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Ochoa back on track with Evian lead

By GRAHAM DUNBAR
Associated Press

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Lorena Ochoa shot a 7-under par 65 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Evian Masters.

The 26-year-old Ochoa started with a birdie on the first hole and added six more on the back nine in a bogey-free round. Ahn Sun-ju, Candie Kung and Angela Park trailed by one stroke.

“I’m just glad I’m at the top,” Ochoa said. “I had a slow start. I made birdie on the first hole and didn’t give myself a lot of birdie chances. I had a break on 10 and 11. I got really good confidence and started feeling good over the ball and the putting.”

Park, a 19-year-old Brazil-born South Korean who gained United States citizenship last month, began with eight pars before she birdied six of the final 10 holes. Annika Sorenstam had four bogeys in her round of 71, six shots off the lead.

Ochoa arrived at Europe’s richest women’s tournament — $487,500 goes to the winner — after a three-week break since finishing 31st in the U.S. Women’s Open. The Mexican star is a six-time winner on the LPGA Tour this season.

“I have my goal for the second part of the season,” Ochoa said. “I’m very motivated to continue playing good and I’m glad I got a good start.”

Laura Diaz (67) shared third place, finishing with birdies on five of the last eight holes.

Like Ochoa, the 33-year-old American took a short break before Evian. She arrived in the French lakeside resort with a rib injury inflicted by her toddler son, Robert.

“My son injured my right rib the Saturday before last and I was forced to withdraw from the Jamie Farr Classic,” Diaz said. “I took a whole week off and didn’t hit a ball until I got here. I didn’t even know if I was going to play.”

Juli Inkster and Angela Stanford, Meena Lee and Suzann Pettersen also shot 67s.

Kim In-kyung, Kim Young and Amy Yang were another shot back, while defending champion Natalie Gulbis — who played with Ochoa Thursday — led a group at 69.

Sorenstam, the 2000 and 2002 Evian champion, played with Helen Alfredsson and Catrin Nilsmark in an all-Swedish trio of former winners.

“Today I left a few shots out there,” Sorenstam said. “I felt good about everything, then I wasn’t able to close.

“We have a lot of holes to go. I have a good strategy. I know how to play this course.”

Scores with relation to par from the first round of the Evian Masters, played July 24 at the par-72, 6,347-yard Evian (France) Masters Golf Club:

  1. Lorena Ochoa 65

    -7 2. Sun-Ju Ahn 66

    -6 2. Angela Park 66

    -6 2. Candie Kung 66

    -6 5. Laura Diaz 67

    -5 5. Meena Lee 67

    -5 5. Angela Stanford 67

    -5 5. Suzann Pettersen 67

    -5 5. Juli Inkster 67

    -5 10. In-Kyung Kim 68

    -4 10. Young Kim 68

    -4 10. Amy Yang 68

    -4 13. Shi Hyun Ahn 69

    -3 13. Song-Hee Kim 69

    -3 13. Seon Hwa Lee 69

    -3 13. Inbee Park 69

    -3 13. Morgan Pressel 69

    -3 13. Natalie Gulbis 69

    -3 13. Linda Wessberg 69

    -3 20. Cristie Kerr 70

    -2 20. Ji Young Oh 70

    -2 20. Meaghan Francella 70

    -2 20. Hee Young Park 70

    -2 20. Trish Johnson 70

    -2 20. Se Ri Pak 70

    -2 20. Momoko Ueda 70

    -2 20. Catrin Nilsmark 70

    -2 20. Paula Creamer 70

    -2 20. Yani Tseng 70

    -2 30. Jin Joo Hong 71

    -1 30. Jimin Kang 71

    -1 30. Eun-Hee Ji 71

    -1 30. Sarah Lee 71

    -1 30. Mi Hyun Kim 71

    -1 30. Na Yeon Choi 71

    -1 30. Laura Davies 71

    -1 30. Annika Sorenstam 71

    -1 30. Sophie Giquel 71

    -1 30. Teresa Lu 71

    -1 30. Giulia Sergas 71

    -1 41. Rebecca Hudson 72

    E 41. Katherine Hull 72

    E 41. Christina Kim 72

    E 41. Hee-Won Han 72

    E 41. Julieta Granada 72

    E 41. Emma Zackrisson 72

    E 41. Lindsey Wright 72

    E 41. Ji-Yai Shin 72

    E 41. Sherri Steinhauer 72

    E 41. Mhairi McKay 72

    E 41. Helen Alfredsson 72

    E 41. Karrie Webb 72

    E 41. Becky Brewerton 72

    E 54. Brittany Lang 73
    + 1 54. Maria Hjorth 73
    + 1 54. Sophie Gustafson 73
    + 1 54. Diana D'Alessio 73
    + 1 54. H.J. Choi 73
    + 1 54. Carin Koch 73
    + 1 60. Sun Young Yoo 74
    + 2 60. Pat Hurst 74
    + 2 60. Jane Park 74
    + 2 60. Nicole Castrale 74
    + 2 60. Jee Young Lee 74
    + 2 60. Minea Blomqvist 74
    + 2 60. Ai Miyazato 74
    + 2 60. Gwladys Nocera 74
    + 2 60. Karine Icher 74
    + 2 60. Jeong Jang 74
    + 2 70. Bo Bae Song 75
    + 3 70. Catriona Matthew 75
    + 3 70. Martina Eberl 75
    + 3 70. Rachel Hetherington 75
    + 3 70. Paula Marti 75
    + 3 75. Joanne Mills 76
    + 4 75. Nikki Garrett 76
    + 4 77. Na On Min 77
    + 5 77. Reilley Rankin 77
    + 5 77. Ashleigh Simon 77
    + 5 77. Brittany Lincicome 77
    + 5 77. Wendy Doolan 77
    + 5 77. Silvia Cavalleri 77
    + 5 83. Lotta Wahlin 78
    + 6 83. Anne-Lise Caudal 78
    + 6 85. Louise Friberg 79
    + 7 86. Bettina Hauert 80
    + 8 86. Leta Lindley 80
    + 8 86. Lisa Hall 80
    + 8 86. Tao-Li Yang 80
    + 8 WD. Karen Stupples

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