Ochoa rallies, wins for fourth straight week on LPGA Tour
Monday, April 21, 2008
Lorena Ochoa became the first LPGA Tour player in 45 years to win four tournaments in consecutive weeks.
Ochoa shot a 3-under 69 in the final round of the Ginn Open in Reunion, Fla., on Sunday and beat rookie Yani Tseng by three strokes for her fifth victory in six starts this year.
"I'm very grateful. It's been a blessing, you know," Ochoa said. "But I know that bad times will come. It's just the way life is. I'm just trying to enjoy my moment, and I would like to enjoy it for a long time. So even if it's going to be an up-and-down ride, hopefully I can stay there."
Ochoa trailed early in the final round, but went ahead for good with three straight birdies beginning at No. 8. She finished at 19 under and became the second player to win four times in four consecutive weeks.
Mickey Wright did it in 1962 and 1963. Kathy Whitworth (1969) and Annika Sorenstam (2001) also won four consecutive events, but there were off weeks during their runs.
Sorenstam (2004 to 2005) and Nancy Lopez (1978) hold the tour record with five straight victories in events entered, but neither of those came in consecutive weeks.
The 22-time tour winner will give her colleagues a chance to take the spotlight next week in South Florida. She will sit out the Stanford Invitation Pro-Am and will try to make it five straight in two weeks in Tulsa, Okla.
Boo Weekley won the Verizon Heritage for the second straight year, closing with an even-par 71 for a three-stroke victory over Anthony Kim and Aaron Baddeley in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Last year, Weekley needed chips-ins on the 71st and 72nd holes to beat Ernie Els by a stroke for his first PGA Tour victory. On Sunday, Weekley strode up the 18th fairway with the win very much in hand and the gallery chanting, "Boooo! Boooo!"
Weekley finished at 15 under.
Kim and Baddeley also finished with 71s, Jim Furyk (69) finished fourth at 11 under.
Tom Watson successfully defended his Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am title in Lutz, Fla., saving bogey after hitting into the water on No. 18 for a 1-under 70 and a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas and Scott Hoch.
A year after ending an 0-for-93 Florida drought at the TPC Tampa Bay, Watson finished at 9 under for his 50th title on the Champions and PGA tours.
-- The Associated Press