First round completed Saturday at Sybase Classic
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Paula Creamer fought the nerves and got through just fine.
It wasn't on the golf course, it was at a fashion show.
"It was great. I had so much fun. It was unbelievable," Creamer said Friday in recapping her modeling experience after heavy rain washed out play at the Sybase Classic. "I wore a really pretty dress. I'm so glad I went."
Creamer attended the show, sponsored by a teen magazine, on Thursday after finishing four shots off the lead with a 1-over 72 in the rain-plagued tournament at Wykagyl Country Club. She had said she was nervous about the show and hoped she would be able to wear tennis shoes on the runway.
"I had heels, maybe 4 inches or 3½-inch heels," she said, "but they were kind of small on me so they really stuck to my feet so there was no way I was going to fall. The runway wasn't very long so it was OK. I walked down and back. I had a great time."
Nobody had a great time at Wykagyl on Friday as the only people on the course had squeegees in their hands.
Heavy rain and a saturated course forced LPGA officials to cancel play after hours of waiting around.
Fifteen players finished their first round Saturday morning and the second round got under way at 7:30 a.m.
"We will finish the first and second rounds, make the cut and then assess the situation for whether we will play 54 or 72 holes," Sue Witters, the LPGA's manager of tournament competitions said Friday afternoon. "The forecast is a little better for tomorrow."
Natalie Gulbis, Beth Bauer and Hee-Won Han had 3-under 68s, and Allison Hanna, Nancy Scranton, Kim Saiki and Teresa Lu had opening 69s before rain and darkness forced suspension of play. Sun Young Yoo was 2 under with one hole left when play was suspended, but she bogeyed the par-5 18th on Saturday and had a 70.
"We're supersaturated at this point," course superintendent Mike Scott said, holding a squeegee on the first fairway. "We've had 3 inches of rain over last four days. We're maxed out because the low-lying areas hold water here. We have 10 guys pushing the water off."
The $1.3 million tournament, with a first prize of $195,000, was shortened to 54 holes by rain in 2000 when Annika Sorenstam won it for the second time.
There was rain throughout last year's final round but Creamer closed her 70 with a 17-foot birdie for a one-stroke victory over Jeong Jang and Gloria Park. The win made Creamer, then 18, the youngest winner of a multiround LPGA event.
Creamer opened defense of her title with a 72, a much more impressive score considering she was 5 over after 11 holes. She again made a birdie on the par-5 18th, this one from 5 feet.
"It's kind of upsetting but there's nothing I can about do, I can't control the weather," Creamer said. "After the birdie and the strong finish, I was really excited for today."
Sorenstam, who missed the cut for the first time since 2002 at the Michelob Ultra Open last week, had an opening 72.
The prospect of having to play 36 holes on Sunday didn't faze Creamer, who turns 20 in August.
"I've always been pretty tough out on the golf course. It's all about grinding," she said. "I like playing in bad conditions, that's when you grind. I would love to play 36 if we're going to be able to do that."
She wouldn't mind if the weather didn't turn perfect, either.
"I won in the rain before and I can do it again," she said. "Bad conditions will let you work your way up the leaderboard."
Shi Hyun Ahn, who shot a 75, was disqualified for not signing her scoreboard. ... The last LPGA tournament to play 36 holes on Sunday was the 2005 Michelob Ultra Open. Cristie Kerr won the event by five shots over Jill McGill.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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