Mexico City. Lorena Ochoa, Mexican world golf legend, was inducted into the Women's Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Hall of Fame, after the c
Mexico City. Lorena Ochoa, Mexican world golf legend, was inducted into the Women’s Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Hall of Fame, after the circuit lifted a 10-year requirement for players to be considered for consecration.
Ochoa won 27 LPGA titles, including two category Grand Slambut had not been eligible because his career only spanned from 2003 until his retirement in 2010.
But the LPGA Hall of Fame committee yesterday removed that requirement and Lorena retroactively and automatically qualified.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition. It was unexpected and very special,” said the woman from Jalisco in statements released by the LPGA.
Hall of Famer and committee member Beth Daniel said the 10-year rule dates back to the early days of the tour, when it was felt that female players needed to play longer to support the LPGA.
“We have seen that the circuit is strong enough now, that we don’t need that requirement, so the committee decided to remove it,” Daniel stressed.
“If you make it to the Hall of Fame in less than 10 years, more power to you. We shouldn’t leave you out for that reason,” she added.
Ochoa, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017, won major titles at the 2007 Women’s British Open and the 2008 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
She was the 2003 Rookie of the Year and a four-time LPGA Player of the Year between 2006 and 2009, when she also won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average.
Ochoa was number one in the world for 158 consecutive weeks, the longest total at the top of the rankings.
“It took me by surprise (the nomination) and I was very moved. I never imagined it,” admitted Lorena, who gave an interview to the LPGA from her home on the outskirts of Mexico City.
The committee also inducted 13 original founding members of the circuit into the honorary category.
“The 13 founders of the LPGA were true trailblazers whose collective passion, determination and foresight changed the course of history in women’s sports,” said Commissioner Mollie Marcoux.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, players must have accumulated 27 points, which are awarded as follows: one point for each official LPGA win tours; two for each victory in a major championship; and one for capturing the Vare Trophy and Rolex Player of the Year. Until last month, the LPGA Hall also required that a golfer be active in the tours for 10 years. So, in theory, a player could win 30 times in her career, and if she doesn’t have big titles, like the Mexican does, they are not eligible. No other salon comes close to meeting the requirements.