Ochoa the real deal

Lorena Ochoa is all smiles during the final round of the Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton on...

Lorena Ochoa is all smiles during the final round of the Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton on Sunday. (Sun Media/Darryl Dyck)

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Lorena Ochoa wanted to keep the trophy.

"I like that trophy. I'm going to take it home," she said.

"It's like a soccer trophy. I need a whole team to carry it."

The big silver mug - in Canada they're all big silver mugs - from the CN Canadian Women's Open, combined with the one she won at the British Women's Open, deserve a very special place beside each other at her home back in Mexico.

On the golf course where Arnold Palmer won his last Open, Lorena Ochoa won a tournament yesterday which represents a pivotal point in the career of the world's No. 1 player.

This was the tournament, following what happened at the Old Course in St. Andrews, which confirmed her not as the next Superwoman of golf but the current one.

BACK-TO-BACK WINS

Her back-to-back wins in two of the five top events on tour combined to establish in the public consciousness that it's her LPGA Tour now. Annika Sorenstam is now, officially, yesterday's news.

In her modest way, Ochoa allowed that this win, indeed, did make a statement.

"When you win a golf tournament, the next week is really tough because a lot of things happen. A lot of interviews and things.

"You are tired, physically and mentally and those are the things I've been learning through the years," said the 25-year-old in her fifth year on the tour.

Ochoa won her fifth tournament of the year and the $337,500 prize money pushed her season total to $2,636,590 and her career total to $8,695,812.

"I think I showed that I'm ready to, instead of struggling the week after, be able to carry the good momentum and keep it going," said the lady who hadn't won a major until the British Women's Open .

She then followed one with a tournament victory in the unofficial fifth major worth more money.

"We've always said this will be a huge week, that it was a big event for us."

When you go to a big golf tournament you want to see the great player do great things and make it memorable.

From Arnold Palmer to Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods, I think that's been true. It's been true, too, from Babe Didrickson to Nancy Lopez to Sorenstam in women's golf.

You want to see champions win championships.

That's true in auto racing where Edmonton watched Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais win two of the three races held here so far, one in a race where you could have thrown a blanket over the top four and the other this year where there really wasn't much to witness.

This one was like the latter.

Watching Ochoa shoot 16 under par made it memorable. But you needed a blanket the size of Hawrelak Park to throw over the top four this year.

CREAMER BATTLED

Ochoa went into the final round with a four stroke lead and beat Paula Creamer by three strokes. A couple times it got down to two. But there was never really the thought there that anybody other than Ochoa was going to win.

One day maybe people are going to get tired of Ochoa winning. But this is still very early stuff. She has a lot of winning to do yet. And not many around the world have really discovered what an adorable woman and great golfer she is yet.

The way it worked, there were actually two tournaments involved here. The one Ochoa essentially won Saturday. And the one for second that Creamer won yesterday.

The $204,998 second-place money is more than the first place cheque at the 14 tournaments where the prize money is $1.3 million or less.

On this day it was tough to tell what the fans were cheering for exactly, but they were cheering.

"Today I thought they were cheering for Paula. She made a couple of birdies and they seemed to get very excited," said Ochoa.

"I think either way they wanted to see good golf. But at the same time I also felt they were there for me. I think people were just trying to say 'good job.'

"It feels very good. I'm very happy. It was just a great day today."

Except they wouldn't let her take the trophy home.


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