She defeated Yani Tseng by three shots.
REUNION, Fla. – Lorena Ochoa became the first LPGA Tour player in 45 years to win four tournaments in consecutive weeks.
Ochoa shot a 3-under 69 in the final round of the Ginn Open on Sunday and beat rookie Yani Tseng by three strokes for her fifth victory in six starts this year.
Ochoa trailed early in the final round, but went ahead for good with three straight birdies beginning at No. 8. She finished 19 under and became the second player to win four times in as many weeks.
Mickey Wright did it in 1962 and 1963. Kathy Whitworth (1969) and Annika Sorenstam (2001) also won four consecutive events, but both took a week off during their runs.
Sorenstam (2004-05) and Nancy Lopez (1978) hold the tour record with five straight victories in events entered, but neither of those came in consecutive weeks.
Lorena has an incredible streak going. She also won the HSBC in Singapore this year. Yani Tseng held up better versus Lorena than some of Super Mex’s other recent pursuers. When the golf came on the air this afternoon, Lorena was only up by one. A combination of missed makable putts and shots hung out to the right ended Yani Tseng’s challenge.
I predict Lorena will not win the Stanford Intl. You can take it to the bank, because Lorena is taking the week off. The streak will have to wait to May before Lorena either continues it or someone snaps it for her.
What looked like a rout, suddenly became a close tournament. Then a magnifiicent approach shot capped off a magnificent season for the World’s #1 female golfer.
Only days after her 26th birthday, Lorena Ochoa got a million dollar birthday present. Taking the ADT Championship with a final round 68 to win by two shots . Natalie Gulbis finished a solo second with a round of 70. Paula Creamer finished third after shooting an even par round of 70.
Out of her million dollar winnings, Lorena will give $100,000 for flood relief in the State of Tabasco.
Lorena will make other donations.
“I don’t have a number, but whatever we(her foundation) need. SÃ, just we’ll see. I want to make sureâ€”we have plans to buy land and to start construction at the high school, so I want to find good things to do with the money.”
Lorena got things going early on Sunday morning. On the second hole, Super Mex hit a 50 degree wedge from 85 yards to fifteen feet. Lorena made the putt to go one under for the day.
A wedge to ten feet on the third, and a 7-wood to six feet on the fifth also resulted in birdies. After another birdie on six, Lorena was four under par for the tournament and four shots up.
Noone would get closer than three before hole 17. The seventh hole jumping up and grabbing several of Lorena’s closest pursuers. The par 3 hole playing an average of 4.75 strokes for the day.
Lorena seemed to be on cruise control till the 17th hole. Her 8-iron tee shot of 155 yards going over the green but without finding water. It took four more shots for Lorena to find the bottom of the hole.
By the time she walked off the 17th green, Lorena’s lead was down to one. Natalie Gulbis, playing in the same group as Lorena, had made birdie after hitting her tee shot to fifteen feet on 17.
Lorena admitted to being mad when she got to the 18th tee box. Then her tee shot cut it dangerously close to the water on the right side, landing in the rough. Natalie after a good drive, hitting her 3 rescue second shot to some fifteen feet from the hole.
Considering Lorena still faced a tough shot to a difficult hole, some may have thought Gulbis was thinking of a win but Natalie wasn’t.
“Playoff did. Lorena can make par from anywhere. But I thought I just wanted a chance to be able to make that putt to push it to a playoff. That’s what I was hoping for. I didn’t even consider that I would be able to win it outright.”
Lorena then smoothly hit her 6-iron approach shot to two feet from the cup. Effectively sealing her eigth win of the year.
Eight wins, almost five million and earnings, a major championship and player of the year. What did Lorena have to say afterwards when asked what’s next.
“No, there is always room to improve. I want to get much better in my short game, especially 100 yards, 110, 100, 90, 80. I hit them just okay, maybe 10 feet. But at the same time with a 9 iron, 8 iron, 7 iron, I need to improve on my short distances.”
An improved Lorena Ochoa is a scary proposition. A deserving winner for a wonderful tournament. Now we have to wait three months till the LPGA 2008 begins. I can hardly wait.
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Wizbang Sports linked with LPGA Tour year end awards...
