Ochoa Reyes, Lorena (1981–)

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Ochoa Reyes, Lorena (1981–)

Born on November 15, 1981, in Guadalajara, Mexico, Lorena Ochoa Reyes began her golfing life as a child at her hometown country club in the state of Jalisco. Winning numerous national and international events, she enrolled at the University of Arizona to study sports psychology and play golf. There she won twelve events and never finished more than three strokes from the top; she was NCAA Freshman of the Year in 2001, First-Team All-American in 2002, and twice NCAA Player of the Year. She turned professional in 2002, finishing first on the Futures Tour money list and qualifying for the LPGA Tour. The following year she received the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award. Reflective of her celebrity, she was twice honored with Mexico's National Sports Award: in 2001 as an amateur, the first golfer and youngest recipient ever, and again in 2006. That year she made the cut in all twenty-five tournaments played, leading the tour in eagles, birdies, times in top ten, rounds in the 60s, average low score, and money winnings (almost $2.6 million). She won six tournaments, including the Tournament of Champions by a record ten strokes, bringing her professional total to nine and replacing Annika Sorenstam as LPGA Player of the Year. The Associated Press also designated her Female Athlete of 2006. She opened the 2007 LPGA tour tying for fourth at the SBS Open in Kahuku, Hawaii, and later that year moved to number one in the LPGA rankings. Off the course, Ochoa has represented Banamex, Rolex, Office Depot, Coca-Cola, and Audi, and is officially Jalisco's sports ambassador and promoter of the 2011 Pan American Games. A source of both national pride and rising public interest in golf, Ochoa, with her coach, Rafael Alarcón, inaugurated the Ochoa Golf Academy in Guadalajara.

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Berra, Lindsay. "To Know Her Is to Love Her." ESPN: The Magazine (March 12, 2007): 116-121. Available from the Official Web site of Lorena Ochoa, http://www.lorenaochoa.com/article_espnmagazine0307.asp.

Juárez Cedillo, Héctor. "Lorena Ochoa: La nueva reina del golf." Caras Golf 2, no. 1 (2006): 24-27.

                                         Joseph L. Arbena