Trophy Lake Golf & Casting
Port Orchard, Wash.
June 17-20, 2002

Creamer begins title defense with narrow opening-round lead

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. - Erik Olson of Renton, Wash., and Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, Calif., claimed first-round leads Tuesday at the AJGA PING Junior at Trophy Lake, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Trophy Lake Golf & Casting.

The 54-hole stroke play tournament, one of five AJGA tournaments sponsored by PING, includes 84 players from 12 states, Canada and Malaysia, and runs through Thursday.

Olson, 18, is off to a hot start as he begins his final summer before moving on to the University of Washington. Despite chilly, rainy conditions, Olson avoided costly mistakes as he fired a 5-under-par 67 to take a four-stroke lead following the first round.

"I hit the ball well and kept it out of trouble," said Olson, who hit 17 greens in regulation. "That's huge - it's so tough to make pars when you're missing greens out here."

When Olson's tee shot on the first hole rolled into a divot, he figured it was going to be a tough day. Instead, he hit a 9-iron from the divot to eight feet and drained his birdie putt. With three birdies, an eagle, and no bogeys, Olson was able to build a sizable lead over the rest of the field.

Tarik Can of Douglaston, N.Y., is alone in second place after shooting a 1-under-par 71. Five players share third place at even-par 72, including Darren Schwartz of Westlake Village, Calif.; Todd Sapiro of Chandler, Ariz.; Chris Scott of Valley Springs, Calif.; Christian Akau of Waipahu, Hawaii; and Eric Hastings of Spokane, Wash.

In the Girls Division, Creamer is on the right track as she seeks to defend one of her three AJGA titles from 2001. With an opening-round, 1-under-par 71, Creamer holds a one-shot lead.

After a slow start, the 15-year-old Creamer made the turn at 1-over-par, but caught fire on the back. While the rain was at its worst, Creamer made four birdies to take over the Girls Division lead.

"I'm pretty tough in these weather conditions," Creamer said. "It's the same for everybody, so I just kept mentally tough and fought through it."

Even on the front side, where Creamer made no birdies, she felt she played well.

"I gave myself birdie opportunities, but I didn't make the putts," she said. "I told myself to stay patient. On the back, the putts started falling for me."
Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana of Long Beach, Calif., who finished runner-up to Creamer one year ago at Trophy Lake, is tied for second with Katie Brophy of Spokane, Wash., at even-par 72.

The PING Junior at Trophy Lake will continue Wednesday, with tee times at 7-9 a.m. off the first and 10th tees. For more information, please contact the AJGA headquarters at (360) 874-8337.


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