CLIFTON, N.J. - Lorena Ochoa found a new way to win, grinding it out instead of running away from the field.
A day after leaving the retiring Annika Sorenstam in her wake, Ochoa overcame a balky putter to shoot a 1-under 71 and post a 1-stroke victory over five players yesterday for her third straight win in the rain-shortened Sybase Classic at Upper Montclair Country Club.
"It was a tough day, but I did it," Ochoa said. "I think that was what was important. It doesn't matter how you do it sometimes; you play really good, other players struggle, sometimes you just keep yourself in a good position.
"Today it was different. It was a different win, but I enjoyed it a lot."
The victory was the 22d for Ochoa since April 2006, and the $300,000 prize pushed her career earnings past the $12 million mark, making her the fastest player on the LPGA Tour to reach that plateau.
Ochoa accomplished it in just over five years, more than four years faster than the old mark set by Sorenstam, who played herself out of contention with a second-round 73.
Sophie Gustafson, Morgan Pressel, Catriona Matthew, rookie leader Na Yeon Choi, and Brittany Lang all finished the 54-hole tournament at 9-under-par 207, a shot behind Ochoa.
DULUTH, Ga. - Ryuji Imada claimed his first PGA Tour victory, beating Kenny Perry in a playoff at the AT&T Classic after losing the same suburban Atlanta tournament a year ago on the 73d hole.
The two finished regulation at 15-under 273, but Perry's ball wound up in the water on the first playoff hole, even though his second shot easily cleared the pond in front of the green.
Unfortunately for Perry, he struck a pine tree behind the green about 10 feet up the trunk. The ball ricocheted straight back across the putting surface and didn't stop rolling until it was in the water. The gallery groaned in disbelief.
Imada, who had driven into the rough, played it safe with an iron on the par-5 hole and wound up two-putting for the winning par at TPC Sugarloaf.
HOOVER, Ala. - Andy Bean managed to save par on No. 18 after hooking his drive left and bogeying the previous hole, holding on for a 2-under 70 and a 1-stroke victory over Loren Roberts in the Regions Charity Classic at Ross Bridge on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Bean finished with a 13-under 203.
ADARE, Ireland - Richard Finch shot a 2-under 70 after falling into a river on the last hole to win the Irish Open by 2 strokes over Felipe Aguilar.
Finch, a 30-year-old Englishman, was playing his third shot at Adare Manor from the rough beside the 18th green next to the River Maigue when the momentum of his swing caused him to topple into the cold water up to his chest.
He clambered out to see that his ball had finished on the edge of the green. Finch three-putted to secure the win.