pupil, Michelle Wie, but he remembers being impressed by Tseng’s game.
Tseng was 4 down to Wie, then a 14-year-old phenom, in the morning round of the 36-hole match before winning, 1 up.
“You could see how she just kept fighting her way back,” Gilchrist said. He remembers Tseng, then 5 feet, 4 inches, outdriving the 6-foot Wie on several holes. Tseng won with a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole. “She just got over it and – boom! – in the back of the hole. That showed me she was determined to be a great player.”
Tseng and Gilchrist started working together in December 2009. Gilchrist’s goal with Tseng was to help her keep the club in balance throughout the swing.
“I feel like I have more control,” Tseng said. “I trust myself more.”
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Two-club drill: Keep club in balance
To help teach Tseng the proper takeaway and wrist hinge, Gilchrist had her make practice swings while holding a ...
Five newcomers to watch as they begin the ’11 season living out their LPGA dreams:
Credentials: Became the youngest player to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur, at age 14 in 2006; finished runner-up in three other USGA championships; two-time Curtis Cup participant.
Reason to watch: Kim has as much natural talent as any other rookie on tour. Success at such a young age made it difficult to manage expectations and stay motivated. She keeps us guessing.
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Credentials: Runner-up at 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur; represented USA on victorious Curtis Cup team last summer; cruised through LPGA Q-School to earn her card at age 17.
Reason to watch: Jessica, daughter of tennis champ Petr Korda, has a sparkling personality and a game that matured tremendously last year. She naturally attracts people.
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Credentials: Completed a USGA trifecta in 2009, winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and earning low-amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Reason to watch: Song donates one-third of her winnings to charity, a practice she started on the Futures Tour, where she won two ...
By Beth Ann Baldry
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Maru Martinez fist-pumped her way to the finish line Dec. 3 at the final stage of LPGA Q-School. She’d somehow stumbled into “the zone.” After opening the last round with a pair of bogeys, Martinez rattled off seven birdies over the next 16 holes to shoot 68 and finish third.
Meanwhile, Paige Mackenzie – who was paired with Martinez – hobbled into the scoring tent at LPGA International’s Legends Course after a closing 77. When yet another par putt slid past the cup on the 72nd hole, Mackenzie put on one of those I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening smiles. It was her third three-putt over the last four holes and her fifth of the day.
Luckily for Mackenzie, she’d built enough of a cushion over the four previous rounds to survive a meltdown. The Washington grad tied for 12th with Aram Cho, Erica Blasberg and Ashley Hoagland to nab one of the final four cards for the 2007 season. Fifteen players earned exempt status for next year, the lowest number since 2000, when 14 cards were handed out.
“I’m relieved I didn’t hang myself because it felt like it,” said a teary-eyed Mackenzie ...