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Ochoa halfway to history

By ROBERT MILLWARD
Associated Press

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Lorena Ochoa’s missed putt at the 18th took the fun out of another big step toward her first major. Michelle Wie’s missed cut suggested she’s still a long way from her first victory.

Ochoa missed a 4-footer on the final hole to give her an even-par 73 and a one-stroke lead at St. Andrews in the Women’s British Open, Wie was preparing another early flight home. She shot an 80 for a 7-over score of 153 that missed the cut by two.

“It’s a disappointment because I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” said Wie, who has struggled with a left wrist injury.

“I do feel a lot stronger. I’m hitting a lot of shots that I’ve never really hit before so that’s a positive. I just need to take the positives and go on from there. I’m starting to feel really good about it. Obviously today was not my day, but I’ll do better.”

Missing the cut on the first women’s pro event to be played at the home of golf is another blow for the 17-year-old.

She had to sidestep the Kraft Nabisco because of injury, finished last at the LPGA Championship, and pulled out after playing only nine holes of the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open after shooting 82 in the first. Last week, she tied for 69th at the Evian Masters.

At St. Andrews, she had already dropped four shots by the time she took a triple bogey seven at the par-4 13th, taking five to get the ball within 12 feet of the flag and missing the putt. That was followed by another bogey. Her only birdie came at the last hole.

“The whole year I’ve been struggling with her driver and I just never got the ball on the fairway,” said Wie, whose opening round 73 had given her hope that her troubles were over.

“Today I felt that my driver was really solid. Obviously my irons weren’t good so I just have too keep it together. It’s like a puzzle. I’m just getting one bit at time.”

Ochoa, meanwhile, is creeping up on her first major.

She went to the 18th with a two-shot lead and faced a 25-foot putt for birdie. Instead of walking off three ahead of the field, the advantage slipped to one as her first putt, hit too strongly, curled 4 feet past and then she missed that to wind up with a bogey.

She also missed a putt for eagle at 14 but her 6-under 140 put her one ahead of Wendy Ward (70) and Catriona Matthew (68).

“It was a good day. I’m pleased with my round,” said the Mexican, who has had several near misses in previous majors. “I’m upset about the three-putt on 18 but I’m just glad I still have the lead.

“I’m very pleased the way we worked the strategy with my caddie. I think we are in good shape and we understand pretty good the golf course and hopefully we can keep doing the same thing for a couple more days.”

Ward made five birdies in her round, but also missed a 4-foot putt at the last.

“I didn’t care to finish that way,” Ward said. “But I’m still pleased with the day.”

Matthew, who has had eight top 10 finishes in majors, is the leading Scot in the field and her bogey-free 68 caught the attention of the local fans.

“Hopefully it will inspire me,” she said. “Obviously it’s great today finishing those last few holes and there’s still some big crowds out there cheering me on.

“Nice to get some support. When you play in the States all the time, I don’t get the same sort of support.”

Defending champion Sherri Steinhauer, who has won this event three times, improved to 3 under after a 71 gave her a second-round score of 143 and a tie for fourth.

She picked up two shots on the outward nine, including a 50-foot birdie putt at the sixth.

“It was very calm on the outward holes and not very difficult,” Steinhauer said. “I wish I could have taken a little more advantage.”

Annika Sorenstam, who won the 2003 Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham for one of her 10 majors, also improved to 3 under after a 71 that included four birdies.

“I thought I hit the ball beautifully today and had a lot of chances,” she said. “Those two would have been nice, but otherwise I was playing to my game plan.”

Juli Inkster moved into contention for the only major she hasn’t won with a 5-under 68. Inkster, who won her first two majors as a rookie in 1984 and is now chasing her eighth, improved 11 shots over her 79 in the first round and was at 1-over 147 going into the weekend.

