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November 10, 2009

Lorena Ochoa

Angela Stanford


MIKE SCANLAN: Thank you for coming in. I'd like to welcome first of all tournament hostess, Lorena Ochoa, for the second annual Lorena Ochoa Invitational, and also defending champion Angela Stanford, who is also a member of the victorious U.S. Solheim Cup team this year.
Lorena, we will start with you, you can speak in English or Spanish, it's up to you.
LORENA OCHOA: That's funny.
MIKE SCANLAN: Probably Spanish. Just talk about being back in Guadalajara and being back hosting your own event.
LORENA OCHOA: Welcome, and thank you for being here.
MIKE SCANLAN: If you would, talk about being defending champion here. You had a pretty exciting win here last year.
ANGELA STANFORD: I guess I'm speaking in English. First off, I'm just happy to be back. I think this is a great event, and you know, I knew coming down that Lorena would have a first-class event.
So just the course, the accommodations, the people, everything is first class. So it's an honor for me to be the defending champ and to be the first champ here. Last year was extremely exciting, and it's been a great memory and some fun to look back on, and again, it's just great to be back.

Q. You said that you had been somewhat distracted this season by things on the course, why the you still managed to win three times. How do you handle the distractions? How have you handled that this season?
LORENA OCHOA: That's what I'm trying to do. It's been a really good year in many ways, sometimes difficult on the golf course, but I think overall, I'm extremely happy and I'm trying just to get a good balance with my life inside and outside, and I'm doing good. Even the results, sometimes even the media or people just outside, it's a little bit tough, but it's been a great year. I'm just going to try to enjoy the next two weeks and get ready for the wedding.

Q. But has it been as good as the past two years?
LORENA OCHOA: For me, personally, it's been a better year. If you are talking about the results on the golf course, for sure, it's not the best year for me.
But I think what is important is that I'm happy. That's what I always try to accomplish. Personally is more important than things that I do, outside the golf course, and that's my main focus right now.

Q. Angela, can you give us an update on your mom, and because of what happened, are you planning to become involved in the battle to prevent breast cancer?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, first after, she's doing great. She had her last chemo treatment October 30. Surgery is set for December 1. So I think we have some momentum now and she's excited about getting through it. She's doing great.
I've always wondered, okay, people raise money, but there's still breast cancer. But I think the thing I've realized in the whole process is you're raising money to learn about new medicines and how to make it easier on the patients, and that's the thing that I've noticed with my mom. The medicine is so advanced now that it's made it a lot easier for her.
So anything I can do to help with -- you know, for me, I would like to be on the family side of it, you know, because I know the family goes through quite a bit. So anything I can do to raise awareness and to help the families deal with it, that's what I would want to do, get involved.

Q. How do you feel with your game right now after being in this situation?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I think it's been a very tough year, because as much as you try not to let off the course stuff creep in to your golf game, it does. But I think there is a little bit there that I didn't handle very well, but just the fact that I know she's going to be okay, that made it a lot better.
I think my game, fortunately, I was at a point where I felt good about things and I understood what was going on on my golf game and that made it easier to deal with the emotions.

Q. Can you talk about being only four points behind Jiyai Shin in the Player of the Year race, you've won that three years that row and you have an opportunity to win it a fourth time.
LORENA OCHOA: Yes, it's been a year with a little bit more of up and downs. The great thing is that I have the opportunity to be the Player of the Year again. It's going to be tough. I think the competition is really tough. It's not only me but there are so many good players and the points this week and next week are crucial.
So I'm going to try to do my best. I'm going to enjoy the moment and I'm going to try to play one day at a time and not worry too much about that and just to play my own golf. I believe that I can do it and I'm going to enjoy it, every moment, it's nice to be home, being part of that process, it's nice to be home to get that support.

Q. How important is it for women's golf to have a star player the way Tiger Woods is the clear, dominant player for the men's game? How important is it for the women's game to have that kind of player, and do you feel like you're the player?
LORENA OCHOA: In México or in the world?

Q. No, in the world, the women's game, the image for the women's game to have a high-profile player; how important is it?
LORENA OCHOA: Well, like I always do, I try to do the best in promoting the game and getting more people in golf, not only in México but all over the world. It's not only my place to do that; I think all of the professionals in all parts of the world, we have the responsibility to do that and just create more fans, and especially for juniors, so they can become professionals in the future.
I am just trying to do my little part. It's nice that people see and you recognize you and admire you. That's why I'm always trying to have a good career so they can try to get -- if you're a girl, to get to the LPGA, because it's something that I wish for everybody, it's very special, very fortunate for us to do what we love to do.
Especially in México, it's very nice to see the change and I'm sure it's going in the right direction.

Q. As another player, can you tell if Lorena is distracted or not or focused?
ANGELA STANFORD: I would say a little more focused. You know, I think everybody saw it with Annika, and you see it with No. 1 players in the world. There's a lot more demands of their time, and you're trying to plan, also, something very personal in your life.
So I can't imagine. I can't imagine planning a wedding and then also being the No. 1 player in the world and carrying that with you. So I would say she's more focused. But I think she has to be.

Q. More focused on the golf or on things?
ANGELA STANFORD: I think just in general. When she's here at the golf course, he she has to be completely focused on golf. And then when she's away, she probably needs to be really focused on that. So I'm sure it's got to be a lot more difficult.

Q. You said it before, your situation, you find it a little unfocused, difficult to keep your mind in the game even when you're trying to?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, I feel like I've probably had the opposite. She's focusing on something very exciting and happy and mine has been the other end of the spectrum, where there's just a lot of wondering and a lot of worry, and so in that respect, I understand what she's going through, because there's a lot on your mind and it's hard to shut that off when you're trying to do your job.

Q. How difficult would it be for somebody like her to step into Annika's footsteps, who dominated for a decade?
ANGELA STANFORD: It all depends. It all depends on her desire and what she wants to accomplish in the game, and that's her. That's her personal choice. I told her a long time ago before she was No. 1, she would be a great No. 1 player for us and she would be a great ambassador. She's an awesome person. So it's just up to her, and then it's up to the rest of the Tour to try to knock her off. (Laughing).

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