Overcast skies and a threat of rain did not phase Lorena Ochoa in her quest for a successful title defense and $195,000 check at the $1.3 million Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV. The 6,546-yard Senator Course at Capitol Hill on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail set up well for the second year in a row for Ochoa (66-68-66-70), although she took her 54-hole, three-stroke lead and made it four by the end of regulation - avoiding the playoff situation she found herself in one year ago. Her winning 18-under-par 270 beat her 2008 tournament-record 15-under-par score by three strokes.
Ochoa's 27th career LPGA win came despite an opening five holes that included a bogey on hole two, offset by a birdie on the par-4, fourth hole, followed by a double-bogey on the par-5, 517-yard fifth hole after her initial tee shot ended up unplayable.
"Of course it was a shame, that driver that I missed. It was early in the day. I just told myself to forget it. 'You have many holes to go and just be patient,'" said Ochoa, who also successfully defended her last title in April at the Corona Championship. "I'm proud that I did that and turned around and played really good the back nine.
"But the way I played the last few weeks and winning today, it means a lot. I been working hard, and I guess I'm proud, because it's just a good feeling. I'm gonna try to repeat a few of those this year, and I try hard to win the player of the year."
Tying their career-best performances, rookie Michelle Wie (66-70-72-66) and four-year Tour member Brittany Lang (68-68-68-70) tied for second at 14-under-par 274.
Wie, who battled a twisted ankle for the past two days found her only bogey of the day on the second hole and, after a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine, she rallied on the back to move from a 54-hole tie for 13th to the runner-up position thanks to five birdies on her back nine at holes 10, 12, 14, 16 and 17.
"I'm really proud of the way I grinded it out out there, especially the back nine," said the season's second-ranked rookie. "There (were) a lot of points where I felt like I had to stop and catch my breath and keep going. But, you know, I kept moving forward, so I felt really good about it."
Lang's first three rounds of 68s were broken with her 2-under-par 70. She ended the day encouraged, partly by the fact that she felt the score was the worst she could have posted.