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Ochoa rallies to wild Wegmans win

By BEN DOBBIN
Associated Press

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Trailing by three shots with two holes to play, Lorena Ochoa knew that nothing less than an eagle at the par-5 17th hole would rekindle her hopes at the Wegmans LPGA.

When she reached the green in two and rattled in a 12-foot putt, the pressure suddenly shifted from the world’s No. 1 player to In-Kyung Kim, a South Korean rookie looking for her first win on the LPGA Tour.

Kim failed to hold on, missing a 4-foot par putt on the last regulation hole, and Ochoa then beat her in a playoff for her third victory this season and her first playoff win in five attempts.

“I just never lost my hope,’’ Ochoa said. “Making that eagle on 17, it was very special. I will remember that … for the rest of my life.’’

With the U.S. Women’s Open coming up Thursday at Pine Needles in Southern Pines, N.C., the 25-year-old Mexican star said she feels the time is ripe to capture her first major title.

“I’m ready, I’m prepared,’’ she said. “I like my chances.’’

Ochoa closed with a 1-over-par 73 for an 8-under 280 total on the Locust Hill course and won with a par on the second playoff hole. It was the first playoff finish at this tournament in suburban Rochester since Patty Sheehan defeated Ayako Okamoto in 1989.

Ochoa earned $270,000 to extend her lead on the money list to $1.52 million. That’s almost a half-million dollars more than her nearest rival, Suzann Pettersen of Norway.

The 19-year-old Kim, who shot a 72, has made steady progress this year. Her previous best finish was a tie for fourth at last month’s Corning Classic. She missed the cut in four of her first six outings but stayed through the weekend in the past six, tying for 21st at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago.

“I can cry right now but I’m not going to cry for this,’’ Kim said. “I played really tight with the No. 1 player and I’ll take that experience. Next time I’m never going to let it go.’’

South Korean compatriot Mi Hyun Kim, an eight-time tour winner, drove her tee shot behind trees on 18 to finish with a bogey and dropped into third place at 7 under. She was one shot better than Cristie Kerr (71), a nine-time winner who led after the opening round.

Tied for fifth were Lindsey Wright (71) and defending champion Jeong Jang of South Korea, who closed with a 68.

After three rounds, Ochoa led In-Kyung Kim by one shot. She missed a half-dozen chances on the front nine, lipping out three times, and her bunker shot on No. 10 rolled 35 feet past the hole for a bogey that dropped her back into a tie.

She missed from 12 feet for bogey on No. 12 and from 5 feet for another bogey on No. 14. But she finally caught up on No. 18 when Kim had to chip out of the rough behind the green and then lipped out.

Both players made par on the first playoff hole. After wayward drives on the next hole – the par-4 10th – Ochoa sank a 3-foot par putt while Kim missed from 15 feet away.

Early this month, Ochoa let a two-shot lead slip away over the final two holes at the Ginn Tribute, handing Nicole Castrale her first LPGA Tour victory in a playoff.

Ochoa was runner-up here in her rookie year in 2003 and won in 2005 when she birdied six of the last seven holes to beat Paula Creamer by four strokes. She has 11 top-10 finishes this year, winning the Safeway International in March and the Sybase Classic in May.

Ochoa topped the 2006 money list with $2.59 million, just $4,632 more than Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam. For the previous 11 years, either Sorenstam or Karrie Webb of Australia had ranked No. 1 in official earnings.

Final scores with relation to par and earnings from the Wegmans LPGA, played June 21-24 at the par-72, 6,221-yardLocust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. (Note: x-won in playoff):

