LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) — Lorena Ochoa believes she can rediscover her best form at the Women’s British Open, despite poor results in her last two big tournaments.
The top-ranked player finished 40th at the Evian Masters last week and 26th at the Women’s Open last month. She blamed those disappointing finishes on a second-round 79 at Saucon Valley and an opening-round 75 in France.
“Those last tournaments, I didn’t have a great result. But I think that was more because of one bad day during the week,” Ochoa said. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to play last week, so maybe it’s going to happen for me this week. I’m already hitting my driver better today and that’s important for this week.”
The venue this week is Royal Lytham and St. Annes, where it rained Tuesday with more bad weather forecast. The event was last played here in 2006, when Ochoa was tied for fourth. She won a year later on The Old Course at St. Andrews.
“For sure, the course is a little bit softer now,” Ochoa said. “I remember getting a lot of roll on my driver and playing some different shots. Even on the greens, you could land the ball 10 or 15 yards short and just bounce the ball up there – but not today.
“The grass is very green and it’s not very hard ground, so we need to try to adjust to that and make sure we have a good plan for the tournament.”
Ochoa will use caddie Greg Johnson, who she linked up with a few events ago. He formerly caddied for Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincecome, among others.
“The change is going to help me,” Ochoa said. “I feel that I’m doing the right thing and I’m going to continue working the same way. I’m a lot at peace on the course and I’m going to get better results.”
She has been working on improvements in her swing.
“I feel that I’m getting better. There are always things you can practice and improve,” Ochoa said. “I’m trying to have a shorter backswing to have more control, and I made a few adjustments to my putting.
“I changed my putter, I changed my hands, I changed my alignment. Now, I’m in a much better position and I think that is going to work.”