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First round completed Saturday at Sybase Classic

5/20/2006 - Golf

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."

Divots
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.

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