The ADT tees it up this morning. Here is how I break down the 32 player field.
Top tier favorites- Suzann Pettersen, Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam, Cristie Kerr, Karrie Webb
On past performance here and who is playing well this year, these are the five most likely
The Koreans or why they just don’t seem to play well at Trump International- Over the last five ADTs, Soo Yun Kang came the closest to winning the event in 2005 finishing second. Il Mi Chung did have a piece of the lead on the back nine last year but wilted.
There are 8 South Koreans in the field, plus two other players of Korean heritage(Angela Park and Christina Kim). I have a hard time seeing one of them winning, though based on their records this year, I can’t avoid making some of them second tier choices.
Second tier favorites- Se Ri Pak, Paula Creamer, Jeong Jang, Morgan Pressel, Laura Davies
Dark horses- These are the people I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they won Sunday even though they’ll hardly get a mention from others
Seon Hwa Lee
Jee Young Lee
Angela since the Jamie Farr has had only two non top 15 finishes. A missed cut and a T39th.
Jee Young is coming off a T6, T18 and a T9 in her last three outings. She has played well all year.
The in betweeners- Catorina Matthew, Natalie Gulbis, Mi Hyun Kim, Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford, Jee Young Lee, Stacy Prammanasudh, Angela Park, Maria Hjorth, Seon Hwa Lee
The Julieta Granada pick for 2007- Inbee Park. A rookie who didn’t win Rookie of Year, or win a tournament before the ADT. The only 2007 ADT entrant fitting Granada’s description before last year’s tournament is Inbee.
Then the rest- Reilley Rankin, Meaghan Francella, Sophie Gustafson, Shi Hyun Ahn, Laura Diaz, Sarah Lee, Nicole Castrale, Sherri Steinhauer,
People I’d be most surprised if they won this week- Christina Kim and Ai Miyazato. I like both these players but right now they don’t look to be on form.
My picks for the final eight- Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Jee Young Lee, Seon Hwa Lee, Angela Stanford, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome, and Christie Kerr.
The Ladies Professional Golf year is almost over. We’ll celebrate the best, oddest, or just plain out of nowhere things that happened in 2007.
Player of the Year- Lorena Ochoa. Seven wins and a British Open title make her the hands down selection.
Rookie of the Year- Angela Park. At the Fields Open in February, Angela finished third and never let up the rest of the year. A tie for second and two more third place finishes left Angela with almost double the points of her next closest pursuer for Rookie of the Year.
Shot of the Year- Momoko Ueda’s final round double eagle at the Mizuno Classic. It propelled Momoko to a two-shot triumph.
Comeback of the Year- This is one of the toughest choices I have when it comes to 2007 awards. The four top candidates as I see it are Suzann Pettersen, Maria Hjorth, Birdie Kim, and Beth Bader.
Suzann’s and Maria’s stake to Comeback player of the year too closely resembles Karrie Webb in 2006, and I didn’t think Karrie was right choice last year either. Going from 46th on the money list to 2nd isn’t a comeback to me.
Birdie, the surprise 2005 US Open Champ, has had a much better year than her dismal 2006. Still she misses lots of cuts and her strokes per round average(73.40 to 73.86) is barely different than last year.
Beth Bader went from 83rd to 46th on the money list. Easily Beth’s best year.
Based on her poor 2005, I’ll give comeback player of the year to Suzann Pettersen.
‘Where did they come from?’ Award- Meaghan Francella. Honorable mention to Na On Min.
Best finish of the year- We have a tie. Between The Sherri Steinhauer/Christina Kim State Farm Classic final round battle and the Laura Davies and Suzann Pettersen duel at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
Collapse of the year- Another tie. Suzann Pettersen and Se Ri Pak. Both looked to have the Kraft Nabisco in the bag on Sunday, but failed to close.
2007 Mom of the Year- Juli Inkster edges Catorina Matthew.
‘The Tiger Woods had it easy’ award- To the new LPGA Moms of 2007, Hee Won Han, Karen Stupples, Hillary Lunke and Jackie Gallagher-Smith. Also Catorina Matthew who had her daughter in 2006, but returned to play in 2007. As a father, I know mothers have the hardest job around. That these women can combine motherhood and professional golf, should get a big round of applause. That goes for all 29 LPGA Moms.
