Ochoa Still Way Off the Pace in Mexico

By Associated PressMarch 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newMEXICO CITY, Mexico -- Lorena Ochoa fought to recover Saturday from a rough first round in the MasterCard Classic, shooting a 2-under 70 that left the top-ranked Mexican star 11 strokes behind leader Ji-Young Oh.
 
Ochoa was coming off an opening 76, her highest score in nearly a year.
 
Im happy with my round. It was a good day, said Ochoa, who had four birdies and two bogeys Saturday on the hilly Bosque Real course. I wasnt able to get a lot of birdies, but I still really want to tomorrow. Im not putting the desire to win the tournament out of my head. You never know what will happen.
 
Oh, a 19-year-old from South Korea in her second season on the LPGA Tour, had five birdies in a bogey-free 67 to top the leaderboard at 9-under 135.
 
I like this course. Mexicos elevation is high, so when you hit the ball it goes really far, said Oh, whose only top-10 finish on the LPGA Tour was a sixth at the Safeway Classic last year. I just feel good. Tomorrow I just think I should enjoy it. Either I win, or come in second, I dont know.
 
Taiwans Yani Tseng, a 19-year-old rookie, was 7 under after a 69. Swedens Eva Dahllof (70) was 5 under, and first-round leader Jill McGill (73) and South Korean rookie Na-Yeon Choi (66) were 6 under. Chois 66 was the best of the day.
 
Ochoa, a budding national hero more popular in Mexico than the sport that she plays, packed in the crowds at Bosque Real as hundreds of fans snaked down the fairways, erupting in pounding applause and cheers of Lo-re, muy bien!
 
She is a really dignified, admirable person. Her strength, her wins and her humility have raised Mexico to new heights across the world, said Marcela Livas, 70, who traveled 400 miles from Monterrey to watch Ochoa on Saturday.
 
The crowds cheered for every golfer'but little girls dashed from hole to hole in baseball caps and bows following Ochoa, while neighbors stole out into their backyards, straining over bushes alongside their uniformed maids to catch a glimpse as the two-time Rolex player of the year passed by.
 
Its exciting, said Emiliano Camarena, 13, an aspiring golfer who sat cross-legged with 10-year-old brother Alonso in the thick ryegrass as Ochoa worked her way down the 10th hole. Shes the first Mexican to be No. 1 in the world, and that makes you feel like you can do anything.
 
Ochoa, who opened her season two weeks ago in Singapore with an 11-stroke victory in the HSBC Womens Champions, has struggled to seal the deal in Mexico, with one victory in six previous LPGA Tour starts in the country.
 
I always want more, the 18-time tour winner said. Id love to be in first place right now, but we have to think about accepting our errors and our bad moments, too. Yesterday wasnt good, today was better, and we hope that tomorrow will be even better still.
 
We hope to put one a really good show.
 
U.S. rookie Hwanhee Lee had a hole-in-one, the first on the LPGA Tour this year, on the 189-yard seventh hole. Lee, who used a 5-iron, finished with a 78 to miss the cut.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - MasterCard Classic
  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."