Sports News

Ochoa named LPGA Player of the Year

MIAMI (Reuters) - Mexican world number one Lorena Ochoa has been named the LPGA Tour’s Player of the Year for the third season in a row.

Ochoa won seven titles in 2008, including her second successive major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April. She launched the season with a red-hot run of six victories in nine events.

The Guadalajara native also won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average on the LPGA Tour (68.58).

“Lorena has had yet another incredible season,” LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said in a statement on Friday.

“Her work off the course has been equally impressive. Once only a national hero, Lorena is now a global hero. The world is grateful to have her, and we are more than proud to call her our own.”

Ochoa has opened elementary schools in her native Mexico through her Lorena Ochoa Foundation and donated $100,000 to flood victims in Tabasco after winning last year’s ADT Championship.

Yani Tseng of Taiwan, surprise winner of the LPGA Championship in June, was named the LPGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year.

At the age of 19, she became the second-youngest woman to win a major championship with a playoff victory over Sweden’s Maria Hjorth at the Bulle Rock course in Havre de Grace, Maryland.

“It’s my honor to win the Rookie of the Year,” Tseng told reporters after missing the cut in Friday’s second round at the season-ending ADT Championship in West Palm Beach.

“It can happen only one time in my life and I got my goal this year.”

Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford