If the Solheim Cup was next month, not this fall, and you’re Captain Juli Inkster is Paula Creamer one of your two captain’s selections to make the team? Before you holler a resounding, “Of Course!” Let’s look at some numbers.
Paula Creamer is struggling on the golf course these days, more accurately, this year. She has played in nine events and has just one top ten, barely. A tie for tenth at the Kia Classic is it for that category in 2015. She has almost as many over par rounds (13) as under par rounds (17) and the last four times she has teed it up in competition she’s hit it 310 times including two 78’s and an 82.
This year she is out of the top 40 on tour in driving distance, greens in regulation, putting average, birdies, sand saves, sub par holes and scoring average. She’s also on the outside looking in as far as an automatic qualifying spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team is concerned. Creamer is currently 11th a full 31 points behind Morgan Pressel who is in the eighth and final spot. The next two Solheim Cup uniforms would automatically go to the players, not already qualified, who claim the highest spots on the Rolex Rankings. Right now that’s Angela Stanford and Lizette Salas, not Paula Creamer.
There is plenty of time for Paula to turn it around, everybody will play as hard as they can through The Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August and then see where they stand. There are also like seven majors between now and then (actually three) that offer double points. But if, by then, Paula Creamer is still on the wrong side of the Red, White and Blue fence Juli Inkster will surely consider the following facts when deciding which player among “the rest” to add to her team.
Paula Creamer has played on every U.S. Solheim Cup team since turning pro in 2004. The first three (’05, ’07, ’09) were wins thanks in huge part to Paula. She went 8-2-4 overall and was 3-2-1 when paired with her would be 2015 captain. It’s true the U.S. Team lost in 2011 but it wasn’t Paula Creamer’s fault as she went 3-1-1. As triumphant as those numbers are Inkster must also pay attention to some warning signs because her most recent Solheim Cup performance have been equally disastrous. 1 win and 3 losses in four matches during the 2013 Match that included a 5&4 drubbing at the hands of Young Euro star Charley Hull in singles. It was the second straight Solheim Cup singles Sunday that saw Paula shake hands early (two years before Catriona Matthew took her to the woodshed beating Creamer 6&5 at Killeen Castle in Ireland). That adds up to 1-4-0 in her last five matches. Inkster would be crazy not to consider those numbers when considering Paula and we all know Juli is anything but crazy.
Still the overall Solheim Cup good outweighs the bad and unless Paula Creamer fails to break par between now and August (unlikely) or decides to give up the game altogether (less likely) it would be a better than even money bet in Las Vegas that Captain Juli Inkster will echo your earlier “Of Course!” And put Paula on the team.