Fiesta Time Ochoa Wins in Mexico


2006 Corona Morelia ChampionshipMORELIA, Mexico -- For Mexico's Lorena Ochoa, it doesn't get any better than this.
'It was a very special week, a very special day today. I have no way to compare this,' Ochoa said Sunday after closing out a five-shot victory at the Corona Morelia Championship.
Ochoa shot a 4-under 69 in the final round to finish off what was basically an inevitable win since she took the lead with a course-record 64 on Friday.
Supported by a boisterous and loyal gallery, the native of nearby Guadalajara claimed her fourth title of the season and the seventh of her career. She set a scoring record in the tournament's second year by finishing at 20-under-par 272.
Ochoa now owns the two lowest winning scores in relation to par on the LPGA Tour this season. She collected $150,000 for the victory -- raising her tour- leading total to more than $2.12 million this year.
But more than all that, Ochoa won for the first time in her home country.
'For me, it's like a U.S. Open, being able to play in my country and win in front of my people,' she said.
Ochoa will have very little time to celebrate after making the 3-hour drive north to her home in Guadalajara. On Monday morning, she flies to California for the Samsung World Championship.
'It's a very special day and now it's time to enjoy and celebrate with my family and friends,' said Ochoa. 'I'll do the celebration tonight.'
Ochoa joined Karrie Webb as the only four-time winners on the LPGA Tour this season. She followed Annika Sorenstam as the only players ever to eclipse $2 million in earnings in an LPGA season.
And although she hasn't won a major, Ochoa is quickly becoming a favorite for Player of the Year. Not that she plans on changing her approach.
'I'm going to keep doing the same thing -- play just one tournament at a time and try to be consistent so I keep winning points and really concentrate on Player of the Year,' said Ochoa.
'But right now, it's time to celebrate this tournament and, next week, to focus in Palm Springs.'
Ochoa held a three-shot on good friend and rookie Julieta Granada after three rounds. But Granada didn't make any progress with a 71 on Sunday, finishing five back at 15-under 277.
Paula Creamer posted the round of the day, an 8-under 65, to climb into third place at 14-under 278.
It would have taken a more spectacular round than that to topple Ochoa, who followed an early bogey at No. 3 with five birdies, including four during a five-hole stretch from the eighth.
Granada had early birdies at the fourth and sixth, giving Ochoa momentary pause before she made her first birdie on two putts from 25 feet at the par-5 eighth.
'At the beginning, I was a little out of control because of the adrenaline,' Ochoa said. 'I was hitting the ball too far. But on the back nine, I managed to be very solid, just hitting the ball very straight and very consistent.
'It was a tough day on the golf course, but very enjoyable.'
Young-A Yang closed with a 4-under 69 to finish in fourth place at 10-under 282.
Eighteen-year-old Morgan Pressel shot a 71 and tied for fifth place with Silvia Cavalleri (70), Kelli Kuehne (69), Becky Morgan (70) and Wendy Ward (71) at 9-under 283.
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