Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pink Panther tames Oakmont

2010 Women's US Open Champion, Paula Creamer, efficiently worked her way around storied Oakmont shooting 72-70-70-69 for a 4 day total of 281 (-3). I don't know what is more amazing-the fact that she won by 3, was the only player under par, or that she won her first major just over 3 months after major hand surgery. I had no doubt that Paula would one day win a major....I just didn't think it would be right now! Oakmont was a bear and she handled it beautifully.

One of the keys to her successful championship Sunday started early in the morning when Paula stuck a hybrid to within 6 feet and birdied the 18th hole to finish round. Finishing the round with a birdie at one of the most challenging holes on the course, which gave up only 5 birds in round 3, was crucial to ensure a positive outlook heading to the final round.

Paula's biggest downfall in the past had been lack of patience at majors and putting together 4 good rounds. This year, she displayed complete mental strength and control and stayed committed to her pre-planned strategy of how to play the course. The words of advice she received from the great Arnold Palmer "Stay away from 3 putts and keep your head down" helped her finish strongly and hoist the trophy at the end of the day.

The look on Paula's face when she holed out and won was priceless. You could see the elation, relief, excitement and surprise all in one moment. Her performance was a joy to watch. Paula's positive influence was made clear with her words to the young girls in the audience as she asked them to follow their dreams and let them know they too could be standing on the 18th green one day holding the US Open trophy.

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