Jim Furyk, Lorena Ochoa recognized for their generosityby Christopher C. Wuensch on Oct. 22, 2010, under Sports
ARIZONA WILDCAT SPORTS SHORTS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
Jim Furyk’s wallet didn’t literally split its stitches in late September, when the 40-year-old golfer snatched the PGA Tour Championships’ $10 million (presumably ruby-encrusted) purse.
But it’s fun to imagine a Costanza-sized wallet bursting with large bills, instead of Irish money or coupons for an Orlando-area Exxon station — even though it would be plausible in Furyk’s case.
The Ponte Vedra, Fla., resident recently earned some major euros, pounds and/or dollars playing for Team USA in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales.
But, where George was famously frugal, Furyk alliterates nicely with philanthropy.
The former University of Arizona Wildcat opened his wallet recently and out fell a generous donation of $25,000 to his alma mater.
His generosity is part of a PGA Tour charity program that’s fueled by $200,000 donations from each Ryder Cup player and coach. This year they’ll donate close to $2.6 million to various organizations of the team’s choosing.
Furyk has earmarked funds for Arizona after all seven of his Ryder Cup and after both his President’s Cup appearances.
Despite their generosity, Team USA fell just short of beating Team Europe in the Ryder Cup.
People often ask Lorena Ochoa when is the next golf tournament she’s playing?
The Arizona Wildcat alum and former No. 1-ranked woman in the world always answers the same:
The difference these days is, instead of fending off all-comers in the LPGA, Ochoa is playing for her own philanthropic causes.
The United States Golf Association took notice and awarded the 28 year old with its highest honor, the 2011 Bob Jones Award.
Ochoa is the 56th recipient of the annual award given to those the USGA feels demonstrates a distinguished level of sportsmanship.
Though retired as of this summer, Ochoa certainly isn’t sitting at home on the couch.
“Every time I travel and do a tournament, the funds go into my foundation,” Ochoa said via the USGA official press release. “And I’m writing a book. It’s an exciting time and I’m very happy.”
Ochoa’s foundation has helped hundreds of underprivileged Mexican school children throughout her home country.
We’ll let the USGA wrap up her short, yet dominant, career:
At the University of Arizona she was the NCAA Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. In her sophomore year she set an NCAA record by winning her first seven tournaments and eight of the 10 events she entered. Twice she set single-season NCAA scoring records, compiling a stroke average of 71.33 in her freshman year and beating her own record as a sophomore with 70.13.
In 2001, Ochoa became the youngest person and first golfer to receive Mexico’s highest sporting accolade, the National Sports Award. She left college to turn professional in 2002 and was the Player of the Year and leading money winner on the Duramed Futures Tour in 2002.
On the LPGA Tour, her career took off as she earned the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award in 2003. She became the first Mexican-born winner on the LPGA Tour in 2004.
Ochoa vaulted to the top of the money list in 2006, also taking Player of the Year and Vare Trophy (scoring average) honors. The Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Year in 2006 and she won the National Sports Award for the second time.
In 2007, she won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in the first women’s professional tournament conducted on the Old Course at St. Andrews. She was the LPGA Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy winner for four consecutive seasons from 2006-2009.
Ochoa will receive the award at the USGA’s annual meeting on Feb. 5 in Phoenix.
T.O. PAC-10 POTW
The PAC-10 named Tiffany Owens its volleyball player of the week for Oct. 4-10. The Arizona outside hitter brutalized the Ducks and Beavers with a combined 55 kills and 46 digs in consecutive road wins over No. 13 Oregon and Oregon State. Owens is the first Wildcat to win the award this season.
Wildcats Set a Cross Country First, Finish Second at Pre-Nationals
Arizona set a cross country program first on Oct. 16 when the women’s team finished runner-up in their section of the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational.
Second to only No. 3 Florida State, the finish is the highest-ever pre-national finish for any UA cross country squad, men or women.
The success bodes well for the No. 6 Wildcats, who now await the PAC-10 championships on Oct. 30 in Seattle.
Arizona returns to Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 22 for the National Championships.
Wildcat Swim Team Awash in Awards
It’s been quite a run lately for the Arizona swim program. First on Monday, Justine Schluntz was awarded the NCAA’s Woman of the Year honor.
In late September, Arizona Aquatic Director Russell Bertam received the annual Phil Boggs Award for: Those who have achieved individual excellence in diving and have given back a part of themselves to assure the sport’s continuation and success.
According to ArizonaWildcats.com:
Bertram, who won five national titles during his competitive days, was instrumental in the success of three major championships hosted on the Arizona campus in 2010 – the FINA World Junior Diving Championships, the USA Diving Junior National Championships and the USA Diving Age Group National Championships.
Bertram served as a judge at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving and was a team administrator for USA Diving during the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
Boggs was a gold-medal-winning diver at the 1976 Olympics and first swimmer to earn three world championships before lymphoma claimed his life in 1990 at age 40.