Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I am going to miss Lorena Ochoa...

My jaw dropped whenI read the news about Lorena Ochoa's retirement. “But why?????” Was all I could think of. Ochoa was my idol and I enjoyed watching all her tournaments.

For the past couple of years I would follow Lorena Ochoa's flight at the Longs Drugs Challenge at the  Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, California. 

It was just awesome to watch her play. Lorena's head tilt away from the target on the downswing and the way she bounces the shaft off her back as she finishes her swing is a trademark I took pleasure in watching. 

While most of us “normal” women golfers average 180 yard drives, Lorena made 290 yard drives powered by her hips and legs look so effortless.

Lorena retires as world number one with twenty seven LPGA career victories including two major championships at only 28 years old. Truly an amazing player. She will be missed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I played my very first Pro-Am!

I was so excited when I got an invitation to play in the Pro-Am tournament of the prestigious Mercedes Benz Masters Philippines 2010 at the Legends Course of the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club. This year's Mercedes-Benz tour would have a total prize money of $580,000.00  covering 10 tournaments.  Our Philippine favorite Angelo Que together with other admired players included Juvic Pagunsan, Artemio Murakami, Mars Pucay among others. 
I knew it was going to be a treat to be able to play with one of the regions's best pros! I had no idea who we were going to be paired with and to my delight it turned out to be Namchok Tantipokhakul of Thailand and winner of last year’s Mercedes-Benz Tour Order of Merit title. I was impressed and at the same time a little more nervous than usual to be playing in his flight. Namchok was a favorite last year when he finished number one with earnings of $27,540 from eight events of the tournament. With the little English he spoke and the handful of Thai words I knew which was limited to my favorite Thai foods and "thank you" (Tom Yum, Pad Thai and Khaawp khoon khrap) I managed to find out he was only 22 years old and had been in the Philippines several times over the years competing.

As last year's winner of the Order of Merit title, Namchok would be automatically included in the  Barclays Singapore Open later this year. This tournament carries a US$ 5 million prize money with players coming from the European and Asian tour.
The Pro-Am had several fun holes including the "Hole-In-One" challenge prize of a "30 day loaner" Mercedes-Benz E-Class E 300. Ok, you can't keep it forever.... but at least you get to drive in style for a month in a Mercedes Benz! 

It was a fun filled tournament even if our flight didn't win. The top prize went to our very own Angelo Que and the Southwoods team. I was only too happy to have been able to play my very first Pro-Am!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Foreplay not allowed....

"Foreplay not allowed" was what the starter said before we teed off at the Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms in Los Angeles. Known for its long, gracious fairways, Industry Hills counts itself as one of the oldest and most prestigious public courses on the West Coast. I was quite excited to play this course and compare it with the courses I am used to playing in the Philippines.

I remember not too long ago why I had picked up the sport. For the longest time I kept joking around that I would learn how to play golf so I could finally see my husband (Alex) more often! I could never understand how he could leave so early in the morning and spend all those hours under the sun golfing. Then when he would go home in the evenings he would still spend more time watching golf on TV!!##???? Aaaargh!!!! That's how I felt..... until I learned how to play golf ….. and realized I should have taken up the game a long time ago!!!! That was 4 years ago. And today, I am still as passionate about the game and still as determined to bring down my handicap. My goal is to at least be as good as Alex who carries a single digit handicap. He has been playing for 15 years now so thats quite a head start. But I figure it wont be too long before I catch up.....

So now, my husband and I can play golf all day and when we come home, no one has to to feel guilty about turning on the TV and watching..... GOLF! Isn't that great? No need to argue over what channel to watch! While we both have our own golf buddies that we regularly play with, we do make it a point to include a round as our "date day" and we have golf vacations like the one we had at Industry hills in Southern California. This course had 36 holes of championship golf spanning 650 acres. The unique layout included 160 sand bunkers, eight lakes, and a seemingly endless horizon of large undulating bent grass greens. Pure bliss. Never mind that "foreplay" was not allowed....