Ochoa takes early lead

A week off did nothing to slow Lorena Ochoa down, and a month away from the game found Lindsey Wright in the same groove she was in before a vacation.

Lorena Ochoa

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — A week off did nothing to slow Lorena Ochoa down, and a month away from the game found Lindsey Wright in the same groove she was in before a vacation.

Ochoa picked up where she left off in winning two weeks ago in her native Mexico with eight birdies against one bogey Thursday. Her 7-under 64 gave her a one-shot lead over Wright after the first round of the Michelob Ultra Open.

“This is only the start,” said Ochoa, a three-time runner-up in the event. “We have three more days. One at a time.”

Wright, a non-winner in five seasons, hadn’t played since finishing fourth in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the season’s first major in the first week in April, but was bogey-free on the soggy 6,315-yard River Course at Kingsmill that has received rain for several days.

Hee-Won Han, Sarah Lee and Minea Blomqvist shot 66s to share third place, Seon Hwa Lee, Na Yeon Choi and Amy Yang had 67s and 2007 champion Suzann Pettersen was among seven at 68.

In all, 45 of 144 players took advantage of the soft greens and broke par.

Other notables making a run at the leaderboard included 2005 winner Cristie Kerr, who got to 4 under but then stumbled to finish at 2 under; rookie Vicky Hurst, who got to 4 under but gave two shots back on her last four holes; and another rookie, Michelle Wie, who got to 3 under after her first 12 holes, but had two bogeys coming in to finish six shots back.

Charlottetown’s Lorie Kane is tied for 48th after shooting a an even-par 71, while Hamilton’s Alena Sharp shot a 2-over 73, good for a tie for 85th.

The rainy start and sometimes gusting wind seemed to be of little consequence to Ochoa, the world’s top-ranked player. She made three birdie putts of 17 feet or longer while working on her putting alignment and said she’s starting to feel more comfortable on the greens.

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Update: Bomb squad investigates, destroys suspicious package in Red Deer

North police station was closed as they investigated Tuesday afternoon

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month