The ‘What me worry?’ award- Se Ri Pak for her final round birdie of the sixth hole at the Jamie Farr after Morgan Pressel made a hole in one on the same hole. Se Ri went on to win her fifth Farr Classic.
The ‘I survived’ award- Brittany Lincicome for her win at the Ginn Open. Morgan Pressel gets honorable mention.
‘The Raindrops keep falling on my head’ award- To Mother nature for washing out the NW Arkansas Championship Presented by John Q Hammons. Only 18 holes were played. And I thought the south was suffering from a drought this year.
The ‘Pick who doesn’t belong’ award- Maria Hjorth. She was the only non-Asian among the four semifinalists at the HSBC World Match Play Championship.
The ‘Scotty and the search party’ award Part I- Michelle Wie. Can someone please locate her golf game?
The ‘Scotty and the search party’ award Part II- Morgan Pressel’s golf clubs. They were stolen the day after she won the Kraft Nabisco.
The ‘Thank God for electronic scoreboards’ award- Stacy Prammanasudh and Virada Nirapathpongporn for their duel in the early rounds of the Navistar. Imagine if Vicki Goetze-Ackerman and Jackie Gallagher-Smith had been in contention…….
The ‘Go away little monkey award’- Lorena Ochoa, Christie Kerr, and Natalie Gulbis. Lorena and Christie for winning their first major, Gulbis for winning.
The ‘Big hand for a little lady’ award- Mi Hyun ‘Peanut’ Kim for her donation to Kansas tornado victims
The ‘biggest splash’ award- Morgan Pressel at the Nabisco
The ‘thanks but no thanks’ award- Annika Sorenstam for turning down a last minute invite to the Samsung.
The ‘What the heck’? award- St Andrews 17th Road Hole plays as a par five for the British Open.
The ‘Sizzler’ award- In-Kyung Kim for shooting an LPGA record 27 for 9 holes.
The ‘Pitchforks and torches’ award- To the Korean golf fans who got upset when the Hana Bank-KOLON final round was canceled. Who says LPGA fans aren’t enthusiastic?
‘The Never forget but keep on living’ award- Durmaed Futures player Jenny Hansen whose husband Jeff was killed while serving in Iraq in 2006. Ji Yai Shin gets honorable mention.
The ‘Chokin Freakin Dogs’ award- To….cough…cough…Dottie Pepper. Dottie may well have destroyed any chance she had of being a Solheim Cup Captain in the future.
‘We need an optometrist STAT’ award- To the ESPN announcer who mixed up Laura Davies and Laura Diaz at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Biggest letdowns of 2007- Karrie Webb, Meena Lee, Pat Hurst, only 4 Korean winners this year
Million Dollar winner award- You’ll have to check back in on Sunday to see who wins that one.
This comes as no surprise to golf fans.
PALM DESERT, Calif. — Lorena Ochoa enjoys life at the top, and she intends to stay there for a while.
Asked how she plans to remain No. 1, she said, “I always try to be one step ahead; not let any distractions get in the way, get in my practice and my rest.
“And there are a lot of things to improve. I’m going to work hard.”
Congratulations to Lorena. No question she deserves player of the year.
Boy were golf prognosticators off concerning Karrie Webb this year. I admit to being wrong too, but I didn’t say Karrie deserved being comeback player of the year either. That should have gone to Se Ri Pak in 2006, but the nitwits in the golf MSM were too thick to see it.
Will Karrie be named comeback player of the year again if she should win a major in 2008 even if she fell only from #2 on the money list to 21st? I’d bet ten bucks at least three golf writers would name Karrie. Anyone want to take me up on the offer?
The 2007 LPGA Rookie of the Year award has been sown up also.
Aided by six top-10 finishes in 23 starts, 20-year-old Angela Park’s rookie season has earned her the 2007 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award. One event remains in the race for the award but Park’s points total nearly doubles that of runner up In-Kyung Kim, making it impossible for anyone to catch her.
