ORLANDO, Fla. – Azahara Munoz choked up when her acceptance speech as Rolex Rookie of the Year turned to her parents Friday night at the LPGA Rolex Awards program.
She was moved to tears when she thanked her father and mother, Jose Antonio and Consuelo Munoz. Her mother was in the crowd listening, her father back home in Spain.
While Munoz gave her acceptance speech in English, she delivered a special message to her parents in Spanish. A note of thanks here to Zayra Calderon, the LPGA’s chief executive officer, for later giving the translation for this reporter.
“I would not be here if it was not for your sacrifice, love and dedication,” Munoz told her parents in their native tongue.
In English, Munoz explained the support her parents showed her.
“If I wanted to leave for the golf course at 7 a.m. growing up, they were ready to go at 6:30,” Munoz said. “If I wanted to practice until 10 at night, they would be there with me all day. But they never pushed me. The only thing they ever cared about was if I was happy.
“I remember one time calling my dad when I was in college, and I played badly. He told me if the game ever made me cry again, he didn’t want me to play anymore. I try to remember that every day I play. I am standing here today because of them.”