Creamer supports Connelly at LPGA Q-School

Paula Creamer (right) watches Stephanie Connelly Wednesday with Stephanie's mother, Alicia.

Paula Creamer (right) watches Stephanie Connelly Wednesday with Stephanie's mother, Alicia.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Plenty of golf fans have shown up in a Paula Creamer gallery through the years, but Stephanie Connelly may be one of the few who has seen Creamer return the favor.

Creamer braved the cold weather Wednesday to watch Connelly, a junior golf buddy, during the first round of LPGA Q-School at LPGA International. Creamer, nearly unrecognizable in long double braids, oversized sunglasses and – of course – pink Ugg boots, spilled the beans on Twitter early Wednesday morning, announcing to her more than 24,000 followers, “on my way to watch @GolfinStephieC play at q-school!”

Connelly, however, was in the dark until she saw Creamer on the course.

“I didn’t know she was coming today. I knew she was coming out this week but ... no, I was surprised,” she said. “It’s always nice to have your friends and family supporting you.”

For Creamer, LPGA International should spark some good memories. Creamer won Q-School by five shots in 2004 as an amateur.

As for Connelly, a 2009 Central Florida graduate, this is her second Q-School go-round. After winning the LPGA Sectional Qualifier in Venice, Fla., Connelly finished last among those who made the cut at the final stage of Q-School last year. She had 16 starts on the Futures Tour in 2010, but had only one top 10. After winning the rain-shortened Maryland Open in October, Connelly played an event on the Moonlight Tour last week to prepare for Q-School.

“I feel just a lot more prepared and more calm,” Connelly said of her second attempt at Q-School. “I was still nervous, but it’s just good to have the experience. It’s five days, one bad shot, it doesn’t matter. You have to play for five days, so patience really is the biggest thing.”

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