To win Women's British Open, Lorena Ochoa needs to go to sleep with at least a 5-shot lead Saturday night
But if Ochoa wants to end her 0-for-23 steak in the majors and make her No. 1 world ranking mean something, she needs to stretch this advantage to five shots by Saturday night. Minimum.
As talented as Ochoa is, she is even more fragile when the pressure rackets up.
She needs to blow away the field in vintage Tiger Woods runaway fashion to win her first major. Maybe then, she’ll chill out and be able to win a close one. But she’s not there yet.
Ochoa must finish the third round and go to sleep on Saturday night with at least a five-shot edge. Anything less and she’ll find a way to clunk several shots, to rush her swing so much that she looks like TravelGolf.com’s own Tim McDonald on one of his speed benders, and kick away the tournament.
But it’s not going to happen unless Ochoa builds a huge lead, a final round cushion for the ages, for herself.
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You are wrong that she needs a 5 shot cushion.
She went +6 over the last 6 holes at the Ginn Open to lose by 1. If Lorena has shots to spare she is well able to lose those shots and 5 isn't that many.
In fact Lorena would be better off if she were 2 or 3 behind, that way she is more likely to win it.
One need not be a mathematical genius or a clairvoyant to know that your last post makes no sense.
Any professional golfer, regardless of who it is, has about a ten times better chance of winning a tournament with a five shot cushion than he or she has with a two or three shot deficit.
That's not at all true for most golfers but is partially true from Lorena oCHOKEa.
Your assumption is unadulterated nonsense.
Any study of theoretical probabilities coupled with an analysis of actual results will prove that no such a tendency exists or could exist with Lorena.
Sure, she has lost leads in the past. She has also won several times as a front runner.
According to your theory, Lorena is in big trouble.
After 11 holes of the third round she has a four shot lead.
In what must be tough conditions, she is one of only four players one under par for the day. About a third of the golfers at the Ricoh are in the 80's for the third round.
I have an 11 o'clock tee time.
Maybe one of you fellows can get the message to Lorena that she should rack up a few doubles and maybe a triple so she can come back to the field and settle into that ideal spot two or three back, from which she can have a better chance of winning her first major.
Sounds silly, doesn't it?
The point of the whole thing is... SHE'S A CHOKER!
I don't wish to nitpick, but that is exactly what you said:
..."if she has the pressure of coming from behind she is more likely to win than if she's trying to hold a lead"...
One question. If Lorena is a choker, how is it that she can stand the pressure of coming from behind?
(Alex is off golfing. This was posted by his wife)
Lorena lead 5 times going into the final round in tournaments in 2007 so far. The commentators made the point that she won 2 of those 5 tournaments.
However, they neglected to mention that in both events that she won, with a 54 lead, she had fallen behind in the last round.
At the Safeway International Suzann Pettersen blasted out of the blocks to overtake Lorena, and then when Lorena was 2 or 3 behind, she got 5 birdies in the last 6 holes.
Then, not sure which tournament but it was Young Kim she was up against, Lorena lost the 54 hole lead and went 3 shots behind with 2 holes to play. Lorena got an eagle and a par.
Young Kim got a par, and a bogey on the last to let Lorena into a playoff, which Lorena won nicely.
The point is, even in both those cases where she won the tournament with the 54 hole lead, she fell behind both times before regaining the lead over the last couple of holes.
So should Lorena drop her big lead at the British open, don't count her out, because if she does drop shots and fall behind, she is again dangerous to attack again.
There is one good thing for Lorena about St. Andrews. Missing left is usually okay, and Lorena's choke shot is the big pull hook so that might help her.
Unless Lorena collapses, it's looks like the only other players capapble of catching her are Aniika if she catches fire, Hjorth or Wessberg.
All Lorena needs to do is play conservatively and let everyone else push hard and make mistakes.
It should be very interesting. Too bad there won't be any televised show until after it's all finished.
Because there is some truth to the idea, again because she's a choker, I was being a little facetious.
Statistically speaking, compared to the rest of the top players, I bet she is worse at holding a lead. Choker.
She didn't "choke" as Rick thought she might, nor did she lose her lead and then have to rally to win.
No, like the champion she is, she held her rivals safe and was the easiest kind of winner.
Now, one would think that this sort of dominant win in a major event would put to rest and silence permanently the critics such as Rick who call her a choker, but in capital letters.
But will her win accomplish as much?
Not a chance!
Lorena was one of them.
Nobody's is denying that she's good. But she's a proven choker and shot he worst round on day 4. A common occurence with her.
The 6 of the next 7 places had their best rounds on day 4.
It only took 24 tries to win a major and maybe having crossed that hurdle she will have the confidence needed to be one of those people who get's better as the tournament goes on, instead of worse. You're not always going to go 6 under on the first day.
