Guadalajara, Mexico, Nov 8: Lorena Ochoa has no regrets about leaving the LPGA Tour to devote all of her time to her family and foundation.
“I wouldn't change this for anything,” Ochoa said. “I'm happy with what I'm doing. I don't see myself again on the LPGA Tour. It's a tough schedule. I'm happy having a son and hopefully our family will grow next year.”
The Mexican star won 27 LPGA Tour titles before retiring at age 28 in 2010. She is back this week to play in her own Lorena Ochoa Invitational after missing the event last year before the birth of son Pedro in December. She also played in the Ladies European Tour's French Open last month, tying for 22nd.
“I'm very happy to be playing,” said Ochoa, set to open tournament play Thursday at Guadalajara Country Club in a group with Ai Miyazato and Azahara Munoz. “I'm excited for tomorrow.”
On Tuesday, Ochoa ran a golf clinic for children from her foundation.
“It was fun to be out there with the kids,” Ochoa said. “They are so small a lot of times they don't know what to think but it was nice to see them out there having fun and see their parents get so excited about getting their kids involved in golf and grow to love the game. It is always fun to be able to do that and hopefully tomorrow the kids will come out with their parents and see the tournament.”
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis, coming off her tour-leading fourth victory of the season Sunday in Japan, tops the field in the 36-player event along with No. 1 Yani Tseng, No. 4 Inbee Park and No. 5 Suzann Pettersen.
Lewis is in position to become the first American to win the player of the year points race since Beth Daniel in 1994. Lewis has a nearly insurmountable 58-point lead over Park with two events left.
Pettersen is coming off consecutive victories in South Korea and Taiwan.
Michelle Wie received a sponsor invitation after failing to qualify. She won the 2009 tournament for the first of her two LPGA Tour victories.
“Nothing is really different,” Wie said. “The weather is perfect, the guacamole still tastes really good, and the people are great. I think the one thing that has been different every year is the amount of people coming out and watching the event. It's great to see the golf course in perfect condition.”
Last year, Scotland's Catriona Matthew won by four strokes.