- The Washington Times - Monday, July 14, 2008

SYLVANIA, Ohio | Just like the last two weeks, Paula Creamer didn’t play well in the final round of a tournament.

This time, she didn’t have to.

Creamer shot a 2-over 73 Sunday and did just enough to make a big lead stand, going wire-to-wire to win the Jamie Farr Classic by two strokes.

“I learned you have to stay in your own world,” Creamer said after capturing her seventh career win and third this year. “It doesn’t matter what other people do until you’re walking down the 18th fairway.”

Two weeks ago, while near the top of the leader board at the U.S. Women’s Open, she shot a 78 to finish in a tie for sixth. Last week at the tour stop in Arkansas, she shot a 74 to fall out of contention.

Given another chance, she always seemed to come up with a clutch shot when it was most needed.

Asked what she was thinking as she approached the final green to a huge ovation, she said, “It’s over!”

Then she added, “You try to soak it up because you never know when the next one is going to be.”

Creamer, who won $195,000, had worse scores every day after breaking the tournament record with an 11-under 60 in the first round. She followed that with a 65 and a 70 to finish at 16-under 268, two shots better than Nicole Castrale, who closed fast with a 64.

The 21-year-old Californian said it wasn’t easy.

“After you shoot 60, I swear, it’s the hardest thing. Anything over that and you feel like you’re shooting 85,” Creamer said, laughing. “Everybody’s saying, congratulations, congratulations. But you’ve still got three days left.”

Ahead by four shots at the start, Creamer was fortunate to get away with a bogey on the first hole after chipping out of a bad lie with her tee shot. She had seven pars in a row until reaching the par-4 ninth, where her approach flew over the green. After getting a free drop so she wouldn’t hit the grandstand on her backswing, she hit a flop shot that stopped about 10 feet away. She pumped her right fist - just as she had on the long bogey putt at No. 1 - after rolling in the par-saving putt.

“That was huge,” she said. “That was a great up-and-down. That was probably the biggest moment of the day.”

Perry victorious in playoff

SILVIS, Ill. | Kenny Perry beat Brad Adamonis and Jay Williamson in a playoff to win the John Deere Classic and escape with his third victory in five starts after bogeying the 18th hole.

Perry had a one-stroke lead at 17 under through 17 only to lose it thanks to some poor shots from the fringe on the final hole of regulation. He and Williamson then watched as Adamonis, the PGA Tour’s oldest rookie at 35, missed an 18-foot putt for birdie that would have won it in regulation and given him his first victory.

The ball stopped three feet short, and Adamonis was at 16-under 268 with the others.

While Adamonis and Williamson both hit approach shots into the pond on No. 18, Perry tapped in from 16 inches for par and the victory after his 24-footer stopped just short.

He’s enjoying the best stretch of his career and collected $756,000 with his 12th victory. Perry (1-under 70), Adamonis (70) and Williamson (69) were one stroke ahead of Charlie Wi (69), Will MacKenzie (70) and Eric Axley (69) after 72 holes.

Williamson earned an invitation to the British Open and, unlike Perry, accepted it.

McDowell wins in Scotland

LUSS, Scotland | Graeme McDowell won the Scottish Open with three straight birdies on the back nine for a 3-under 68 and a two-stroke victory.

Phil Mickelson shot a 73 and finished 11 shots off the lead in a tie for 38th.

McDowell trailed Simon Khan by two shots until Khan double bogeyed the 12th. McDowell then birdied the next three holes to move ahead and went on to win with a total of 13-under 271 at Loch Lomond.

Rhoden sets celebrity mark

STATELINE, Nev. | Rick Rhoden birdied the last two holes to win a record seventh American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, edging four-time champ Dan Quinn on the shores of Lake Tahoe, where they have been rivals for 18 years.

Rhoden dropped a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to shoot a 2-under-par 70 and total 68 points in the modified Stableford scoring system, one ahead of Quinn and four ahead of Tony Romo and Grant Fuhr at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

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