Does Lorena Have Wright Stuff

By Brian HewittApril 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
Among others now being chased by the emergent Lorena Ochoa is the great Mickey Wright.
Wrights dream season on the LPGA was 1963 when she won 13 times. Ochoa, who once again Sunday left the rest of the field in her rear view mirror ' this time at the Ginn Open ' has now won five times ' including her last four in a row ' in six 2008 starts.
Every tournament is different, Ochoa said before going outdueling a 19-year-old woman from Taiwan named Yani Tseng en route to a three-shot victory and her 19th career win.
But the results, more and more, are the same: Ochoa winning in romps.
Ochoas still alive for the womens Grand Slam, of course. Three majors remain on this seasons schedule. But because of her current form, people are now talking about her the same way they were talking about Tiger Woods about a month ago.
That was before Woods suffered his first loss of the year at Doral. He followed that with another dodgy putting week at the Masters Tournament earlier this month. Last Tuesday Woods underwent knee surgery and might not be back until the U.S. Open in June.
So the focus on professional golf is slowly shifting towards Ochoa and the womens game. And the experts are beginning to wonder if Mexicos Ochoa will lose again this year. If she wins in her next start, it will tie an LPGA record of five straight wins currently shared by Nancy Lopez (1978) and Sorenstam (2004-2005).
Meanwhile, back at Mickey Wright, her 13 victories in 1963 are the LPGAs single season record. Annika Sorenstam got to 11 in 2002 but couldnt better Wrights mark, once thought to be unassailable.
Asked Sunday how many times she thinks she can win this year, Ochoa didnt take the bait. Im not going to put a number, she said.
It should be noted that Wright played in 28 events in 1963 (27 top-10s). Ochoa is expected to play no more than 22 times this year. But the way she is playing'long, straight driving combined with solid wedge play and a confident putter'anything appears possible.
The 26-year-old Ochoa has said she wants to have a family one day and that she is not married to playing tournament golf indefinitely. Wright stopped playing at age 34 with 82 career wins, including 13 majors. At the time, she was suffering from foot problems, an adverse reaction to sunlight, and an aversion to flying.
But before she quit playing for pay, she won the Tiger Slam before Woods was even born. In 1961 Wright captured that seasons final two majors'the U.S. Womens Open and the LPGA Championship. Then she conquered the first two of what were then LPGA majors'the 1962 Titleholders Championship and the Western Open.
Sunday at the Ginn, played near Orlando at the Ginn Reunion Resort, it was close through nine holes. Then Ochoas short birdie putt on the 10th gave her a one-shot lead she never relinquished over the long-hitting Tseng. When Tseng bogeyed 13, 15 and 17 it turned the rest of the final round into little more than a victory lap for Ochoa.
Yes, I have another big trophy, said the unfailingly good-natured Ochoa afterward with a laugh. Im going to ask my mommy where we should put it.
One final note: For her victory Sunday in Florida Ochoa received a check for $390,000 in official prize money. For her entire career, Mickey Wright received checks totaling $368,770 in official prize money.
Yeah, said Tseng of Ochoa, shes really No. 1.
And then some.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Ginn Open
  • Getty Images

    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.