FOR one of the best female golfers in the world the last decade, it’s not a far-fetched idea that Filipinas can make their mark on the international stage.
Former world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, who was in town to conduct a clinic with some of the country’s top women golfers and grace a charity event, believes her audience has a chance to ply their trade someday in the Ladies Professional Golf Association, where she built her lofty status.
“I think that’s the idea,” the 32-year-old Mexican shotmaker said, stressing patience as a key. “Nothing is going to happen that quickly. Everything is a process. You need to learn and you need to get mature and you need to get a lot of experience from playing different tournaments not only in Asia, but in the United States and in Europe.”
And before they know it, they could be following the footsteps of Jennifer Rosales and Dorothy Delasin. Rosales, who has two LPGA titles under her belt, is currently the only Filipina in the world’s premier ladies’ pro tour.
“I’m pretty sure in the near future — three, four, five years — you will see names in the LPGA,” Ochoa, the two-time LPGA major winner said.
Ochoa, whose remarkable rise in the ranks enabled her to retire at a young age of 28 after less than a decade of playing pro golf, is now focused on her family and her two-month old baby, as well as her foundation that operates a school in her native Guadalajara for 350 underprivileged kids.
And she was glad that the Philippine trip was her first golf activity since giving birth.
“It’s been a very special trip,” said Ochoa, who shared her invaluable knowledge with members of the ICTSI ladies pro and amateur teams, led by coach Bong Lopez, over the weekend at The Country Club.
Ochoa, who ruled the women’s golf scene for over three years from early 2007, was also impressed with the country’s female golfers, but didn’t want to mention names.
“All of them are good. What I like very much is all of them are having a good time. They are happy. I think that’s very important,” Ochoa said of the team, led by Princess Superal, one of major awardees in the recent Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards.
“They have all the facilities so they have to be thankful and make sure they take advantage of the opportunity they have,” she added of the ladies under the care of ICTSI chair and CEO Ricky Razon. “They just have to continue in the same direction.”