May 30, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.-Former Arizona golf star Lorena Ochoa has been named a nominee for the 2001-2002 Honda Sports Award for women's golf, it was announced Thursday. Following her freshman season in 2001, she was also a finalist for the Honda award which is annually given to the top woman collegiate athlete in each of 12 sports.
The 2002 national player of the year, Ochoa's two-year career saw her claim 12 individual tournament championships and lead the Wildcats to seven team championships. After taking ninth place in her collegiate debut, Ochoa finished lower than second place only one time in the remainder of her career-a tie for third in April 2001.
Ochoa, who turned professional last week following the NCAA Championships, left the University of Arizona as the most accomplished golfer in school history. She won eight times in only 10 tournaments this season, including a record-setting streak of seven consecutive victories. Her string of seven straight wins ranks second among all recognized winning streaks in golf history.
In addition to being named national player of the year in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, the 5-foot-7-inch standout won the Golfstat Cup for the nation's lowest scoring average in both her seasons as a Wildcat. Twice setting NCAA records for single-season scoring average, Ochoa owned an NCAA record career stroke average of 70.73.
The honor marks the third consecutive year that at least one Arizona golfer has been nominated for the Honda Award. Jenna Daniels won the award in 2000, while Ochoa and fellow Wildcat Natalie Gulbis were nominated in 2001.
Ochoa, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, becomes the fifth Arizona athlete to be nominated for the Honda Sports Award in 2001-02, joining fellow Wildcats Dana Burkholder (volleyball), Tara Chaplin (cross country), Brianna Glenn (track and field) and Jennie Finch (softball) as finalists in their respective sports. Arizona's five Honda Award nominees are the most of any school.
Other nominees for the 2002 Honda Sports Award for women's golf are Danielle Downey of Auburn, Virada Nirapathpongporn of Duke, Summer Sirmons of Georgia and Lindsey Wright of Pepperdine.
The winner of the Honda Award for women's golf, after nationwide balloting, will be announced June 3. She automatically becomes a finalist for the Honda-Broderick Cup, which is awarded annually to the nation's collegiate woman athlete of the year.