Monday, March 31, 2008

Ochoa wins Safeway International

Lorena Ochoa retained her Safeway International crown in dominant fashion on Sunday, posting a seven-stroke victory in the 1.5 million-dollar LPGA event.

The world number one from Mexico, who led by one at the start of the round, fired a six-under-par 66 for a 22-under total of 266 - four strokes better than her winning total last year.

South Korean Jee Young Lee, who birdied 18 for a 72, finished second at 15-under 273 with Finland's Minea Blomqvist third at 14-under 274 after a 67.

Ochoa, 26, notched her 19th LPGA title and her second of 2008. She opened her season with a victory in the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore earlier this month.

Former world number one Annika Sorenstam (70) finished in a tie for ninth at 11-under in a group that also included British veteran Laura Davies.

Ochoa never lost her lead on the final day.

After two birdies and two bogeys in her first six holes, Ochoa sank back-to-back birdies of 15 feet at eight and nine.

At 13 she knocked a pitching wedge to 12 feet to ignite a run of three birdies in a row, and she finished the day with a two-putt birdie from 30 feet at the par-five 18th.

"It was a great day, especially the back nine," she said. "Front nine, a little bit up and down. I think being in the last group with the pressure and the wind, it was a little tough, but then I told myself just be patient.

"I was hitting the ball really good, and I missed few putts, just try not to really pay much attention.

"And then I made a great birdie on eight and nine, and from there just everything went a little bit easier," she said...

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