Ochoa takes 6-shot lead at Women's Open

Lorena Ochoa, Round 3, Women's British Open, St. Andrews
David Cannon/Getty Images
Lorena Ochoa made three birdies and three bogeys on Saturday.

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Lorena Ochoa equates playing golf tournaments to running marathons.

After going six shots ahead of the field at the Women's British Open on Saturday, the top-ranked Mexican can at last see the finishing line for her first major victory in her 24th attempt.

Ochoa shot a second straight par 73 and was the only player under par on the Old Course at St. Andrews. She is at 6-under 213, six shots ahead of Linda Wessberg of Sweden (72).

The biggest danger may come from Annika Sorenstam (77), one of four players seven shots back at 1-over 220.

"I'm not going to pay attention to other players and just play my own game and try to be aggressive and make some birdies," Ochoa said. "I think once you try to start doing something different you get in trouble. I just want to play my game and hopefully, I can win maybe by more."

(Click here to see photos from Round 3.)

Ochoa is lithely built but physically strong, something she attributes to marathons. She ran a half-marathon in her home city of Guadalajara, and a marathon at Tucson when she was studying at the University of Arizona.

"I like to train for half-marathons," she said. "Even on the tour, I like to think we are running in a marathon and we are just training. You can go really, really far. It helps me to know just how far I can go and never to give up, and just keep on going and be tough.

"In a way you can relate it to golf. Just always be strong and have a mind-set that you can do it and that you want to make it."

After twice finishing second in majors — as well as coming third and fourth — this may be the first time she crosses the line first.

With winds gusting up to 35 mph at the home of golf, virtually all of Ochoa's rivals dropped shots. The only three sub-par rounds of the day came from golfers way back in the field who played in the calmer part of the day.

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