Paula Creamer sank a 75-foot eagle putt on the second playoff hole against Azahara Munoz to win the HSBC Women’s Champions yesterday for her first LPGA title since the 2010 US Women’s Open.
Creamer’s putt curled across the 18th green and then rolled slowly down the slope and directly into the hole. She ran across the green, then fell to her knees and put her head on the ground, laughing and pounding the grass.
“It’s one of those putts where if you just get it in the right spot, it’s going to fall down,” she said. “But I could stand there all day long and putt that and I don’t think get it within six, seven feet.”
Creamer and Munoz finished 72 holes tied at 10-under 278, ahead of Karrie Webb who led after every round, but bogeyed three of her last six holes, giving up a three-stroke lead and finishing at nine-under.
Creamer, who trailed Webb by four strokes at the start of the day, has had a number of top-five finishes since her breakthrough win at the US Women’s Open, but had not been able to capture another title.
“This has been such a long time coming,” she said.
Webb appeared headed for a comfortable victory, but after avoiding trouble on a tricky Serapong course at Sentosa Golf Club for much of the week, she stumbled late.
The Australian’s three-foot par putt on the 13th caught the edge of the hole and curled away. Then, she hooked her tee shot left on the 15th, grimacing as it dropped into the water. She settled for bogey on both.
She came undone on the 18th when another errant tee shot ended up in a bunker and she needed two shots to get out.
“I’m a bit in my head right now,” Webb said after the round. “Just not a lot of good decisions.”
Creamer and Munoz were steady in the closing holes.
The American made a difficult 12-footer for birdie on the 15th to pull even with Webb at 10-under. Then, after hitting into the bunker herself on No. 18, she recovered to save par and headed to the clubhouse to wait for Munoz to finish.
The Spaniard, who had trailed by five strokes early in the round, came out of nowhere to join the leaders by sinking a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th. She had a chance to win it on the 18th, but pulled her birdie putt wide.
Taiwan’s Teresa Lu finished with a share of ninth on 283 after shooting a 75 yesterday.
Yani Tseng and Candie Kung finished on 292 and 298 respectively after they hit rounds of 74.