Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lorena Lost Some Bucks

As you probably know, Lorena Ochoa is not in the field this week at the LPGA Corning Classic in New York. For those of you even more astute, you would know that this violates the LPGA's once every four rule which states that every player must participate in each event once every four years - though they get one CAREER exemption from the rule.

Well, Lorena paid the price for not participating this week.

Lorena Ochoa earned $300,000 for her sixth victory of the year at the Sybase Classic, which should help her pay a $25,000 fine for skipping the Corning Classic this week.

The LPGA Tour has a “1-in-4” rule, meaning players must compete in every full-field event on the schedule at least once every four years. Ochoa has not played Corning since 2004, when she tied for 19th.

The Mexican star felt she had no choice. She is defending champion at eight tournaments this year, the LPGA Tour added another tournament in Mexico and Corning is right before a buildup into the majors.
I cannot exactly blame her for having to defend so many titles and participate in the new event in Mexico with her name on it, as well as the HSBC Women's Champions event earlier this season. Still, a huge disappointment for the fans in Corning - especially with such a paltry fine in relationship to Lorena's back account.


The Constructivist said...

The local media is reporting she used her career exemption....

The Florida Masochist said...

Lorena could have skipped the Ginn Tribute. She isn't defending champion, plus that tournament may not be around next year.

Cristie Kerr isn't in the field either, and she hasn't played corning in some time either. I spoke to Eric(Christie's husband) at the Stanford, he said Cristie would be in this week's field, noting the 1 in 4 rule.


Andy Brown said...

Well that’s one rule I really did not know about. While we assume most people in organizations who push around files are nothing more than bumbling fools incapable of doing any good for the game but here is a unique case of the LPGA putting in place quite an innovative rule to try and ensure competition. At least it ensures that most players would think a bit before skipping a tournament.

Agreed that this fine of 25 grand is not going to burn a hole in Ochoa’s pockets but then you can’t ask for more from the LPGA, lest the union civil liberties sues the LPGA for forcing players to compete in every tournament!!

I wonder if the PGA Tour has a rule like this. Tiger Woods only appears in 15 odd tournaments in a year and most tournaments where he is not in the field suffer from poor ratings. Perhaps they could devise a ranking specific fine rate so that the higher rank players might have to shell out more for skipping a tournament. Forget money, they could threaten to dock ranking points for every successive tournament missed. Talk about putting the cat amongst the pigeons. Maybe make it a Tiger specific rule. Having said that, I am guessing Tiger will still remain number one with a very comfortable margin.
Just a thought !