Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa recorded her fifth victory of 2006 on Sunday at the Samsung World Championship in California and reinforced her position as number one on the ADT LPGA Money List with just a few events left to go.
Ochoa (pictured) is set to become the first woman in twelve seasons to break the stanglehold enjoyed on the LPGA Money List by Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb, and she must be the overwhelming favourite to complete her mission after this latest victory in California.
Ochoa started the day three strokes behind Sorenstam, who was looking for a record breaking sixth victory in the event, but carded a final round of 65 to eventually prevail by two strokes from her great rival, who struggled to a final round of 70. Ochoa fired five birdies and an eagle to finish on -16. Sorenstam’s compatriot, 2003 champion Sophie Gustafson, was three strokes behind Sorenstam in third place.
Sorenstam was unable to keep up her amazing streak of winning the previous twelve of thirteen tournaments when she has led going into the final day, and she now looks likely to surrender the LPGA Money List title to her 24 year-old rival.
“I knew Annika would show up today,” the delighted Ochoa said.
“So I knew that I had to play with all my heart to beat her. I am very happy. She knows I could do it and I knew I could do it. I’m very excited and it feels great.”
Ochoa is now set to also win the LPGA Player of the Year award, something that Sorenstam has made her own in the last few seasons. The Swede, who celebrated her 36th birthday last week, will already be looking ahead to next month’s Mizuno Classic in Japan – another event she has won five times in the past.