Sybase gets thumbs up from Paula

Golf fashion icon Paula Creamer has given this months’ Sybase Match Play championship, the thumbs up.

Golf fashion icon Paula Creamer has given this months’ Sybase Match Play championship, the thumbs up.

And so too has the six foot, former child sensation Michelle Wie

The duo, who were among the 44 LPGA golfers who qualified to play in this months’ Sybase Match Play championship by dint of their positions on the World Ranking list, both confirmed on Monday that they would be teeing off in the elite, limited-field event at the Hamilton Farm Club at Gladstone in New Jersey on May 19.

“I’m looking forward to the Sybase Match Play Championship,” said Wie, who finished second in the Honda LPGA Thailand Open earlier this year.

“Last year, I made the quarterfinals, and this year, my goal is to do all the way.”

Also entered are World No 1 Yani Tseng, the leading money winner on the women’s tour this year, and defending champion Sun Young Yoo, who posted her first LPGA Tour win here last year by beating Angela Stanford in the final of the Sybase Match Play Championdhip..

Stanford is also back in this year’s running along with stellar notables like veterans Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb, US young gun Morgan Pressel, Korea’s young World No 2 Jiyai Shin and Cristie Kerr, at No 5 the highest ranked of the Americans in the field..

“We are the best field we can be, “The tournament’s executive director, Andy Bush, said Monday at media day.

“We are all very excited.”

Tournament officials also have a sponsor’s exemption left to give out.

Among those who might merit consideration are Natalie Gulbis and 16-year-old Alexis Thompson, who shared the lead entering the final round of this past weekend’s Avnet LPGA Classic before faltering with a closing 78 and missing out in her bid to become the tour’s youngest winner.

“Last year,” Bush said, “when we announced it in late January and scheduled it for May, we didn’t quite get to do everything we wanted to do,”

“This year has been outstanding. We have a lot of new partnerships to make the event even stronger.”

“The event is very healthy and very strong. We hope that sometime this summer we can announce a longer future outside our current commitment through 2012.

During April, more than nine inches of rain fell on the course, but tournament officials said it is drying out and they do not expect it to present any problems during the event .

Creamer claimed her first LPGA Tour career victory at the 2005 Sybase Classic when it was still a stroke-play event and has subsequently had additional success with a tie for third with Wie in 2009, when the event was held at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton.

“It will be such a great tune up for the Solheim Cup,” enthused Creamer, who has had two top five finishes this year.

“I have a great relationship with Sybase and such great memories of winning my first LPGA event with them as the sponsor.”

The top 10 players in the current US. Solheim Cup point race have all entered for the Sybase match play battle Bush said.