April 14, 2008; Phoenix Arizona: PING pro Lorena Ochoa, 26, became the second youngest player to qualify for the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame with an 11-shot victory at the Corona Championship. Fittingly, the decisive victory came in her home country of Mexico, where thousands of fans—many young girls—cheered her to victory.
Ochoa, who has now won four of five events this year, played a PING Rapture® Driver, G10™ 3-wood, Rapture 5-wood and 21-degree Hybrid, S58® Irons, two Tour Wedges and a Redwood® ZB™ Putter in her twenty-first career victory.
It was her ninth win in 14 starts since claiming her first major championship at last year’s Women’s British Open. A week ago she won her second career major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
At the Corona Championship, three consecutive 66s on the par-73 Tres Marias Residential Golf Club in Morelia, Mexico gave her a seven-shot margin heading into the final round. She cruised to a closing round 69 to claim her second 11-shot victory of the year. In her four wins this year, her average margin of victory has been eight shots.
A 10-year LPGA membership requirement for Hall of Fame induction means Ochoa, who joined the Tour in 2002, must wait until 2012 to officially join the exclusive group.
The Hall of Fame accomplishment is the latest in Ochoa’s remarkable run of success dating back to her win at the 2007 Safeway International in Phoenix. In that time frame, she’s won 12 times, taken over the No. 1 women’s player in the world position, claimed two major championships and earned more than $5 million on the LPGA Tour.
During a recent visit to PING’s headquarters in Phoenix, Ochoa talked about being the No. 1 ranked woman golfer in the world.
“My goal is to maintain my position as number one in the world,” said Ochoa. “I know it is going to be tough, but I’m going to enjoy it this year. I know I can do it. I’m prepared. I practiced harder than ever. I feel good and want to stay number one for many more years.”
photos Janos Schmidt