Twice this seasonLorena Ochoa entered the final round of a tournament with the lead only to losein a playoff. So she couldn't have felt comfortable with her two-shot edge inthe Takefuji Classic last Saturday when she reached the final hole of Las VegasCountry 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 wascaught by Joo Mi Kim and Karrie Webb, respectively, Ochoa went on to makebirdie, giving her a 19-under-par 197 and a three-shot victory, the fourth winof her career. "Those playoffs really taught me how to focus when you areunder pressure," Ochoa said. "What happened [at the Kraft] made me abetter player," proving the adage, What happens in Mission Hills, pays inVegas.... 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 herthird runner-up finish in six starts.
For the firsttime in 22 years the final two rounds of the McDonald's LPGA Championship (June8--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 squeezein final-round coverage of the PGA Tour's Stanford St. Jude Championship, a newaddition to its schedule. Instead, McDonald's tournament director Herb Lotmannegotiated an immediate move to the Golf Channel, which is already scheduled toair the first two rounds of the women's major.
•Three-time majorwinner Larry Nelson received 65% of the vote to earn admission into the WorldGolf Hall of Fame. Entering with Nelson will be Henry Picard, who was selectedin the veteran's category by the World Golf Foundation board of directorsselection committee. The induction ceremony will be on Oct. 30. •Still no wordon what will become of Paul Azinger and Nick Faldo in the wake of ABC'sdecision to drop the PGA Tour after this season, but the man who hired the duois moving on. Mark Loomis, who produced golf and football for ABC, will producegames at the NFL Network. •European bookies have Phil Mickelson as a 40-to-1shot to complete the Mickelslam.
• Alan Shipnuck'sPower Rankings appears every Tuesday at SI.com/golf.
Survey Says ...
What's one of the most popular products on Tour thatthe pros are not paid to use? The Seaforth rain cover. At the PlayersChampionship 87% of the pros carried a Seaforth cover. The cover and thecompany were created in 1992 by Caroline Doig, of Seaforth, Ont. To this dayDoig, 54, remains the company's only employee.
The Darrell Survey has tracked equipment usage at proand amateur events since 1938.
84 Lumber cancels its 2007 Tour event, giving Hartford a reprieve
MOGUL + PASSION + STAR ATTRACTION - MONEY / STORECLOSINGS = HARTFORD'S REBIRTH
"Tiger meant nothing derogatory to anyperson." --MY SHOT, PAGE G28
LISA BLUMENFELD/GETTY IMAGES (OCHOA)
BIG WINNER Ochoa has set or tied 14 scoring records in '06.
COURTESY OF SEAFORTH (BAG); MARC FELDMAN/WIREIMAGE.COM (JOE HARDY); DARREN CARROLL (CROWD, JOHN DALY); LEE SNIDER/PHOTO IMAGES/CORBIS (STOREFRONT); BOB CHILD/AP (TIM FINCHEM)