Surgical victory

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

Nice and boring.

Just the way Lorena Ochoa wanted it.

With more final-round stumbles on her resume than she'd care to remember, the new and improved Ochoa made darn certain there would be no surprises during her victory march yesterday at the CN Canadian Women's Open.

Four strokes ahead of American Paula Creamer when Sunday began and three strokes ahead when it was over, Ochoa turned in a steady, patient, two-under 69 to squeeze all the drama out of her 14th LPGA win.

Move along, folks, nothing to see here.

"I'm pretty happy, I think I managed the pressure good," smiled the best player in women's golf, who upped her 2007 earnings to $2.6 million with a $337,500 payday at the Royal Mayfair.

"It's like I thought it would be - not easy, but I did it."

BIGGEST GALLERIES

In front of some of the biggest galleries she's seen all year (total attendance of 64,850 breaks the Canadian Women's Open record).

"It was just an amazing day," said the 25-year-old, who's building the same kind of reputation Annika Sorenstam had in her prime. "The crowds were amazing. Me and Paula talked about it, and we were like, this is for sure a major tournament. It's just amazing.

"The first hole was surrounded by people, and you don't see that very often. It was a very special week."

Ochoa, well aware that Creamer is one of the most aggressive, fearless players on tour, admits she didn't sleep all that easily on her four shot lead.

"It's not that I was afraid, but I knew she could do it, I knew Paula is a player who could come from behind," said Ochoa (70-65-64-69--268) "I knew she was capable. That's why I was trying to be careful."

Ochoa knew a couple under par on Sunday would mean anyone with designs on the title had to shoot a course record. So she put up the 69 and said catch me if you can.

"I was in very good control of what was happening out there and I'm happy with that," said Ochoa, who has reason to be happy about plenty of things these days. "Even though I didn't hit the ball good on the front nine, I think it shows on the back nine that I was in control. I was hitting good shots. I'm really pleased. It feels good. I'm very happy."

While jam-packed galleries got the marquee match-up they were hoping for, the only witnessed about 15 minutes worth of drama all day - when Creamer (68-69-66-68--271) cut the lead to two strokes on the back nine.

'NOT GOOD ENOUGH'

"Not good enough," sighed the runner-up, the only player in the field to shoot all four rounds under par. "Lorena, when she gets on a streak, she can really go, but it was great to play on Sunday and be in contention.

"I think I did an OK job of hanging in there and trying to put some pressure on her."

She did indeed, cutting a five-stroke deficit to two on 11. If Ochoa was going to wobble, it would have been here.

Didn't happen. She went birdie, par, par, birdie, against Creamer's par, par, bogey, par, and the lead was back to five through 16.

Game over.

That's twice now, here and the British Open, that Ochoa took a comfortable lead into the final round and closed it like Tiger - never looking back, running the other guys out of holes.

"I didn't feel very comfortable in the morning, especially on the front nine," said Ochoa. "I wasn't in a rhythm and Paula made a couple of birdies to narrow the distance. And then we made the turn and Is tarted feeling strong."


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