Ochoa Returns to Mexico No 1 in the World

By Associated PressApril 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Corona ChampionshipMORELIA, Mexico -- The timing was perfect for Lorena Ochoa.
 
The 25-year-old Mexican star took the top spot in the world rankings from Annika Sorenstam on Monday, just three days before she will open her title defense in the Corona Morelia Championship at Tres Marias.
 
'I think it's twice as special defending my first tournament here. I believed it would happen at a tournament in the States, and I would be by myself,' Ochoa said Wednesday. 'It's like a nice surprise because I'm at home and I can share with the people I love, my family, the media and everybody. So it's twice as special.
 
Last year at Tres Marias, which is just 175 miles from Ochoa's native Guadalajara, she beat Paraguay's Julieta Granada by five strokes for her first LPGA Tour win in Mexico.
 
'It feels great and gives me a huge motivation playing among Mexicans,' Ochoa said. 'These are people who have been following my career for a long time and have a share in my success.'
 
Ochoa moved to No. 1 in the rankings Monday with 12.84 points, 0.14 ahead of Sorenstam. Ochoa described the feeling of finally topping Sorenstam, who had led the list since the rankings began in February 2006 but has who has been sidelined by a ruptured disk in her back, as a 'dream come true.'
 
'It's incredible. I'm very emotional,' Ochoa said. 'Getting the telephone call that I'm No. 1 was just amazing.'
 
Ochoa, who won six times last year and was the tour's player of the year, could have gone to No. 1 by winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship a month ago and the Ginn Open that ended April 15. She made a double bogey on the final hole at the Ginn Open to finish one shot behind Brittany Lincicome.
 
Ochoa has often struggled in her homeland. In the 2005 tournament she tied for 16th, while the crown was taken by Sweden's Carin Koch
 
She was also a non-factor in the 2005 and 2006 MasterCard Classic tournaments in Huixquilucan, outside Mexico City and struggled to tie for sixth there this year.
 
'Sometimes, you can make mistakes under pressure. But I've learned to deal with the pressure during my career,' she said. 'I'm going to play smart. My goal is to enjoy as much as I can the week and I think we will be in good shape.'
 
Also fighting for the $1.3 million purse in Morelia is Meaghan Francella, who had a breakthrough win at the MasterCard Classic last month, beating Sorenstam in a playoff for her first LPGA Tour victory.
 
Francella said she received a great reception from the Mexican fans in Huixquilucan that adds to her confidence playing in Morelia.
 
'I got off to a fast start with the win,' she said. 'All the crowd started chanting Francella, Francella. It was an experience I'll never forget.'
 
The 24-year-old New Yorker said she liked the hilly Tres Marias, which some golfers have found unforgiving. Carved into rolling hillsides, the par-73 course sits at an altitude of 6,300 feet.
 
'I played 18 holes and just loved the golf course. The greens are rolling great so we'll see,' she said.
 
Stacy Prammanasudh, who won the Fields Open in Hawaii in February and tied for third in the MasterCard Classic in March, also says she likes the course, which can be blasted by searing sun and powerful wind.
 
'I grew up playing in the wind. I got to know that you will make mistakes with the wind and it blows hard here,' she said. 'But, then I just try to stay patient and to make birdies when I can.'
 
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  • 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.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.