Now, Ochoa might be pulling away.
The 26-year-old Mexican star has won three consecutive tournaments on the LPGA Tour, including the first major of the year, and acknowledged Wednesday that shes already thinking about winning a Grand Slam.
Thats something that as a player would be something great to achieve, Ochoa said. And of course my eyes are on that.
The way shes played in 2008, few would bet against her.
Ochoa has won four of five events'by a combined 34 strokes, no less'and entered this weeks Ginn Open near Orlando looking for a fourth straight victory for the first time in her career.
I like my chances, she said.
Ochoa had an opportunity to win four in a row last fall. She won the British Open, the Canadian Open and the Safeway Classic in August, but took the next event off. She returned to the Navistar Classic in Alabama and had a one-stroke lead heading into the final round, but closed with a 73 and finished two shots behind Maria Hjorth.
Annika Sorenstam is the last to win four straight on tour, accomplishing the feat in 2001. She was clearly the top player in the world back then, a title she held until Ochoa took over a year ago.
The roles are a little reversed, said Sorenstam, who missed the Ginn Open last year because of a ruptured disk in her back. Im chasing her and Im not giving up by any means. Shes playing fantastic golf. Shes really, really been consistent, driving and putting well, winning majors and winning consecutive tournaments.
But inside of me I believe theres still a way that I can beat her, and Im just looking forward to this week. Heres my chance, and if it doesnt happen, theres next week. Thats what keeps me going. I love the competition.
Ochoa has pretty much dominated the competition recently, winning 18 titles over the last 24 months and solidifying her spot atop the sport.
Shes coming off an 11-stroke victory at the Corona Championship in her native Mexico, a win that qualified her for the Hall of Fame.
I dont mind that a lot of players are trying to catch me, she said. It feels good to be in the No. 1 position. Id like to stay there hopefully for a long time. Im going to do everything it takes to stay in that position.
Im just trying to enjoy my moment. Ive been working hard. This has been something that took me a long time to achieve. Its not something that happened in a couple days or in a couple months. You know, so Im going to continue that, just motivating myself, practicing hard, and hopefully I stay at the top for a long time.
Winning all four majors surely would keep her there for a while.
Woods felt good enough about his game after winning his first three events that he suggested a Grand Slam was easily within reason. His shot ended Sunday at the Masters, where Trevor Immelman held on for a 3-over 75 to win the first major of the PGA Tour.
Ochoas chances are still very much alive.
And maybe within reach, even though only two players (Babe Zaharias in 1950 and Sandra Haynie in 1974) have ever swept every LPGA major in a single season. Neither of them did it when there were four majors.
Everything that shes done this year has been phenomenal, said Brittany Lincicome, who won last years Ginn Open after Ochoa and Laura Davies faltered down the stretch.
Lincicome started the final round four shots back, but ended up atop the leaderboard after both faded in blustery conditions.
Ochoa was 6 over on her final six holes, capping a 77 by missing a 10-foot bogey putt that would have forced a playoff.
Ochoa would like to make amends for the stunning collapse this week'and extend her winning streak.
What happened last year (was) a learning experience, she said. But it was tough losing here with a double bogey on 18. So here I am, Im going to give myself a good chance, and hopefully I can get that beautiful trophy on Sunday.