Ochoa Sets 10-Year Limit on Career

By Associated PressJanuary 10, 2007, 5:00 pm
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Lorena Ochoa reached the pinnacle of women's golf and plans to leave on her own terms.

'There are things that make me a little sad, but I accept them because I have to make a sacrifice to go far,' Ochoa said in an interview with The Associated Press. 'For that reason, I don't want to play for more than 10 years in the LPGA, I would like to be a more normal person, to have a family, that God gives me the opportunity to have kids.'

Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa won six times to win Player of the Year in 2006.
Ochoa, 25, won six times last year to capture the money title, the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average and LPGA player of the year, ending Annika Sorenstam's five-year reign. She also was voted AP female athlete of the year, an unprecedented distinction for a Mexican athlete.

'Just to finish in that top position was a dream come true, and at the same time to have the recognition of the best athlete, I have no words to describe it,' Ochoa said.

The Mexican government awarded her the National Sports Prize, its highest honor for an athlete.

'I was surprised, but at the same time happy, because I worked hard for many years and now to get the award is very nice,' Ochoa said.

Ochoa won three straight times toward the end of the season that allowed her to take the money title with nearly $2.6 million. The only thing missing was a major. Her best chance came at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She hit a 5-wood to 6 feet for an eagle on the last hole to get into a playoff, but lost to Karrie Webb.

'The majors are so important for professionals, but at the same time I don't want to put any extra pressure on myself,' Ochoa said. 'I just want to play them as any tournament. If I say, 'Oh my God, it's a major,' it's never going to happen. I can only tell you that I'm ready to win a major, I think the experience that I have had for three, four seasons, really helped me, and hopefully this is the year for me.'

Ochoa wants to use part of her earnings to help needy children attend school. She created a foundation that already has built a school for over 300 students.

'Since I became a professional I have wanted to help others, if God has helped me get to where I am, allowing me so many beautiful things, the ability to share with the most needy is something that for me is very important,' she said. 'The ability to share with others is more beautiful than winning any tournament.'

The success of the golfer has made the sport more popular in Mexico. It's not unusual for major newspapers and TV stations to cover each of Ochoa's tournaments, and to sometimes give them priority over coverage of soccer, the national sport.

And although Ochoa enjoys the media attention and her fans, she also misses the ability to go to the movies without being recognized.

'I miss my family, friends, it has caused me to lose important things to me, a baptism, a cousin's wedding,' she said. 'I missed my own graduation.'

Ochoa was 12 when she trained for six months to climb Pico de Orizaba, Mexico's highest volcano at 18,855 feet. She tries to stay away from the golf course when the tour ends. She likes the beach and the mountains and her native state of Jalisco, where she spends time reading and listening to music.

'It gives me energy, so that I don't get fed up with golf,' she said.

And just like the end of 2005, Ochoa has set high goals for the coming year. Her next stop is No. 1 in the world ranking, ahead of Sorenstam.

'I think we always have room to improve,' she said. 'I know I made some mistakes last year that I don't want to do this year. I'm going to set some high goals. I know I can do it, I know I can win tournaments, I know I can beat Annika. I know I can do it, that's my dream, that's my goal, to be in the No. 1 position.'

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

 Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

 Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May   28

Individual   National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 29

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday, May   30

Team Match   Play National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: