"My goal going into today was to give myself a chance to win on the back nine," Castrale, who earned a $390,000 paycheck and a spot in the ADT Championship through the LPGA Playoffs 2007, told reporters. "So really, to stay close enough, basically close to Lorena. It was really weird, I had an eerie calmness about me all week, and it paid off."
Castrale was six shots behind Ochoa with six holes remaining but finished with a 1-under-par 71 on RiverTowne Country Club in Mount Pleasant, S.C., to force a playoff with the Mexican golfer, who bogeyed two of the final three holes. Castrale then made par on the first extra hole for the title. Ochoa is now 0-4 in playoffs.
"I need to learn to win the tough ones," Ochoa told the media. "For sure I need to improve my playoff percentages. I'm going to work on that."
Castrale, Ochoa and Cristie Kerr found themselves in a shootout on the back nine, where Castrale and Kerr had advanced to within a stroke of the world No. 1 women's golfer by the 13th hole.
The turning point for Castrale was a birdie on the par-3 17th hole. Ochoa's birdie putt from the left was 10 feet short, and she missed the par putt to go to 9-under with Castrale. The pair traded pars on the final regulation hole to enter a playoff.
Ochoa's drive found the hazard left of the fairway, forcing her to take a drop and a one-stroke penalty. Castrale's drive went down the center of the fairway, and she hit a 145-yard 7 iron to within 30 feet of the pin. Ochoa recovered, hitting her third shot to within 15 feet, but missed the putt for par. Castrale two-putted for the win.
"I always believed that I could win out here," Castrale said. "I would have liked to have won my rookie year in 2002, but I wasn't ready. I wasn't mature enough to win back then. I wasn't as good a golfer as I am now."
Kerr ended up finishing third. The tournament's namesake, Annika Sorenstam, returned to competition at her event after spending seven weeks sidelined with a back injury. She finished tied for 36th place.
Michelle Wie, who hadn't played since January because of a wrist injury, also made her comeback at the Ginn Tribute. The teenage golfer didn't fare as well as Sorenstam, pulling out the first day at 14-over-par through 16 holes with a 'tweaked' wrist injury.
June 4, 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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