Lorena Ochoa Lorena Ochoa knocks Sorenstam from top spot in Rolex Rankings

Despite there being no LPGA Tour event last week, Lorena Ochoa overtook Annika Sorenstam as the No. 1 women's golfer in the world yesterday in the Rolex Rankings.

Ochoa moved 0.14 average points ahead of Sorenstam, making her only the second player to hold the No. 1 ranking in women's golf since the rankings were introduced last year and Sorenstam surged to the top spot.

Ochoa could have wrestled the ranking away earlier this season with wins at the Kraft Nabisco Championship or Ginn Open, but she came up short at both. However, top-10 finishes in five of six starts this season, including a win at the Safeway International, were enough for Ochoa to realize the climb to No. 1 she started last year.

Ochoa had a brilliant 2006 season, winning six times and capturing her first LPGA Tour Player of the Year award, shifting her pursuit of reaching No. 1 from dream to achievable reality.

"I have been dreaming of getting to that position for many, many years," Ochoa said. "I have been getting closer and closer with each year. Finally this year, it could happen. I am right there, close and playing good. I am going to keep it going and get to the top."

That Sorenstam has been off the LPGA Tour with a back injury and won't return for at least three weeks has helped Ochoa. And Ochoa could extend her lead over Sorenstam this week with another good finish at the Corona Morelia Championship in her native Mexico.

A strong performance looks likely, judging by her past play in Mexico. At last year's Corona, Ochoa shot three straight rounds in the 60s, including a course-record 64 on Saturday, for a five-shot win.
"For me, it's like a U.S. Open, being able to play in my country and win in front of my people," she said at the time.

April 24, 2007

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