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Lorena Ochoa looking for third Mexican title

World number one and defending champion Lorena Ochoa seeks her third title in four years at this week's 1.3 million-dollar LPGA Corona Championship.

Ochoa seeks her second title of the season after a triumph at Thailand to open her 2009 campaign. She shared 12th earlier this month at the year's first women's golf major, the LPGA Kraft Nabisco.

"I'm very happy," Ochoa said. "It's always very nice to play in front of my crowd and my country. It's a lot of motivation. Playing here is always very special. My dream is to win the tournament, so I am going to try really hard." Ochoa set a tournament record of 25-under par 267 on the par-73 layout last year.

"If I win by one and the score is 8-under, I would be happy with that too," Ochoa said. "I'm going to try to be aggressive and make a lot of birdies." The pressure of playing in front of her homeland supporters has been something Ochoa has had to adapt to handling.

"I am getting used to being here with the noise and the crowds.

They bring good pressure," she said. "There are a lot of emotions when I play here. I think I control them better and better. I think of it like a major." There have been some major security concerns for Americans in Mexico in recent weeks, but Paula Creamer, ranked fourth in the world and the best among US women's golfers, said she has no worries.

"I feel very safe," Creamer said. "I would not come here if I didn't feel safe. We have great security every week around us.

"Violence is everywhere. It's just how you want to put it in perspective. Everywhere we go, there's a chance of something. You can't just stay in your house everyday. Right now it is just a fact of life, unfortunately. Hopefully someday, we won't have to worry about any of that." Creamer is on medication and feels sluggish at times but has rested the past two weeks.

"I have had a lot of health issues the last couple of months, and so I just want to be able to get back on track," she said.

"I've been hitting the ball really well. I just need to make more putts."


April 23, 2009

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