Presented annually since 1955, the USGA’s highest honor is given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. The Award seeks to recognize a person who emulates Jones’ spirit, his personal qualities and his attitude toward the game and its players.
The Award will be presented Feb. 5 at the USGA’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix.
Upon learning that she would receive the Award, Ochoa said she kept the news to herself at first.
“It was very exciting,” Ochoa said. “I went to the Internet, trying to see what it was all about, and I said, ‘Wow!’ I enjoyed reading about Bob Jones and all of the past recipients. Then I told my mother. Now I just plan to enjoy the good news, the ceremony, the whole thing.”
By age 8, Ochoa was already competing internationally. She later dominated collegiate golf and climbed to the top of the professional ranks before she retired in April of this year. The span of her career parallels that of Bob Jones, who retired at 28 in 1930 after conquering golf’s major championships.