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Creamer wins Fields Open with late rally

Phil Mickelson, Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Donna McWilliam/AP
Second Round of Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Phil Mickelson had a shaky start on Friday, but he made three birdies in a row to finish at seven under.

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — Down two strokes with three holes to play, Paula Creamer knew it was time to get going. And she did.

The 21-year-old Creamer rallied to win the Fields Open for her fifth LPGA Tour title and second in her last four starts, birdieing four of the final five holes for a one-stroke victory over South Korea's Jeong Jang on Saturday.

"It was a great, great finish," Creamer said. "I'll always remember this finish."

Playing her trademark pink ball in the final round, Creamer closed with a bogey-free 6-under 66 for a 16-under 200 total.

After holing a 5-foot putt on the par-4 18th for her third straight birdie, Creamer pumped her arms in the air and smiled as the crowd cheered.

"I went out and won the tournament the last three holes," she said. "I knew I had to make some birdies down the stretch and those were three good holes to make birdie on."

The putt was set up by an aggressive second shot using a 6-iron from 165 yards, over the pond and onto the green, where it bounced twice and rolled to 5 feet. Jang just missed the green from 153 yards, leaving the door open for Creamer.

With Creamer watching closely, Jang's 35-foot birdie putt from the fringe curled left. Creamer then calmly made her birdie.

"I felt confident over it," said Creamer, who tied for 12th last week at Turtle Bay, an event she won last year.

Jang, seeking a wire-to-wire victory, closed with a 69. She had nine top-10 finishes to finish seventh on the money list last year, but failed to win for the first time in three years.

"I really wanted to (win) because I've been waiting for a long time and I have a great feeling and I know I can do it," she said. "But someone's better than me. So maybe next time, I will try better and harder.

Jang said she could sense Creamer's confidence with the putter.

"When she has the feeling, she's going to make all (of them)," she said.

The 2005 Women's British Open champion's 1-foot birdie putt on No. 15 gave her two-stroke lead over Creamer with three holes to play.

"I was thinking that putts are going to have to start falling soon, only have three left," Creamer said.

Michelle Wie shot a 6-over 78 to finish 20 strokes behind Creamer. At 4-over 220, Wie tied for last among the 74 players who made the cut.

Lindsey Wright finished a career-best third at 14 under, birdieing three of the final five holes for a bogey-free 67.

"My goal was to finish fifth," she said. "To contend for a tournament was an awesome feeling."

Annika Sorenstam (68) followed at 12 under, a week after winning the season-opening SBS Open at Turtle Bay last week for her 70th LPGA Tour title.

"It's been a fun two weeks. I'm very happy with the way I've been playing," she said. "It's fun again."

She birdied three of her first five holes to make the turn at 11 under, two strokes behind Jang, but had a costly double bogey on No. 10, followed by three straight birdies, a bogey and a birdie.

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