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Sixth Lorena Ochoa Invitational kicks off in Guadalajara
November 11, 2013

The penultimate event of the 2013 season kicks off this week at the sixth annual Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex in Mexico at the Guadalajara Country Club where 16-time LPGA Tour champion Cristie Kerr is back to defend her title. The Miami, Fla. native won last year’s event when she overcame a two stroke deficit to defeat current World No. 1 Inbee Park.

Kerr enters the week already a champion in the 2013 season, having captured the Kingsmill Championship in May. As the season begins to come to a close with just two tournaments remaining on the schedule, Kerr says the relaxing environment at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational is the perfect ending to the season.

“It is so cool,” said Kerr of being the defending champion. “I had come close a couple of times in the past before winning last year. It was always a golf course that I have absolutely loved, the weather is always perfect. It’s just a really kind of easy relaxing week with 36 people.

“It’s always a relaxing atmosphere. Everybody always hangs out in the club house after their round and has great Mexican food and margaritas. It’s just a lot of fun. Lacoste is a big sponsor of that event and it’s really special for me, so going in defending will be a lot of fun.”

This year’s event highlights a star-studded field of 36 players vying for a $150,000 first-place prize from its $1 million purse. Six of the top-10 in the Rolex Rankings are slated to be in the field including No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Suzann Pettersen, No. 3 Stacy Lewis and the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational champ No. 10 Catriona Matthew.

Lewis is coming off her 17th top-10 finish of the season at the Mizuno Classic where she tied for eighth in search of a successful title defense, while Pettersen and Park took the week off from Tour. The trio will be combating through the final two events of the year to secure the Rolex Player of the Yea honor, Official Money List winner and the Vare Trophy award, given to the player with the lowest scoring average.

The final countdown
This week the LPGA Tour heads south of the border to Guadalajara, Mexico for the penultimate event on this year’s schedule, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex. Highlighting this week’s 36-player field is Cristie Kerr who will look to defend her title after taking home a one-stroke victory over Angela Stanford and Inbee Park.

While this week’s event will produce another star-studded winner, all eyes will be on the tight race for Rolex Player of the Year, Vare Trophy, and Louise Suggs Rolex Player of the Year.

The Race is ON
With only two events remaining on the 2013 schedule, it has come down to a two-woman race for this year’s Rolex Player of the Year honor. Inbee Park currently holds a 38-point lead over Suzann Pettersen but several different scenarios listed below will determine who will take home this year’s prestigious Rolex Player of the Year crown.
•If Suzann Pettersen finishes in a tie for third or higher at this week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Inbee Park earns no points, Pettersen will still be in the race for Rolex Player of the Year
•If Suzann Pettersen wins the final two events of the season (Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and CME Group Titleholders, Inbee Park will need to earn a combined 12 points to win Rolex Player of the Year.
•If Inbee Park finishes runner-up at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational she will finish in no worse than a tie for first in the Rolex Player of the Year race.

Rolex Player of the Year Points Through Mizuno Classic:

Rank Player Points Earned
1 Inbee Park  290
2 Suzann Pettersen 252
3 Stacy Lewis 203
4 Beatriz Recari  96
5 So Yeon Ryu 88

Rolex Player of the Year Point Distribution:

Place Points Place Points
1 30 6 5
2 12 7 4
3 9 8 3
4 7 9 2
5 6 10 1

Vare Trophy…
Stacy Lewis maintained her lead in the Vare Trophy race after firing rounds of 71-68-70 at last week’s Mizuno Classic. While Lewis still holds a slight edge over Suzann Pettersen and Inbee Park, she came back to the field and only holds a 0.021 advantage over Pettersen. With only two events remaining this year, Lewis, Pettersen, and Park are all within striking distance to take home this year’s Vare Trophy.

Scoring Average Through Mizuno Classic:

Rank Player Average
1 Stacy Lewis 69.5541
2 Suzann Pettersen 69.592
3 Inbee Park  69.934
4 Na Yeon Choi 70.226

Show Me the Money!
Inbee Park currently leads the Official Money list with $2,335,460 thanks to a standout season that has included six victories but Suzann Pettersen is nipping on her heels with $2,241,847.

This year marks only the second time in LPGA Tour history that two players have earned $2 million in one season. Lorena Ochoa ($2,592,871) and Karrie Webb ($2,090,113) both earned $2 million in the 2006 season.

Official Money List Through Mizuno Classic:

Rank Player Money Earned
1 Inbee Park $2,335,460
2 Suzann Pettersen $2,241,847
3 Stacy Lewis $1,791,181
4 So Yeon Ryu $1,171.310
5 I.K. Kim  $1,089,699

Eyeing the Crown
The end of the year awards are not the only thing on players’ minds with only two events remaining this year as the top-8 countries to compete at the inaugural International Crown will be determined after next week’s CME Group Titleholders.

The event, which will be played July 21-27, 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., will be a first-of-its-kind, global match play competition featuring teams from eight countries competing for the right to be “crowned” the world’s best golf nation. Each of the countries will be represented by four players which will be determined after the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

1) South Korea  21 2) United States 40 3) Japan 117
Inbee Park 1 Stacy Lewis 3 Ai Miyazato 15
So Yeon Ryu  6 Paula Creamer 11 Mika Miyazato  21
Na Yeon Choi 6 Cristie Kerr 12 Miki Saiki 39
I.K. Kim 9 Lexi Thompson 14 Rikako Morita 42
4) Spain 260 5) Sweden 301 6) Thailand 321
Beatriz Recari 19 Caroline Hedwall 23 Ariya Jutanugarn 31
Azahara Munoz 32 Anna Nordqvist 25 Pornanong Phatlum 59
Carlota Ciganda 40 Pernilla Lindberg 112 Moriya Jutanugarn 91
Belen Mozo 169 Mikaela Parmlid 141 Onnarin Sattayabanphot 140
7) Australia 332 8) Chinese Tapei 340
Karrie Webb 8 Yani Tseng 29
Katherine Hull-Kirk 99 Teresa Lu 56
Stacey Keating 109 Candie Kung 85
Lindsey Wright 116 Hsuan-Yu Yao 170
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