Lorena Ochoa confirms retirement

By Associated PressApril 20, 2010, 7:29 pm
MEXICO CITY – Lorena Ochoa is retiring, just as Annika Sorenstam did two years ago, leaving the struggling LPGA without its No. 1 player again and depriving the sport of one of its great ambassadors.

Ochoa, probably the best-known athlete in Mexico who is not a football player, announced her surprise decision Tuesday and will discuss her plans Friday.

The 28-year-old got married last year, setting off speculation she might be putting golf aside to raise a family. She has been No. 1 in the world the last three years and won 27 times over the last six.
Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa won 27 times on the LPGA. (Getty Images)
“Lorena Ochoa confirms her retirement from the LPGA, as news reports in some media have said today,” her statement said. “The reasons and more details on the matter will be given by Lorena personally in a press conference on Friday in Mexico City. Lorena will share this news of a new stage in her life with her sponsors, family members and friends.”

The LPGA told The Associated Press it would not comment until Friday’s news conference.

The LPGA said late Tuesday that Ochoa had not withdrawn from next week’s Tres Marias event in Morelia, west of Mexico City, and indicated she was expected to play. She finished fourth earlier this month in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California, the first major of the year.

“I’m just crushed,” Judy Rankin, a Hall of Famer and television analyst, said upon hearing the news. “We won’t get to see her play golf. Mostly, we won’t get to see her.”

Sorenstam was 37 when she retired in May 2008, saying she wanted to pursue other interests and start a family. She now has a daughter.

The newspaper Reforma first reported Ochoa’s retirement and said she wanted to concentrate on her family and charities. In December, she wed Andres Conesa, the chief executive of Aeromexico airline. He has three children from a previous marriage.

“I must admit that I was surprised, but not shocked, when I heard the news yesterday that Lorena is going to retire,” Sorenstam said on her blog. “She has always said she would play for maybe 10 years and then leave the game to start a family. She just got married and obviously feels that she is ready for that next chapter in her life.”

Ochoa has also talked openly about wanting children of her own. Last year, she began traveling more, playing less and taking on more obligations, which include her charity foundation.

“Personally, it’s more important the things that I do outside the golf course,” Ochoa said last year before a tournament she hosts in her hometown of Guadalajara. “And that’s been my main focus right now.”

“I will think about a family, but later on,” added Ochoa, often described as an “awesome person” by other players.

Her retirement is a blow to an LPGA buffeted by the rough economy. It has only 25 tournaments on its schedule this year, 14 of them in the United States.

Sorenstam became the face of the tour by winning the career Grand Slam, becoming the only woman to shoot 59 and playing in the Colonial, the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour.

Ochoa never quite assumed that star power, playing before moderate crowds even as she was going for a record-tying fifth straight victory in Tulsa, Okla., two years ago.

Ochoa was defined as much by her dominance as her graciousness. Mindful of her roots, she often would go to the maintenance barn during LPGA events and speak with the workers, many of them from Mexico.

She won six times in 2006, rose to No. 1 in 2007 and captured her first major at St. Andrews the same year by winning the Women’s British Open. Ochoa’s other major was the 2008 Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she took the traditional jump into the pond with her family as a mariachi band serenaded her.

She won her fourth consecutive LPGA Player of the Year award in 2009, narrowly holding off Jiyai Shin. Ochoa played four times this year, with her best finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship when she finished fourth.

Shin of South Korea is No. 2 in the rankings and Yani Tseng of Taiwan, this year’s Kraft Nabisco winner, is No. 3. Both are in position to fill the void left by Ochoa.

There is also Michelle Wie, who won her first tournament last season and may have the star wattage the LPGA is looking for. Wie is ranked No. 9.

Sorenstam said she is happy for Ochoa, although acknowledging the LPGA will “certainly miss her great play, warm demeanor and smile.”

“The most rewarding days are ahead of her, and I wish her all the best,” she said.
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What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft

Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.

1 Rory McIlroy -18 $1,602,000
2 Bryson DeChambeau -15 $961,200
3 Justin Rose -14 $605,200
4 Henrik Stenson -13 $427,200
T5 Tiger Woods -10 $356,000
T5 Ryan Moore -10 $320,400
T7 Marc Leishman -8 $249,992
T7 Kevin Chappell -8 $249,992
T7 Luke List -8 $249,992
T7 Sean O'Hair -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Rodgers -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Reed -8 $249,992
13 Chris Kirk -7 $186,900
T14 Kyle Stanley -6 $137,950
T14 Charles Howell III -6 $137,950
T14 Sam Horsfield -6 $137,950
T14 Bud Cauley -6 $137,950
T14 Grayson Murray -6 $137,950
T14 Byeong Hun An -6 $137,950
T14 Rickie Fowler -6 $137,950
T14 Charley Hoffman -6 $137,950
T22 Brian Gay -5 $89,000
T22 Harris English -5 $89,000
T22 Jason Day -5 $89,000
T22 Graeme McDowell -5 $89,000
T26 Tom Hoge -4 $59,319
T26 Martin Laird -4 $59,319
T26 Emiliano Grillo -4 $59,319
T26 Tommy Fleetwood -4 $59,319
T26 Francesco Molinari -4 $59,319
T26 Keegan Bradley -4 $59,319
T26 Zach Johnson -4 $59,319
T26 William McGirt -4 $59,319
T26 John Huh -4 $59,319
T26 Talor Gooch -4 $59,319
T36 Alex Noren -3 $41,919
T36 Kevin Na -3 $41,919
T36 Brandon Harkins -3 $41,919
T36 Brian Stuard -3 $41,919
T36 Austin Cook -3 $41,919
T41 Ian Poulter -2 $30,305
T41 C.T. Pan -2 $30,305
T41 Adam Scott -2 $30,305
T41 Aaron Wise -2 $30,305
T41 Kevin Streelman -2 $30,305
T41 J.B. Holmes -2 $30,305
T41 Jamie Lovemark -2 $30,305
T41 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $30,305
T49 Lucas Glover -1 $21,965
T49 Ernie Els -1 $21,965
T49 Hideki Matsuyama -1 $21,965
T49 Chesson Hadley -1 $21,965
T49 Sam Burns -1 $21,965
T54 Li HaoTong E $20,470
T54 Mackenzie Hughes E $20,470
T54 Brian Harman E $20,470
T54 Billy Horschel E $20,114
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After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

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Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.