With seven victories - including the Women's British Open - and a record $3.36 million in money won this season, Lorena Ochoa has supplanted Annika Sorenstam as the world's No. 1 female golfer.
But judging from her runaway victory in last week's Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions in Mobile, Ala., 21-year-old IMG Academy School graduate Paula Creamer may be ready to challenge Ochoa's dominance in 2008.
Creamer, who has $1.36 million in earnings, can vault over Suzann Pettersen into the second spot by claiming the $1 million first prize at this week's season-ending ADT Championship at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
Her wire-to-wire, eight-stroke victory from past U.S. Open champion Birdie Kim, achieved with a 20-under-par score of 268, serves notice she is at the top of her game. Creamer, who also won the SBS Open at Turtle Bay in Hawaii, joined Ochoa and five-time winner Pettersen as the LPGA's only multiple 2007 champions.
"Ever since (the) Solheim Cup (in which she led the United States to victory against Europe in Sweden), I really started coming around," Creamer said in her post-tournament interview at The Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove. "It just seems like somebody has always been playing better than me.
"I gave myself a lot of chances. I stayed really confident with myself, and I believed I could do it. I feel really confident, and I would love to take this momentum into (this) week," she added.
The Tournament of Champions was the fourth career victory for Creamer, who recorded an LPGA-best streak for 2007 of 62 consecutive holes without a bogey.
Creamer has flair, charisma and style, traits she developed as a decorated amateur while training at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy on the IMG Academy campus (she still visits regularly with DLGA director David Whelan to sharpen her game).
She's not afraid to let her colors show - golf's "Pink Panther" won Sunday for the first time using her trademark pink Precept Lady iQ 180.
"All of my other tournaments that I won have been with the white ball," Creamer noted. "So this was a little extra added pressure I put on myself, but I'm glad I won with my pink ball."
This is one of those rare weeks in professional golf when the women have the spotlight to themselves. The format for the 32-player ADT Championship has been tweaked slightly from last year, when Julieta Granada - another former DLGA-Bradenton student and, like Creamer, a 2005 graduate of The IMG Academy School - walked away with the million dollars.
Granada did not qualify this year.
The field will be cut to the top 16 after Friday's second round, and players will start the third round with a fresh scorecard. The top eight in Saturday's round advance to Sunday's shootout, in which all players again start from scratch.
In addition to Creamer, Ochoa, Pettersen and Sorenstam, the field includes Mi Hyun Kim, Sarah Lee, Stacy Prammanasudh, Jee Young Lee, Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr, Angela Park, Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome, Nicole Castrale, Maria Hjorth, Jeong Jang, Se Ri Pak, Christina Kim, Ai Miyazato, Laura Davies, Inbee Park, Laura Diaz, Sherri Steinhauer, Shi Hyun Ahn, Reilley Rankin, Sophie Gustafson, Meaghan Francella, Catriona Matthew, Seon Hwa Lee and Natalie Gulbis.