Nashville Music to Ocohas Ears


04 Franklin American Mortgage Champ.NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Fresh off of a week in her homeland, Mexico's Lorena Ochoa returns to the home of her first victory on the LPGA Tour, the Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefiting the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
For Ochoa, the stop in Nashville last year served as a preview of great things to come throughout the season, as she went on to win another event during the season and claimed the State Farm LPGA Series bonus pool.
Ochoa's title defense will come on the par-72 Ironhorse Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club as the players fight it out for a $1 million purse.
A year ago, Ochoa entered the final round nursing a one-shot lead and held off a slew of challengers to win by one after firing a four-under par 68 to finish the tournament at 16-under par.
Ochoa's closest challenger was Wendy Ward, who finished second after charging into contention with a final-round 67. Ward was able to exact revenge on Ochoa this year by claiming a two-shot win over the young star at the LPGA Takefuji Classic two weeks ago.
For Ward, the loss last year in Nashville gave her the determination to get back into the winner's circle.
'I was chasing Lorena and she was seeking her first win,' said Ward. 'I made an eagle on the last hole, which forced her to make par. But it is a very fine line, and finishing second that week, it made me even hungrier to win.'
Now with the experience of two victories under her belt, Ochoa has come out firing in 2005 by taking second place twice. Ochoa also finished second this season at the Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, where she lost to Annika Sorenstam in a one-hole playoff. Ochoa currently ranks second on the ADT Official Money List.
The Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefiting the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt also sets up a rematch for the other top contenders from the LPGA Takefuji Classic. Moira Dunn, Karrie Webb and Mi Hyun Kim were all in contention entering the final round only to see Ward come away with the title. All three will be looking for a measure of revenge on the course this week.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Franklin American Mortgage Championship