Ochoa chases Stupples at Kraft Championship

Friday, April 4, 2008

Lorena Ochoa figured anything around par is good enough at a major. It took four straight birdies to get into the mix Thursday at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Starting with a sand wedge to 2 feet on the 18th hole that she called her best of the day, Ochoa zoomed up the leaderboard with a string of birdies around the turn and settled for an opening round of 4-under 68, leaving her one shot behind Karen Stupples, who is a former touring professional for Dalhousie Golf Club.

Ochoa is trying to become the first woman since Annika Sorenstam in 2005 to win consecutive majors.

Stupples, who won the Women's British Open in 2004 and is getting back into the swing after giving birth to her first child last year, was the first to play and made it around Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif., without a bogey for 67.

PGA Tour

Defending champion Adam Scott overcame a fever and swollen glands around his throat, shooting a course-record 9-under 63 in calm early conditions for a share of the Houston Open lead in Humble, Texas.

Johnson Wagner matched Scott's 63 late in the day.

Charley Hoffman was two behind the leaders after a 65, and Steve Stricker was three back. Phil Mickelson, one of several top players using Houston as a tuneup for next week's Masters, shot a 72 in the afternoon, when blustery wind produced higher scores.

-- The Associated Press

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