Why Lorena Ochoa is (finally!) headed into the LPGA Hall of Fame
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Lorena Ochoa is headed to the LPGA Hall of Fame.
The LPGA Tour announced on Tuesday they are modifying the entry requirements for the LPGA Hall of Fame. The most significant modification is removing the 10-year playing requirement to enter the Hall of Fame. The modification means that Ochoa, a 27-time LPGA Tour winner, is (finally!) eligible for induction.
She received the news from 48-time LPGA Tour winner Nancy Lopez.
“It was very special to receive Nancy’s call,” Ochoa said in a statement. “When she told me I was taken aback, and I was very moved, never imagined … It’s an honor to receive this recognition. It was unexpected and very special.”
Prior to the change, LPGA Hall of Fame membership was predicated on three objective criteria.
First, players had to earn 27 Hall of Fame points; two points for a major championship victory, one point for a regular tournament victory, and one point for winning the Vare Trophy (low scoring average) or Player of the Year Award. Second, players had to win at least one major championship or season-ending award. And third, players had to have 10 years as an active LPGA Tour member.
Ochoa, 40, earned 37 points during her seven years on the LPGA Tour, including two major championship victories. She has been a World Golf Hall of Fame member since 2017.
“We have seen that the tour is strong enough now that we don’t need that requirement,” said Hall of Fame committee member Beth Daniel. “If you make the Hall of Fame in less than 10 years, more power to you. We shouldn’t keep you out of the Hall of Fame for that reason.”
The committee also announced an Olympic gold medal would be worth one point as well, benefitting the last two gold medalists, Inbee Park and Nelly Korda.
Additionally, the remaining eight of the LPGA’s 13 founders not already in the Hall of Fame will be inducted.
“The 13 LPGA Founders were true pioneers whose collective passion, determination and foresight changed the course of history for women’s sports and laid the foundation for what is today the best women’s professional sports organization in the world,” said LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “It is time to welcome them all into the LPGA Hall of Fame, recognizing the indelible impact they made on the game of golf and the doors they opened for female golfers.”