  1. x-Lorena Ochoa 270,000
    69-71-67-73–280
    -8 2. In-Kyung Kim 165,587
    70-67-71-72–280
    -8 3. Mi Hyun Kim 120,122
    69-68-75-69–281
    -7 4. Cristie Kerr 92,925
    66-75-70-71–282
    -6 5. Jeong Jang 67,994
    71-73-71-68–283
    -5 5. Lindsey Wright 67,994
    70-70-72-71–283
    -5 7. Angela Stanford 51,222
    70-69-73-72–284
    -4 8. Brittany Lincicome 36,233
    69-75-73-68–285
    -3 8. Jee Young Lee 36,233
    71-77-69-68–285
    -3 8. Morgan Pressel 36,233
    70-72-73-70–285
    -3 8. Maria Hjorth 36,233
    70-71-73-71–285
    -3 8. Rachel Hetherington 36,233
    70-71-73-71–285
    -3 8. Wendy Ward 36,233
    74-70-69-72–285
    -3 14. Sophie Gustafson 25,656
    70-74-75-67–286
    -2 14. Jin Joo Hong 25,656
    71-73-69-73–286
    -2 14. Pat Hurst 25,656
    74-69-70-73–286
    -2 14. A.J. Eathorne 25,656
    72-71-69-74–286
    -2 18. Giulia Sergas 21,637
    76-68-75-68–287
    -1 18. Mhairi McKay 21,637
    72-72-74-69–287
    -1 18. Suzann Pettersen 21,637
    68-75-72-72–287
    -1 21. Angela Park 16,755
    76-71-72-69–288
    E 21. Hye Jung Choi 16,755
    74-74-71-69–288
    E 21. Jimin Kang 16,755
    70-75-73-70–288
    E 21. Lorie Kane 16,755
    71-74-72-71–288
    E 21. Ai Miyazato 16,755
    73-71-73-71–288
    E 21. Young-A Yang 16,755
    76-72-69-71–288
    E 21. Paula Creamer 16,755
    70-76-70-72–288
    E 21. Meena Lee 16,755
    71-71-73-73–288
    E 21. Leta Lindley 16,755
    72-71-72-73–288
    E 21. Beth Bader 16,755
    73-72-70-73–288
    E 21. Seon Hwa Lee 16,755
    71-71-71-75–288
    E 32. Sun Young Yoo 12,602
    72-73-75-69–289 + 1 32. Diana D'Alessio 12,602
    71-74-74-70–289 + 1 32. Nina Reis 12,602
    76-70-70-73–289 + 1 35. Brandie Burton 9,892
    74-73-76-67–290 + 2 35. Katherine Hull 9,892
    71-73-75-71–290 + 2 35. Michele Redman 9,892
    73-72-74-71–290 + 2 35. Amy Hung 9,892
    70-75-73-72–290 + 2 35. Se Ri Pak 9,892
    73-74-71-72–290 + 2 35. Reilley Rankin 9,892
    73-71-73-73–290 + 2 35. Joo Mi Kim 9,892
    74-73-70-73–290 + 2 35. Moira Dunn 9,892
    73-71-71-75–290 + 2 35. Karine Icher 9,892
    74-70-70-76–290 + 2 44. Beth Daniel 7,434
    75-71-76-69–291 + 3 44. Catriona Matthew 7,434
    71-75-75-70–291 + 3 44. Becky Morgan 7,434
    70-72-76-73–291 + 3 44. Soo Young Moon 7,434
    72-73-72-74–291 + 3 44. Janice Moodie 7,434
    74-70-72-75–291 + 3 49. Eva Dahllof 5,996
    70-77-77-68–292 + 4 49. Jamie Hullett 5,996
    74-74-74-70–292 + 4 49. Karrie Webb 5,996
    72-73-76-71–292 + 4 49. Sherri Steinhauer 5,996
    74-74-73-71–292 + 4 49. Kate Golden 5,996
    71-77-71-73–292 + 4 49. Vicki Goetze-Ackerman 5,996
    71-74-73-74–292 + 4 49. Erica Blasberg 5,996
    75-68-74-75–292 + 4 56. Young Kim 4,986
    70-76-76-71–293 + 5 56. Silvia Cavalleri 4,986
    76-70-76-71–293 + 5 56. Nancy Scranton 4,986
    76-71-74-72–293 + 5 56. Gloria Park 4,986
    72-76-69-76–293 + 5 60. Sherri Turner 4,397
    71-76-76-71–294 + 6 60. Katie Futcher 4,397
    71-76-74-73–294 + 6 60. Ji-Young Oh 4,397
    71-76-74-73–294 + 6 60. Charlotta Sorenstam 4,397
    70-77-70-77–294 + 6 64. Candie Kung 4,080
    72-74-78-71–295 + 7 64. Song-Hee Kim 4,080
    73-75-71-76–295 + 7 64. Alena Sharp 4,080
    67-74-77-77–295 + 7 67. Yu Ping Lin 3,808
    73-74-78-71–296 + 8 67. Na Ri Kim 3,808
    74-72-76-74–296 + 8 67. Christina Kim 3,808
    70-75-76-75–296 + 8 70. Il Mi Chung 3,604
    72-73-77-76–298 + 10 70. Patricia Meunier-Lebouc 3,604
    72-75-75-76–298 + 10 72. Karin Sjodin 3,536
    72-75-81-77–305 + 17

    •••

    Missed the cut

    73. Soo-Yun Kang

    75-74–149
    + 5 73. Birdie Kim

    72-77–149
    + 5 73. Jackie Gallagher-Smith
    74-75–149
    + 5 73. Dorothy Delasin

    71-78–149
    + 5 73. Meredith Duncan

    75-74–149
    + 5 73. Laurie Rinker

    78-71–149
    + 5 73. Kimberly Hall

    73-76–149
    + 5 80. Heather Daly-Donofrio
    77-73–150
    + 6 80. Kim Williams

    78-72–150
    + 6 80. Joanne Morley

    78-72–150
    + 6 80. Sae-Hee Son

    77-73–150
    + 6 80. Barb Mucha

    74-76–150
    + 6 80. Kristy McPherson

    73-77–150
    + 6 80. Heather Young

    76-74–150
    + 6 80. Nicole Castrale

    74-76–150
    + 6 80. Liselotte Neumann

    76-74–150
    + 6 80. Sung Ah Yim

    74-76–150
    + 6 80. Teresa Lu

    74-76–150
    + 6 80. Kelli Kuehne

    75-75–150
    + 6 80. Lee Ann Walker-Cooper
    75-75–150
    + 6 80. Michelle Ellis

    75-75–150
    + 6 94. Carri Wood

    75-76–151
    + 7 94. Clarissa Childs

    75-76–151
    + 7 94. Kim Saiki-Maloney

    73-78–151
    + 7 94. Stephanie Louden

    78-73–151
    + 7 94. Irene Cho

    75-76–151
    + 7 94. Siew-Ai Lim

    78-73–151
    + 7 94. Kyeong Bae

    76-75–151
    + 7 94. Na On Min

    76-75–151
    + 7 94. Brittany Lang

    73-78–151
    + 7 94. Lisa Fernandes

    73-78–151
    + 7 94. Virada Nirapathpongporn
    74-77–151
    + 7 94. Tina Barrett

    73-78–151
    + 7 94. Johanna Head

    75-76–151
    + 7 94. In-Bee Park

    71-80–151
    + 7 94. Kris Tamulis

    76-75–151
    + 7 94. Christi Cano

    76-75–151
    + 7 110. Aree Song

    74-78–152
    + 8 110. Maru Martinez

    75-77–152
    + 8 110. Brooke Tull

    76-76–152
    + 8 110. Danielle Downey

    76-76–152
    + 8 110. Laura Diaz

    76-76–152
    + 8 110. Juli Inkster

    76-76–152
    + 8 110. Meg Mallon

    75-77–152
    + 8 110. Sophia Sheridan

    74-78–152
    + 8 110. Allison Hanna-Williams
    74-78–152
    + 8 119. Marcy Hart

    72-81–153
    + 9 120. Jill McGill

    78-76–154
    + 10 120. Julieta Granada

    77-77–154
    + 10 120. Mikaela Parmlid

    76-78–154
    + 10 120. Seo-Yeon Jeon

    79-75–154
    + 10 124. Ashli Bunch

    81-74–155
    + 11 124. Christa Johnson

    74-81–155
    + 11 124. Paige Mackenzie

    71-84–155
    + 11 124. Hana Kim

    77-78–155
    + 11 128. Esther Choe

    78-78–156
    + 12 128. Grace Park

    76-80–156
    + 12 128. Jeanne Cho-Hunicke
    75-81–156
    + 12 128. Dina Ammaccapane

    72-84–156
    + 12 132. Cindy Rarick

    80-77–157
    + 13 133. Aram Cho

    76-82–158
    + 14 133. Wendy Doolan

    78-80–158
    + 14 133. Jenna Daniels

    78-80–158
    + 14 136. Sarah Lynn Sargent

    78-82–160
    + 16 136. Michelle McGann

    76-84–160
    + 16 138. Hilary Lunke

    79-82–161
    + 17 139. Riko Higashio

    83-80–163
    + 19 140. Nancy Lopez

    82-82–164
    + 20 WD. Sarah Lee

    73-WD

    WD. Natalie Gulbis

    78-WD

    WD. Jennifer Rosales

    78-WD

    WD. Natalie Gulbis

    80-WD

    DNS. Young Jo

    DNS

    DNS. Stacy Prammanasudh
    DNS

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