Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Eighteen-year-old amateur Paula Creamer posted a two-under 70 on Sunday to cruise to medalist honors at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. She finished at 11-under-par 349 and won by five over Lee Ann Walker-Cooper and Young Jo.
Creamer planned to wait until the end of the week to decide whether to turn professional or not. She had status on the Futures Tour, but college was an option. With this victory, Creamer now knows what lies ahead.
"We had so many backup plans," said Creamer, a semifinalist in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. "But this really takes the pressure off. I'm very happy the way it turned out.
"I didn't think of it as qualifying for the LPGA," admitted Creamer. "I went and played golf. I didn't really think of anything else and did my thing out there."
Walker-Cooper posted a three-under 69 on Sunday and joined Jo, who shot a final-round, even-par 72, at six-under-par 354.
Cathy Johnston-Forbes (70), Emily Bastel (72) and Celeste Troche (72) shared fourth place at minus-four.
The top-30 players received exempt status on the LPGA Tour in 2005, but there was some drama to find the last six spots. Seven players were tied at two- over-par 362 and it took three playoff holes to determine who got their cards for next season.
Mee Lee, Joellyn Erdmann-Crooks, Beth Allen, Ji Yeon Lee, Angela Jerman and Dina Ammaccapane earned their playing privileges. Leslie Spalding was the odd woman out and she will not have exempt status in 2005.
Spalding did earn conditional status as did the next 35 players. So many of the players that fell into that bracket already had conditional status and were in the field trying to improve that. Since four players had medical exemptions for next year and four more had status, only two players, Mollie Fankhauser and Becky Lucidi, did not receive any type of status.
Eva Dahllof (69), Sae-Hae Son (70) and Beth Bader (75) shared seventh place at three-under-par 357. Sung Ah Yim (71) and Bernadette Luse (72) tied for 10th place at minus-two.