â€œRight after I made it through Q-school last year, winning rookie of the year was one of my goals,â€ said Park, who has been top of the class since the end of the Fields Open in Hawaii. â€œYou only get one chance to win the award. The list of people who have won the award are successful golfers and I thought it would be great to have my name next to those players. It gave me motivation to play well this year.â€
In one of the Tour’s largest and most talent-ladened rookie classes, Park emerged as the pace-setting newcomer, tying for third place at the Fields Open in Hawaii, which was just her second event of the season. From that point on, Park posted a string of 12 consecutive top-35 finishes from the Corona Championship through the RICOH Women’s British Open, where she missed her only cut to date.
Angela deserved ROY as much as Lorena deserved POY. Neither race was close. One note- The press keeps referring to Angela Park as Brazilian. While true Angela was born in that country, she is of Korean heritage and lived in the United States for over 10 years. Color Angela stateless, unless you want to say Jung Yeon ‘Sarah’ Lee is English too.(and I’m the Queen of England.)
It was Super Mex’s first major Championship win.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Lorena Ochoa won her first major title Sunday with a four-stroke victory at the Women’s British Open â€” the first women’s professional tournament played at venerable St. Andrews.
The top-ranked Mexican shot a 1-over 74 in the final round at the home of golf. She finished with a 5-under 287 total, four strokes better than Jee Young Lee (71) and Maria Hjorth (71). Reilley Rankin (71) was another stroke back at par.
“For me this is the most special round of golf I ever played,” Ochoa said. “Hopefully this is the first of many (majors) to come. It was my time.”
Annika Sorenstam, who was tied for third going into the final round, finished tied for 16th at 4 over after a 76 that included a 7 at the 17th Road Hole.
Ochoa is the first player to win a first major title at St. Andrews since Tony Lema at the men’s British Open in 1964.
Ochoa led the tournament from the ninth hole of the opening round, when she shot a 6-under 67. The only player to master the strong winds, she began the final round with a six-stroke lead and the only player under par.
Her only problem came at the 17th, where her second shot landed in one of the pot bunkers short of the green. The ball was near the steep front side of the trap and she had to pitch sideways into the rough, but she then played a superb short chip to the putting surface and escaped with a bogey 6. She went to the last hole four shots ahead and a par captured the title.
You won’t get any argument out of me if you say Lorena Ochoa is the best female golfer in the world at present. She got her first major championship today. More are sure to come.
Lorena proved my British Open prediction on her wrong. My track record for golf predictions has stunk this year. Se Ri Pak at the Nabisco, Sergio Garcia at the Men’s British Open to name just two other misses of mine. On the other hand, I did predict Natalie Gulbis to win for the first time this year.
Side note- My own blog keeps getting hit today by people looking for Lorena Ochoa nude pics. The wonders of Google, sorry I don’t have any.
The newRolex Rankings have come out.
How good is Lorena Ochoa? Even on weeks without an LPGA tournament, she still takes a major step forward.
When the newest version of the Rolex Rankings — the world ranking of women’s golf — were released on Monday morning, they showed that Ochoa had passed Annika Sorenstam, becoming only the second top-ranked player since the list was instituted on Feb. 20 of last year.
“Being in her position is just a dream come true, but at the same time I want to keep being up there,” Ochoa told ESPN.com in December. “I want to be No. 1 and not only for a small period of time, not only for one year, but for many more years.”
Ochoa, 25, made a move on the charts more than one week after failing to claim her 11th career victory and second this year. A win at the Ginn Open would have meant an instant rise to the top of the rankings, but despite leading on the back nine in the final round, Ochoa succumbed to champion Brittany Lincicome after making two double-bogeys and two bogeys over the final six holes.
After losing by one stroke, Ochoa said of the No. 1 ranking, “I didn’t even think about it. I was just worried about the tournament.”
It wasn’t until after an LPGA bye week that the numbers showed Ochoa to have a greater average point total than Sorenstam. Using the ranking’s two-year rolling calendar, Ochoa has earned 642.19 total points in 50 events for an average of 12.84, while Sorenstam has 546.22 points in 43 events for an average of 12.70.
Don’t expect Sorenstam to reclaim her previous spot anytime soon. She withdrew from the Ginn with a ruptured and herniated disk in her back. An original report had her missing about four weeks, but there have been rumors that it may have been an optimistic prognosis.
