American Paula Creamer kisses the HSBC Women's Champions trophy after winning the title in a playoff with Spain's Azahara Munoz on Sunday in Singapore. - EPA
SINGAPORE (AFP): Paula Creamer thanked the "man of my dreams" for her return to winning ways as she ended the longest drought of her golfing career in thrilling fashion in Singapore.
Creamer sank a wondrous, 75-foot eagle putt on the second playoff hole yesterday to win the $1.4mil (RM4.6mil) HSBC Women's Champions, her first since the 2010 US Women's Open.
In between, the nine-time Tour winner has undergone difficulties relating to thumb surgery, with low points including a jolting defeat on the ninth play-off hole to Shin Ji-Yai at the 2012 Kingsmill Championship.
But on Sunday, boosted by her pilot fiance Derek Heath, a new swing thought and extra practice on Sentosa Golf Club's testing greens, she eked out a fabulous play-off win over Spain's Azahara Munoz.
"It has everything to do with it," said Creamer, when asked what role her relationship had played in the victory. "I am in such a good place, I am blessed with what I have, I'm blessed with what I've been given.
"It's a lot of hard work, there's a lot of up and downs but Derek just makes me so happy, he makes me want to be better... I've had a lot of expectations and to have met the man of my dreams, basically, you can't take anything away from that.
"That's 100 percent the reason I'm sitting here today, the way that I am. He makes me happy and allows me to play better golf."
Creamer said a new swing thought devised by her coach mid-tournament had done wonders for her game as she came from four shots back on the final day to overhaul three-round leader Karrie Webb of Australia.
And she said hours of extra practice on the slick, undulating Singapore greens had set up her putting performance on Sunday, culminating in the snaking 75-footer.
"I'm glad there were so many photographers and cameras there, I can relive the moment over and over again," said Creamer, who was overcome by emotion when the putt dropped.
"It would be fun to show my kids one day - 'See what your mom did!'"