• LORENA OCHOA began her 2008 season by dusting the field at the HSBC Women's Champions. She then went on to win six more events and became player of the year. But as '09 gets going, some things have changed for the world's No. 1 female golfer. For starters, the Honda LPGA Thailand has moved from fall to spring, slipping in ahead of the HSBC and bringing Ochoa out a week earlier. More important, Ochoa announced her engagement to Andres Conesa, the director general of Aeromexico, and spent time in Thailand talking about having a balance in her life, which can be code for, I've backed off the monomaniacal work ethic that got me to where I am today. This is not surprising. Ochoa has consistently said that she didn't see herself playing for long and hoped to give up golf in favor of raising a family at some point in the not-too-distant future. A first-round 71 on Siam Country Club's Plantation course in Chonburi gave the impression that Ochoa had in fact slipped a little during the off-season, but she followed it with a 69 and then a 68 to move into second. She began the final round paired with Paula Creamer, who was holding a three-shot lead. Ochoa made up the deficit in three holes and went on to shoot a 66 to Creamer's 73 to win by three and reinforce the cliché: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
• LET'S SEE, you're a golf prodigy who won last year's U.S. Amateur and then two weeks ago became the youngest winner in European tour history by taking the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia, at 18 years, 213 days. You've made it clear that you intend to cash in your exemption to the Masters then turn pro, taking advantage of your newly minted two-year exemption in Europe and sponsor exemptions in the U.S. So what do you decide to do at last week's Moonah Classic, a Nationwide tour event in Australia? Obviously, you change your swing based on a few tips a playing partner gave you the week before. The prodigy is Danny Lee of New Zealand and the adviser is Won Joon Lee (no relation), an Australian who plays on the Nationwide tour. "Actually, Won Joon Lee told me 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 of questions 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 few weeks or if Harmon gets a call at about 7:01 p.m. on April 12.... At the Match Play, Luke Donald had to withdraw from his third-round showdown with Ernie Els when 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 the discomfort was simply irritated scar tissue and not a reinjury of the tendon he hurt at the '08 U.S. Open. Donald was scheduled to play at this week's Honda Classic.
Alan Shipnuck's Hot List appears exclusively at GOLF.com.