Feb. 13, 2002
PALOS VERDES, Calif.-Lorena Ochoa, the top-rated golfer in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, extended her streak of consecutive tournament victories to five as she earned medalist honors for the ninth time in her career at the TRW Regional Challenge Wednesday at Palos Verdes Golf Club. Ochoa posted a final-round score of 3-under-par 68 to close the tournament at 7-under-par 206, six strokes ahead of second-place finisher Christi Cano of Oklahoma State.
Her three-round score shattered the previous tournament record at the TRW Regional Challenge by six strokes. The old record of 212 was set in 1998 by Filippa Hemersson of Tulsa and in 2000 by Shauna Estes of Georgia.
"She is just amazing," said second-year head coach Greg Allen about Ochoa. "To do what she has done, win nine tournaments in such a short time, is one of the most incredible accomplishments I've ever seen. And she's just going to keep playing as well as she is right now."
The 5-foot-5-inch phenom made three birdies on the back nine to bring her third-round score to 3-under 68. Her performance this week lowers her scoring average this season to 69.93, well below her record-setting average of 71.56 from her freshman season.
Through the first-year-and-a-half of Ochoa's career, she has competed in just 15 scoring events and has won nine. The sophomore from Guadalajara, Mexico, has not finished lower than third place since her collegiate debut in September 2000, when she tied for ninth place at the NCAA Fall Preview.
Ochoa's dominant performance was not enough, however, to lead Arizona to the team title. No. 2 Tulsa finished in first place with a three-day team total of 870. The Wildcats finished in sixth place, with a team score of 907.
Freshman Miriam Kraschinski wrapped up play tied for 43rd place with a three-round total of 232. Her three-day total marks the lowest tournament in the New Zealander's UA career.
The sixth-ranked Wildcats will next compete when they play host to the Wildcat Invitational, held at the Raven at Sabino Springs in Tucson, Ariz., on Feb. 25 and 26.