Hjorth Ends Drought Ochoas Winning Streak

By Sports NetworkSeptember 30, 2007, 4:00 pm
Navistar LPGA Classic 2007 LogoPRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Maria Hjorth birdied the 17th hole from off the green Sunday to move past world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa and Stacy Prammanasudh and win the Navistar LPGA Classic.
 
'It's a great feeling,' said Hjorth, who pocketed $195,000 for the win.
 
She posted a 5-under 67 on Sunday to finish the event at 14-under-par 274. It was Hjorth's third LPGA Tour win and first since 1999 when she won both the SAFECO Classic and the Mizuno Classic.
 
Prammanasudh managed a 1-under 71 for second at minus-13.
 
Ochoa, the overnight leader, was undone by a pair of three-putt bogeys at one and 18. She struggled to a 1-over 73 and tied for third place with Angela Park, who tied a new course record at The Senator Course with a 63 on Sunday.
 
Ochoa already won six times this year on tour and was in great shape to win her fourth consecutive start. The Women's British Open champion and Park came in at minus-12.
 
Hjorth began the final round four behind Ochoa, and it was her play on an early hole that made her a factor. Hjorth chipped in for eagle at the par-5 fifth and was suddenly within striking distance of the lead.
 
Both Hjorth and Prammanasudh birdied the par-5 eighth, but Hjorth took advantage of the next par-5. Hjorth had 5 feet for an eagle, but missed. She tapped in for birdie to tie for the lead, but Prammanasudh moved one ahead with a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 12.
 
Prammanasudh, one shot clear, missed a 6-footer for par at the 15th. That put her in a tie for the lead with Hjorth, who came up short on a relatively easy birdie putt at the same hole.
 
At the 17th, Hjorth holed a 25-foot birdie putt from off the green to move ahead of Prammanasudh, who missed a 20-footer that would have kept pace with Hjorth.
 
'There was still plenty left,' said Hjorth. 'Lorena and Stacy can both make birdies on the last. You never know.'
 
At the closing hole, Prammanasudh knocked her approach to 20 feet. Hjorth hit her second to 12 feet to apply the pressure to Prammanasudh and Ochoa, who got back within one thanks to a birdie at the 17th.
 
Ochoa three-putted for a bogey at the closing hole to leave it up to Prammanasudh. Her 20-footer did not fall, so she had to rely on Hjorth three-putting for any chance of a playoff.
 
Hjorth did not accommodate. She lagged her birdie effort to a foot and tapped in for her first win in eight years.
 
'I've been driving the ball so well all week,' said Hjorth, one of the longest hitters on the LPGA Tour. 'On a course like this, it's what it comes down to. You can take out some corners and save some pars.'
 
Karrie Webb shot a 4-under 68 to finish in fifth at minus-10. Amy Hung first shot a 63 on Sunday to set the course record and that got her into sixth at 9-under 279.
 
Hye Jung Choi (68) and Angela Stanford (72) tied for seventh at minus-8. Teresa Lu (69) and Nicole Castrale (72) shared ninth place at 7-under-par 281.
 
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    Inside Attica: Interviewing Valentino Dixon

    By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 2:00 am

    By RYAN GRIFFITHS

    Some stories stick with you longer than others. First time you get to do a feature. First time you meet a sports legend (it was Allen Iverson for me). Seeing a championship isn’t bad, either. Been there, done that. Lawnmower museum on the east coast of England, tsunami survivors in California, re-connecting Al Geiberger with his lost 59 tape, all good, but no story or environment has stuck with me like going to Attica Correctional Facility in 2013 to tell the story of Valentino Dixon.

    For starters, I’d never been searched before setting up for an interview. Not just me, everyone - all three cameramen, Jimmy Roberts, the guy escorting us in who worked there. Everyone. Attica trusts no one. Can’t blame them after 1971, when inmates protesting living conditions took members of the prison staff hostage. The ensuing police response left 29 inmates and 10 hostages dead.

    Attica has a "shank wall," a collection of homemade weapons seized from inmates and displayed like baseball cards in a plastic case on the wall outside the guards' lunchroom. Prison interior decorating at its finest. Nice touch.

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    Wrongfully imprisoned man freed after nearly three decades


    Dixon, a former aspiring artist before getting caught up in the Buffalo drug-dealing scene, started sketching photos from Golf Digest for the warden. I’ve never been to prison, but from what I have gathered from watching The Shawshank Redemption some 8,000 times, getting in the warden’s good graces is a smart habit to pick up if you’re doing serious time.

    Dixon's art was insanely good. Even more so because he did it all with colored pencils. No paintbrushes allowed (see shank wall above). Jimmy, the crew and I stopped for a good 10-15 minutes to marvel at his creations before continuing with the interview.

    We spent a solid 40 minutes talking to the man who supposedly killed a man 20-something years prior. In that time, he pleaded his innocence to us over and over again. He spoke like a man who had rehearsed every angle of his story over and over and over again. I give him credit - there were no holes in his story. I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and he didn’t look like a killer, didn’t sound like one. either. But what did I know? I’d never met one - that I know of. And if you were stuck in prison for 20-plus years and all of a sudden had a camera in front of you and a platform to plead your innocence, wouldn’t you do your best to try to get out of there?

    Since the guards wouldn’t allow any food, the crew and I stopped at the first deli we saw on the ride back into Buffalo. After we were done eating, we all looked at each other, knowing what we all were thinking: "Do you think he did it?”

    Didn’t matter what we thought, we were just there to tell the story. On Wednesday, however, people whose opinions mattered made a decision and allowed someone who loves the game of golf, but has never stepped foot on a golf course, to do just that if he so chooses. That's a story that will stick with him for the rest of his life.