Ochoa Wins Bound for Hall of Fame

By Associated PressApril 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newMORELIA, Mexico -- Lorena Ochoa wasnt distracted when the fans chanted her name on only the second hole. She stayed focused on her game, even as the crowd grew to thousands by the end of the day.
 
But by her last stroke on the 18th hole Sunday, the emotions were too much. The Mexican star had just won her third straight tournament and qualified for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame, all at home, surrounded by family, friends and fans. She was overcome.
 
I did fine, but once I was on 18, and had a short putt, everything came into my head, she said. Im glad I had a short putt.
 
Thats when the crowd went crazy. Shouts, whistles, songs, they all echoed in the mountain valley. Ochoa held up the Mexican flag, and was sprayed with champagne. A sign hung from a clifftop home read: Super Lorena, with the insignia of Superman.
 
This was no ordinary tournament win. This was Mexico celebrating one of its finest.
 
Ochoa didnt just win the Corona Championship. She claimed the victory by 11 strokes for her fourth win in five starts this year.
 
The Mexican star became the second-youngest player to qualify for the Hall of Fame, though she still must be a tour member for 10 years'in her case, until 2012'to be eligible for induction.
 
It was very special to do it here in my home country, she said.
 
The LPGA Tour had previously said incorrectly that Ochoa would be the youngest to qualify at 26 years, 4 months, 29 days. But the youngest was actually Karrie Webb, who was 25 years, 7 months, 2 days when she qualified at the 2000 U.S. Womens Open.
 
The tour awards a point for every victory and major award and two points for a major victory.
 
Ochoa said she was honored to be among players she has always admired.
 
They are my motivation, and when I played college, I always looked up to them and I wanted to be like them, so just to be part of that group is a very special feeling, she said.
 
After opening with three straight 7-under 66s, Ochoa closed with a 69 for a 25-under 267 total. She earned $195,000 for her 21st victory on the LPGA Tour.
 
It also was her second win in three years on the rugged Tres Marias course, a par-73 layout carved into a mountain valley in western Mexico.
 
After winning eight times last year, Ochoa opened the season with an 11-stroke victory in the HSBC Champions in Singapore, tied for eighth in the MasterCard Classic at Bosque Real in the tours first Mexican event of the year, then successfully defended her Safeway International title with a seven-stroke romp. Last week, she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship by five strokes for her second straight major victory.
 
Ochoa had a seven-stroke lead entering play Sunday. She birdied the first, sixth and eighth holes, but dropped three strokes with a triple bogey on the 11th hole. She came back with birdies on the 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th holes.
 
She had described her play at the tournament as among her best.
 
It was an amazing week, she said.
 
South Koreas Song-Hee Kim (72) was second at 14 under.
 
Ochoa has brought thousands of players to the game in Mexico, where it was traditionally played mostly by super rich Mexican men and vacationing foreigners.
 
Those who followed her play this weekend showed that her success translates across age, gender and even economic lines. She was trailed by small children carrying plastic golf clubs and women in three-inch high heels and matching designer handbags. Even course employees collecting trash would pause and watch in awe as she passed.
 
Monica Garcia, 30, and her husband, Luis Ortiz, were among the crowd and described themselves as Lorena fanatics. They bring their two children to watch her play each year at Tres Marias.
 
Shes a role model for all Mexicans, Ortiz said.
 
And even more so for women, added Garcia, her familys only golf player. She makes you believe you can do anything you want and be the best at it.
 
Ochoa was always thankful for the support, spending time signing autographs and stopping in the middle of press conferences to acknowledge a group of fans. She savored her homecoming Sunday, kissing her trophy as she was serenaded by a mariachi band. Several times, she put her hand on her chest and looked around in wonder. She seemed to fight back tears.
 
This is a best I have ever felt, and it gives me goose bumps, she said. It feels very nice.
 
But, before long, she was focused again on the game. Asked how she would celebrate, she said: Im going to go home, right now. I need to unpack and pack because tomorrow I leave to Orlando at 9 a.m. (for the Ginn Open).
 
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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

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    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


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    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


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    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

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    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

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    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

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    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

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