It’s been more than a year since golf fans have seen Paula Creamer in action on the LPGA Tour, but the 36-year-old made her return to competition at this week’s Dana Open in Toledo, Ohio.
Creamer, one of the LPGA’s biggest stars since making her pro debut in 2005, made only one cut in seven tournaments last year before taking time off for maternity leave in July. She welcomed her daughter, Hilton, in January, joining a number of other new moms on the LPGA Tour.
For Creamer, returning to Ohio and the site of her 2008 victory to start her comeback just felt right.
“I love coming to Toledo, so this is a great spot and return for me to start my comeback after maternity,” she said. “I’ve had such great memories here. I’m kind of all over the place with my scores and how I finished, but I love coming to Toledo. I also knew that was going to be a comfortable place to start. I know the golf course so well. So that kind of played into the fact, too. Mentally and physically, my body, I knew I was ready now.”
With a new baby comes a renewed sense of motivation for Creamer. She said that her practice sessions have become shorter and more efficient by necessity, and having someone to play for other than herself has provided a new sense of focus.
“I just feel very in control of my golf game, very motivated,” she said. “It’s a different mindset than I think what I’ve had in the past, and I truly believe that is also because of Hilton. Just you feel stronger I think as a mom. I definitely want to play well for her, not only for myself.”
With 10 wins on her resume — including a major championship, the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open — Creamer has already had what many would consider a highly-successful and fulfilling career. But she says she isn’t satisfied yet.
“I’m back to try and get some better golf in, and the day that I want to step away is my decision, not because of golf or any of that,” she said. “It would be because of my insides, what I feel out here.
“It would be very easy to step away from the game right now and be content with my career, but I definitely want to do a lot more.”