Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Freshman Lorena Ochoa Finds Success on LPGA Tour
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 28, 2001
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TUCSON, Ariz. – After dominating collegiate golf in her first year with the Wildcats, Arizona freshman Lorena Ochoa has already begun to find success on the LPGA tour.

Competing as an amateur, Ochoa finished tied for seventh at the Welch’s/Circle K Championship held in Tucson March 8-11. The Guadalajara, Mexico, native fired rounds of 66, 74, 71 and 65 to finish at 12 under-par. Her finish was the highest for an amateur in the tournament.

Two weeks later, she competed in the Nabisco Championship, one of the LPGA’s four major tournaments. Ochoa finished tied for 21st with a two-over-par 290, trailing champion and former UA star Annika Sorenstam by nine strokes. Ochoa was the high amateur at the Nabisco Championship as well.

Ochoa has won three tournaments in her initial campaign with the Wildcats and is currently ranked No. 1 in the College Golf Foundation’s MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings and the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

The freshman sensation did not make the trip to Hawaii because of conflicting schedules between the Dr. Donnis Thompson Rainbow Invitational and the Nabisco Championship.

In other UA golf news, former Wildcat star Annika Sorenstam has dominated the LPGA tour in recent weeks. Sorenstam, who played for Arizona in the 1991 and 1992 seasons, has won three consecutive LPGA tour events.

She began the streak with a return to Tucson, where she won the title at the Welch’s/Circle K Championship. The following week, the Stockholm, Sweden, native made golf history by becoming the first woman to ever break 60. Sorenstam claimed the title at the Standard Register PING in Phoenix with a tournament total of 261 (-27), which included her record-setting 59 in the second round.

Finally, Sorenstam claimed the first LPGA major of the year with her championship performance at last week’s Nabisco Championship.

While at UA, Sorenstam won the individual national championship as a freshman in 1991 and the Pac-10 Championship in 1992. She was honored as a first team All-American in both of her years as a Wildcat. Sorenstam finished her UA career with seven individual tournament titles and finished out of the top-10 only once – an 11th place finish as a freshman.