Wie Starts Strong Trails Hot Ochoa

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Lorena Ochoa set a new course record on Thursday with her 10-under-par 62 on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
 
The 62 was good enough to give Ochoa a four-stroke lead after the opening round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The 62 also ties the lowest score in a major championship. Minea Bloomqvist posted a 62 during the third round of the Women's British Open in 2004 at Sunningdale Golf Club.
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie had six birdies and no bogeys in the first round.
'It was a very special time, but I have three days to go,' noted Ochoa. 'I'm just going to enjoy today and then tomorrow, try to play one day at a time.'
 
Sixteen-year-old Michelle Wie, who finished second to Annika Sorenstam at the McDonald's LPGA Championship last year, stands alone in second place at 6- under-par 66.
 
Stacy Prammanasudh bogeyed the 18th hole Thursday to take third at minus-5. Amateur Angela Park is one stroke further back at minus-4.
 
Sorenstam, the defending champion and a three-time winner here, opened with a 1-under-par 71. She had a birdie and a bogey on the front nine and a bogey and two birdies on the back to share 17th place.
 
'It was just one of those days,' Sorenstam said. 'I am happy with the way I am playing, I just couldn't get it together today. I'm just glad I made birdie on the last hole. Hopefully I can turn it around.'
 
Ochoa opened on the back nine Thursday and got off to a fast start. She made a 2-foot birdie putt on 10 and a 4-footer for birdie on 11. After three straight pars, Ochoa nearly holed her 9-iron approach at the 15th, but settled for a kick-in birdie from within a foot.
 
The Mexican dropped her 7-iron seven feet from the cup on 16 and rolled in that birdie putt to move to minus-4. Ochoa sank a 10-footer for birdie on 18 to turn in 5 under.
 
Ochoa, who finished third here in 2003, kept rolling on the front nine. She ran in a birdie putt from about 20 feet on the first, and came back with a 10-footer for birdie at the third.
 
The three-time winner on the LPGA Tour made it two in a row with a chip-in birdie at the fourth. Ochoa knocked her 7-iron within 2 feet for birdie on the seventh. She closed with a birdie putt from just under 15 feet at the ninth to shoot 62.
 
'I thought to myself, this is a good start to the tournament,' Ochoa said. 'I didn't think it was going to be this good. I just tried to really focus and concentrate. I made birdie on the first hole and a birdie on the second hole. I was very happy about that. Then everything was easy and everything was so clear. It was a really good round.'
 
Wie dropped in back-to-back birdies from the second. She came back with a birdie at the par-4 seventh. The young Hawaiian moved to 4 under as she birdied No. 10.
 
She parred her next four holes. Wie birdied 15 and 17 down the stretch to close a bogey-free round at minus-6.
 
'I'm really glad I played well in the first round. Usually, I have a little bit of trouble starting off real well,' Wie admitted. 'My game was really solid today. There are a couple of things I want to work on later today. So hopefully I will just get better and better every day.'
 
Juli Inkster, a two-time champion here, opened with a 3-under-par 69. She was joined in fifth place by Seon-Hwa Lee, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel and 2004 Women's British Open champ Karen Stupples.
 
A pair of former champions -- 1993 winner Helen Alfredsson and 2000 titlist Karrie Webb -- are in 10th place at minus-2. They stand alongside Brittany Lang, Shi Hyun Ahn, Johanna Head, Ai Miyazato and Carin Koch.
 
Related Links:
  • George White's Column on Angela Park
  • Leaderboard - Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • Full Coverage - Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • TV Airtimes