Samsung World Championship last weekend, Paula Creamer jumped from 5th place to 3rd in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. World #1 Lorena Ochoa has a commanding lead, to say the least, with 18.84 points. Annika Sorenstam still holds the #2 spot with 10.10 points. Creamer just edged out Yani Tseng with 8.83 points to Tseng's 8.82. Suzann Pettersen holds Creamer's old #5 place with 8.53. Cristie Kerr is in 6th with 6.48 and Ji-Yai Shin follows in 7th at 6.18.
Ms Creamer's win at the Samsung was her fourth of the year. She has 13 top tens as well. For the year she's 2nd on the LPGA Tour with 318 total birdies, has hit 70.2% of greens in regulation, and is 3rd in putting with 1.76 putts per green in regulation. With a little more length off the tee, perhaps 10-20 yards, she could make a real go at the top spot over time. She's averaging 246 yards with her tee balls which leaves her 1 to 2 clubs more than Ochoa on her approach shots on par fours and prevents her from reaching many par fives in two shots. She either has to lengthen her back swing, a risky proposition at best, or find length with increased club speed by delaying her release longer on her downswing. At 5'9" she's capable of creating the arc and release to squeeze some more yards. Ochoa has a "Dalyesque" look at the top as if she could look to the left and see her driver head. It's a move she's perfected over a long time period and not one I'd suggest. Works great for her though with her impeccable timing and athleticism. On the other end of the scale is a player like Morgan Pressel, whose skills are the match of anyone, but her anemia off the tee prevents her from having a realistic chance on most pro courses.
Hats off to Paula. She's the bright star in the group of American players at the moment. Things have a way of turning around though as is being seen some on the men's tour. Keep your eyes peeled for the next crop of great young players. They're out there, we just haven't met them yet.