Ochoa Left With Mixed Emotions

By Associated PressMay 14, 2008, 4:00 pm
Sybe ClassicCLIFTON, N.J. -- Annika Sorenstams decision to leave the LPGA Tour left Lorena Ochoa with mixed emotions and her own exit strategy still in place.
My plans are the same I want to win tournaments, I want to break records this year, Ochoa said Wednesday, a day after Sorenstam announced this would be her last season. I know the competition is going to be very tough. But like she does, I want to finish No. 1, not only in the world ranking, but on the money list.
Heading into this weeks Sybase Classic at the Upper Montclair Country Club, Ochoa and Sorenstam are 1-2, respectively, in the world rankings and leading earners on tour this year.
The 26-year-old Ochoa has won five times and earned $1,538,616. Sorenstam ran away with her third title last weekend'against a field that included Ochoa ' and pushed her earnings to $1,244,281.
The 37-year-old Swede, who is still at the top of her game, announced Tuesday that she was leaving the game at the end of the year to get on with her life.
Shes at a different stage in her life and she wants to have kids and have the clinic and she has other things to do, Ochoa said. I think to find the love of doing something different outside the golf course is something that I admire, so congratulations to her.
The Mexican superstar has similar idea. Two years ago, she said she only planned to play six to 12 years. This is her sixth full season on the tour, and her path remains intact.
I dont have a strict number which date I will finish, but I do want to go back home and just raise a family and have kids. Those are the plans, the two-time defending champion of the Sybase Classic said. You never know what is going to happen, but I would love to just finish here and be happy with my career and then just go back to Mexico and do things that I love to do, that I miss. Life is too short to not do them, and I like to be home.
Ochoa credits Sorenstam for being her motivation, and somewhat of a role model on and off the course. The bottom line always has been to dominate the game the way Sorenstam has over a 15-year career that saw her win 72 times, including 10 majors.
Im going to miss her, Ochoa said. I do have mixed feelings. Its sad. I think the LPGA is losing a big name.
Ochoa and others, however, are quick to note that the game always seems to find new stars. Ochoa suggested Suzann Pettersen and Paula Creamer could fit that bill.
I think the Tour will always miss a player like Annika, Hall of Famer Karrie Webb said. But along the way, new stories will come, great players will come out and you know, I think they will more than come close to filling Annikas shoes.
Ochoa, who has gone two tournaments without a win since capturing four in a row, seems to have a new excitement about the rest of the year.
Like I said, I think its going to be just a fun time, Ochoa said. I think we should enjoy it as much as we can, not only us as players but the media and everybody. I feel very lucky to be part of this, with Annikas career and I think its going to be a great challenge because shes a great competitor but Im ready.
Ochoa won last years event with a 19-under total. The course has been narrowed this year, with almost 200 trees being planted.
I think this week its more important to be good from the tee, Ochoa said. You have to be able to hit a lot of fairways, and that makes things a lot easier.
Related Links:
  • Video: Annika 'Stepping Away'
  • Annika Through the Years
  • Full Coverage - Sybase Classic
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.