Ochoa to return to competition — temporarily

Lorena Ochoa announces that she will play the Suzann Pro Challenge and the LaCoste Ladies Open de France in the Fall


SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico – Former LPGA star Lorena Ochoa, whose reign atop the women’s world rankings ended upon her retirement in 2010, is temporarily returning to competition this fall to play in an exhibition match in Oslo, Norway (Sept. 7-9) and then will jet to France to tee it up in the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, an official Ladies European Tour event (Oct. 4-7).

During a one-on-one interview with California Golf at the Cabo Celebrity Invitational, a charity event benefiting the Southern California-based Lorena Ochoa Foundation, Ochoa emphasized she is still focused on taking care of her family and has no plans to play other tour events at this time.

“I didn’t retire from golf; I retired from competitive golf in the LPGA,” said Ochoa, 30, who left the LPGA in May 2010 to start a family and gave birth to her first child, Pedro, fourth months ago. “I still play a lot of golf.”

When LPGA star Suzann Petterson called to invite her to play in her charity event, the Suzann Pro Challenge benefiting a children’s charity organization in Norway, Ochoa said she readily accepted. Ochoa will team with Yani Tseng, currently No. 1 in the world rankings, in an exhibition match against Petterson and Annika Sorenstam, another retired LPGA legend.

Because she’ll be in Europe, Ochoa decided to play in the Lacoste Ladies Open at Paris International Golf Club, a tournament sponsored by the longtime French apparel company that also sponsored Ochoa during her highly successful professional career (27 LPGA Tour titles from 2003-10).

Ochoa conducted a clinic for participants and local children during last week’s charity tournament at Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club and says she began playing a lot more golf of late, in between appearances on behalf of her foundation. The goal of her foundation, based at Goose Creek Golf Club in Mira Loma, is to grow diversity in golf by offering underrepresented groups — especially Hispanics and Latinos — access to learn the game and promote it as a healthy activity for children and their families.

Asked if her game came right back to her, Ochoa laughed and said, “No, it felt terrible.”
Ochoa’s last LPGA tournament was the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico in May 2010.

Randy Youngman

Randy Youngman has been writing about golf in California, at the professional and amateur levels, for more than 20 years. He is also an admitted golfaholic.

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