Thursday, April 03, 2008

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — If there is a youth movement on the LPGA Tour, this might be the best sign. Paula Creamer is considered the best player to have never won a major. And she's only 21.

Other players have more than her five victories, such as Mi Hyun Kim (eight) and Hee-Won Han (six), but none without a major has been as consistently good as Creamer. She is No. 3 in the world and has won over $1 million in each of her three seasons.

Unlike others with that label, Creamer seems to embrace it.

"I think it's nice that I have that much ability in people's eyes to win majors, as much as they believe in me to do that," she said. "So that's exciting. At the same time, I'm trying my hardest. It's not like I want to sit here without a major win. That's something I've always wanted to do, and to be the No. 1 player in the world is something that I want to work as hard as I can to get.

"I know if I win a major and I win some more tournaments this year, I'll have a chance at that eventually."

Two other candidates removed themselves from the list last year. Cristie Kerr won the U.S. Women's Open, and Lorena Ochoa followed with a victory in the Women's British Open for her first major. Both were in their 20s.

The men usually have to wait a little longer.

Tom Kite was the first to be tagged as the best without a major, languishing 15 years and piling up 16 victories until winning the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach when he was 42.

Now, however, there is a case for Sergio Garcia, who is only 28.

Creamer has only twice seriously contended in a major. She was one shot out of the lead going into the final round of the 2005 U.S. Women's Open and closed with a 79. A year ago, she was one shot out of the lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship until she shot 40 on the front nine on her way to a 78.

"I definitely want to win a major," she said. "And this would be a great week to start this out."

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