By Ryan Gilchrest, firstname.lastname@example.org | 757-247-4673
9:54 PM EDT, September 9, 2012
At times on Sunday, the two best golfers at the 2012 LPGA Kingsmill Championship looked a lot like average duffers.
The difference? Paula Creamer and Jiyai Shin minimized the fallout from their less-than-stellar moments to remain near the top of the leaderboard.
Creamer started her round on solid footing, with birdies at Nos. 2 and 4. But her second shot on the sixth hole sailed over the green and into a tunnel walkway beneath a nearby road. Her shot from the edge of the walkway landed on the inside edge of a greenside bunker. She chipped on to the green and two-putted for double bogey, dropping her to even par for the round.
"It was an unfortunate mistake," Creamer said. "But things happen. That's golf. If I could go back and hit one less club, I would."
Creamer faced another tough situation later in the round when her approach shot on No. 13 missed the green right and embedded in the soft ground on the side of the elevated green. She was allowed to pull the ball out under the lift-and-clean rules in effect all week due to the damp course, then made a near perfect chip to within six feet to save par.
Creamer birdied Nos. 14 and 16 to take a one-shot lead into the final hole, but took a bogey when she missed a short put on No. 18 and dropped into a tie with Shin that sent the tournament to a playoff.
Shin also had a pair of costly moments.
Her approach to the green on the 10th hole trickled into the rough between a pair of bunkers on the right side of the green. But her chip out of the rough barely made it to the green, leaving her a long par putt, which she missed.
But that was just a prelude to her troubles on No. 11. Her tee shot landed well right, just outside the ropes and directly behind a large pine tree. Her shot out of the rough hit the tree square and ricocheted farther into the rough. She ended up taking bogey on the hole and fell to even par for the day.
She rallied back to 2-under for the day with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, putting herself in position to benefit from Creamer's miss on the 18th.
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