No 1 Ochoa looking to marriage family golf

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2009, 9:18 pm

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP)—Lorena Ochoa is having one of the best years of herlife, and it has nothing to do with being ranked No. 1 in golf.

She’s getting married next month in her hometown, which will be a boon forMexico’s edition of Hola magazine. Her engagement was front-page news in everypaper in the country. But the pending marriage hasn’t helped the struggling U.S.LPGA Tour, which needs a dominant star.

Ochoa’s won only three times—compared to 21 times in the previous threeseasons including two majors—and didn’t contend in any of the four majors.Jiyai Shin of South Korea is about to take the player of the year award, whichOchoa has claimed three straight times.

Ochoa finished tied for sixth on her home course last weekend at the LorenaOchoa Invitational. Michelle Wie won her first U.S. LPGA event and earned muchof the attention at the Guadalajara Country Club.

“For me, personally, it’s been a better year (than the last three),” Ochoasaid at her tournament. “If you are talking about the results on the golfcourse, for sure it’s not the best year for me. But what’s important is I amhappy.”

In Mexico, she’s the country’s highest profile athlete—except for footballstars Rafa Marquez of Barcelona or Cuauhtemoc Blanco of the Chicago Fire —andexpected to win every tournament.

But Ochoa has been candid. She is traveling more, playing less and has moreoff-course obligations, which include her charity foundation. She’s alsoplanning to move from Guadalajara to Mexico City after her marriage to AndresConesa, the CEO of Aeromexico airline—one of her sponsors.

Conesa has three children from a previous marriage, so she’ll step into aready-made family.

“Personally, it’s more important the things that I do outside the golfcourse,” she said. “And that’s been my main focus right now.”

Ochoa may follow the path of former No. 1 Annika Sorenstam, who married thisyear just weeks after ending her career. She gave birth to a baby girl inSeptember.

“I will think about a family, but later on,” said Ochoa, who was oftendescribed as a “great ambassador” and an “awesome person” by other players.

Brittany Lincicome says Ochoa hasn’t changed this season, except she seems“more stretched with other things.” Lincicome said Ochoa has stopped coming tomeetings of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“She said she just did not have time,” Lincicome said. “I mean, she isstill religious but she told us she had other obligations.”

With all the distractions, Ochoa’s weak spot on the course was probably herputting. She complained about it last week at her tournament, yet was seldomseen practicing on the putting green. Paula Creamer, who finished second to Wie,made a point about how much time she spends on the practice greens.

“You see it with No. 1 players in the world,” Angela Stanford said.“There are a lot more demands on their time. … I can’t imagine planning awedding and then also being the No. 1 player in the world and carrying that withyou. I’m sure it’s gotta be a lot more difficult.”

Ochoa recovered from a deep, midseason slump marked by one of the worstrounds of her career—an 8-over 79 in the second round of the U.S. Women’sOpen. In early October, she won the Navistar Classic for her third victory. Sheshot 8-under 64 in the final round of the Mizuno Classic this month to finishsecond.

Ochoa’s been No. 1 for 2 1/2 years, and she’ll stay there heading into nextseason no matter what she does at this week’s season-ending LPGA TourChampionship in Houston. But she’s being pushed by Shin, who also leads theseason money list.

Sorenstam was a commanding player, and Ochoa was expected to take over themantle. Sorenstam’s departure may have increased the pressure on Ochoa, who hasdominated at times but hasn’t quite pulled the crowds the way Michelle Wie does— particularly in the United States.

“With Annika stepping away, it was bigger than most people thought,” U.S.LPGA spokesman David Higdon said. “Lorena was caught in the middle a littlebit. Annika had always been the iconic star. I think people probably didn’trealize how much Annika allowed Lorena to grow as a player.”

Higdon acknowledged the U.S. LPGA desperately needs a superstar. It’sblessed with a strong rookie class including Shin, but it needs one player toemerge.

“When you have a close race like we have right now, it’s interesting andexciting to watch,” he said. “But I always feel like when you have a dominantplayer like Lorena, it raises the level and everybody picks up their game.”

Juli Inkster has been in Ochoa’s shoes.

The 49-year-old Inkster has won seven majors and 31 tournaments, mixing hercareer with raising a family.

“It wasn’t easy, and my results showed the ups and downs,” said Inkster,who began traveling with her daughters six weeks after they were born. They’renow 19 and 15.

“I really think Lorena still has a passion for golf,” Inkster said. “Istill think she wants to be No. 1. But I don’t think golf defines Lorena. Golfis what she does, not what she is.”

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.