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Creamer birdies 18, makes final round

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 19, 2006


WEST PALM BEACH - Paula Creamer walked to the 18th tee knowing par would get her into a playoff for the last spot in the ADT Championship's final round.

Making birdie, however, eliminated any need for drama.

Creamer's 4-foot putt on Saturday's last hole ensured she would be one of eight players competing for a $1-million first-prize check at the LPGA Tour's season-ending event. But Creamer said she didn't spend her day fixating on the chance to play for the money.

"Today was more about getting yourself there," Creamer said. "And once you get yourself there, then you can think about it."

Il Mi Chung (65) was at 9-under 207, one shot better than Julieta Granada (69) and Mi Hyun Kim (65). Ai Miyazato was 7-under, and Karrie Webb was fifth at 6-under. Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and player of the year Lorena Ochoa were 4-under, completing the eight-woman final-round field.

Today, though, all those scores get wiped away, and the eight survivors play an 18-hole shootout for the biggest winners' share in LPGA history.

"It's just like playing tied for the lead in the last round," Webb said, "except that there's eight of us tied for the lead."

It's a $1.55-million total purse, but second place is worth $100,000 and third $20,500.

"It's going to be an exciting Sunday," Creamer said.

Jeong Jang (70) fell short of the final round by one shot, finishing at 3-under. Diana D'Alessio, Juli Inkster and Cristie Kerr were at 1-under. Hee-Won Han and Se Ri Pak were 1-over, Morgan Pressel was 4-over, and Wendy Ward shot 83 to miss the cut by 12 shots.

JAPAN: Tiger Woods birdied the final hole for 2-over 72 and was tied with Padraig Harrington at 6-under 204 after a rain-drenched third round at the Dunlop Phoenix in Miyazaki. Woods, who started the day with a one-stroke lead over Harrington, hit a 5-wood from 247 yards, then sank an 18-foot birdie putt to finish the day.

ASIAN-EUROPEAN: Jose Manuel Lara shot 4-under 66 for a four-stroke lead at 14-under 196 after the third round of the Hong Kong Open. Defending champion Colin Montgomerie's chances for a back-to-back victory at the tournament faded after he shot 70 for 5-under 205.

ELSEWHERE: Jason Bohn, a third-year PGA Tour pro, shot 7-under 65 at Spyglass Hill for a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach (Calif.) Invitational. He is at 13-under 203. ... Nathan Green shot 1-over 73 and held a one-stroke lead at 5-under 211 after the third round of the Australian Open in Sydney.

PGA Q-SCHOOL: Bob Heintz of Dunedin and Lithia's Mike Bradley tied for seventh at the tour's second-stage qualifier in Dade City to advance to the finals on Nov. 29. They finished at 13-under 276. Kelly Sellers of Bartow (278) tied for 16th to also make the cut. At Kingston, Texas, Gulfport's Kyle McCarthy and Tampa's Mike Sposa tied for 18th to make the cut with four-round scores of 3-over 291. Q-School finalists are assured 2007 status on either the PGA or Nationwide tours.

RETIREMENT: Matt Gogel said the 2007 AT&T National Pro-Am in February will be his last PGA Tour event. Gogel, 35, won the 2002 event. In 2006, he finished out of the top 125 for the first time in his seven-year tour career.