U.S. Women's Open: Ochoa has her sights on first major

It was a long day for the ladies at the U.S. Women's Open, as players took advantage of better weather to make up holes lost to rain earlier in the tournament. And while Jiyai Shin holds the clubhouse lead, all eyes are on Lorena Ochoa, as the world's No. 1 female player caught fire during her third round, and finished the day at 4-under, one off the lead, after completing 13 holes of her third round.

Here Ochoa discusses the day's events at Pine Needles.

Lorena Ochoa

Q: If you would talk a little bit about the way the course played today and a little bit about your round.

LORENA OCHOA: It was a really good day. I started in the morning with my second round. I got my rhythm, I hit to the left my tee shots. And I thought just be patient. I was very conscious about it. I was just trying to make a slower transition on my back swing. And I started hitting the ball straight from the tee, which was very important.

I made a couple of birdies and got a good momentum. I played really solid my back nine. I was really excited that the weather was holding and we were able to play the third round, because I was feeling really good, really positive with my game, making good putts for birdies. That's what I did.

In the afternoon I made four birdies. And I had a lot more birdie chances, too. I missed a couple of short putts.

But I just really like my position. It was very important to go low in the third round. We still have a lot of holes left, but I like where I am right now.

Q. Do you feel like it may be easier to ease into the final round tomorrow because you have a few holes left to play in the third round? Does that make it easier playing for the championship?

LORENA OCHOA: No. Easier, no. It is not easy. I think -- I like the idea of playing more than 18 holes.

More things can be done. If I keep playing as solidly I have a better chance. You have a better chance when you're playing good when you have more holes, not only 18 holes. And I think it's just going to be a physical challenge, what we've been through in the first two rounds and just today playing a lot of holes. In that part I'm happy because I'm feeling strong and I'm healthy and that could help my game.

I'm going to try to take it in a positive way and hopefully -- I think tomorrow is going to be important to get a good morning, to finish my third round. And then go from there.

Q. At this point do you consider tomorrow one of the biggest days of your career?

LORENA OCHOA: Yes, for sure. Yes, and like I said before, I feel prepared to win a Major. I've been working really hard and giving myself chances.

Tomorrow is going to be a special day. I don't even think about it and go too far ahead. But I'm going to try to take one step at a time and really concentrate on what I'm doing, one hole at a time, like we always try to play the Major Championships. But for sure it's going to be a big day for me.

Q. If you have a strong finish in the third round do you feel like you're in the position now where other players will see that and it could perhaps intimidate them going into the last round?

LORENA OCHOA: I can tell you that the -- I'm just really happy to be there. It was what I wanted to do, to make sure on Sunday I'm close to the lead, if not in the lead, and have a chance to win the tournament.

I'm really pleased the way I played today and I know my name means something. That's why I want to make sure I get a good start tomorrow and hopefully I can put the pressure on other players.

Transcripts provided by ASAP Sports

July 1, 2007

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