Sun, Jul 22, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Ochoa, Sorenstam crash out of World Match Play

AFP , NEW ROCHELLE, NEW YORK

South Korean Kim Mi-hyun lines up her putt on the sixth green during the second round of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, New York, on Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa and Swedish superstar Annika Sorenstam both crashed out of the second round of the Women's World Match Play Championship on Friday.

Mexico's Ochoa, who finished third in this event last year, was shocked by 33rd seed Meaghan Francella, one-up.

"I just kind of lost momentum at the end. It's hard to win," Ochoa said. "Meaghan was playing really good ... There's nothing really I can do now, enough said. I'm going to try not to think too much. I'll try to be positive and relax the next couple of days and get ready for the next few tournaments."

A native of Port Chester and hometown favorite here, Francella toppled the world No. 1 at this event for the second consecutive year.

In last year's edition of the tournament in Mexico, she defeated Sorenstam in a playoff.

"I said in the beginning when I first came out here, I didn't think I would beat Annika in my third event," Francella said. "And standing up on the tee with Lorena today, it's a little intimidating ... The whole day was pretty stressful, to be honest with you."

Australian Lindsey Wright, the 35th seed, toppled 2001 winner Sorenstam 3 and 2.

"I've played a lot of match play back home in Australia, a ton of it," Wright said. "It's different to playing stroke play because you've got to try and play the golf course rather than the other person. It was awesome to be playing against [Sorenstam]. I was excited because she has been the No. 1 player in the world, and to win and beat her is awesome."

Also falling on Friday in the US$2 million tournament were South Korean Hall of Famer and fifth seed Se Ri Pak, No. 7 Suzann Pettersen of Norway and eighth- seeded American Paula Creamer.

Pak absorbed a 4 and 2 loss to American Christina Kim, while Aussie Rachel Hetherington downed Pettersen and Sweden's Maria Hjorth beat Creamer -- both by one-up scores.

"I was fortunate to get one back at nine," Francella said. "Anytime you're in the situation where my adrenaline is going, my heart is beating fast, my hands were shaking a little bit, I think I drank like five bottles of water on the last three holes."

The 36-year-old Sorenstam, who needed 20 holes to survive Katherine Hull in the first round on Thursday, fell behind by two holes at No. 10 before seeing a potential rally go up in smoke with a bogey on the 15th.

"It's disappointing, but she played very well," Sorenstam said. "She didn't really make a bogey all day. It was just one of those days. I had two bad shots and that was it, and it cost me the match."

In Thursday's first round, 12 of the 32 first-round matches resulted in upset victories, including losses by second seed Karrie Webb and defending champion Brittany Lincicome.

By the end of Friday, the draw had been turned on its head.

The highest remaining seed is No. 10 Mi Hyun Kim of South Korea, who posted a 2 and 1 victory over compatriot Sarah Lee.

No. 12 Ai Miyazato of Japan and 14th seed Jeong Jang of South Korea also advanced. Miyazato went 4 and 2 against No. 21 Sherri Steinhauer and Jang topped 19th seed Angela Park 2 and 1.

Also punching a ticket in the third round of the competition was English veteran Laura Davies, who went 2 and 1 against South Korean Birdie Kim.

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