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A Week of Contrast for Golfers Woods, Ochoa

Posted April. 29, 2010 07:25,   


For the world’s top-ranked male golfer Tiger Woods and his female counterpart Lorena Ochoa, this week can be summed up as a time for meeting and parting.

Woods, who finished fourth in this year’s Masters after returning to the green for the first time in five months following his sex scandal, will compete in the Quail Hollow Championship that starts Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The atmosphere will be different from that of the Masters, allowing him to focus on golfing thanks to strict rules on spectators and media. Organizers of the Masters limited reporter access and rejected an entertainment broadcaster from covering the tournament because it missed the application deadline.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson will also compete in the Quail Hollow Championship. He put on the green jacket amid cheering by his breast cancer-stricken wife in contrast to Woods’ shattered marriage.

Anthony Kim is showing great ambition, directly starting practice putting after a 14-hour flight from Jeju Island in Korea, where he played in the Ballantine`s Championship last week. He is expected to take a break for two to three months this season because of his injured left hand.

Basketball icon Michael Jordan, who carries a 1.2 handicap, is paired with Fred Couples in the Pro-Am.

Ochoa, who announced her retirement last week, will play in her final tournament at the Tres Marias Championships next week in Morelia, Mexico. She won the event in 2006, 2008 and last year.

Given that she hit 25 under par for the last two years, she has pledged to end her career with a win in front of her hometown fans.

Other favorites include Choi Na-yeon of Korea, who is in the top five rankings for the second straight year, Michelle Wie of the U.S., and Ai Miyazato of Japan.