An interview with Lorena Ochoa

DANA GROSS‑RHODE:  Thank everyone for joining us.  Lorena, thank for coming in.  Coming in you're the defending champion of the Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV.  How has everything been on the course returning to Pratville?

LORENA OCHOA:  Hello, everybody.  It's been good.  I just practice yesterday, spend some time on the range, and then went to the course and played nine holes. I think I have a good plan on how to play the course.  It's playing a little bit longer because obviously it's a little bit wet and the rough is a little bit higher.  So I think it should be a little bit different than last year. But at the same time, a good challenge.  I'm happy to be back, and I'm gonna do my best to defend my title.  It would be great to win on Sunday.

DANA GROSS‑RHODE:  You had a good event last week in California.  With that good performance last week and coming into this week knowing you don't have to play for a couple weeks, do you practice or play any differently?

LORENA OCHOA:  No, no, no.  I think the opposite.  I think there's no reason to make changes.  Just trying to do the same and the things that I know that they work.  You know, this is my third week, so I'm doing okay.  I'm not that tired.  I think I still have all the energy to keep practicing and to do the things inside and outside of the golf course. So I'll be there tomorrow at 100 percent and hopefully get a good start, which is always important to put myself in a good position.

Q.  What do you do after a large tournament like this if you don't have something the following week?  What do you do to relax?

LORENA OCHOA:  I have plenty of things to do.  I'm gonna go back home.  I play on Tuesday a tournament for my foundation in Guadalajara.  I'm gonna play on Thursday a tournament in Monterrey for one of my sponsors.  On Friday I play another tournament in Cancun for one of my sponsor in Mexico. Saturday I have another sponsor dinner, so it's not always easy.  Always when we're home, it's not always easy to forget about everything.  We still have things to do. But it's okay.  I mean, this is the part of the year where we need to participate with all of those activities with the sponsors and playing tournaments. So we just need to hang in there a few more months and we'll have some time off.

Q.  There are fewer tournaments this year because of the economy.  How do you feel about that?  Has that impacted your play one way or the other?

LORENA OCHOA:  No.  I think for sure my play is - it doesn't matter how many tournaments we play a year.  I think the economy is something that is happening to all of us, not only our sport, but to everybody. I think we're in good hands.  I think our leaders are really good.  We believe that every year, little by little, recovering some ground and be in better shape. Me personally, I'm really happy what we have.  I think we need to understand this is tough times, and just try to make the best every week we play and be good with the fans, and especially be thankful to the sponsors.

Q.  Tell us a little something about your foundation in Mexico?

LORENA OCHOA:  We have a school.  The name of the school is La Barranca.  We have more than 300 kids.  We just started the eighth grade this year.  We're trying to grow one year at a time every year.  We're in the construction for the second part, for the high school.  We're for sure trying to get some funds to finish the construction.  It's gonna be about six million pesos, and we already have half of the money.  That's what we're trying to do, just do different tournaments or areas to support the kids and to be able to finish the construction. It's a program that is ‑‑ the family needs to be involved.  The kids are in the school, but it's not only for the kids, but also for the parents.  I believe education is little best way to help a boy or girl to change really their lives, for them to become successful professionals in the future. It's a fun place.  You can find out more in the  We have information on the Internet.  It would be nice to learn more.

Q.  You were playing with David Bronner today.  How did he and the rest of the group do today?

LORENA OCHOA:  We had a good time.  I'm sure we're not winning the Pro‑Am.  (Laughter.)  He said he's leaving for me the good shots for my tournament starting tomorrow. He was very nice.  For sure I want to say thank you to him for all the support that he's given to our tournament here in Alabama.  I think it's great, you know, what he's doing. His sister play with us, too.  She's a lovely lady, and we had a good time.

Q.  Who do you feel like is your strongest competitor through the tournament?

LORENA OCHOA:  I never think in one player.  I always play just my own goals.  I just try to play against the course and try to do my best every day.  There are so many good players.  You never know who's gonna have a good day or play a good tournament. So I always try to think only in my game.

Q.  Two years ago you had a winning streak coming in.  Last year you had a winless streak.  Do you have kind of mixed memories of playing in this tournament because of those?

LORENA OCHOA:  I have great memories, nothing but good memories.  I would love to win the tournament.  I heard that nobody I think in this tournament won the tournament twice, so that would be nice to get that, you know, put my name up there. I have nothing but good memories.  I feel good playing on this course.  I get a lot of good support.  People are excited that we're here, and that feels very nice.  So I'm gonna try to do my best.

Q.  Seeing Charles Barkley out here today in the Pro‑Am, are you familiar with his game and the mishaps that he's had with his game?  What advice would you give him if you were his coach?

LORENA OCHOA:  No, you know, it's nice how hard he's trying and that he loves the game of golf.  That's great.  I admire him, just like a lot people, I think.  He's done great things for his sport from an athlete's point of view.

Just to have fun, you know.  I don't think it's good to worry.  It's never gonna be perfect.  This is a tricky sport.  So just for him to enjoy it.  It seems like he knows how to do that.

Q.  Will you try to model your swing after his?

LORENA OCHOA:  I'm not even gonna go there.

Q.  You stated before that you didn't want to play more than ten years.  Is this something you still stand by?

LORENA OCHOA:  Uh‑huh.  I said around 10 years, so something around there.

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