Loud and clear
Super Mex begins her 2008 LPGA season the way she left off in 2007.
SINGAPORE - Lorena Ochoa completed a runaway victory in her first tournament of the year, closing with a 4-under 68 to leave Annika Sorenstam 11 strokes behind Sunday in the rain-slowed HSBC Women's Champions.I was a credentialed member of the media when Ochoa won the ADT Championship last November. She dominated that tournament too, but ADT's format where scores reset doesn't reflect it.
Competing for the first time since winning the ADT Championship in November for her eighth 2006 victory, Ochoa finished at 20-under 268 on Tanah Merah's Garden Course. The top-ranked Mexican star earned $300,000 for her 18th career LPGA Tour victory.
Sorenstam won the B-flight, shooting a 71 in the rainy afternoon conditions for her third straight top-four finish. Slowed by neck and back injuries last year, she won the season-opening SBS Open in Hawaii for her 70th LPGA Tour title and first since September 2006, then finished fourth last week in the Fields Open.
Paula Creamer, the Fields Open winner, shot a 73 to finish third at 7 under. Laura Diaz (71) was another stroke back in the first-year tournament, and Karrie Webb (74) and Stacy Prammanasudh (71) followed at 5 under
In an event where only 13 players finished under par, Ochoa opened with rounds of 66, 65 and 69 to take an eight-stroke lead over Sorenstam and Creamer into the final round. Ochoa missed a chance to break Cindy Mackey's 72-hole record for margin of victory of 14, but topped her own mark of 10 in the 2006 Tournament of Champions.
Lorena could win tournaments in double digits this year. The first major, The Kraft Nabisco is a month away, Lorena will be gunning to win that after having chances there the last few years.
*- This was the LPGA's first ever visit to Singapore. Next year the tour will have a Hawaii/Asia swing consisting of two events in Hawaii followed by Singapore and Thailand.
*- Rumor has it the LPGA Tour may visit China in 2008. On a week this fall where there is no tournament scheduled. There is a market for ladies professional golf in Asia.
*- How about that Suzann Pettersen? Winner of five tournaments in 2007, after coming up with zero prior to last year, she has finished 14th, 15th, and 30th in 2008.
It is kind of dumb to think a golfer is great just based on one year(or making a comeback based on one round). All those golf prognosticators who though Suzann would tear things up again in 2008 are liable to be eating crow at the end of year over the Norwegian(She's could be this year's version of Julieta Granada), and ignoring Hee Won Han. Hee Won BTW who didn't play in Singapore, was 11th on the money list going into the tournament. Are you ever going to answer those emails Ron Sirak or Golf World or are you going to never admit you were idiots for leaving Han off your list? I'm expecting too much again from the golf media.
Before someone says I may be reading too much into Ochoa's win, we have two previous years worth of proof to see how dominating Super Mex has become on the LPGA.
*- Annika Sorenstam finishes second this week. A win, a second, and a top five. No question, Annika is back.