COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—Paula Creamer is once again lurking near the top of a major leaderboard, and her experience as the defending champion could make her a tournament favorite Sunday afternoon in the 2011 U.S. Women's Open at The Broadmoor.
Creamer is five shots out of the lead heading into the final two rounds, both of which the USGA will try to fit into one day in what has been an oft-interrupted, storm-delayed event.
Play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation at 3:59 p.m. local time Saturday and was called for the day at 6:19 p.m. MDT, with 47 players yet to begin their third round.
The third round will resume at 6:45 a.m. MDT Sunday. The fourth round will then begin Sunday afternoon after the conclusion of the third round.
Creamer is tied with five other golfers—Lizette Salas, Wendy Ward, Angela Stanford, Sun Young Yoo and Eun-Hee Ji—at even par after 36 holes.
"I'm very pleased," Creamer said. "I mean, even par. If somebody said, 'Would you take even par after two days?' Yeah, I would."
That group trails leader Mika Miyazato (minus-five), Ai Miyazato (minus-four), I.K. Kim (minus-three), and Ryann O'Toole and Stacy Lewis (minus-one).
Creamer was in a similar situation at last year's U.S. Women's Open at Oakmont. Although she was tied for the lead after 36 holes, the tournament was interrupted by weather delays similar, but not equal to, this year's tournament. She kept her poise and opened a three-shot lead over the field heading into the final round.
While that obviously won't be the exact same road Creamer takes this year, she knows she can't control what those in front of her are doing.
"Like I keep saying, I want that trophy back," Creamer demanded. "I have two more days left. I can only control what I can do out there. I know there are some things that I can get better on, but I have a lot of confidence. I feel really positive out there. This is something that I really want. And I'm trying my ultimate, my hardest that I can possibly try."
When the storms settle—literally and figuratively—Creamer's experience could be the deciding factor. And her best might just be good enough to repeat as the U.S. Women's Open champion.
Flash interview conducted outside the 2011 U.S. Women's Open Media Center at The Broadmoor.