No 1 Ochoa in Native Mexico to Defend Title

By Lpga Tour MediaApril 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Corona ChampionshipMORELIA, Mexico -- It took Lorena Ochoa four tries to win an LPGA tournament in her home country of Mexico. Returning to the Tres Marias Golf Club for the $1.3 million 2007 Corona Championship, Ochoa will be surrounded by thousands of adoring fans and just as many good memories in an attempt to complete her first-ever successful title defense.
I have no way to compare this. For me, it's like a U.S. Open, being able to play in my country and win in front of my people, Ochoa said last year after her victory, in which she became just the second player in LPGA Tour history to surpass $2 million in season earnings.
Last year's victory in Morelia was the seventh in Ochoa's career. Since then, she has won three more times; was named 2006 Rolex Player of the Year and earned the 2006 Vare Trophy; recently surpassed Annika Sorenstam in the Rolex Rankings as the world's top player; and has five top-10 finishes in six starts this season to also own the top spot on the LPGA Official Money List, all in less than seven months. With a purse that has increased $300,000 from $1 million in 2006, a $195,000 winner's check would be nice, indeed. It would also signify the first successful title defense on Tour since Sorenstam earned back-to-back titles at the MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta in 2005 and 2006.
The final round of last year's Corona Championship found Ochoa paired with Julieta Granada, of Paraguay, who also earned the respect of the Mexican fans. Ochoa defeated Granada by five strokes, but the runner-up finish gave Granada'then a LPGA Tour rookie'her second runner-up finish of the year. She also earned enough ADT Points to move into a three-way tie for second, at the time, in the LPGA Playoffs 2006. Granada was then able to qualify for the ADT Championship via ADT Points and went on to capture the first-ever $1 million paycheck in women's golf.
The course at Tres Marias Golf Club holds true to the tradition of the courses the LPGA finds itself on when in Mexic a long course in the middle of the mountains thousands of feet (6,000) above sea level. It is a test of accuracy off the tee and endurance by players. Yet, 13 of last year's top-20 finishers will return to Morelia for another chance to master the course and earn a victory. Among 2007 winners, Stacy Prammanasudh and Meaghan Francella will challenge Ochoa. Francella also brings pleasant memories of Mexico with her this week after becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner at the MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta Presented by Televisa Deportes in March via a four-hole sudden-death playoff over defending champion Sorenstam.
Perhaps the third Rolex First-Time Winner of the season may be brewing. The 2007 LPGA rookie class has 12 exempt members, 10 of whom are in the field this week and thirsty for victory. In the race for the 2007 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, Angela Park holds a commanding 109-point lead over In-Kyung Kim on the strength of making six of six cuts and one tie for third at the Fields Open in Hawaii.
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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

    After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

    Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium Course to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time.

    The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine – and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Mickelson misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

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    Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

    Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

    The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

    They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

    It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

    “I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

    The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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    LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

    The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

    The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

    The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

    The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

    The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.