"It was just a really good day, one of those days when things are easy and really good. There was only a little bit of a breeze and I took advantage of that and made some birdies," Ochoa told reporters. "I had in my head 2 or 3 under so it's even better than I thought."
Ochoa had a bogey-free round on an historic day for women's golf. This is the first time that a women's professional event has been played on the Old Course.
Speaking before the event, LPGA Tour star Annika Sorenstam, who finished the day at 1-under, called it a watershed moment.
"It is a big step for women's golf," Sorenstam told reporters. "For us to play a championship like that at St. Andrews … I remember when I played as an amateur, there was a sign out there that said, 'No dogs or women allowed.' Hopefully they'll take that out for the week. For us to be able to go there now, I think it's going to be great for women."
Ochoa has 12 career LPGA Tour victories, but she is still pursuing her first major title. She came in this year's majors, finishing in the top 10 in each, but has never been able to seal victory.
Ochoa will have her work cut out for her, as Louise Friberg and In-Bee Park are only two strokes behind. Brittany Lincicome also had a strong round, and Michelle Wie, who has been struggling with a wrist injury all season, finished the day tied for 16th.
"I thought it was somewhat disappointing and somewhat successful," Wie told the media. "Unfortunately, on the back nine I was unlucky with a couple of bounces and my second shots got left with some really tough putts. Overall, I felt like it was a really solid round."
August 3, 2007
Anyone looking back at the final scores of the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's will almost certainly come to the wrong conclusion that this was a comfortable three-shot win for Catriona Matthew. It was anything but as the seemingly imperturbable Scot struggled to hit a fairway throughout the final round and was only rescued by some superb recovery shots and a bunch of astonishing long putts.
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