The first decade of LOY
This 2017 CITIBANAMEX LORENA OCHOA MATCH PLAY PRESENTED BY AEROMEXICO AND DELTA celebrates its first decade. Consolidating itself as the greatest professional golf tournament in Latin America, and it also remains as the only Mexican tournament in the LPGA tour with uninterrupted editions since 2008.
Special celebrations for LOY’s anniversary, as fans named the tournament, were speculated since last year but it was not until November 30, 2016 that it became official, the 10th edition would be Match Play, making it the only tournament in the LPGA to play under this format since 2012.
Apart from increasing the purse by 200 thousand dollars, the tournament also doubled the number of players, from 32 to 64. And if this was not enough, to crown its tenth anniversary the tournament welcomes back Lorena Ochoa to the field on the Hall of Famers Celebration, an unforeseen event that will gather 4 golf legends held on May 6 – 7 at Club de Golf Mexico. Lorena will compete, for the first time since 2012 against Anika Sörenstam (Switzerland), Se-ri Pak (South Korea) and Juli Inkster (USA).
From Invitational to Match Play
From 2007 to 2016 the tournament maintained its status as an invitational, where only the best 32 players in the world, under three different criteria, were selected. The tournament took place almost by the end of the LPGA calendar so that only the players with the best performance through the year were the protagonists. The “stroke play” with no cut format allowed us to watch all 32 players through the 4 day rounds. On the last 9 editions we witnessed grueling rounds, like on the first edition where Annika Sörenstam lost by one stroke to the determined Angela Stanford who crowned herself as the first champion of the tournament. Another remarkable final was the one seen in 2014, the tournament’s first edition in the new course in Mexico City, where Christina Ki and Shanshan Feng almost gave the crowd a heart attack, without a doubt one of the most touching finals LOY has seen so far.
Starting this year, LOY will be even more exciting, the Match Play (direct elimination) will force the players to approach the field in a different way, to shows us a more aggressive game, to risk everything form the first drive. The qualifying criteria for the 64 players in the field and the expectation that the tournament has built by inviting the best players in the world is a perfect mix between experience and youth.