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|Lorena Ochoa has been a classy and dominant champion on the LPGA Tour in 2007. (Courtesy USGA)|
As the finish line for the 2007 golf season comes into sight, one golfer stands alone as the epitome of all that's good about the sport. There are no golf course design deals for this golfer. No questions on which tournaments this golfer will skip. No questions on how this golfer is being marketed. No, all this golfer has done is produce amazing results with class and style.
That golfer is Lorena Ochoa. And her domination of the LPGA Tour in 2007 has been something to behold. Because as other LPGA stars are getting ready for the Solheim Cup - a tournament the Mexico-born Ochoa is ineligible to compete in - Ochoa has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that she's the best female golfer on the planet.
In 19 times out, the star from Guadalajara has 16 Top-10 finishes. She has six victories, already equaling her haul in 2006. She also has three consecutive wins following her victory at the Safeway Classic. Her play has resulted in a nearly ridiculous domination of all statistical categories that matter. At more than $2.8 million in earnings, she's earned well more than twice as much as the No. 2 earner, Suzann Pettersen. With a 69.81 scoring average, Ochoa is more than a shot better than No. 2 Paula Creamer.
More importantly than the numbers, Ochoa has also erased the one weak spot on her resume. After running away with the Women's British Open at St. Andrews, no one doubts that she can win any tournament, anywhere, for any stakes. The winner of the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year award in 2006, Ochoa has upped the ante in 2007.
Don't think Ochoa is satisfied, or some shrinking wallflower. She has the mentality of a champion, and sets serious goals for herself. With three consecutive wins, she's currently got her eyes on Nancy Lopez's LPGA Tour record of five consecutive.
"It has been a historic and unforgettable year, but I have to prepare very well because now I'm going after the consecutive victory record," Ochoa told the Associated Press. "I'd love to do it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I'm going to do everything possible to achieve it."
Ochoa has dominated the LPGA with class and style. Make no mistake about it - Lorena Ochoa is a golfer. She is beholden to no sponsors. We don't hear about what designer she's wearing to media events. There isn't a bikini calendar in her future. There is just great golf, charity work in her native Mexico and a great personality. Even as she slays the LPGA, Ochoa has become one of the most popular players among the other competitors.
"I want to say thank you to all the LPGA players and just everybody around who's been so nice with me," Ochoa said when asked about her relationship with other players. "I respect all of them a lot, and I get that back, so I appreciate that very much."
And as the golfer who best typifies all the qualities of a champion, more and more true golf fans are coming on board to respect and appreciate Lorena Ochoa.
September 11, 2007
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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