She has since declared her intention to focus on major championship competition.
“I will play less, prepare more and really go for the big competitions,” Sorenstam told Swedish broadcaster SVT last week.
Karrie Webb, Morgan Pressel and Cristie Kerr continue to round out the top five.
Congrats to Lorena. I wouldn’t place any bets against Annika retaking #1 in the world at some time.
As to Morgan Pressel being one of the top five players in the world- NO. I already said who I consider the top 10 players and Morgan doesn’t make it. That doesn’t detract from her win at the Kraft Nabisco though.
Golf World magazine has come out with their top 25 list.
1- Tiger Woods. No argument there.
2- Phil Mickelson. I’ve always felt GW’s editors have a secret homosexual crush on Phil. No other reason could account for all the covers he gets even when he wasn’t the biggest golf story of the week. Karrie Webb wins a major, Phil is on the cover. Geoff Ogilvy wins the US Open but Phil is again the subject of GW’s cover.
Mickelson is an excellent choice, but I’d rank a few other golf stories ahead of him.
3- The 72nd hole at Winged Foot. No argument.
4- Fedex Cup I’m no fan of this gimmick but yes its newsworthy.
5- LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens
Excellent choice but not necessarily top 5 material. I strongly disagree with GW’s assertion that she performed better as the year progressed. Bivens’ blunders were spread out the length of 2006. This being the most recent example.
6- Euphoric Euros
7- Damned Yanks
The Ryder Cup gets no argument from me other than I would have made it one newsmaker not two.
8- Michelle Wie
The sad derailment and exploitation of this young lady is definitely newsworthy.
9- Underwhelming Teens.
Here’s where GW starts to lose it. The story of the LPGA’s youth movement was one of the most overdone golf stories of the last few years. It was hyped so much that a let down had to be expected.
An instantly iconic photo from 2005 had 5-foot-5 Morgan Pressel alongside Michelle Wie, who towered seven inches above her. Their eyes were locked and their expressions indicated an exchange of chummy text messages was not likely. Pressel, 17 months older than Wie and possessing a 3-and-2 victory over the Hawaiian in the third round of the 2003 U.S. Girlsâ€™ Junior as well as the title from the 2005 U.S. Womenâ€™s Amateur, an event Wie skipped, openly resents that her taller adversary gets more attention. Throw in the stunning rookie year Paula Creamer had in 2005 — two LPGA victories and four total — and the anticipation for the three-teen rivalry made the 2006 season the tourâ€™s most eagerly awaited in recent memory.
Reality, however, never matched the hype. While the talented teens (Creamer turned 20 in August) had what most their age would consider successful seasons, none won or even went head-to-head with a tournament on the line. Throw in Natalie Gulbis, 23, whose winless streak in LPGA events ran to 132 in 2006, and the tour clearly failed to deliver the young American star power needed to capture fans. The reality is that a sensational year by Lorena Ochoa and a stirring comeback season by Karrie Webb could not compensate for the fact the top two rookies on tour were Seon-Hwa Lee and Julieta Granada, 20-year-old international â€¨players who entered the season without the accolades afforded Pressel or Japanese star Ai Miyazato.
1- These same golf writing hacks who hyped Wie, Pressel and Miyazato are still blind to Seon Hwa Lee. Lee didn’t come out of nowhere, she finished first on the the Futures Tour money list in 2005. Its what I call a case of having golf blinders on.
2- Natalie Gulbis is an example of golf writers being driven by their male egos rather than the facts. Ms. Gulbis is a talented golfer, and certainly not the 2000′s version of Jill McGill, but she will never be one of the tour’s top 5 players. Top 10 maybe, but with Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie when she gets her game back together, Christie Kerr to beat, I never see Gulbis as a top 5. That doesn’t even include other South Korean stalwarts like Jeong Jang, Hee Won Han, Mi Hyun Kim and Grace Park if she returns from her back and injury woes. Jang, Han and Grace will always outshine Ms. Gulbis when all of them, Ms. Gulbis included, are playing their best. As for Kim, aka Peanut vs Gulbis, I think her win at the Jamie Farr over Gulbis in a playoff says all that needs being said.
