An upbeat mariachi band and the chance to hit a few golf balls into the waters of Xochimilco highlighted Lorena Ochoa's celebratory welcome of her three fellow Hall of Famers on Saturday, just a few hours before their first exhibition match at Club de Golf Mexico.
Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak and Juli Inkster each had their own "trajinera", a colorful gondola-style boat, and they advanced information on one of the many canals at Xochimilco as two trajineras carrying members of the media approached from the opposite direction.
When the media trajineras had closed to within 50 yards of the Hall of Famers, all the vessels halted and the four LPGA legends playfully began hitting chip shots from their boats in the direction of the media, before hoisting a few wedge shots well over the media trajineras.
Ochoa, the tournament host for this week's Lorena Ochoa Match Play at Club de Golf Mexico, then welcomed everybody before thanking Sorenstam, Se Ri and Inkster for their support and for agreeing to travel to Mexico for the exhibition matches.
"Welcome everybody, press and media, thank you for coming!" said Ochoa, Mexico's greatest ever player who has won 27 LPGA Tour titles, including two major championships.
" We are happy to be here at Xochimilco, one of the most representative places in Mexico, enjoying with all of you the Mariachi music on the Trajineras, that even carry our names. Thank you Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX, for this lovely present."
The four Hall of Famers were joined on board by the mariachi band and posed for pictures as press photographers clicked away. The mariachi band then burst into song for five minutes or so and Sorenstam embraced the party atmosphere, picking up a golf club and pretending to strum away to the music.
Celebratory welcome over, the Hall of Famers' trajineras headed back up the canal while the media boats departed in the opposite direction.
Xochimilco, one of the 16 boroughs within Mexico City, is best known for its canals and artificial islands called chinampas. The canal and chinampa system is a vestige of the area’s pre-Hispanic past and has been officially recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site.
Ochoa and Inkster were scheduled to be back at Club de Golf Mexico on Saturday to take on Sorenstam and Pak in a scramble format for the first of their two Hall of Fame exhibition matches, with a scheduled 12 noon CST tee off. Ochoa and Sorenstam will then pair up against Pak and Inkster in best ball on Sunday.