Lorena Ochoa Lorena Ochoa opens strong at HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship

Lorena Ochoa breezed through the first round of the LPGA Tour's HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship yesterday, defeating South African Ashleigh Simon in a 6 and 5 and five victory at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y.

The world No. 1 women's golfer was one of 32 players to advance to the second round, and her trouncing of Simon ties the event record for the largest defeat, held by Annika Sorenstam, who went six and five over Brittany Lang in the third round in 2006.

"It was a good day," Ochoa told reporters after her round. "I think in match play, it's always important to get off to a good start. I hit a good putt on the second hole; it was a long putt, probably 25 feet, and I started one up. It gave me good momentum."

Sorenstam also advanced. She needed 20 holes to defeat Australian Katherine Hull, seeded 62nd, but the win tied her with Marisa Baena for most career victories at the tournament: seven.

"It was a thriller. There was a lot of drama out there," Sorenstam told the media. "We played some good golf, especially the last - well, the back nine. It was birdies back and forth. It was tough. I missed a few shots, but overall I think I played really well, putted well and hung in there."

The biggest surprise of the day was 63rd seeded Charlotte Mayorkas' defeat of Karrie Webb. It was the biggest upset in tournament history since 62nd-seeded Laurie Rinker defeated third-seed Lorena Ochoa in the first round in 2005.

"I was hitting the ball well and putting the ball well, even when she was three up, and just tried to stay consistent," Mayorkas said.

Brittany Lincicome and Juli Inkster, last year's finalists, also fell in the first round.

July 20, 2007

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