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Killeen Seeks First Win

June 20, 2004|From Associated Press

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Winless in 12 years as a pro, Denise Killeen moved closer to ending her drought Saturday, shooting a six-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

Killeen was at 12-under 130. First-round co-leader Giulia Sergas was two shots back, with Cristie Kerr and 17-year-old amateur Paula Creamer four shots off the lead.

Killeen played error-free golf while playing partner Sergas birdied three of the first four holes, taking a two-shot lead.

After shooting even par for five holes, Killeen made short putts for birdie on the sixth and eighth holes, and then finished with a flourish. She birdied the last four holes for her second consecutive 65.

A little bit of luck helped.

On the 17th, her pitching wedge approach shot hit the fringe and the ball seemed to hug it, following the semicircular cut and then rolling downhill toward the hole, coming to rest three feet from the pin to set up an easy birdie putt.

"Once those good things start to happen, you try to build on them," said Killeen, who has played bogey-free golf.

Since joining the tour in 1992, Killeen has never finished better than a tie for fourth. She has missed the cut in four of 10 events this year. But Saturday, she had a rooting section -- 6-year-old son, Drew, and 4-year-old daughter, Kaleigh.

"My 6-year-old, this is the first day he wanted to come out and watch me," Killeen said.

Creamer, a high school senior playing with her boyfriend as her caddie, had nine birdies -- including five in a row -- en route to a 64.

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