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Ochoa event's future uncertain, no TV coverage

Lorena Ochoa
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The Lorena Ochoa Invitational’s future after this year’s event is uncertain.

While tournament organizers are committed to building on the six-year-old event, it appears as if this will be the last played in Guadalajara, the Mexican city where Ochoa was born and raised. Guadalajara Country Club, home to the event since its inception, is where Ochoa learned to play. Today, she lives in Mexico City, where she is married to Andres Conesa Labastida, president of Aeromexico. Just last week, Ochoa gave birth to their second child together, a daughter, Julia.

Ochoa’s tournament faces challenges after its government funding was unexpectedly pulled a few months ago. The loss of $1 million in funding caused the tournament to scrap its television plans this year.

LPGA officials told Thursday morning that the Lorena Ochoa Invitational will be on next year's schedule as the tournament works to secure a site, and that Ochoa will continue to host the event. The LPGA is working with Ochoa's group to secure the future of the event beyond next year. 

Ochoa was disappointed in that development.

“I’ve done so many things [for the government],” Ochoa told Golfweek. “What the tournament gives to them is so many positive things that the country needs in this moment. It’s a great, familiar event, very positive. It’s just very silly for them to say no.”

The LPGA addressed the lack of television coverage this week on its website:

“Unfortunately, the tournament was caught off-guard when the local government withdrew its financial support of the 2013 event – this was the support that financed the international television production.  Based on this, the LPGA released the tournament organizers from their TV commitment, as we want all of our tournaments to be successful, and to be able to succeed long term.  The tournament organizers have worked-out a local/Mexico TV package, and a highlights/update package with the U.S. Golf  Channel, so our US fans/viewers can at least get regular updates in Golf Central, etc.

“Neither the tournament organizers nor the LPGA is happy with the fact that this great event will not be televised to our worldwide audience – but it is better to work through these issues with our tournament partners, than to be heavy-handed and require our partners to face financial crisis in delivering contractual agreements. We are working with the LOI team to address this problem and deliver great TV in the future.”