Scores with relation to par from the secondround of the Women’s British Open, played Aug. 3 at the par-73 OldCourse at St. Andrews Links in St. Andrews, Scotland (Notes: a-amateur, play suspended due to darkness, y-yet to complete second round):

  1. Lorena Ochoa 67-73–140

    -6 2. Wendy Ward 71-70–141

    -5 2. Catriona Matthew 73-68–141

    -5 4. Annika Sorenstam 72-71–143

    -3 4. Sherri Steinhauer 72-71–143

    -3 4. Yuri Fudoh 74-69–143

    -3 4. Rebecca Hudson 70-73–143

    -3 4. Karine Icher 72-71–143

    -3 9. Eun-Hee Ji 73-71–144

    -2 10. Sophie Gustafson 73-72–145

    -1 10. Virginie Lagoutte-Clement 72-73–145

    -1 10. Louise Friberg 69-76–145

    -1 10. Jee Young Lee 72-73–145

    -1 14. Catrin Nilsmark 72-74–146

    E 14. Miki Saiki 76-70–146

    E 14. Candie Kung 72-74–146

    E 14. Se Ri Pak 73-73–146

    E 14. Lisa Hall 73-73–146

    E 19. Juli Inkster 79-68–147
    + 1 19. Meena Lee 71-76–147
    + 1 19. Rachel Hetherington 75-72–147
    + 1 19. Alena Sharp 77-70–147
    + 1 19. Linda Wessberg 74-73–147
    + 1 19. Karen Stupples 75-72–147
    + 1 19. Na On Min 72-75–147
    + 1 19. Brittany Lincicome 71-76–147
    + 1 19. Reilley Rankin 73-74–147
    + 1 19. a-Belen Mozo 75-72–147
    + 1 29. In-Kyung Kim 72-76–148
    + 2 29. Maria Hjorth 75-73–148
    + 2 29. Meg Mallon 74-74–148
    + 2 29. In-Bee Park 69-79–148
    + 2 29. Kim Hall 74-74–148
    + 2 29. Paula Creamer 73-75–148
    + 2 29. Cristie Kerr 77-71–148
    + 2 29. a-Melissa Reid 73-75–148
    + 2 29. Sarah Lee 72-76–148
    + 2 29. Michele Redman 75-73–148
    + 2 29. Martina Eberl 73-75–148
    + 2 40. Mhairi McKay 75-74–149
    + 3 40. Jimin Kang 77-72–149
    + 3 40. Dina Ammaccapane 76-73–149
    + 3 40. Momoko Ueda 73-76–149
    + 3 40. Natalie Gulbis 73-76–149
    + 3 40. Grace Park 75-74–149
    + 3 40. Beth Daniel 74-75–149
    + 3 40. Becky Brewerton 74-75–149
    + 3 40. Jin Joo Hong 76-73–149
    + 3 40. Christina Kim 75-74–149
    + 3 40. Gloria Park 74-75–149
    + 3 40. Joanne Mills 71-78–149
    + 3 52. Karrie Webb 77-73–150
    + 4 52. Trish Johnson 75-75–150
    + 4 52. Gwladys Nocera 78-72–150
    + 4 52. Ji-Yai Shin 76-74–150
    + 4 52. a-Hye Yong Choi 74-76–150
    + 4 52. Beth Bader 73-77–150
    + 4 52. Ai Miyazato 70-80–150
    + 4 52. Suzann Pettersen 74-76–150
    + 4 52. Stacy Prammanasudh 74-76–150
    + 4 52. Diana D'Alessio 74-76–150
    + 4 62. a-Kerry Smith 77-74–151
    + 5 62. a-Sally Watson 78-73–151
    + 5 62. Iben Tinning 77-74–151
    + 5 62. a-Rachel Bell 77-74–151
    + 5 62. Nicole Castrale 73-78–151
    + 5 62. a-Naomi Edwards 74-77–151
    + 5 62. a-Anna Nordqvist 76-75–151
    + 5 • • •

    Projected Cut

    69. Laura Davies 79-73–152
    + 6 69. Mikaela Parmlid 78-74–152
    + 6 69. Anna Rawson 80-72–152
    + 6 69. Angela Park 78-74–152
    + 6 69. Sarah Kemp 78-74–152
    + 6 69. Wendy Doolan 78-74–152
    + 6 69. Rebecca Coakley 74-78–152
    + 6 69. Lora Fairclough 75-77–152
    + 6 69. Shiho Oyama 77-75–152
    + 6 69. Carri Wood 75-77–152
    + 6 69. Lorie Kane 76-76–152
    + 6 69. Paula Marti 76-76–152
    + 6 69. Moira Dunn 74-78–152
    + 6 69. Brittany Lang 75-77–152
    + 6 69. Young Kim 73-79–152
    + 6 69. y-Lotta Wahlin 74-0–74
    + 6 85. Birdie Kim 79-74–153
    + 7 85. a-Carlota Ciganda 80-73–153
    + 7 85. Katherine Hull 79-74–153
    + 7 85. Karin Sjodin 79-74–153
    + 7 85. Sun Young Yoo 78-75–153
    + 7 85. Ji-Young Oh 77-76–153
    + 7 85. Sophie Walker 79-74–153
    + 7 85. Tullia Calzavara 72-81–153
    + 7 85. Michelle Wie 73-80–153
    + 7 85. Jeong Jang 76-77–153
    + 7 85. Stephanie Louden 75-78–153
    + 7 85. Giulia Sergas 75-78–153
    + 7 85. y-Angela Stanford 78-0–78
    + 7 98. a-Danielle McVeigh 76-78–154
    + 8 98. Ashleigh Simon 77-77–154
    + 8 98. Silvia Cavalleri 81-73–154
    + 8 98. Kyeong Bae 80-74–154
    + 8 98. Patricia Meunier-Lebouc 78-76–154
    + 8 98. Kate Golden 76-78–154
    + 8 98. Rebecca Stevenson 80-74–154
    + 8 98. Sakura Yokomine 77-77–154
    + 8 98. Seon Hwa Lee 76-78–154
    + 8 98. Helen Alfredsson 78-76–154
    + 8 98. Becky Morgan 79-75–154
    + 8 98. y-Beatriz Recari 76-0–76
    + 8 110. Shi Hyun Ahn 79-76–155
    + 9 110. Joo Mi Kim 75-80–155
    + 9 110. Nikki Garrett 74-81–155
    + 9 110. Nina Reis 79-76–155
    + 9 110. Ludivine Kreutz 78-77–155
    + 9 110. Marcy Hart 81-74–155
    + 9 110. Anja Monke 75-80–155
    + 9 117. Morgan Pressel 80-76–156
    + 10 117. Liselotte Neumann 80-76–156
    + 10 117. Clare Queen 77-79–156
    + 10 117. Heather Young 79-77–156
    + 10 117. Bettina Hauert 77-79–156
    + 10 122. Mi Hyun Kim 79-78–157
    + 11 122. Amy Hung 81-76–157
    + 11 122. Laura Diaz 81-76–157
    + 11 122. Lisa Holm Sorensen 78-79–157
    + 11 122. Johanna Westerberg 82-75–157
    + 11 122. Young Jo 78-79–157
    + 11 122. Leta Lindley 80-77–157
    + 11 129. Meaghan Francella 80-78–158
    + 12 129. Kirsty Taylor 78-80–158
    + 12 129. Louise Stahle 79-79–158
    + 12 129. Il Mi Chung 80-78–158
    + 12 129. Lindsey Wright 76-82–158
    + 12 134. Julieta Granada 78-81–159
    + 13 134. Sophie Giquel 80-79–159
    + 13 134. Charlotte Mayorkas 75-84–159
    + 13 137. Aree Song 79-81–160
    + 14 137. Dorothy Delasin 83-77–160
    + 14 137. Teresa Lu 79-81–160
    + 14 137. Samantha Head 79-81–160
    + 14 137. Carin Koch 79-81–160
    + 14 137. Pat Hurst 77-83–160
    + 14 143. Stefania Croce 84-77–161
    + 15 144. Janice Moodie 83-79–162
    + 16 144. Veronica Zorzi 81-81–162
    + 16 144. Hye Jung Choi 79-83–162
    + 16 147. Sung Ah Yim 81-82–163
    + 17 148. Margherita Rigon 80-84–164
    + 18 149. Tania Elosegui 86-80–166
    + 20 WD. Eleanor Pilgrim

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