Ochoa, 2 others lead Evian

Golf

July 27, 2006

Michelle Wie knows it's tough keeping up with the best men in the game.

In the French Alps yesterday, she learned that beating golf's top female money winner this season - Mexico's Lorena Ochoa - won't be much easier.

Ochoa, Mi Hyun Kim and Shani Waugh shot 6-under-par 66 to lead the Evian Masters, where temperatures reached an unseasonable 91 degrees. Ochoa birdied seven holes but bogeyed the 15th for her 66.

"I hit it close today and did not have that many long putts," said Ochoa, the runner-up with Wie a year ago when Paula Creamer won the tournament. Creamer opened this time with a 70.

Karrie Webb was one shot behind after a 67, with Maria Hjorth, Laura Davies and Se Ri Pak in at 68. Wie had a 69, tied with the game's top-ranked player, Annika Sorenstam.

In the steamy conditions, players sought shade and liquids to avoid Wie's fate at the John Deere Classic earlier this month, where she was forced out of the men's tournament in the second round with heat exhaustion.

"I was smart today," Wie said. "I drank a lot of water with electrolytes. I stayed in the shade. I had my sun umbrella. It helped a lot. "

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