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Lorena Ochoa close to getting own tournament

Lorena Ochoa still doesn't have a major title, but it might not be long before she has her own LPGA Tour event.

Alejandro Ochoa, her brother and agent, said the tour is getting closer to signing off on an official tournament that would be held in November 2008 at Guadalajara Country Club, the home course of the 25-year-old Mexican star.

Doug Brecht, the vice president of rules and officials on the LPGA Tour, did a scouting report on the golf course earlier this year when the LPGA Tour was in Mexico and liked what he saw.

Ochoa's brother said the $1 million tournament would be limited to the top 30 players from the money list, and he was hopeful of a date the week before the season-ending ADT Championship, a spot on the calendar now occupied by the Tournament of Champions. He said he had a title sponsor lined up, but declined to identify it until contracts are signed.

LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens, however, said nothing has been determined.

"I don't know how I'd handicap that," Bivens said when asked the chances of the No. 1 player having her own tournament. "Next year's schedule is still being refined. She'd love to have a tournament down there next year, but it depends on finding a title sponsor and the right mix of sponsors."

She described Brecht's trip to Guadalajara as typical when the LPGA is considering a new venue, adding that the tour is trying to upgrade its courses and "we're not going to add any that aren't very, very good." She said Guadalajara met the standard.

Ochoa would be the second active player with her own tournament. Annika Sorenstam is the host of the Ginn Tribute, which made its debut this year in South Carolina.

Bivens said the 2008 schedule would not have dramatic changes, rather a different flow. The LPGA spends three weeks in Asia in October before returning for its conclusion.

"One thing we're not happy with is being out of the country for three weeks before the ADT," she said.

 

July 4, 2007




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