Lorena Ochoa Lorena Ochoa two shots off lead at LPGA Tour Sybase Classic

Defending champion Lorena Ochoa is two shots back after the first round of the LPGA Tour Sybase Classic, while Sarah Lee leads.

Lee shot a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 at the par-72, 6,433-yard Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J., Thursday to go two up on world No. 1 women's golfer Ochoa and four others: Se Ri Pak, Brittany Lincicome, rookie Angela Park and Hye Jung Choi.

Ochoa, who had seven birdies, a bogey and a double bogey, has not won since supplanting Annika Sorenstam atop the Rolex Rankings in April.

"I've been close in the last few weeks, and this will be a nice week," she told reporters. "It's important to be in a good position and to give myself a chance on Sunday and hopefully it will happen."

Ochoa looked well on her way to taking the lead going into the par-3 eighth hole at 5-under, but an errant tee shot on No. 17 and a surging Lee prevented her ascent atop the leader board.

Lee played well all day, making several long birdies and finishing with a nine-footer on the par-5 18th. This comes after a strong third-place finish at last week's Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill, where her opening-round 63 and 36-hole total of 131 were tour season lows.

"I got a great opportunity to win, but you know, I couldn't handle the last two, three holes," she told the media recently. "But I learn from that how I'm going to play."

Holding the lead won't be easy. Though without a victory since becoming No. 1, Ochoa has won once and finished in the top-10 seven times this year. Brittany Lincicome is fresh off her win at the Ginn Open last month, and Pak hasn't finished worse than 13th in her last four tournaments.

May 18, 2007

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