Monday, April 30, 2007

Corona Championship – Final Round

Silvia Cavalleri out-dueled Julieta Granada and Lorena Ochoa, firing a 66 to win the Corona Championship by two strokes. It is the first LPGA victory for Silvia in her eight seasons on tour and the first LPGA win by an Italian player. Granada and Ochoa finished tied for second at -18 as Pat Hurst took fourth at -15 and rookie Na On Min was fifth at -13.

As the final group was finishing the front nine, eight players were within four shots of the lead. Hurst was making a move in the group just ahead – she birdied 8 (her fifth straight birdie) to take the lead at -17 and then birdied number 10. Cavalleri responded with birdies at 9 and 10 to tie Pat for the lead at -18. At this point, Ochoa and Granada were two back. Hurst bogeyed 11 to fall out of the lead, then Cavalleri birdied 13 to open up the first two-shot lead of the day. Ochoa birdied 12 and Granada birdied 13 to tie Hurst for second. At 15 Granada made a birdie to get within one. Hurst birdied 17 to do the same, but then Cavalleri birdied 17 to regain the two-stroke lead and basically seal the deal. Hurst knocked herself out of a tie for second when she tripled the final hole.

Moira Dunn was in the running at -13 through 11 holes but a double-bogey at 14 knocked her out. Stacy Prammanasudh was only three strokes behind through 12 but promptly bogeyed 13 and doubled 14 to end her hopes. Rookie Na On Min wasn’t able to keep pace with the leaders but ended her first tournament of the year with a 72 to finish in the top five, making her this week’s Big Surprise (sorry Silvia!). The Big Disappointment was Jee Young Lee, who missed the cut by one shot.

Another big surprise was the appearance of Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, who presented Cavalleri with the winner’s trophy and also a plaque to Lorena Ochoa commemorating her ascent to the top of the world rankings.

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