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Ochoa set to play teenager



Published: Wed, July 18, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

The HSBC Women’s World Match Play event begins Thursday.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) — Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa will face South African teenager Ashleigh Simon in the first round of the HSBC Women’s World Match Play Championship, while defending champion Brittany Lincicome will open against Carin Koch.

The 64-player tournament begins Thursday at Wykagyl Country Club, the new site after two years at Hamilton Farm in New Jersey.

Ochoa, the 2006 Sybase Classic winner at Wykagyl, leads the tour with three victories and earnings of $1,795,426.

“I have really good memories from this golf course,” the Mexican star said Tuesday. “I love the place. ... I like my chances.”

The 18-year-old Simon missed the cut last week in the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Toledo, shooting 75-74. She won the Ladies European Tour’s Catalonia Ladies Masters last month in her fourth professional start.

“I have heard a lot of good things about her,” Ochoa said. “She’s solid. Everybody here is very good.”

Last year at Hamilton Farm, the long-hitting Lincicome beat Michelle Wie, Ochoa and Juli Inkster in the final three matches for her first LPGA Tour victory. Lincicome, seeded 13th, won the Ginn Open in April for her second tour title.

“Unfortunately, it’s a different course,” Lincicome said. “It’s going to be a challenge. This is definitely a more challenging golf course.”

Sorenstam opens with Hull

Annika Sorenstam, the 1998 and 2000 Sybase winner, will open against Katherine Hull; Paula Creamer, the 2005 Sybase champion, will face Giulia Sargas; and Se Ri Pak, coming off her fifth Jamie Farr victory Sunday, will meet Beth Bader.

Also, second-seeded Karrie Webb will open against Charlotte Mayorkas, U.S. Women’s Open champion Cristie Kerr will play Amy Hung, Kraft Nabisco winner Morgan Pressel will face Birdie Kim, and McDonald’s LPGA champion Suzann Pettersen will meet In-Bee Park.

After single rounds Thursday and Friday, the third round and quarterfinals will be played Saturday and the semifinals and final are set for Sunday. The winner will receive $500,000 from the $2 million purse.


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