Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ochoa Leads the Way. What Else is New?

In Singapore today you would have gotten better odds that the sun wouldn't rise than odds that after the first round Lorena Ochoa would be leading the HSBC Women's Champions event. Ochoa posted a smooth 66 to finish with a one shot lead over Paula Creamer and Ai Miyazato. I don't mean to infer the tournament's over by any stretch. After all, Creamer was victorious just last week and has been a hot golfer. Still, it's remarkable that after nearly three months off Ochoa can return to her world #1 form in her first event of 2008. There's no error in referring to her as the L.P.G.A.'s Tiger Woods. She opened the season with a six birdie, bogey free round that only proves the model of consistency she's been for the last two years. Bogey free rounds will keep you in any tournament. Birdies will come on their own when the putts fall. Contrast that to Annika's three birdie, two bogey round for a 71, five shots back. One under yes, but staring at Ochoa's tail lights after the first day. That creates pressure to make birdies tomorrow and changes shot selection, especially approaches fired at pins. Great if it works, trouble if it doesn't. Besides, you could post 5 under on day #2 and not be shocked if Lorena shoots 65. It's too early in the season to crown anyone on any tour. Nevertheless, I'd be remiss to not point out that Lorena and Tiger appear to be playing in onesomes.

Of secondary note, Luke Donald leads the Honda Classic with a six under 64. Ernie Els, who desperately could use a jump start, is three off the lead. The tournament is being held at P.G.A. National in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Being held once again on The Champion Course, shot makers should be favored, due to 107 sand bunkers and water on 16 of 18 holes. Originally a Tom Fazio design, redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 1990, the course appears to be a permanent locale for this stepchild of a tournament.

Pay attention kids. This is the time of the professional golf season where trends begin to appear. The wheat starts to separate from the chaff.

Til' next,


  1. Oh please don’t tell me there will be another tiger woods, Lorena Ochoa. I won’t watch any LPGA if they start the bowing and scraping to her. Maybe another tour ruined?
    Hey no tiger, oh it’s a shot maker’s course I forgot.
    Come on Ernie. Wheat-the ones who believe than can win when tigers in the field, the chaff-the ones who don't.maybe the chaff should move to the Hooters Tour.

  2. I just meant it appears she's becoming as dominating as Tiger.