ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Lorena Ochoa will enjoy the memories that promise to come flooding back as she watches the Ricoh Women’s British Open from her home in Mexico City this week.
Ochoa won the historic first Women’s British Open played at St. Andrews six years ago. She routed the field in a four-shot runaway for her first major championship title.
Though Ochoa could have returned to play the Old Course this week as a past champion, she said it was never a consideration. She is six months pregnant with her second child. With the baby due during the second week of November, Ochoa said she might not be able to attend her own event this year, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. It’s scheduled Nov. 14-17.
Ochoa, 31, keeps an eye on the LPGA, but she says she plays very little, only occasionally hitting golf balls. She says she relishes her new life with her growing family. Her first child, Pedro, was born in December of 2011.
“My life is so different, but I’m so happy in my personal life today,” Ochoa told GolfChannel.com. “I feel so blessed to have accomplished my goal of becoming a mother and to be able to be home with my family. It’s like everything is complete.”
Ochoa won 27 LPGA titles with her Women’s British Open title the first of her two majors. She also won the Kraft Nabisco in 2008.
While Ochoa doesn’t discount playing tournaments again in the future, don’t expect to see her any time soon. She said she never looked ahead expecting to play this Women’s British Open.
“It was never in my mind,” Ochoa said. “I wanted to have my second baby. I take golf very seriously, and I would never just go to play a tournament and play badly and not have a good experience or a chance to have a good week.
“I haven’t practiced the last few years. I will go hit balls sometimes, but my game is terrible.”
Ochoa said she isn’t tempted by the lure of the Olympics in 2016 for the same reasons. She can’t see herself leaving her young family for the time required to rebuild her game.
“I don’t see myself playing the Olympics,” Ochoa said. “It’s not good just to be there, to not have an opportunity to win. That’s behind me.”
Ochoa will enjoy watching the Women’s British Open return to St. Andrews. She says her win there is probably the greatest triumph in her career, though she says her Kraft Nabisco title and the three LPGA titles she won in Mexico are also prized memories.
“The more I think about the British Open, it is true, the memories come back to me,” Ochoa said. “People ask me all the time why that week was so good for me, why it looked easy for me. I tell them it felt like something that was meant to be. Sometimes, in golf, you just let it happen.”
Ochoa takes pride in being the first woman to win the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews.
“For the ladies, we had just that one time to put our name on the trophy first, so to put my name, a Mexican’s name there, to be there forever, it was special,” she said.