MORELIA, Mexico - Lorena Ochoa qualified for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame yesterday, winning the Corona Championship by 11 strokes for her third straight victory and fourth in five starts this year.
The Mexican star became the second-youngest player to qualify for the Hall of Fame, though she must be a tour member for 10 years - in her case, until 2012 - to be eligible for induction.
"It was very special to do it here in my home country," she said.
The LPGA Tour had previously said incorrectly that Ochoa would be the youngest to qualify at 26 years 4 months 29 days. But the youngest was actually Karrie Webb, who was 25 years 7 months 2 days when she qualified with a win at the 2000 US Women's Open.
The LPGA Tour awards one point for every victory and major award and two points for a major victory. A player needs 27 points to gain the Hall of Fame.
Ochoa said she was honored to be among players she has always admired.
"They are my motivation, and when I played college, I always looked up to them and I wanted to be like them, so just to be part of that group is a very special feeling," she said.
After opening with three straight 7-under-par 66s, Ochoa closed with a 69 for a 25-under 267 total. She earned $195,000 for her 21st victory on the LPGA Tour.
Ochoa had a seven-stroke lead entering play yesterday. She birdied the first, sixth, and eighth holes, but dropped three strokes with a triple bogey on the 11th hole. She came back with birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th holes. Her birdie on the 18th hole prompted deafening shouts from the thousands who crowded around the green.
South Korea's Song-Hee Kim (72) was second at 14 under.