Ochoa's wins Sybase Classic

Lorena Ochoa extended her impressive run with a two-stroke victory in the Sybase Classic on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:40 IST
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New Rochelle:Lorena Ochoa extended her impressive run with a two-stroke victory in the Sybase Classic on Sunday, the sixth straight tournament in which she has either won or been the runner-up. The 24-year-old from Mexico closed a 5-under 66 with a 3-foot birdie putt to win the rain-shortened event and retake the U.S. LPGA Tour money lead which she lost last week. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes after heavy rain and a saturated course wiped out all play on Friday. Ochoa, who won the Takefuji Classic in April and has four seconds and a fourth this season, started the final round four strokes off the lead. The lead was hers for good when she made about a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 15th. She made par-saving putts on the next two holes and closed her fifth career win with the birdie on the par-5 just as rain began to fall. Hee-Won Han, the champion here in 2003, had a closing 69 and tied for second with rookie and fellow South Korean Kyeong Bae, who matched Ochoa's final-round 66. Allison Hanna, who had missed her last four cuts and five of eight this year, was leading the tournament until four-putting 15 and three-putting the par-3 16th for bogeys. The American finished three strokes off the lead after a 71. It was still well ahead of her best career finish, a tie for 22nd at the SBS Open in February. Annika Sorenstam, coming off her first missed cut since 2002, was two shots behind Hanna at 3 under before taking a triple-bogey on the par-4 9th. Sorenstam hit three shots with wedges which hit the elevated green and spun back down the hill, two almost landing in the same spot from which they were hit. The 7 dropped her to even for the tournament and women's golf's career money leader was never able to get back into contention. Sorenstam, a two-time winner of this event, finished with a 3-over 74 for a 213 total. Gloria Park, the 2002 Sybase champion, was the second-round leader at 4 under, but two bogeys and a double-bogey had her even at the turn. She also finished at even par after a 75. Ochoa won $195,000 from the purse of $1.3 million and that moved her back in front of Karrie Webb in the money race. Ochoa has won $1,114,888, while Webb, who took this week off after winning the Michelob Ultra Open last week, has won $935,202. Juli Inkster, who won here in 1992, had a 71 to finish at 1-under 212. Paula Creamer, defending a title for the first time and using a pink golf ball, closed with a 70 and was even for the tournament. The American teen won last year at 6 under. (AP)

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