Monday, June 25, 2007
Wegmans LPGA – Epilogue
Yesterday’s playoff win was Lorena Ochoa’s first in five attempts. Her third win of 2007 gives her a total of 12 for her career.
I have already read multiple comments saying that Ochoa played “terrible” on Sunday, implying that In-Kyung Kim should have won instead. I.K. posted a 72 yesterday, exactly one stroke better than Lorena. I.K. lipped out a 4-footer on 18 that would have won the tournament; Ochoa lipped out at least twice earlier in the day. Folks, add it all up over four days and they both played equally terrible/well.
Having said that, I agree with Mulligan Stu at Waggle Room. Lorena did NOT exorcise all of the “demons” that the ESPN commentators said she did. She did take care of the playoff winless streak, but once again she entered the final round with the lead and did not hold it. Down three shots with two holes to play and coming through with eagle at 17 showed a lot of poise, but getting into the playoff required a little help from Kim at 18 and ultimately Kim’s bogey on the second playoff hole lost it as much as Lorena’s par won it. I feel confident that Ochoa will take care of each of her “demons” in due time and would like to point out that she doesn’t have to (and isn’t likely to) exorcise all of them in one fell swoop. It was mentioned that Lorena’s Sunday scoring average is about 1.5 strokes higher than her overall average. If that can be addressed (without raising her overall average – bad way to fix that!), her “demons” might vanish into the night.
One of this week’s primary themes will once again be the “Ochoa Hasn’t Won a Major” story. Judy Rankin - and don’t get me wrong, I think Judy usually knows what she’s talking about – finds it necessary in every event she covers to imply that until Lorena gets that major, she’s only kinda-sorta the Number One Player. Last time I checked, winning a major is NOT a prerequisite to holding that ranking. The Rolex points you get for winning one certainly helps - ask Morgan Pressel. When you’re looking at a player of Ochoa’s caliber, the few negative things about her record are much easier to focus on than the dozens of positives. Now that I think of it, that’s what “demons” really are – the few things that a great player seems to have problems with. I guess lesser players just need to go to church more often.
I neglected to award Big Surprise and Big Disappointment yesterday (I was a little pressed for time). In-Kyung Kim is definitely the former. Wendy Ward managed her first Top 10 of the year, so a big shoutout goes to Wendy. The BD is Juli Inkster, who missed the cut by four shots. Not a good lead-in to US Open week for Juli.
Posted by Hound Dog