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Ochoa sharper than ever in her second round of season

SINGAPORE -- In her first tournament of the year, top-ranked Lorena Ochoa finds herself exactly where she ended up last season: atop the leaderboard.

The Mexican star, an eight-time winner in 2007, shot a 7-under 65 Friday to increase her lead to seven strokes in the HSBC Women's Champions. Ochoa's 13-under total gives her plenty of separation from Annika Sorenstam, In-Kyung Kim and Paula Creamer going into the weekend.

"It was great from my driver to the putting," said Ochoa, who won the season-ending ADT Championship last November. "I kept hitting my second shots really close and gave myself a lot of birdie chances, so I was very consistent. One of those days you really want to memorize and hopefully repeat."

After skipping the LPGA Tour's first two events in Hawaii, Ochoa followed a 6-under opening round with eight birdies -- including four in a row on the front nine -- on the Garden course at Tanah Merah.

"I just got on a birdie run," said Ochoa, whose only bogey through the first two rounds came on the par-5 13th, when she took an unplayable lie after her drive.

Sorenstam, who is healthy and confident again after an injury-shortened 2007 season, shot a bogey-free 5-under 67, highlighted by birdies on her final four holes, to pull into a second-place tie with Creamer and Kim.

"It was just good golf," said Sorenstam, who won the season-opening SBS Open. "I just needed one good putt to kick-start the great finish and I was just very solid throughout the round."

Creamer had four birdies and three bogeys for a 1-under 71. Kim had four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole, but triple-bogeyed the 13th on top of an earlier bogey.

Creamer, who won last week's Fields Open, blamed her inconsistency on some old swing habits.

"Nothing clicked out there for me. I never hit it solid all day," she said. "I never felt comfortable on the driving range and it kind of just started from there. I let it carry into the round, and it was unfortunate because it was a big day -- a lot of separation happened."

Karrie Webb shot a 2-under 70 to join Stacy Prammanasudh (69) and Linda Wessberg (71) at 5-under 139. Natalie Gulbis and Jee Young Lee are at 4-under 140.

The inaugural 78-player tournament, Asia's richest women's golf event with a $2 million purse, features 18 of the top 20 players.