IT WAS a week ofnumbers for Lorena Ochoa. The No. 1 player in the women's game returned to theNavistar Classic after a month off, during which she spent a lot of time withher misbehaving putter. Ochoa was looking to break a string of seven startswithout a win. The trend had caused some whispering since it directly followeda streak of six triumphs in nine starts that included a run of four straightWs. At RTJ Golf Trail in Prattville, Ala., Ochoa, after opening with rounds of67, 67 and 69, found herself tied for the lead with Louise Friberg. It was the25th time in her six-year career that the 26-year-old Ochoa held at least ashare of the lead going into the final round, and the 18th time she deliveredthe goods, although on this occasion it required a closing 70 and then a par onthe second playoff hole to defeat Cristie Kerr and Candie Kung. Ochoa's closingability (72%) brings to mind that other No. 1, Tiger Woods. While Ochoa'snumbers are certainly impressive, they, like those of so many golfers, don'thold up when compared with Woods's. The Gimpy One is 44--3 (93.61%) whenholding a share of the 54-hole lead. He also has 65 wins in 222 career starts(29.27%) and an 11--1 record in playoffs. Ochoa, for the sake of comparison, is24 for 146 overall (16.44%) and only 2--5 in playoffs. That is nowhere near themost painful part of the accounting, though. In her career Ochoa has won$13,025,264. In 2007 alone Woods won $10,867,052.
• HE TURNED 50 onSept. 23, so Larry Mize made his Champions tour debut at last week's SASChampionship, where the four-time winner on the PGA Tour learned that paddingthe retirement account can be tough work. At Prestonwood Country Club in Cary,N.C., Eduardo Romero won his fourth Champions tour title with a 15-under 205.Although he was under par in every round (70-71-71--212), Mize finished adistant 27th, good for only $17,045. Meanwhile Jay Haas, who started the week$2,102 behind Bernhard Langer for the top spot on the money list, finished 17th(75-67-68--210) and earned $28,805. Langer limped in at 45th (72-72-71--215) totake home a $7,350 check, meaning Haas is now the top dollar man, with$1,677,626 for the season. Don't worry about Langer, though: He continues tolead the money list on the European senior tour and still has a chance to bethe first person ever to finish the season atop both lists.
• YOU WOULD thinkthese would be sad times for Y.E. Yang, Gavin Coles, Tag Ridings, ToddHamilton, Brett Rumford and Marco Dawson. They finished 145th to 150th,respectively, in FedEx Cup points, meaning they just missed the top 144 and aspot in the playoffs. Even worse, none of them are in the top 125 on the moneylist, putting them on the fast track to Q school (except Hamilton, who's exemptcourtesy of his win in the '04 British Open). Still, each of them just receiveda $32,000 bonus for making the top 150. Normally one would have to be a bankingexecutive to be rewarded so nicely for such lackluster performance.
Fresh news andviews from SI and Golf Magazine writers at GOLF.com/presstent.
October 5, 2008
"He is not nice for the sake of beingnice."
—MY SHOT, PAGE G22
KEY STAT 125 1/2
Feet of birdie putts holed by Camilo Villegas at the Tour Championship onSunday.
SHE SAID | HE SAID
Playoffs? Which tour knows how to operateplayoffs?
"[The ADT Championship] is a true playoff, whereyou have 32 people and everybody's eliminated up to the last day. So it adds alot of drama."
"The reality is, the Number 1 position in theFedEx Cup is sewn up before we get to Atlanta, and that was not supposed to bepart of the equation."