Ochoa Sets 10-Year Limit on Career

By Associated PressJanuary 10, 2007, 5:00 pm
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Lorena Ochoa reached the pinnacle of women's golf and plans to leave on her own terms.

'There are things that make me a little sad, but I accept them because I have to make a sacrifice to go far,' Ochoa said in an interview with The Associated Press. 'For that reason, I don't want to play for more than 10 years in the LPGA, I would like to be a more normal person, to have a family, that God gives me the opportunity to have kids.'

Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa won six times to win Player of the Year in 2006.
Ochoa, 25, won six times last year to capture the money title, the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average and LPGA player of the year, ending Annika Sorenstam's five-year reign. She also was voted AP female athlete of the year, an unprecedented distinction for a Mexican athlete.

'Just to finish in that top position was a dream come true, and at the same time to have the recognition of the best athlete, I have no words to describe it,' Ochoa said.

The Mexican government awarded her the National Sports Prize, its highest honor for an athlete.

'I was surprised, but at the same time happy, because I worked hard for many years and now to get the award is very nice,' Ochoa said.

Ochoa won three straight times toward the end of the season that allowed her to take the money title with nearly $2.6 million. The only thing missing was a major. Her best chance came at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She hit a 5-wood to 6 feet for an eagle on the last hole to get into a playoff, but lost to Karrie Webb.

'The majors are so important for professionals, but at the same time I don't want to put any extra pressure on myself,' Ochoa said. 'I just want to play them as any tournament. If I say, 'Oh my God, it's a major,' it's never going to happen. I can only tell you that I'm ready to win a major, I think the experience that I have had for three, four seasons, really helped me, and hopefully this is the year for me.'

Ochoa wants to use part of her earnings to help needy children attend school. She created a foundation that already has built a school for over 300 students.

'Since I became a professional I have wanted to help others, if God has helped me get to where I am, allowing me so many beautiful things, the ability to share with the most needy is something that for me is very important,' she said. 'The ability to share with others is more beautiful than winning any tournament.'

The success of the golfer has made the sport more popular in Mexico. It's not unusual for major newspapers and TV stations to cover each of Ochoa's tournaments, and to sometimes give them priority over coverage of soccer, the national sport.

And although Ochoa enjoys the media attention and her fans, she also misses the ability to go to the movies without being recognized.

'I miss my family, friends, it has caused me to lose important things to me, a baptism, a cousin's wedding,' she said. 'I missed my own graduation.'

Ochoa was 12 when she trained for six months to climb Pico de Orizaba, Mexico's highest volcano at 18,855 feet. She tries to stay away from the golf course when the tour ends. She likes the beach and the mountains and her native state of Jalisco, where she spends time reading and listening to music.

'It gives me energy, so that I don't get fed up with golf,' she said.

And just like the end of 2005, Ochoa has set high goals for the coming year. Her next stop is No. 1 in the world ranking, ahead of Sorenstam.

'I think we always have room to improve,' she said. 'I know I made some mistakes last year that I don't want to do this year. I'm going to set some high goals. I know I can do it, I know I can win tournaments, I know I can beat Annika. I know I can do it, that's my dream, that's my goal, to be in the No. 1 position.'

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.