Creamer wins HSBC Women's with wonder-putt
Paula Creamer, pictured during round two of the HSBC Women's Champions golf tournament in Singapore, on February 28, 2014 - by Roslan Rahman
In shades of Tiger Woods at the 2005 Masters, Creamer rolled the snaking putt across the large green, over a ridge, down a slope and straight into the cup to snatch the title from Spain's Azahara Munoz.
The wonder-putt ended a dramatic final day when three-day leader Karrie Webb fell apart over the final holes, leaving Creamer and Munoz to contest the play-off.
"I could stand there all day long and putt that and not get it within six or seven feet, but it just happens sometimes," said Creamer, who ran across the green screaming when the putt dropped.
Creamer was inches from victory when her birdie putt crept wide on the first play-off hole, and on the second she threw caution to the wind and reached the large, sloping green in two, setting up the eagle opportunity.
Soon-to-be-married Creamer, 27, wins her ninth LPGA title and ends a four-year trophy drought stretching back to the 2010 US Women's Open, while Munoz, 26, was left to wait for her second LPGA win.
"I'm shaking, oh my gosh," said an emotional Creamer. "This has been such a long time coming. Obviously it's a bit of luck (the putt) going in like that."
Creamer's putt provided an unforeseeable twist in a tournament which had looked in the bag for Australian veteran Karrie Webb, 39, who led from day one right until the closing stages.
A 41st LPGA title looked a formality for Webb when she held a three-shot advantage over second-placed Creamer, and four ahead of Munoz, when she stroked her second birdie of the day on the par-five seventh.
However, the Hall-of-Famer opened the door when she lipped out a three-foot par putt on 13. Creamer then rolled in a 15-foot birdie on the 15th to lie just one stroke behind.
And the pressure told when Webb, after a warning for slow play, pulled her tee shot into water on the difficult par-four 15th and walked off with a bogey, now level with Creamer on minus 10 for the tournament.
Another errant drive left Webb in trouble on 16. But after hitting sideways onto the fairway from the edge of a bunker, she arrowed her approach to within five feet and escaped with par.
Munoz was still just one shot back from the leaders and when she drained a 12-foot birdie on par-three 17, with Creamer in the clubhouse at 10-under, suddenly it was a three-way tie for the lead with one hole to play.
And after three days in control, the wheels came off for Webb as she took two shots to escape from a bunker on 18, wrenched her approach left and took bogey.
Munoz had a 12-foot, downhill birdie opportunity to win it on 18 but her nervy putt rolled left, taking her back to the 18th tee for what turned into a memorable play-off with Creamer.