Twice this season
Lorena Ochoa entered the final round of a tournament with the lead only to lose
in a playoff. So she couldn't have felt comfortable with her two-shot edge in
the Takefuji Classic last Saturday when she reached the final hole of Las Vegas
Country Club--a par-5 that gave her playing partners a chance to force a tie.
But unlike at the SBS Open and the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she was
caught by Joo Mi Kim and Karrie Webb, respectively, Ochoa went on to make
birdie, giving her a 19-under-par 197 and a three-shot victory, the fourth win
of her career. "Those playoffs really taught me how to focus when you are
under pressure," Ochoa said. "What happened [at the Kraft] made me a
better player," proving the adage, What happens in Mission Hills, pays in
Vegas.... The wire-to-wire win moved Ochoa to the top of the LPGA money list
($474,051).... Rookie Seon Hwa Lee birdied five of the last six holes for her
third runner-up finish in six starts.
For the first
time in 22 years the final two rounds of the McDonald's LPGA Championship (June
8--11) will not appear on CBS. The network had asked tournament organizers if,
starting in 2007, they could wrap up the event by 3 p.m., so CBS could squeeze
in final-round coverage of the PGA Tour's Stanford St. Jude Championship, a new
addition to its schedule. Instead, McDonald's tournament director Herb Lotman
negotiated an immediate move to the Golf Channel, which is already scheduled to
air the first two rounds of the women's major.
winner Larry Nelson received 65% of the vote to earn admission into the World
Golf Hall of Fame. Entering with Nelson will be Henry Picard, who was selected
in the veteran's category by the World Golf Foundation board of directors
selection committee. The induction ceremony will be on Oct. 30. ?Still no word
on what will become of Paul Azinger and Nick Faldo in the wake of ABC's
decision to drop the PGA Tour after this season, but the man who hired the duo
is moving on. Mark Loomis, who produced golf and football for ABC, will produce
games at the NFL Network. ?European bookies have Phil Mickelson as a 40-to-1
shot to complete the Mickelslam.
? Alan Shipnuck's
Power Rankings appears every Tuesday at SI.com/golf.