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Ochoa enjoys two-shot margin

August 03, 2007|From the Associated Press

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- If Lorena Ochoa has been saving her first major victory for the home of golf, she's off to an ideal start.

Ochoa compiled a bogey-free, six-under-par 67 at St. Andrews in calm, sunny conditions Thursday to take a two-shot lead in the Women's British Open, the first time the women pros have played at the famous course.

"It was just a really good day, one of those days when things are easy and really good," Ochoa said. "There was only a little bit of a breeze and I took advantage of that and made some birdies.

"I had in my head two or three under, so it's even better than I thought."

Sweden's Louise Friberg and South Korea's In-Bee Park are two behind after 69s with Japan's Ai Miyazato and England's Rebecca Hudson three off the lead after 70s. Annika Sorenstam had a one-under 72, and Michelle Wie showed signs of straightening out her game with an even-par 73.

Wie was two shots behind Ochoa until bogeys on two of the final five holes.

"It was semi-disappointing and semi-successful," said Wie, recovering from an injured left wrist and trying to break 70 for the first time in more than a year.

"It's the first time I've played really solidly, but I missed some reasonably easy putts. I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel now."

After winning her first title at the Evian Masters on Sunday, Natalie Gulbis was at 73, along with Paula Creamer.

U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr struggled to a 77, beginning her round with two bogeys.

Another major winner, Morgan Pressel, who won the Kraft Nabisco, had major problems. She finished with an 80 that included nine bogeys.

Defending champion Sherri Steinhauer, seeking her fourth title in this tournament, had a 72.

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