Eleven years after winning the U.S. Women’s Open for her only major title, Paula Creamer received a special exemption into the same event this year.
The U.S. Golf Association made the announcement Monday ahead of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, June 3-6.
Creamer, 34, will get to play in the major close to her hometown of Pleasanton, Calif.
By winning the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh, Creamer earned a 10-year exemption into the event. That decade-long perk ended last year, when she couldn’t play at Champions Golf Club in Houston due to a wrist injury.
“I really want to give a huge thank you to the USGA for allowing me to play this year,” Creamer said on a conference call Monday. “You know, it was very difficult not being able to go and play last year in the Open, and I was pretty bummed about it, so to be able to have this exemption for me and to come in and play, it means the world, especially in the Bay Area.”
Creamer has been sidelined due to her ailing wrist and the coronavirus pandemic, keeping her out of LPGA Tour competition since October 2019.
“The pandemic hit, and I hate to say it, but for me it was almost a blessing in disguise,” she said. “Not playing in the U.S. Open and not playing in tournaments last year was not the easiest of decisions, but right now sitting here I have practiced a lot, more than I think I have in a very, very long time, and I don’t feel any pain, which to me, it’s worth it right now.”
Creamer, who has played in some mini-tour events, will make her official return at the Pure Silk Championship at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, Va., from May 20-23.
She has 10 career LPGA Tour wins, the most recent coming at the 2014 HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.