Notes Ochoa Gets Club Endorsement

By Associated PressJune 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Lorena Ochoa might have been the only No. 1 player in golf without an equipment deal, although it was not as simple as signing on the dotted line.
The Mexican star already had endorsement deals that occupied the front of her hat (Banamex), her golf bag (Aeromexico) and her shirt (LaCoste), three of the best billboards for a golfer. Ping still managed to work out a deal Tuesday.
Ochoa, who has been playing Ping equipment for the last 10 years, finally will get paid to use it under a multiyear agreement that varies slightly from most Ping contracts. Terms were not disclosed.
Ping usually gets its logo on the hat and the bag. In this case, Aeromexico remains the dominant logo on the golf bag, with seven Ping logos built around it.
'This is different for us,' said Chance Cozby, director of tour operations for Ping. 'We're at a point where we can use her in our marketing message, and she had a lot of global exposure. We had to go outside the box to create a unique deal.'
Ping requires its staff players to use at least 11 clubs, with the driver and putter mandatory. The Phoenix-based company will give Ochoa whatever time she needs to find the right putter. The rest of the equipment already was in place.
'They've been really loyal to me. I've been loyal to them,' Ochoa said. 'Every time I got to Ping in the offseason, they always take care of me. If there's some company that I'd like to represent, it would be them.'
The deal took root in April at the Golf Writers Association of America annual dinner, where Ochoa was honored as female player of the year. John Solheim, chairman and CEO of Ping, was in the audience that night and was moved by Ochoa's classy acceptance speech.
'He came back to the house and said, 'Let's get moving on this,'' Cozby said.
The final major on the LPGA Tour might be the biggest of the year. For the first time, the Women's British Open will be held on the Old Course at St. Andrews, the home of golf.
Along with playing the historic links where Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods each hoisted the claret jug, the women will be allowed in the Royal & Ancient clubhouse, which had been off limits.
'It's something everyone has been talking about for the last year, trying to get accommodations,' Karrie Webb said. 'You never plan that far in advance for any tournament. I don't think there will be anyone who has a bad time that week.'
Annika Sorenstam played the Old Course as an amateur, and called it a 'big step for women's golf,' especially considering the sign she recalls seeing at the amateur event.
'There was a sign out there that said, 'No dogs or women allowed,'' she said. 'Hopefully, they'll take it out for the week. I think it's going to be great for women, for us to go play there. I'm looking forward to that.'
Karrie Webb won by eight shots the last time the U.S. Women's Open was held at Pine Needles, a performance so inspiring that she recently watched it on videotape.
That took some work, as it was only available on VHS.
'I just changed my whole entertainment unit,' Webb said. 'I don't have a VCR anymore, so I had to get someone to bring it over to the house, and then it was a process of plugging it into one of the TVs.'
For all the promotion about FedExCup points this year, money means more to someone like Jay Williamson. He lost in a playoff in Hartford last week and didn't improve his standing in the FedExCup.
It's still at zero.
The FedEx Cup race is only for players who start the year with full membership on the PGA TOUR. Williamson, who was 221st on the money list last year, is playing the Nationwide Tour and got into the Travelers Championship on a sponsor's exemption. The good news is that the $648,000 he earned is enough to get special temporary membership. And his runner-up finish got him into the Buick Open. But he still isn't eligible for FedExCup points unless he becomes a full member this year, which would require a victory.
Now comes the decision.
Williamson is No. 8 on the Nationwide money list -- the top 25 get their cards -- or he can try to get into more PGA TOUR events and try to finish the equivalent of No. 125 on the PGA TOUR money list and have a fuller choice of events to play.
'There's a lot of stuff going on that I need to educate myself on and just make sure that I make the right decision,' he said.
Chris DiMarco has joined the world of radio talk-show hots.
A sports nut and lifelong Florida Gators fan, he last week started 'Opinionated with Chris DiMarco,' which airs every Tuesday at 7 a.m. on the PGA TOUR Network on XM radio. He is the first professional golfer to host a satellite radio show.
'We're going to take people behind the scenes to talk about what's really happening in the game of golf,' DiMarco said. 'The channel is all about golf, and our show will definitely be focused on the sport, but we're going to steer the conversation off the course from time to time.'
Ernie Els is featured in the latest batch of FedExCup commercials, although his promotion sounded different in a news conference last week in Germany. Asked about his schedule, Els said he would play Loch Lomond and the British Open, take a week off and 'start off on the FedExCup thingy.' Once the laughter died, he said, 'Yeah, exactly.' ... Hunter Mahan became the youngest winner on the PGA TOUR this year at 25 years, one month and seven days. ... Jay Haas has earned $5.7 million in 49 starts on the Champions Tour. He earned $14.4 million in 796 starts on the PGA TOUR.
Foreign-born players outnumber Americans in the U.S. Women's Open for the first time.
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  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

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    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.