Ochoa takes Women's Champions lead
The Mexican world number one is ahead by seven shots going into the weekend.
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2008 12:05 GMT

Lorena Ochoa is aiming for her first LPGA title of the year after winning eight last season [GALLO/GETTY]

Lorena Ochoa, Mexican world number one, took an imposing seven-stroke lead over the rest of the field after the second round of the Women's Champions tournament in Singapore, as she chases her first title of the year.
Ochoa, playing in her opening event of the season after a longer than usual layoff, set the tone with four straight birdies on the front nine, and added a further three on the run in to post a seven-under-par 65 for a two-round total of 131.
"It was great from the driver to my putting. I hit my second shots really close and gave myself a lot of birdie chances," Ochoa said.

It was one of those days I want to memorise and hopefully repeat.

"I'm not surprised with my form. It's what I practice for. I believe in myself and I will go out on Saturday and do the same thing."

"I believe in myself and I will go out on Saturday and do the same thing."

Lorena Ochoa

Trailing the leader on 138 going into the weekend are Paula Creamer of the United States, South Korean Kim In-Kyung and world number two Annika Sorenstam, all in joint second place.

Sorenstam, the Swedish veteran, had a much better day on Friday after shooting 71 in the opening round, soaring up the leaderboard with four birdies in her final four holes.

A second-round 67 keeps the Swede in touch with Ochoa, but catching the in-form Mexican, who won eight times on the LPGA last year and has only missed four cuts in five years on tour, will be a tough task over the final two rounds.

Number one motivation

Sorenstam, looking for her 71st career title, is desperate to wrest back her number one ranking that Ochoa took from her during an injury-plagued 2007, and is using that as motivation for this season.

"Anything can happen," Sorenstam said.

"It's a great course and I've just got to make some more birdies like I did at the end here and make some low scores which I can do.

"It's always nice to get a good round to get the momentum going.  There's no doubt Lorena is playing well so I've got to do the same again to catch up."

Karrie Webb, Australian former world number one, American Stacy Prammanasudh and Sweden's Linda Wessberg sit one shot further back on five-under 139 after two rounds.

The Women's Champions tournament, played at Tanah Merah Country Club, is the biggest and richest women's event staged in the region, with $2 million in prize money up for grabs.

Only winners on the LPGA Tour, and champions from the Ladies European Tour and tours in Japan, Korea, Australasia and Asia, are eligible to play.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.