Mexico City to Stage the LPGA Tour’s First Match Play Event Since 2012
Tournament host Ochoa will join fellow Hall of Famers in exhibition matches
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., March 8, 2017 – Match Play returns to the LPGA Tour after a four-year absence with the Lorena Ochoa Match Play from May 4-7 in Mexico City where the tournament host will provide additional star power in two exhibition matches with fellow Hall of Fame players.
On the weekend of tournament week at Club de Golf Mexico, former world No. 1 Ochoa will return to the links with LPGA legends Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak in a trip down memory lane for golf fans to savor.
The four Hall of Famers will play 18 holes in twosomes on Saturday, May 6 (in a scramble format) and again on Sunday, May 7 (in best ball). Pairings for the exhibition matches are yet to be announced.
"I'm very proud to announce this news, for me it is a dream come true to play one more time with friends and champions like them," said Ochoa. "They proudly represent both their country and the sport.
"And the most exciting thing for me is to play again in front of my fans. It is a gift for everyone! This exhibition is something that I will never forget. I'd like to thank you, my friends, for joining me and for everything you taught me during my years in the LPGA."
Ochoa is Mexico's greatest ever player who won 27 times on the LPGA Tour before shocking the golf world by announcing her retirement from the game in 2010 at the age of 28. She was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame this year and will be inducted in September.
"I am excited to be able to join Lorena to celebrate her induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame," said Sorenstam, whose stellar LPGA career was highlighted by 10 major titles among her 72 victories. "I always enjoyed competing against her. She is such a terrific player, person and ambassador for the game. She achieved a lot in a very short amount of time, both on and off the course. I look forward to seeing her."
Pak, a five-time major winner who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 and ended her competitive career last year, said: “Since I retired last year, I am not sure how well I can play these days, but I have so many great memories of competing with Lorena, Annika and Juli – all of whom are true golf legends.
“I can’t wait to play again with these amazing women at the Hall of Famers Challenge and am very grateful to Lorena Ochoa for providing us with this wonderful opportunity."
Inkster, who will captain the United States against the Sorenstam-led Europeans at this year's Solheim Cup in Des Moines, is a 31-time winner on the LPGA (including seven major victories) who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
From Thursday, May 4 onwards, an elite field of 64 players will compete for honors at the $1.2 million Lorena Ochoa Match Play in a knockout format where the result is decided when one player leads by more holes than there are holes left to play.
The top 20 LPGA members in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings as of April 25, 2017 will automatically qualify for the event at Club de Golf Mexico, along with two sponsor invites.
The rest of the field will be filled by LPGA members, based on their positions in the 2017 LPGA Official Money List as of April 25, 2017.
Played last year in November as the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Aeromexico and Delta and won by Carlota Ciganda, this revamped event marks the first match play tournament on the Tour’s schedule since the Sybase Match Play Championship in 2012.
Practice rounds for the Lorena Ochoa Match Play are set for Monday, May 1, and Tuesday, May 2, with the Pro-Am competition scheduled for Wednesday, May 3.
Round one of the Match Play will take place on Thursday (May 4), round two on Friday (May 5) and the round of 16 on Saturday morning before the quarter-finals are played on Saturday afternoon. The semi-finals will be held on Sunday morning, with the tournament final and the third-fourth consolation set for Sunday afternoon.