Paula Creamer built on her strong closing round at last weekend's SBS Open by shooting a 66 yesterday in the first round of the Fields Open. Creamer, who was the defending champion at the SBS, shot a final-round 69 there despite a bad cold. The strong finish lifted her into 12th place.
Creamer tries for a second Hawaii win
A bad cold landed SBS Open defending champion Paula Creamer in bed last weekend, forcing her to play the final round in guarded condition.
But that closing 69 that left her in a tie for 12th in the first event of the LPGA Tour season was something she drew upon yesterday at the Fields Open at Ko Olina.
Her opening-round 66 left her atop the leaderboard for most of the day, before 2005 Women's British Open winner Jeong Jang tracked her down with an 8-under 64 late in the afternoon.
Creamer said during yesterday's round the wind started in one direction and ended in another. She still managed only one bogey and seven birdies, including three to close her round with a 31 on the front side (her back nine), to put her in contention to win her second tournament in the island chain in two years.
"I'd love to win twice in two years in Hawaii, that would be great," said Creamer, who conceded she wasn't herself until Tuesday. "I'm starting to feel better the last two days. I was sick Friday night. I mean, I couldn't move. I mean, it was pretty bad."
So how did she shoot a 69?
"I don't know," Creamer said. "I just kind of went out there. I guess my mind wasn't really thinking about golf. It was more thinking about how many more holes left, that kind of thing. No, I hit the ball so good on Saturday, I kind of tried to take that momentum into this week because I didn't really get to do much earlier on in the week. I just tried to take that confidence with my irons."
Creamer hit 14 fairways and 14 greens in regulation. She needed only 26 putts, putting her in a good position entering the weekend.
Defending champ struggles
knew she had to go low yesterday to have any chance at defending her title. And while she shot a respectable 2-under 70, it left her in a tie for 32nd, six shots off the pace of Jang.
"My driver was atrocious, which is terrible to say because these fairways are so huge," Prammanasudh said. "I hit one fairway on the front, which was my back. I just have to go and get on the range and figure this out. I'm hitting my irons well when I give myself a chance. I made some putts and birdies on par 5s when I needed to."
Conditions weren't bad when Prammanasudh -- who was paired with Annika Sorenstam (70) -- teed it up. But her problems began and ended with her driver.
"We're going to have a serious talk at lunch and see what his problem is and figure it out afterward," Prammanasudh said.
Inside the numbers
The closing hole proved to be the most difficult yesterday with a scoring average of 4.318. There were only 12 birdies, 79 pars, 38 bogeys and nine double bogeys. For the tournament, there were only 36 doubles all day, showing how tough the hole played.
The easiest hole was the par-5 14th, where there were three eagles, 50 birdies, 76 pars and nine bogeys for a scoring average of 4.659. The average score yesterday was 71.92. There were 10 eagles and 458 birdies for the round.