Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Club de Golf Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico
Jack Peter, World Golf Hall of Fame President
Lorena Ochoa, Class of 2017 Inductee
Heather Daly-Donofrio, LPGA TOUR
Thank you all for joining us tonight on this special occasion. To my left I have Jack Peter, President of the World Golf Hall of Fame, next to him is winner of 27 LPGA titles and our tournament host Lorena Ochoa and next to her is Heather Donofrio, Chief Communications and Tour Operations Officer. I will now turn it over to Jack to speak about the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Greetings everyone, I’m Jack Peter President of World Golf Hall of Fame. It’s such an honor to be here with you. On September 26 in 2017 Lorena Ochoa will enter into the Hall of fame with Meg Mallon, Davis Love III, Ian Woosnam and the late Henry Longhurst. For those who have never been, the World Golf Hall of Fame is located in Northeast Florida in one of the United States oldest cities, St. Augustine. Our mission is to celebrate and preserve the history of golf and those who have made it great. One of the ways we preserve the history of our 150 members is through our museum, which features 35,000 feet of exhibition space. Over time we have built a very unique collection of artifacts, trophies and golf clubs that celebrate our members. Our biennial Induction Ceremony is our featured event when we enshrine both male and female golfers from around the world. This year our induction ceremony will kick off the President’s Cup in New York City. Today we are here to celebrate Lorena Ochoa, one of your true National Treasures. She has had a remarkable career. She will be the first Mexican born player to be enshrined. It’s a tremendous achievement and we could not be more proud to have her in next year’s class. Now I pass the microphone to Heather from LPGA.
It’s such an honor to be here with Lorena Ochoa, one of the newest inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. There is no doubt that Lorena has had a career worthy of the World Golf Hall of Fame. We could be here all night listing Lorena’s career achievements, but I will highlight a few – 27 LPGA wins including two major championships; 4th on the LPGA career money list. She was the 2002 Symetra Tour Player of the Year by winning three times during that summer. She was the 2003 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. She won the Rolex Player of the Year not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. She also won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average four times. But the most impressive was, it is hard to become the number one in the world in anything, in any sport, and Lorena spent 158 consecutive weeks, as number one player in the world on the Rolex Rankings.
Beyond the tournament titles, what impresses me most about Lorena is the way she conducted and still conducts herself both on and off the golf course. I was lucky enough to have played alongside Lorena and she always played with the highest respect for the game and for her fellow competitors. Lorena is truly one of the greatest sportsmen or sportswomen to have played the game of golf. Congratulations on becoming part of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
How does it feel to be the first Mexican player in the World Golf Hall of Fame?
Thank you for having me, and thank you for being with me here tonight. And thanks for everything you’ve said about me. It is an honor to be the first Mexican, and especially after a career as short as mine was. It has been amazing, the same as playing a tournament and winning around the world, but now I am able to share this in Mexico with my friends and family, I think that now what is special is to be in a place where some of the most important players have been. Thank you, I am very honored, I think this is a very special moment in my career, getting in the Hall of Fame of a sport like this.
How is the selection process?
We, the Hall of Fame, revised the process three years ago. Primary changes were made for men and women the eligible age changed to 50, but it was key that if you have been for five years you would also be eligible to become part of the Hall. Lorena became eligible in 2017 and it was a decision made by part of the commission –Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam, Gary (other players inaudible)– and she was voted equally by them.
How do you feel with all your accomplishments through quite a brief career?
It’s great to remember all the accomplishments. I don’t want to compare them, it’s not fair because they are all very emotional and important, but this is like completing the circle of my professional career as an athlete. I don’t want to compare this with other accomplishments, and also, this award is not only for what you’ve done on golf but in your life outside the golf course as well.
How do you feel about the legacy you’re leaving behind?
I have always wanted to live my life promoting golf, to get more fans, more kids that play it, with this accomplishment I sort of realize what I have done for golf, it is my motivation to keep doing this, to continue in this direction, helping golf become more popular and to be able to change kid’s future, this is one of the most amazing things you could do.
What is one of the moments you remember the most about Lorena’s career?
It’s hard to pick one particular moment, it’s such an amazing career. You’re asking the wrong guy for that question, I would say the most memorable one was just talking to her. But that is kind of the point and mission of the Hall of Fame, to tell the story of Lorena Ochoa. Its our mission, what Lorena said about her foundation, is really our opportunity to help her, and get the word out about her foundation to a greater audience and help the children.
Now Jack will lead the toast in honor of Lorena Ochoa.
To view images from the press conference and toast to Lorena Ochoa, visit www.worldgolfhalloffame.org/media_galleries.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum preserves and honors the history of golf and the legacies of those who have made it great. The Hall of Fame & Museum, located at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, serves as a steward of the game through engaging, interactive storytelling and exhibitions featuring artifacts, works of art, audio, video and photography significant to the history of golf and its members. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution and is allied with 26 national and international golf organizations, including The European Tour, LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA. To learn more about the Hall of Fame or to lend support, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org. As the sole founding partner of World Golf Hall of Fame, Shell Oil Company provides financial support and plays the lead role in charitable initiatives aimed at introducing golf to young people, and through the golf experience promotes scholastic achievement, community service and those values intrinsic to the game of golf: honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.