Not sure how much true competitive golf you play, but you do play much different with a lead than you do when you are trailing. The tournament is 72 holes, not 18. She won because she was the best player over 72 holes. She played very conservatively on the final 18, and didn't go for many pins during the round. She didn't need to, b/c noboby could close the gap. What did Tiger say yesterday after his win? At 9, his plan was to play the rest of the round at par, making the field chase after him and do something "miraculous" to have to catch him. Guess what? Nobody came close. In fact, they lost ground. Contrast that with what we saw Watson almost piss away the 3 shot lead he had at the Senior Open Championship this year by pulling a driver out, and hitting it into a deep fairway bunker. We saw a young Argentine blow a lead with two to play by trying to make a stupid play out of the deep rough with a fairway wood, hitting it out of bounds. We saw Paddy make a dumb play with the driver. The difference between these scenarios and Lorena was that Lorena didn't make the stupid club selection, she played smart and safe, so her lead was never challenged. She played like a winner plays.
No doubt Lorena has choked in the past, just like Watson did (and apparently still does). Howevever, no matter how good one might be, one needs to learn how to win. I think Lorena did exactly that.
I think she may even fall another time or two. She is going to need to pull one out when she is up by one or tied with the lead with two to play. But all in all, she is young and will get better. She has a country she is carrying on her back, and she has put a ton of pressure on herself. This win relieved a bit of that pressure.
You made an excellent analysis of Lorena's tournament. She lead from wire to wire and won with four to spare, the easiest kind of winner.
But as you can see, our friend Rick is not impressed. He prefers to search for some nebulous reason to doubt her ability.
If Lorena would have shot another 67 yesterday and won by ten, Rick would undoubtedly say that anyone, even a choker like Lorena could win under those circumstances, why can't she win when she has to come from behind, ignoring the several times that she has done just that.
Rick just doesn't like Lorena Ochoa or anything about her, and never will.
But this is America, and it's his business to like or dislike anyone or anything. To me it just doesn't make sense to criticizethe world's number one female player and a proven winner, especially after her biggest win to date.
We don't disagree about playing to hold a lead versus going for it.
But how convenient it is that this happens to be her position so often and how often she can't hold it.
She's the best golfer in the world. And rivals Sorenstam at her peak(in my opinion) but her mental strength has been a problem in the past. Hopefully, as I said, this win will help.
Alex, I have not ignored her coming from behind. I said that she's good at coming from behind. She's just not been as good at holding a lead as her skill should allow.
And, I have not criticized her win.
Please take the time to read before you start firing about arguements that aren't there.
If you want to disagree with me that she's a choker, that's fine with me. But you don't need to create bogus arguements.
You say that you are not criticizing Lorena's win, but your words contradict that statement.
Here's a quote from your post:"Only 2 of the top 20 shot over par on the final day. Lorena was one of them. Nobody's is (sic) denying that she's good. But she's a PROVEN CHOKER and shot he(r) worst round on day 4. A common occurence for her"
Now, I don't know where you're from, but in the good old USA, that is known as criticism. And it's not ogf the constructive type.
But then, it is also only a matter of semantics.
Rick, a helpful hint: argument has only one "E" in it.
That's not critcizing her win. The reason I know that is because I wrote it and I know what I meant by it. I'd take the time to explain it but you never seem to see anything beyond what you want to see anyway.
BTW, where is "the good old USA"?
But, hey, if you want to keep on misspelling, by all means, have at it! As for instance, there are two "s"'s in misspell. Congratulations!
If you don't have a map, I can best descibe the borders of the USA as the Pacific Ocean on the West, the Atlantic on the East, the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico to the South, and the 49th parallel, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence river to the North.
Always glad to be of help.
I wasn't aware of the location of "the good old" USA. But you didn't get that joke either.
Thanks for adding posts to correct your errors.
You call those jokes?
I am not sure if you remember one Greg Norman, and the loss of seven strokes during a certain tournament called "The Masters".
I know it is a bit of obscure golf history, but an example that even giants of the game with huge leads can be felled by the crippling pressure of a major.
Lorena played smart golf, dealt with the pressure well, and avoided major mistakes on a course with tons of potential doubles and triples. As a result, nobody challenged her. She played in much the same fashion the greats of the game have played - play it conservative with the lead so that others will have to play flawless golf to have a shot at catching you. In most of those cases, the bogeyman grabs you. And when you are the best player in the world, like Tiger or Lorena, someone trailing will have to play the round of their life to catch you, unless of course, they do something stupid to let the field back in.
I will agree that Lorena has done that, literally choked, and has lost tournaments as a result. However, her most recent round showed to me that she has a better handle on that pressure, and I don't expect her to be a 1 major winner. She is still very young, not yet in her prime, and I think she has "Annika-like" potential, despite the more competitive field she competes against. Time will tell.
Rick, I am not much of an LPGA fan, but I have to admit that I like Lorena from the little that I have seen of her. She isn't a spoiled little brat, she has a good game, and she seems to be very gracious. I wish her the best of luck.
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