The Solheim Cup, the Ryder Cup-type competition for women professionals, will tee off on Friday in Halmstad, Sweden. The three-day team competition pitting U.S. players against European players will feature foursomes, four-ball and singles matches.
Leading the Americans into action will be the ebullient Paula Creamer, the top points earner on the U.S. team. In Creamer's first Solheim Cup appearance as an LPGA Toour rookie in 2005, she posted an impressive 3-1-1 record in a U.S. victory.
Creamer won her third LPGA Tour title at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay in February, and is currently No. 7 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.
Last week Paula answered my questions about the current season and her plans and goals for the near future.
Armchair Golf: What are your 2007 highlights (so far)?
Paula Creamer: This year has been pretty good overall so far. I'm glad to have gotten back in the winner's circle -- and early on! I'm also pleased with the number of times I've put myself into contention this year. Of course, playing at the Old Course at St. Andrews for the Ricoh Women's British Open was a big highlight of the year so far.
Armchair Golf: Twenty years from now, what do you think will be your top memories from your first tournament at St. Andrews?
Paula Creamer: I think the fact that my 21st birthday fell on the Sunday (final round) will always remain with me as a terrific memory. The scoreboard at the 1st/18th hole had a happy birthday wish for me, which was special!
Armchair Golf: You had great success in your first Solheim Cup. What is your approach to match play and team competition?
Paula Creamer: I love team competitions, but more importantly, I love representing the USA! Even though we all have our individual matches, we are one as a team. That's pretty cool.
Armchair Golf: What part of your game needs the most attention right now? What are you working on?
Paula Creamer: Iím working a lot on my short game. Chipping and putting.
Armchair Golf: This is year three as a pro. What have you learned this year that you didn't learn in your rookie and sophomore seasons?
Paula Creamer: Iím getting a lot better with my time management now.
Armchair Golf: How many more events do you plan to play this year?
Paula Creamer: I don't know the exact number off the top of my head, but I think I have about eight or nine events left.
Armchair Golf: What are your plans for the off season?
Paula Creamer: Keeping myself fit, visiting some friends and family, getting my new home in order, working on my game.
Armchair Golf: Fill in the blank. Next year in golf I want to ...
Paula Creamer: WIN MAJORS!
Armchair Golf: Just to do some in-depth reporting on your favorite color, do you have any preferred shades of pink or do you like them equally?
Paula Creamer: Any shade of pink is fine with me! It's such a great color.
Armchair Golf: Any other comments?
Paula Creamer: GO USA!