The Pink Panther Calls Long Distance
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/3/14

Professional golfers Paula Creamer and Azahara Muñoz are no strangers; they faced off twice during the 2013 Solheim Cup back in August, with the Spaniard winning on Day 1 and the American winning on Day 2. But Creamer got her last victory way back at the 2010 U.S. Women's Open — the same year that Muñoz won the LPGA Rookie of the Year race in a runaway.

On Sunday, the two started on the top page of the HSBC Women's Champions leaderboard, with Muñoz T-3 and Creamer close behind alone in fifth place. At the end of regulation play, the two were headed for a playoff, Muñoz having shot 69-72-67-70 = 278 and Creamer having gone 67-73-69-69 = 278. Australia's Karrie Webb, already in the World Golf Hall of Fame but still a consistent winner, missed the playoff by a mere shot.

The playoff took place at the par-5 18th. After both Creamer and Muñoz made par on the 73rd hole, the drama went into overdrive. On the second playoff hole, Creamer absolutely nuked her second shot with a fairway metal and found the green, but left herself way to the right of the flagstick. Muñoz took the high-percentage route by wedging onto the green in three, leaving her ten feet for birdie.

But first, Creamer had this slippery, downhill 75-footer for eagle:

Below is longer video of the conclusion, which is every bit as dramatic:

It is truly a shame that some casual sports fans regard women's golf as second-rate, compared to the men. Those were not two freakishly lucky shots; Creamer is exceptionally talented and has virtually every shot in the proverbial bag. And like Muñoz, the "Pink Panther" also has plenty of experience playing in pressure-cooker situations.

Paula, we won't forget that putt, either. Not for a long time.

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Images via HSBC Women's Championship

[ comments ]
DougE says:
So happy for her. I loved her reaction. She is SUCH a sweetheart.
mmontisano says:
i've played this course a couple of times and the green are really tricky. bad day on the greens both times.

i was there on Friday, just behind the 9th and 18th green, and i was amazed at how well these ladies putt.
[ post comment ]
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