18 Year olds qualify for LPGA Tour
Six months from high school graduation, Paula Creamer earned her LPGA Tour card on Sunday by closing with a 2-under 70 for a five-shot victory in the qualifying tournament.
The 18-year-old Creamer entered qualifying school as an amateur and waited until the end of the week to figure out what she was going to do. The decision became simple at LPGA International where she hovered around the lead all week and pulled away in the final two rounds.
``This hasn't sunk in yet,'' Creamer said. ``I'm really thrilled and I'm really anxious to get started.''
The five-round tournament was the culmination of a great summer for the 6-foot blonde from Northern California. She tied for second at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, missing a playoff by one shot. Creamer also shared low amateur honors with fellow teenager Michelle Wie, tying for 13th at the U.S. Women's Open.
She did not miss a cut in any of the seven LPGA events she played this year. Creamer also reached the semifinals in the U.S. Women's Amateur and the U.S. Junior Girls, along with earning a pivotal point for the United States in its Curtis Cup victory in June.
Creamer is finishing her schoolwork this month at Pendleton School in Bradenton, part of the Leadbetter Academy. Her class graduates in May.
``This summer helped a lot,'' Creamer said. ``Every week I was very consistent. I really feel I can play out there.''
Among the 30 women who earned their cards was another 18-year-old, Brittany Lincicome, who held the first-round lead at the U.S. Women's Open this year. She closed with a 68 on Sunday and tied for 20th.
Creamer previously earned her card on the developmental Futures Tour. If she did not get her LPGA card this week, she had considered either going to college or playing the Futures Tour.
``We had so many backup plans,'' Creamer said. ``But this really takes the pressure off. I'm very happy the way it turned out.''
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