Ochoa honoured with award

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:42 PM ET

FAR HILLS, N.J. -- Lorena Ochoa, who retired from the LPGA Tour earlier this year, has been awarded the 2011 Bob Jones Award, given by the United States Golf Association.

Ochoa becomes the third former LPGA Tour player honoured in the last five years, along with 13-time major champion Mickey Wright, last year's recipient, and 2007 winner Louise Suggs, who was a founding member of the LPGA Tour.

The USGA has presented the Bob Jones award annually since 1955. The association's highest honour "is given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. The Award seeks to recognize a person who emulates Jones' spirit, his personal qualities and his attitude toward the game and its players."

Ochoa won 27 times on the LPGA Tour, including two major championships, but it was her foundation that helps underprivileged students that was also a big part of her winning this award.

"We've come to recognize Lorena for the contributions she has made to humanity much more so than for the golf trophies she's taken home," said Jerry Tarde, chairman and editor-in-chief of Golf Digest, and a member of the USGA's Bob Jones Award Committee. "She has become a one-person grow-the-game program not just in Mexico, but in all of Latin America."

"I play golf for a reason and the foundation is the main reason," Ochoa stated. "That was my motivation to keep playing and practicing for many years."

Ochoa was a four-time Player of the Year on the LPGA Tour, and also won four Vare Trophies for lowest scoring average. Prior to that, Ochoa was a two-time NCAA Player of the Year (2001, 2002) as she set NCAA single season scoring records both of those years.

The Award will be presented Feb. 5 at the USGA's Annual Meeting in Phoenix.


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