Lorena Ochoa Lorena Ochoa wins Wegmans LPGA in playoff

Lorena Ochoa exorcised her playoff demons Sunday by defeating South Korean rookie In-Kyung Kim on the second extra hole of the LPGA Tour's Wegmans LPGA.

"I had a good feeling, and I was trying to be patient," said Ochoa, whose eagle on No. 17 of the Locust Hill course was instrumental in forcing the extra holes. "It was very special. I will remember that day for the rest of my life and winning my first playoff."

Before yesterday, Ochoa's record in playoffs was 0-4. The victory pushed her 2007 earnings to more than $1.5 million. This is nearly $500,000 more than her nearest rival, Norway's Suzann Pettersen, who has two wins this season: the LPGA Championship and Michelob Ultra Open.

Kim's second place finish was her best performance of the year. Her previous best was a tie for fourth at last month's Corning Classic. Kim finished tied for 21st at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago.

"I can cry right now, but I'm not going to cry for this," Kim told the media. "I played really tight with the No. 1 player, and I'll take that experience. Next time I'm never going to let it go."

Mi Hyun Kim finished third at 7-under-par, and Cristie Kerr was fourth. Kerr had held the first round lead going into play Friday.

Defending champion Jeong Jang of South Korea finished tied for fifth with Lindsey Wright.

This is Ochoa's second Wegmans LPGA title in three years and her third win this season. Ochoa is still pursuing a major, and her performance this weekend has to make her a favourite going into the U.S. Women's Open.

"This is really a good turning point, winning a playoff," Ochoa told reporters, adding that "I like my chances for next week."

June 25, 2007

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