WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Paula Creamer was cleared by doctors to play the final round of the LPGA Tour’s season-ending ADT Championship on Sunday morning, keeping alive her hopes of winning the yearlong money title.
Creamer was admitted to Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, Fla., on Saturday night, after enduring abdominal pain for three days.
She arrived at Trump International on Sunday about an hour and 15 minutes before her 9:40 a.m. tee time.
“I’ll play,” Creamer said quietly as she tied her shoes in the parking lot. “Feeling a little better.”
She warmed up for more than an hour, something she hadn’t been able to do in recent days. Creamer spent about 25 minutes on the putting green, a half-hour on the driving range, then back for a few more minutes on the green. She walked to the first tee in her customary pink final-round outfit – but not a pink ball, a break from her tradition.
Creamer rubbed her stomach and seemed uncomfortable at times during the warmup, but exhibited no problems on the first tee, waving to fans and checking the layout of pin locations before starting play.
Creamer began feeling ill Wednesday night, originally thinking it was a flu-like virus, and was barely able to eat anything for three days. Creamer got through Saturday’s third round by nibbling on two pieces of dry toast and a plain bagel, and often doubled over in pain after hitting shots.
“The best position for me is hunched over,” Creamer said Saturday before going to the hospital. “I’m not a big complainer, but one more day – that’s what I keep telling myself.”
Creamer is one of eight women in Sunday’s field of the double-cut tournament, which started with 32 players on Thursday and was the final LPGA event of Annika Sorenstam’s Hall of Fame career.
The ADT winner gets $1 million, which would be enough for Creamer to supplant world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa for the money title and become the first American to finish atop the list since Betsy King in 1993.
If Creamer can win Sunday, she’ll beat Ochoa by $41,457 for the crown.
“Money title or not, I want to win this event,” Creamer said Saturday before going to the hospital.
The other players in Sunday’s field were Suzann Pettersen, Seon Hwa Lee, Jeong Jang, Ji-Yai Shin, Karrie Webb, Angela Stanford and Eun-Hee Ji. Of those, only Creamer and Webb had played in the $1 million final round at the ADT previously; Creamer was third last year and Webb finished third in 2006.
Pettersen shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday, the best score of the third round, a fact that was meaningless on Sunday morning. Just as they were before the third round, all scorecards were erased before Sunday’s play, making it an 18-hole shootout for the biggest winner’s check – by far – on the LPGA Tour.