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Ochoa golf tournament to make its Guadalajara Country Club swansong

Next week’s sixth Lorena Ochoa Invitational could be the last time the prestigious LPGA golf tournament is played at the Guadalajara Country Club, organizers are saying. 

The Jalisco state government recently decided to pull the plug on its one-million-dollar sponsorship of the annual event.

Los Cabos, Monterrey or Mexico City are favorites to host the tournament in 2014, according to tournament director Alejandro Ochoa.

But returning to Guadalajara at a future date hasn’t been completely ruled out, he said this week at a press conference.

Most of the world’s best female gofers will be among the 36 players doing battle on the Guadalajara Country Club’s meticulously manicured fairways and greens from Thursday, November 13 to Sunday, November 17.

The tournament debuted in 2008 at the course where former world number one Lorena Ochoa learned to play golf.  

Ochoa retired from the LPGA in 2010 to start a family but has returned to play each year since, except in 2011 after the birth of her first child.

She may be absent from the event this year after giving birth to her second child on November 6.

The top three golfers in the world – Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Lewis Stacy – will be among the favorites to win this year’s event. Defending champion Crsitie Kerr of the United States will try to become the first golfer to win the event two years in a row.  Prize money for the tournament totals one million dollars.

Although popular U.S. golfer Michelle Wie – the 2009 champion – is not ranked high enough in the world to automatically qualify for the tournament, she has been handed a wild card place.

The professional golfers say the Guadalajara tournament is one of the highlights of the season thanks to great support from enthusiastic crowds.

Proceeds from the tournament help support the Lorena Ochoa Foundation, which runs a school for disadvantaged children in a neighborhood of Guadalajara.

Gates open on the three days of the tournament at 10 a.m. Play begins around 11 a.m.

Ticket costs: Thursday, 100 pesos; Friday, 200 pesos; Saturday, 350 pesos; Sunday, 450 pesos.  A pass for four days costs 900 pesos.

Hospitality tickets range from 800 pesos on Thursday to 1,500 pesos on Sunday and include a buffet from I Latina restaurant and a free bar (national drinks only).

Tickets may be purchased each day at the gate.

The entrance to the Country Club is Mar Caribe 260, Colonia Country Club, one block from Avenida Avila Camacho.

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