If golf was NASCAR then Annika Sorenstam is drafting behind Angela Stanford and setting her up for a final lap pass and a checkered flag at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at Guadalajara Country Club. She gained 5 strokes after an excellent 67, -9, that left her a solitary stroke behind after Stanford's even par, -10. After bogeying 16 and 17, Annika stuck her 3rd shot approach on the par five 18th to two feet for a tap in birdie. Stanford's uneventful round included two bogeys and two birdies for a hum-drum 72 that allowed Annika back in the tournament. Stanford's reputation for overly protecting a lead may have reared it's ugly head once again. She still has tomorrow to shake that demon.
Also picking up ground on the water treading leader were Jee Young Lee, -7, Sun Young Yoo, -6, and In-Kyung Kim at -5. Brittany Lang equaled Sorenstam's 67 and sat tied with Kim at five under, still within striking distance. Gracious host, Lorena Ochoa, shot 70 today leaving her 8 strokes off the pace. Understandable considering her hosting responsibilities and the impact this event has on Mexico. Lorena's a huge star and philanthropist in her home country and willingly carries a lot of weight for Mexico in the eyes of the world. Guadalajara is also her home course and where she learned the game, so I'm certain she has a ton of distractions to handle. The players were gladly remarking what a wonderful course this was and how well they've been treated all week. Consider yourselves to be on the ground floor watching a tournament that will continue to grow in importance and stature.
It would have been great to see Lorena win on her home course, but it would be equally satisfying to see Annika prevail in the next to the last event of her illustrious career. Watch tomorrow. Won't disappoint.