Ochoa takes Rolex Player of the Year, Vare Trophy in Texas Showdown
28-year-old secures fourth consecutive Rolex Player of the Year title, fourth Vare Trophy; Runner-up Jiyai Shin ends season as Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year with three wins, tops the LPGA Official Money List
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Nov. 23, 2009 – Heading into the LPGA Tour Championship Presented by Rolex at The Houstonian Golf and Country Club, Jiyai Shin and three-time Rolex Player of the Year Lorena Ochoa were separated by only eight points. After today’s final round, a total of 3,096 holes were played this year between Shin (89 rounds x 18 holes each = 1,602 holes) and Ochoa (83 rounds x 18 holes = 1,494 holes) and it came down to the last shot of the 3,096th hole to determine the winner.
With a second-place finish by Ochoa and a tied-for-eighth finish by Shin, Ochoa secured her fourth consecutive Rolex Player of the Year title by one point, as well as her fourth Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average. The last time the race came down to the season-ending event was in 1994 when Hall-of-Famer Beth Daniel won the top player honor. Said Ochoa, “I like breaking records, and I want to stay at the top as long as I continue playing. It’s a great year for me because it’s been tough in many ways. But the good thing is that I am at the top.”
Ochoa claimed three victories this season including 13 top-10 finishes. She now has 27 career wins since joining the Tour in 2003, when she was named Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. With Ochoa’s continued steady performance and repeated success against the best women’s professional golfers in the world, Mexico’s first LPGA Tour member is now an international household name – one spoken in the same breath as many members of the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame, whose ranks she is on pace to join very soon.