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Thumbs up for Creamer

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Paula Creamer, who withdrew from last week's Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic with an injured left thumb, was one of the first players out on the course for Monday's practice round at the 64th U.S. Women's Open. The 22-year-old Creamer, who is seeking her first major championship, went off the first tee at Saucon Valley Country Club at 8:39 a.m.

Creamer, who had two cortisone shots in her injured thumb last week, the last one four days ago, also missed the Wegmans LPGA tournament the week before in Pittsford, N.Y.

The top-ranked American in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings at No. 4, Creamer played 18 holes on Monday morning. It was the first time in four days she hit balls, said her caddie, Colin Cann.

'All I can say is today was promising, and in another two or three days her thumb should be better and her game better, too,' said Cann. 'Her putting should be really good.'

That's because all Creamer was able to do over the weekend was putt and chip. Creamer plans to play another nine holes on Tuesday and Wednesday, but won't play a full 18 until Thursday's first round. Creamer was just one shot off the lead heading into the final round of last year's U.S. Women's Open, but double bogeyed the second hole at Interlachen and shot 78 to tie for sixth place. The eight-time LPGA winner has finished no lower than 19th in her last five U.S. Open appearances.