Paula Creamer cruised to an eight-shot victory, her second of the season and fourth of her career, at the Mitchell Tournament of Champions. Birdie Kim took second place at -12 while Natalie Gulbis, Annika Sorenstam and Pat Hurst tied for third at -10.
Creamer’s -20 final score was one shot short of Lorena Ochoa’s tournament record set a year ago. Paula would have tied that mark if not for a bogey on the final hole, which also snapped a 62-hole bogeyless streak dating back to her front nine on Thursday. The domination and ease of her victory was epitomized at 14 when Creamer dropped a 40-footer in the side door for birdie which must have broken ten feet. Paula was grinning almost apologetically after that putt.
Normally on Sundays I post a “play-by-play” of how the event gets decided but with the outcome never in doubt, that would be a futile exercise today. Instead I’ll just point out the Big Surprise finish of Birdie Kim – only her second Top 10 of 2007 and her best finish since her 2005 US Open victory. Jimin Kang posted 65 today to finish tied for sixth, her best of the year. Jin Joo Hong also finished in the tie for sixth and new mom Hee-Won Han continued her fine return to action with a T10. Sorenstam seems poised to make a stand at next week’s ADT Championship – she easily clinched a spot in that event. Suzann Pettersen and Ochoa both ended up in the Top 10 but neither was within a dozen shots of the winner.
Se Ri Pak withdrew before the final round, presumably related to her hip problem that sent her to the hospital on Wednesday. Lightning did not strike twice for Heather Daly-Donofrio – she finished 27th at +9 and will have to go to Q-School to retain her exempt status. It’s a tough call, so I’m going to share the Big Disappointment honors among three players this week. Morgan Pressel, Mi Hyun Kim and Sherri Steinhauer all finished in the bottom third of the field, and do not appear to be ready for their date at Trump International later this week.