Ochoa Storms from Behind in Mexico

By Associated PressApril 28, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Corona ChampionshipMORELIA, Mexico -- Lorena Ochoa shot a 9-under 64 on Saturday to tie Julieta Granada and Silvia Cavalleri for the third-round lead in the Corona Morelia Championship, the Mexican star's first tournament as the No. 1 player in the world.
 
A day after falling five strokes behind with a 74, the 25-year-old Ochoa had eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey before thousands of fans who cheered her every move on the hilly Tres Marias course -- about 175 miles from her native Guadalajara.
 
The 64 matched the LPGA Tour record on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course where Ochoa won last year. Granada had a 67, and Cavalleri shot a 69.
 
'I started the day happy and with a lot of will to play and a lot of positive energy. I think that has a lot to do with it,' said Ochoa, who took the top spot in the rankings from the injured Annika Sorenstam on Monday.
 
'I kicked off well and got a good rhythm going. The big difference is how you start the play. Yesterday, I started with bogeys and missed birdies. Today, I kicked off with birdies.'
 
Granada, the young Paraguayan who finished second to Ochoa last October at Tres Marias, birdied her final three holes.
 
'This year is the revenge,' Granada said. 'It's a different situation. I have worked a lot on my play and it's not the first time that I'm playing in Mexico. These are factors that favor me.
 
'I played well today, finishing with three birdies. I hope that I will continue that streak tomorrow.'
 
Granada said she wasn't intimidated by Ochoa's vocal fans.
 
'It doesn't make any difference to me. As a player you don't hear anything,' she said. 'As they say, 'Golf shows that she who plays best wins'.'
 
Cavalleri, the Italian who started the day tied for first place, had six birdies and two bogeys to stay at the front of the pack.
 
Pat Hurst (68) and South Korean rookie Na On Min (67) were tied for fourth at 12 under at the course that sits about 6,300 feet above sea level.
 
Stacy Prammanasudh, the Fields Open winner in Hawaii in February, shot a 70 to join Hye Jung Choi, Kate Golden, Teresa Lu, Sarah Lee, Angela Park and Yu Ping Lin at 9 under.
 
Ochoa topped the world rankings Monday with 12.84 points, 0.14 points ahead of Sorenstam, sidelined by a ruptured disk in her back. The news sent shock waves south of the border and President Felipe Calderon even made a congratulatory call to Ochoa.
 
The Mexican star has often struggled in her tournaments in her homeland, but said she's learning to enjoy the attention and pressure.
 
'You have to be scientific about your mistakes. That way you can work with them and correct them,' she said.
 
Ochoa said she is planning a more conservative approach Sunday.
 
'Tomorrow will be a bit different,' she said. 'Basically, it will be a bit more intelligent.'
 
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


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    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

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    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

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    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

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    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm