Ochoa Annika Renew Rivalry

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2007 MasterCard ClassicHUIXQUILUCAN, Mexico -- Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa are too concerned about their own games to pay much attention to each other in the MasterCard Classic.
 
'This is my fifth year on the LPGA Tour. I've seen her before. I still feel respect and admiration for her and I feel I can learn a lot,' said Ochoa, the Mexican star who ended Sorenstam's five-year run as the tour's player of the year last season.
 
'My dream is to reach that first place in the world rankings, but I'm not worried about Annika. I don't think about her that much. There are many great players and I can't worry about them, either. I only think of my golf and how to be better.'
 
Last year at Bosque Real, Sorenstam successfully defended her title, beating Helen Alfredsson and Seon Hwa Lee by a stroke.
 
'I'm not sure about the field,' Sorenstam said. 'When I come here, I don't look at the list to be honest. I'm just happy to be here. I know Lorena is here and people will be pulling for her. As player of the year that's somebody, when she's in the field, people pay attention to.'
 
The Swedish star has 69 LPGA Tour victories, five in her first start of a season.
 
'I hope my chances are good,' Sorenstam said. 'That's one of the reasons I'm here. I try to come when I'm ready to play. I've had a great opportunity to have lots of time to work on my game and I'm looking forward to the season,' Sorenstam said. 'There are a lot of good players here this week, so I know I have to play my best.'
 
Ochoa won six times last season, including the Corona Morelia Championship in Mexico, and topped the money list with $2,592,872. She also was honored as the AP Female Athlete of the Year.
 
'Last week, I dreamed of winning in Bosque Real,' Ochoa said. 'I hope it can be an unforgettable week. This is a very important tournament for me. I see it as a major for all the pressure of playing here, but I hope that with the support from the people I can have a good tournament.'
 
Paula Creamer and Stacy Prammanasudh, the winners of the season-opening events in Hawaii, also are in the field along with Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis and young Paraguayan star Julieta Granada. Ochoa will open Friday in a group with Prammanasudh and Gulbis, while Sorenstam will be right behind in a group with Kerr and Creamer.
 
'My confidence is high,' Creamer said. 'I like the golf course a lot. I've won this year. I feel very comfortable on the golf course and it's a very good course.'
 
The Bosque Real course is the longest on the tour at 6,932 yards, and also the highest at about 8,000 feet above sea level.
 
'I don't think it is really that long because of the altitude,' Ochoa said. 'I think it will be key to get used to because of the high elevation. I'm from here. I think I can take advantage of that and be more comfortable playing the course.'
 
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