Field of 8 set for LPGA's ADT Championship finale

Saturday, November 18th 2006, 3:23 pm

By: News On 6

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Paula Creamer walked to the 18th tee knowing par would, at worst, get her into a playoff for the last spot in the ADT Championship's final round.

Making birdie, however, eliminated any need for drama.

Creamer's 4-foot putt on Saturday's last hole ensured she'd be one of eight players competing for a record $1 million 1st prize check at the LPGA Tour's season ending event. But Creamer said she didn't spend her day fixating on the chance to play for the money.

``Today was more about getting yourself there,'' Creamer said. ``And once you get yourself there, then you can think about it.''

Il Mi Chung (65) was at 9-under, 1 shot better than Julieta Granada (69) and Mi Hyun Kim (65). Ai Miyazato was 7-under through three rounds, and Karrie Webb was alone in 5th at 6-under. Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and player of the year Lorena Ochoa were all 4-under, completing the eight-woman final-round field.

On Sunday, though, all those scores get wiped away, and the eight survivors tee off at Trump International all tied at even-par, playing an 18-hole shootout for the biggest winners' share in LPGA history.

It's a $1.55 million total purse, but 2nd place is worth $100,000 and 3rd $20,500.

``It's going to be an exciting Sunday,'' Creamer said.

Only 32 players qualified for the event, and of those, 16 reached the pressure-filled 3rd round. Saturday, the field got cut in half once again.

Jeong Jang (70) fell short of the final round by 1 shot, finishing at 3-under. Diana D'Alessio, Juli Inkster and Cristie Kerr, who took double-bogey on the par-3 17th to fall out of contention, were at 1-under. Hee-Won Han and Se Ri Pak were 1-over after the 3rd round, Morgan Pressel was 4-over and Wendy Ward shot 83 to miss the 3rd-round cut by 12 shots.

With Kerr not reaching the final round, that means only two players, Ochoa and Webb, remain in contention for the tour's money title.

Both would claim it with a win; if neither emerges victorious Sunday, Ochoa takes the crown.

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