In January she
worked on her putting with Rafael Alarc�n, a Mexican pro who played on the PGA
Tour in 1983 and '97, and has coached Ochoa since she was 11. After the Nabisco
she returned to Alarc�n to make adjustments to her swing. "Lorena has a
tendency, especially under pressure, to take the club back a bit [off plane],
and she doesn't break her wrists until late in her backswing," says
Alarc�n. "We worked on getting her to break them a little earlier."
congeniality, Ochoa has a fiery competitiveness that was no doubt nurtured
when, as a child, she fought for acceptance among her older brothers and their
friends. "Lorena insisted on doing everything we did," says Alejandro.
"When she was eight, she came with us on a three-day, 80-kilometer camping
trip on horseback through rugged, mountainous terrain outside Guadalajara. When
we went riding on the beach and plunged our horses into the water, she would
follow and swim with her horse, holding on to its mane."
coffee-colored eyes narrow when she is asked about her inability to win a
tournament in Sorenstam's presence. (Her four wins occurred in tournaments
Sorenstam didn't enter.) "I'm ready," she says. "�Que venga! [Let
and a newfound confidence have fueled her recent run of fine play, but she's
also found motivation in the plight of her countrymen. "I want to give them
something to cheer for in these difficult times," she says. "I came to
this country too. I know what it's like to be separated from your family. There
were times at school when I almost gave up and went home. I stuck it out
because I wanted to be the best golfer in the world."