Creamer Wins Going Away


2006 Mitchell Co. Tournament of ChampionsMOBILE, Ala. -- The Pink Panther won in style.
Paula Creamer, complete with pink outfit, hat and ball, ran away with the Tournament of Champions on Sunday, winning by eight strokes.
'All of my other tournaments that I won have been with the white ball,' Creamer said. 'So, this was a little extra added pressure I put on myself with that, but I'm glad I won with my pink ball.'
The 21-year-old Californian closed with her second straight 4-under 68 to finish at 20-under 268 -- a stroke off the tournament record set last year by Lorena Ochoa.
'I wanted to break the record,' Creamer said. 'It definitely was a goal of mine. But especially in the middle of the round where I started making some birdies and had something to go for. You know, it is kind of a bummer that I didn't get it. But at the same time, I will take it. It's a win.'
Creamer earned $150,000 for her second victory of the year and fourth in three seasons on the LPGA Tour. She joined Ochoa (seven) and Suzann Pettersen (five) as the only multiple winners on the tour this year.
'I gave myself a lot of chances,' Creamer said. 'I stayed really confident with myself, and I believed I could do it. I was a little nervous going in with a six-shot lead, but still, a lot can happen out on the golf course, especially here.'
Birdie Kim (68) was second at 12 under, and Annika Sorenstam (70), Natalie Gulbis (68) and Pat Hurst (72) tied for third at 10 under in the event for tournament winners from 2004-07 and active Hall of Famers. Pettersen (72) joined Jimin Kang (65) and Jin Joo Hong (73) at 8 under, and Ochoa (70) was 7 under.
Creamer, the SBS Open winner in February, nearly had her third straight bogey-free round, but dropped a stroke on the par-4 18th -- a hole she birdied the first three days -- after driving into a difficult lie in a fairway bunker. The bogey was her first since the ninth hole Thursday, a span of 62 holes.
She birdied the final seven holes Thursday for a 67 and shot a 65 on Friday to open a five-stroke lead.
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