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Ochoa, Kim, Waugh share lead at Evian Masters

- By ERICA BULMAN
AP Sports Writer

EVIAN, France - Michelle Wie couldn't quite keep up withthe men so now the 16-year-old is chasing the world's best women,including Lorena Ochoa who shot 6-under 66 to share the leadWednesday after the first round of the Evian Masters.

Mi Hyun Kim and Shani Waugh were also at 66.

Wie had a 69 as she tries to win her first tournament as aprofessional. The game's top-ranked player, Annika Sorenstam, alsoshot 69.

Temperatures reached 91 degrees at this Alpine layout, andplayers took every opportunity to seek out shade and liquids toavoid Wie's fate at the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic earlier thismonth, where she was forced out due to heat exhaustion.

"I was smart today," Wie said. "I drank a lot of water withelectrolytes. I stayed in the shade. I had my sun umbrella. Ithelped a lot. I'm just taking baby steps."

Ochoa - the LPGA's top money winner this season - birdied sevenholes 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 behind Paula Creamer here lastyear. "Hopefully I can do the same thing the next three days."

Kim tapped in her ninth birdie in the 18th hole but doublebogeyed on the eighth and had another bogey on the 14th.

"Last week was an off week, and I had a four-day lesson with mycoach," Kim said. "We made my swing a little more compact, and itis working. I had some great shots today. My putting was good, andI feel more comfortable with my short game, too."

Waugh birdied five of her first seven holes to finish with sevenbirdies. Her only dropped shot was a bogey on the par-4 12th.

Wie was 2 under when her second shot at the par-3 17th bouncedoff the green and into the rough.

She angrily kicked a divot out of the grass and swung her club,stopping just short of smacking the ground.

She took a bogey, leaving her tightlipped as she walked off thegreen.

"Unfortunately, I hit my 52 degree (wedge) a little too hard,and it went into the hill," Wie explained. "It was 35-40 yardslong. I hit the lob wedge which went short, then I chipped it toeight feet and finally sunk the putt."

She showed maturity on the final hole, however, carding aneagle-3 to finish at 3 under. She sent her drive into the rough butmade a 188-yard shot with her five iron before sinking a beautiful40-foot putt.

"I ended on a good note," Wie said.

Annika Sorenstam also had an eagle, on No. 9.

Karrie Webb was one shot behind after a 67 with Maria Hjorth,Laura Davies and Se Ri Pak in at 68.

Heather Young, the winner of the 2005 Jamie Farr Owens CorningClassic, scored a hole-in-one to win a new Renault Modus car. The31-year-old Texan shot a 69.

Creamer finished with a 70.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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