Ochoa reaches points milestone toward LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame qualifying

MORELIA, MICHOACAN, Mexico, April 13, 2008 – Lorena Ochoa became the second-youngest (see chart below) LPGA member to meet the points qualifying criteria for the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame with an 11-shot victory today at the Corona Championship in her native Mexico. With the win, Ochoa earned the 27th and final point needed to qualify for entrance. However, Hall of Fame qualifying criteria requires an LPGA Tour member to also have been active on Tour for 10 years, therefore, Ochoa will be eligible for entrance into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

“It was an amazing week,” said Ochoa after winning the Corona Championship and earning the final qualifying point. “I guess I can say I’m in the Hall of Fame now, but I’ll just have to wait a few more years to (officially) get in, though.

“It was really special to be here in my home country. Things happen for a reason. It’s something I’ll be able to say for the rest of my life. Everybody saw me do it (in Mexico). I think that’s for sure the best memory.”

When Ochoa meets the 10-year LPGA membership requirement in 2012, she will join LPGA greats such as Louise Suggs, Patty Berg, Mickey Wright, Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak in the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame. There are currently 22 player members and one honorary member of the Hall of Fame.

“It’s hard to beat some of the records and history from so many good players, but I’m really happy to be with them,” reflected Ochoa. “They are my motivation. When I played college golf, I looked up to them and I wanted to be like them, so just to be part of that group is a very special feeling.”

Each LPGA Tour victory is worth one Hall of Fame point, a major championship is two points and Rolex Player of the Year and Vare Trophy honors are one point each. Ochoa’s Hall of Fame résumé boasts 21 victories including two major championships, two Rolex Player of the Year awards and two Vare Trophies. An incredible run of four victories in five starts in 2008, all by five strokes or more, solidified her accumulation of Hall of Fame points. Ochoa also won the two most recent major championships on the LPGA Tour, the 2007 RICOH Women’s British Open and most recently the 2008 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

“We’re so proud of all that Lorena has achieved,” said LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens. “She is a great ambassador for golf around the world and it is absolutely fitting for her to earn entry into the Hall of Fame in her nativeMexico. We look forward to watching Lorena’s career continue to unfold, and eagerly await 2012 when she achieves Hall of Fame status.”

Ochoa will become a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame’s 2012 Class of Inductees and participate in that year’s Induction Ceremony at the Hall of Fame at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. In addition to the LPGA points system through which Ochoa qualified, there are four avenues for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame: PGA TOUR Ballot, International Ballot, Lifetime Achievement Category and Veterans Category.

“What a thrill is has been to watch Lorena achieve the necessary points so early in her career,” said Jack Peter, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “She will become the first Mexican inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and we anticipate the giant celebration of her career in 2012.”

Ochoa has earned 16 of her 27 points in the last 55 weeks dating back to her first victory of 2007. During that span, she overtook Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam as the top player in the Rolex Rankings and became the first LPGA Tour member to earn more than $4 million in a season (2007). Her victory at the 2008 Corona Championship, her fifth 2008 event, made her the fastest LPGA player to reach the $1 million mark in single-season earnings; Annika Sorenstam held the previous record of six events in 2005.

LPGA Tour members who met the points criteria for entrance into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame but had to wait to meet the 10-year membership requirement for entrance

Name Date when points Tournament won # Events played 10-year Length of wait
criteria was met/age (when 2/3 criteria met) tenure met/age to earn entrance
Nancy Lopez Feb. 8, 1987 1987 Sarasota Classic 180 July 20, 1987 5 mo, 12 days
30 yrs, 1 mo, 2 days 30 yrs, 6 mo, 14 days

Annika Sorenstam March 12, 2000 2000 Welch’s/Circle K Championship 108 Oct. 10, 2003 3 yrs, 6 mo, 28 days
29 yrs, 5 mo, 3 days 33 yrs, 1 day

Karrie Webb July 23, 2000 2000 U.S. Women’s Open 111 June 9, 2005 4 yrs, 10 mo, 17 days
25 yrs, 7 mo, 2 days 30 yrs, 5 mo, 19 days

Se Ri Pak May 9, 2004 2004 Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill 154 June 10, 2007 3 yrs, 1 mo, 1 day
26 yrs, 7 mo, 11 days 29 yrs, 8 mo, 13 days

Lorena Ochoa April 13, 2008 2008 Corona Championship 129 2012 (exact date TBD) TBD
26 yrs, 4 mo, 29 days 30 (exact age TBD)

About the Ladies Professional Golf Association

As the longest-running women’s professional sports organization in the world, the LPGA features a membership comprised of world-class LPGA Tour professionals and dedicated Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP). Today’s LPGA Tour features the most talented global sampling of professional athletes competing in 35 events on six continents with total prize money of more than $60 million. In addition to its dynamic Tour members, nearly 1,200 certified T&CP members serve the golf industry in teaching, coaching and management positions, and oversee programs aimed at increasing the involvement of women, girls and youth in golf. The not-for-profit LPGA’s Vision is to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the best golf professionals in the world. Its Mission is to be a leader in the world of sports, to promote economic empowerment for all members, and to serve as role models on and off the course. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. For more information on the LPGA, log on to www.LPGA.com.

About the World Golf Hall of Fame

The World Golf Hall of Fame is the ultimate destination for the celebration and recognition of golf’s greatest players and contributors and an inspiration to golfers and fans throughout the world. A collaboration of 26 national and international golf organizations support the Hall of Fame, including the PGA TOUR, LPGA, USGA, Augusta National, PGA of America and The R&A. The museum houses interactive exhibits and historic and personal artifacts that tell the stories of its members and the game of golf. The Hall of Fame is located at World Golf Village, a resort destination celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2008. For more information, visit www.wgv.com .