By Golf Planete
Feb. 1, 2023

Lorena Ochoa as an aside…

Lorena Ochoa as an aside…

By Philippe Hermann, 01 February 2023

Lorena Ochoa surprised by arriving earlier than expected in the Algarve. “Participating in the 2022 tournament, I realized that it should not be taken lightly as any exhibition. Reading the pros registered this year, it is better to be sharp. At home, I’ve been hitting balls for two weeks to feel my swing,” she tells us at the driving range near the North Course Quinta do Lago, a par 72 of 6,140 meters where a weakness is quickly expensive.

To a lesser degree, I do the same for a clinic or a demo. Pro one day, pro always! I am already looking forward to seeing my former adversaries and friends, Laura Davies, Annika Sörenstam, Helen Alfredsson, again these days. This competition puts us back in the mood, in addition to the pleasure of meeting the fans of this alliance destined for a bright future. It should be noted that Lorena has an incredible memory allowing her to greet by name people barely met months earlier.

Family First
The Mexican champion, who turned pro in 2002, dominated women’s golf for ten years, 158 weeks as No. 1, 27 LPGA Tour titles, two Majors (Kraft Nabisco, British), World Golf Hall of Fame, the pantheon of golf. Then, to everyone’s surprise in April 2010, she announced her imminent withdrawal, wishing to give priority to the creation of a family (now mother of three boys) and to take care of her foundation dedicated to the schooling of disadvantaged children.

Two years later, his departure leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of aficionados who would have liked to live all the exploits that his talent promised. As a culprit was needed, Andres, her husband, is accused of all evils, putting Lorena out of her. “I’ve never played so well and especially lived my last two years on the LPGA Tour. He pushed and encouraged me, calming my impatience to leave all obligations related to my status, sponsors or otherwise. I agreed 1,000% with my decision and have no regrets ten years later.

Competitiveness
But you are in the Algarve on the invitation launched by Jean-Noël Bioul? “It is not an obligation, but a great pleasure left to my free choice. This corner of Portugal is superb. Golf galore. Superb dwellings. Good tables… Once a year, where is the constraint? It’s not a must, but just one of the few tournaments on my schedule this year.

“I like to regain some of my competitiveness and play with the talented Mexicans Maria Fassi and Gaby López who took over from me, perfect examples of the incredible progress of women’s golf today so well demonstrated by a great Nelly Korda or Céline Boutier. It’s ruffling and I still have a little knot in my stomach when I hear the «This is the 12.40 starting time. On the tee, Lorena Ochoa from Mexico” here or elsewhere.

Neutrality
Always smiling and relaxed between two drives, Lorena Ochoa refuses to choose her side for the next Solheim Cup. “No angry. I will support the two teams whose captains are friends. I look forward to seeing Suzann Pettersen (Europe) on her way to Quinta do Lago. I believe that this Solheim will be a great match with rookies who will be a discovery for many fans and the key to the result.

Simple as a star
Voluntary retiree Lorena Ochoa raises a question related to another figurehead in pre-retirement. “Journalists make this connection. If I wanted to stop, Tiger Woods would never have had the desire without his long slice of medical-surgical life. He always wants to play for the win. Will he return to a level that allows him to do so? I am much less informed than you, but he has such a smile when he plays with his son, giving positive signs, that one could believe it although he endures, out of sight, an overflow of suffering to become a great star golfer again. I admire him and wish him all the best.

At home, I have a picture of Tiger by my side. I was eleven, he was 17 or 18, both with curly hair. Later, during a Masters, he took the time to sign it, a treasure for me.

An amiable star and, moreover, blue flower… We are asking for more.

 

Picture Caption:
Lorena Ochoa (left) with Annika Sörenstam, Se Ri Pak and Nancy Lopez

Picture Credit:
ANWA

Article link:
Alliance rather than Pro-Am – Golf Planète (golfplanete.com)

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