IN WINNING her fourth straight event, Lorena Ochoa tied an LPGA record and found herself alone on top of a mountain of numbers. Ochoa won the Ginn Open at Reunion Resort near Orlando by three shots, going 19 under with four rounds in the 60s (68-67-65-69--269). It was the 26-year-old's fifth victory in six starts, and she made 22 birdies and only three bogeys. For the year Ochoa ranks first in driving distance (277.5 yards), greens in regulation (81%), rounds in the 60s (19), birdies (124), rounds under par (22, of 23), top 10 finishes (six, of six) and scoring average (67.87). For Ochoa the four in a row is nice, but it's not the quartet she covets.
• AFTER GOING 0 for 93 in the state of Florida, Tom Watson broke through by winning last year's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Last week Watson successfully defended his title, taking his second straight Outback at TPC Tampa Bay with a nine-under 204. "I have to buy a house down here," he said.... Scott Hoch, who may be best known for gacking a short one at the 1989 Masters, lipped out a four-footer on the 54th and final hole that would've forced a playoff with Watson. After four years in free fall, during which he won a total of $22,006 on the PGA and Nationwide tours, Mike Hulbert had been counting the days to his 50th birthday on April 14, when he would finally pull the cord and come in for a soft landing on the Champions tour. In his senior debut at the Outback he tied for eighth and made $46,750.
• WORD IS that Wachovia Corp. has agreed in principle to extend its sponsorship of the PGA Tour event that bears its name. The Charlotte-based Wachovia Championship has been one of the Tour's biggest success stories since its inception in 2003, drawing praise for everything from its course (Quail Hollow) to its perks, and has consistently drawn a top-shelf field. Depending on whom you believe, the announcement has been delayed either because the details haven't been finalized or because of the potential for bad p.r.—last week Wachovia announced a $393 million quarterly loss.?.?.?. After he missed the cut at the Heritage by shooting 72--76, Ernie Els was spotted giving his driver to a kid stationed behind Harbour Town's 18th green. No word if the kid hopped on his bicycle and drove into a tree.
Alan Shipnuck's Hot List exclusively at GOLF.com.
April 27, 2008
"We almost literally killed each other during an on-course argument."
—MY SHOT, PAGE G24
KEY STAT 95
Putts by Jesper Parnevik at Harbour Town, three off the Tour record for fewest in an event.
HE SAID | SHE SAID
Two extremists explain their glove affairs
"Everybody's got their own comfort feeling or their zone, and wearing two gloves is my zone.... But I've tried it with none on at all, and I've tried it with one on, and let me tell you, I couldn't break 80."
"You know, I'm more like a feel player, especially around the greens, and I never liked the way that it feels with a glove. I don't have any problem with calluses, [and] my hand doesn't sweat, so having no glove is more comfortable to me."