• LORENA OCHOAbegan her 2008 season by dusting the field at the HSBC Women's Champions. Shethen went on to win six more events and became player of the year. But as '09gets going, some things have changed for the world's No. 1 female golfer. Forstarters, the Honda LPGA Thailand has moved from fall to spring, slipping inahead of the HSBC and bringing Ochoa out a week earlier. More important, Ochoaannounced her engagement to Andres Conesa, the director general of Aeromexico,and spent time in Thailand talking about having a balance in her life, whichcan be code for, I've backed off the monomaniacal work ethic that got me towhere I am today. This is not surprising. Ochoa has consistently said that shedidn't see herself playing for long and hoped to give up golf in favor ofraising a family at some point in the not-too-distant future. A first-round 71on Siam Country Club's Plantation course in Chonburi gave the impression thatOchoa had in fact slipped a little during the off-season, but she followed itwith a 69 and then a 68 to move into second. She began the final round pairedwith Paula Creamer, who was holding a three-shot lead. Ochoa made up thedeficit in three holes and went on to shoot a 66 to Creamer's 73 to win bythree and reinforce the cliché: The more things change, the more they stay thesame.
• LET'S SEE,you're a golf prodigy who won last year's U.S. Amateur and then two weeks agobecame the youngest winner in European tour history by taking the JohnnieWalker Classic in Perth, Australia, at 18 years, 213 days. You've made it clearthat you intend to cash in your exemption to the Masters then turn pro, takingadvantage of your newly minted two-year exemption in Europe and sponsorexemptions in the U.S. So what do you decide to do at last week's MoonahClassic, a Nationwide tour event in Australia? Obviously, you change your swingbased on a few tips a playing partner gave you the week before. The prodigy isDanny Lee of New Zealand and the adviser is Won Joon Lee (no relation), anAustralian who plays on the Nationwide tour. "Actually, Won Joon Lee toldme some stuff about my backswing and follow-through," Danny explained."I didn't like my follow-through, my swing, so I asked him a couple ofquestions and he gave me some good tips, so I'm working on that at the moment.Because Won Joon is coached by Butch Harmon, I really like his swing."Based on that quote, don't be surprised if Lee struggles over the next fewweeks or if Harmon gets a call at about 7:01 p.m. on April 12.... At the MatchPlay, Luke Donald had to withdraw from his third-round showdown with Ernie Elswhen he felt a twinge in his left wrist, on which he had surgery last August.On Saturday the same doctor who performed the operation told Donald that thediscomfort was simply irritated scar tissue and not a reinjury of the tendon hehurt at the '08 U.S. Open. Donald was scheduled to play at this week's HondaClassic.
Alan Shipnuck'sHot List appears exclusively at GOLF.com.
"It will conjure a Who's Who of Who'sMissing."
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March 8, 2009
KEY STAT 1
Geoff Ogilvy's rank in the FedEx Cup, the Tour money list and the Race toDubai.
HE SAID | HE SAID
Should banks with TARP money entertain at Tourevents?
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—SEN. JOHN KERRY
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—FREDERICK WADDELL, CEO, NORTHERN TRUST