Many locals still pine for those good old days when the world’s elite female golfers descended on Guadalajara each November to participate in the annual Lorena Ochoa Invitational at the Guadalajara Country Club.
In 2014, after five consecutive years, the tournament moved from Ochoa’s hometown club to Mexico City, following a change in the state government that led to the withdrawal of significant financial support.
By all accounts, the 2015 edition, staged last week at the Club de Golf Mexico in the capital, did not draw the same passionate crowds as Guadalajara, but nonetheless was deemed a success – apart from one small detail.
On the last day, the three overnight leaders who were going out in the final group took the same courtesy bus to the course from their hotel – usually a 20-minute ride. A Mexico City traffic jam turned that journey into two and a half hours. The LPGA rules committee – usually sticklers for tee starting times – made a rare concession and decided not to disqualify the threesome.
The eventual winner was no surprise. South Korea’s Inbee Park, the world number two, pocketed the $US200,000 winner’s check, bringing her annual earnings to a whopping US$2,570,096.