Creamer Seeks Third Win Solheim Spot


2005 Safeway ClassicPORTLAND, Ore. -- Paula Creamer is trying to find something new to occupy her mind away from the course. The LPGA Tour rookie has had enough of that typical teenage pastime: shopping.
The night before the Safeway Classic in Portland, Creamer was planning to get her nails done. Then she was going to try to get some rest.
Such is the life of a 19-year-old who has already won twice on the LPGA Tour, is all but assured Rookie of the Year honors and has surpassed $1 million in earnings.
Im trying to find a hobby that I can really do and just get away, she said. I havent found it quite yet, but shopping is taking a toll on me, so I need to find a new one.
The rookie phenom said Thursday shes looking for more than just a new pastime. She wants a place on the U.S. Solheim Cup team. Although shes pretty much a lock for the team, Creamer is acting as if its no done deal.
Its been a goal since I hit my first professional ball in Hawaii, she said.
With Annika Sorenstam taking some time off, Creamer has the spotlight at the LPGAs Safeway Classic, which starts Friday at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
Its one of six full-field events remaining on the LPGA schedule and one of two tournaments before the U.S. Solheim Cup team is named.
The official word will come Aug. 28 after the Wendys Championship in Dublin, Ohio. Cristie Kerr is top in Solheim Cup points, followed by veterans Meg Mallon and Juli Inkster. Creamer ranks eighth.
The top 10 players qualify for the team, and captain Nancy Lopez gets two additional choices.
I need to still play my way in, definitely, Creamer said. I mean, theres two weeks left and anything can happen in those two weeks. Its very important to play well, definitely.
Creamer, who turned 19 earlier this month, won last week in the NEC Karuizawa, making her first appearance in a Japanese LPGA event.
She became the second-youngest first-time winner in LPGA Tour history'and the youngest winner of a full event'when she took the Sybase Classic by one stroke in May. She also won the Evian Masters in July.
Despite graduating from high school only three months ago, Creamer is second on the money list behind Sorenstam. Creamer is the youngest and quickest player in LPGA Tour history to earn $1 million.
Because of scheduling conflicts, Sorenstam wont be playing in this event on the 6,327-yard, par-72 course, where she won in 2002 and 2003.
Last year, South Koreas Hee-Won Han birdied the 18th hole at Columbia Edgewater to pull even with Canadas Lorie Kane, then birdied the same hole again to win the playoff for her third LPGA title.
Han hopes to repeat this week.
Ive had a couple of chances of winning, but I didnt, she said of this season. I started to play well this week and next week last year, so maybe Ill find my swing again.
The field of 144 includes 23-year-old Birdie Kim, the South Korean who halted Sorenstams Grand Slam bid by winning the U.S. Womens Open with a bunker shot on the final hole that dropped for birdie.
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