Ochoa Back in Winners Circle


2006 Sybase ClassicNEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Lorena Ochoa fired a 5-under 66 Sunday to come from behind and win the rain-shortened Sybase Classic. Ochoa completed her second win of the season at five-under-par 208.
Ochoa claimed her first win this year at the LPGA Takefuji Classic. This was her fifth title on the LPGA.
'I'm very excited. It's been a fun tournament and a really good day today,' said Ochoa, who earned $195,000 for the win. 'I played really good, didn't make any bogeys and made five birdies. It was a fine round. When you don't make bogeys all day on a course like this, it's always good.'
Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa has now finished first or second in six straight events.
Bad weather on Thursday forced the suspension of play with 15 players needing to complete their first rounds. That didn't happen until Saturday morning as Friday was completely washed out by rain.
With more rain in Sunday's forecast, players teed off early Sunday to beat the bad weather and the event was cut to 54 holes. The last time a tournament was shortened by rain was the 2003 State Farm Classic, which was won by Candie Kung.
Kyeong Eun Bae matched Ochoa's 66 to climb into a tie for second place at 3-under-par 210. She was joined there by Hee-Won Han (69).
Allison Hanna led during the final round, but was done in by three back-nine bogeys. She took fourth place at 2-under-par 211. LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster was one stroke further back at minus-1 after a closing 71.
Second-round leader Hee Jung Park (75), 2005 champion Paula Creamer (70) and women's world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam (74) shared sixth place at even-par 213.
Creamer tried to make a run as she birdied the first and third, but struggled to three consecutive bogeys from the fifth. The 19-year-old was able to recover two of those strokes with birdies on 10 and 14.
Sorenstam had three birdies and three bogeys on her card, but was done in by a triple-bogey seven on the par-4 ninth.
Ochoa began her round four strokes behind Park. However, the Korean tumbled down the leaderboard with bogeys on four and six, and a double-bogey at the seventh. She ended at even-par with two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine.
Meanwhile, Ochoa was steady as she opened with four straight pars. The 24- year-old moved to 1 under as she dropped in an 18-foot birdie putt on the fifth. Ochoa then made par on the next five holes.
The Mexican drained her second birdie putt of the round at the 11th. Ochoa made it two in a row with a 5-foot birdie putt on 12. She joined Hanna in the lead at 4 under with an up-and-down birdie at the 15th.
Ochoa claimed the lead by herself as Hanna stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the 15th. Ochoa closed out her round with a 5-foot birdie putt at the last.
'It's about finishing strong and having a good back nine and having a chance to win the tournament,' Ochoa commented. 'That's what I did. I made one birdie and saved a couple of good pars out there. I was really positive and trying to stay one hole at a time and give myself an opportunity to make birdie.
'On the back nine, I hit close to the hole. And coming from nowhere, I was one shot behind and then I was tied for first place. I was hanging in there.'
Han was even-par on her opening nine with three birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey. After a bogey on 10, Han climbed the leaderboard with three birdies in a four-hole span from the 12th.
Hanna opened with three birdies over her first four holes to take the lead at 4 under. She faltered to a bogey at the 12th, before her troubles on 15 and 16 took her out of it.
Bae ran off three straight birdies from the third to get to minus-1. She traded a bogey for a birdie from the seventh. Around the turn, Bae birdied 11 and 18 to share second.
Jill McGill and Julieta Granada each carded rounds of 2-under 69 to share ninth place at 1-over-par 214. Seon-Hwa Lee, Beth Bauer and Laura Diaz were one stroke further back at plus-2.
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