The Golf MSM mistakes physical attractiveness for golfing ability. That’s actually one of the least of its many problems.
c- GW said about Creamer-
“Creamer played solidly, never missing a cut, but may still be adjusting to tour life. She has more than a half dozen endorsement deals — all of which require time commitments — and played three non-LPGA events in Japan, where her Pink Panther persona is enormously popular. Cashing in on her impressive rookie season in 2005 may have created time and travel demands off the course that (coupled with a lingering wrist injury) impacted her performance. The drop-off, however, was not enough to be a concern.”
I think Paula will be better but she needs to take control of her schedule. Travelling halfway around the world to play golf can lead to burnout. Look what happened to Bill Rogers. This isn’t adjusting to tour life as GW says but managing one’s career instead of letting others do it for you.
10- The Bomb n Gouge Squad. Huh? Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes and Camilo Villegas were all golf stories for a week or two each early in the year. Top 25 newsmaker maybe, but certainly not a top 10.
The rest of GW’s top 25 with a little added commentary.
11- Camilo Villegas. See my #10 comments. Why does this player rank two listings?
12- Defense mechanisms- Overrated
13- Lorena Ochoa- She should be in the top 5 newsmakers for 2006.
14- The new TV pact. Good pick.
15- Nick Faldo. I don’t understand this pick either. Faldo’s playing days are over and he only makes the news through his work as a broadcaster.
As for his selection to be Ryder Cup Captain, that doesn’t pass the muster for a top 25 pick.
16- Byron Nelson. His passing away should have ranked much higher.
17- Dearly departed aka the passing away of Heather Clarke, Earl Woods and Norma DiMarco. An iffy choice for the top 25.
18- John Daly. So what? Daly had a horrendous year on tour, so did about 200-300 other professional golfers. Again a very overrated story.
19- Geoff Ogilvy. His win in the US Open should rank higher than this.
Of the rest of GW’s top 25, only #23 Drug testing, #22 Super Seniors, and maybe #25 China’s growing presence, should be listed among golf’s missing newsmakers.
What dope was GW smoking when they missed these stories?
* The return of Karrie Webb, in particular her win at the Kraft Nabisco
* The return of Se Ri Pak from oblivion with her win at the LPGA Championship. Also the back 9 of that tournament on Sunday may have been the most dramatic of any tournament all year. With Pak, Karrie Webb, Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Michelle Wie, Pat Hurst, Mi Hyun Kim, Ai Miyazato and a few others all having legitimate chances to win the event.
* The passing away of LPGA great Patty Berg
* Arnold Palmer retiring from competitive golf.
* The recordbook rounds of Loren Roberts at the Senior Open and Corey Pavin at the US Bank in Milwaukee.
* The off year had by Annika Sorenstam. Plus her trouble with both ignoring and or breaking of LPGA rules a and therules of golf.
* The off year had by Vijay Singh.
Omitting Webb, Pak, Sorenstam and Palmer just shows you how dumb this golf publication is. Then it shouldn’t have surprised me, GW passed up Webb and Pak for the magazine’s cover the week after their victories. Annika missing the cut one week was noteworthy enough to make the magazine’s cover. Enough said, right?
2- The 72nd hole of the US Open
3- Lorena Ochoa
4- Phil Mickelson
5- Carolyn Bivens
6- Fedex Cup
7- Michelle Wie
8- The 2006 Ryder Cup
9- Byron Nelson RIP
10- The return of Karrie Webb
11- Arnold Palmer retires
12- Drug testing
13- The return of Se Ri Pak and the dramatic 2006 LPGA Championship
14- The struggles and rule breaking of Annika Sorenstam
15- Geoff Ogilvy win at the US Open and the the Aussies big year on the PGA Tour
16- The new television deal
17- Patty Berg RIP
18- Record rounds by Corey Pavin and Loren Roberts
19- Where is Vijay?
20- Super Seniors
21- The overrating of youth on the LPGA tour
22- Giving new meaning to the term ‘golf hazard’
23- Dearly departed
24- The growth of golf in China
25- Can anyone in golf do 5th grade math?