|Lorena Ochoa accepts the Charlie Bartlett Award from Doug Ferguson during the Golf Writers Association of America 39th Annual Awards Dinner at the Savannah Rapids Pavillion on April 6, 2011 in Martinez, Georgia.|
Ochoa, who retired last year at the age of 28 after winning 27 tournaments, including two majors, founded the Lorena Ochoa Foundation and hosts the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on the LPGA Tour, which benefits the foundation.
The award, named for the first secretary of the GWAA, is given to a professional golfer for his/her unselfish contributions to the betterment of society. Ochoa was honored at the GWAA Annual Awards Dinner April 6 in Augusta, Ga.
It is the second major award for the 28-year-old Ochoa this year. She received the Bob Jones Award February 5 at the USGA's Annual Meeting.
Well before she was on her way to becoming No. 1 in women's golf, Ochoa poured her passion into helping impoverished children, the mission of her foundation. The centerpiece of her efforts is "La Barranca," which began as an elementary school in Guadalajara, Mexico. The high school opened last fall. It offers a progressive curriculum to hundreds of children who might otherwise not get an education.
Ochoa also raises money for children with cancer, and distributes medicine to needy children near her hometown. After winning the LPGA Tour Championship in 2007, she donated $100,000 of her earnings to flood victims in the Mexican state of Tabasco.
As she once said, "I want to be remembered for the things I did outside the golf course. Not for winning tournaments. That's very clear to me."
Ochoa follows Ernie Els (2010), Tiger Woods (2007), Greg Norman (2008) and Jack Nicklaus (2009) as recent recipients.
Other former Bartlett winners include the Louisiana trio of Hal Sutton, David Toms and Kelly Gibson, Val Skinner, Betsy King, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, Tom Lehman, Arnold Palmer, Kenny Perry, Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, Patty Berg and Andy North.
The GWAA also honored Players of Year Graeme McDowell, Yani Tseng and Bernhard Langer, William D. Richardson Award winner Jack Burke Jr., Ben Hogan Award winner Barbara Douglas and Jim Murray/ASAP Award winner Steve Stricker at the April 6 dinner.
The nearly 900-member professional organization takes an active role in protecting the interests of all golf journalists, works closely with all of golf's major governing bodies and the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Topics: Ochoa, Lorena