Feb. 21, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz.-Arizona sophomore golfer Lorena Ochoa has received sponsor exemptions to participate in the first three LPGA tournaments held in the continental United States this season.
Ochoa will begin her three-week stint with the LPGA on March 14 at the PING Banner Health tournament at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix. She returns to Tucson to compete at the Welch's/Circle K Championship at Randolph North Golf Course from March 21 to 24. The 5-foot-5-inch standout will close her LPGA swing as she plays at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the tour's four majors, at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. beginning on March 28.
Last year, Ochoa competed in the Welch's/Circle K Championship where she tied for seventh place at 12-under-par. She also tied for 21st place at the 2001 Nabisco Championship with a four-round total of 2-over-par. Ochoa was the low amateur finisher in both events in 2001.
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Ochoa has captured nine tournament championships in just a year-and-a-half as a Wildcat. Her nine titles tie her with Marisa Baena for most tournament victories in a UA career. Through 15 career tournaments, she has finished out of the top three on just one occasion-her first collegiate tournament where she tied for ninth.
Ochoa will next play for Arizona when she leads the Wildcats in the lone home tournament of the season, the Wildcat Invitational, on Monday. A victory at the tournament, held at the Raven Golf Club at Sabino Springs, would mark Ochoa's sixth consecutive win and make her the most accomplished women's golfer in UA history.