Another Annika Lorena Duel in Store

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Sybe ClassicCLIFTON, N.J. -- Rolex Rankings' number one Lorena Ochoa headlines this week's Sybase Classic Presented by ShopRite, as the 22-time LPGA Tour winner looks to defend her 2006 and 2007 titles at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J.
 
Ochoa is looking to protect her perfect record at the event, having only competed in the Sybase Classic the last three years, but she will have to fight off a field that includes world number two Annika Sorenstam and seven of the remaining top-20 in the Rolex Rankings.
 
Ochoa's win at last year's Sybase Classic marked her first since taking over the number one position in the Rolex Rankings on April 23, 2007. After beginning the final round two strokes behind 54-hole leader and eventual runner-up Sarah Lee, Ochoa recorded a bogey-free final-round 68 for her first successful title defense.
 
Unlike last year, Ochoa will have to fight off Sorenstam, who missed the event last year due to ruptured and bulging discs in her neck and back. Sorenstam won the Sybase Classic in 1998 and a rain-shortened version in 2000, and she is back in full form this year, having already won the season-opening SBS Open at Turtle Bay, the inaugural Stanford International Pro-Am and last week's Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill.
 
Past champions of the event competing this week include Sherri Steinhauer (1999, 2004), Hee-Won Han (2003) and Michele Redman (1997).
 
Also in the mix is 2008 rookie Yani Tseng, of Taiwan. Tseng has collected three top-10 finishes this year in just eight starts, and has a pair of second-place finishes under her belt from the MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta Presented by Nextel and the Ginn OPEN, where she fell by just three strokes to Ochoa.
 
In addition to a $300,000 winner's share of the $2 million purse, this week's winner will join Ochoa and Sorenstam as an automatic qualifier in LPGA Playoffs 2008 via the tournament's designation as a Winner Event en route to the season-ending ADT Championship.
 
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  • Full Coverage - Sybase Classic