Lorena Ochoa defended her Sybase Classic title yesterday for her first LPGA Tour victory since overtaking Annika Sorenstam atop the Rolex Rankings last month.
The world No. 1 women's golfer defeated Sarah Lee by three strokes at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J.
"It was a great day. I had a feeling this morning. I woke up, and I was feeling really good, ready to go and very excited to start playing," Ochoa told reporters. "I think the key was to get a good start and make a few birdies on the front, and you get a good rhythm for the back."
Beginning the day two strokes behind Lee, Ochoa surged for a bogey-free final round 68 and her 11th victory. The $210,000 winner's check makes Ochoa the 10th golfer in tour history to exceed $7 million in career earnings. She is 10th on the tour's all-time career money list.
Ochoa is sitting out this week's Corning Classic, but she will compete in the upcoming Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika to prepare for the second major of 2007, the McDonald's LPGA Championship.
"I am not going to put any pressure," Ochoa said of winning a major. "I am going to try to enjoy and win as I always try to do. I think I am ready for a major. I think it's something we all want to get, and I think I am ready. Hopefully, it will happen this year, and not one time, a few times."
Ochoa will be hard to beat if she continues playing as she did this weekend. Her 18-under 270 total tied the best 72-hole score on a par-72 course this season.
Going for her first LPGA Tour title, Lee was in a good position Sunday morning, but a few bad breaks and a brilliant Ochoa cost her the tournament. Lee's bad luck started on the second hole, where her approach hit the flagstick and rolled off the green. She bogeyed the hole.
Se Ri Pak closed with a 6-under 66 for third place, and her playing partner Brittany Lang tied for fourth with World Golf Hall of Fame member Juli Inkster.
May 21, 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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