Ochoa’s resting while it’s raining

Rain gathers on the ninth fairway Saturday at the Houstonian G&CC in Richmond, Texas.

RICHMOND, Texas – While the excessive rain delays at the LPGA Tour Championship don’t bode well for fans and tournaments organizers, Lorena Ochoa welcomed the time to relax. There’s a lot at stake this week for the tour’s best players, and they’re getting even more downtime Saturday morning as course conditions continue to delay play.

Officials awoke to a course that was virtually underwater this morning. Head rules official Doug Brecht said the third fairway had turned into a lake and play was eventually postponed again for the day, cutting the tournament to 54 holes. Officials say they hope to resume Sunday morning at 8 o’clock local time.

Ochoa, exhausted from a non-stop week in Guadalajara, unwound with her mother and friends Friday as her second round was delayed.

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Jiyai Shin wrestles Lorena Ochoa for the Player of the Year trophy at the 2009 Rolex LPGA Awards Reception Nov. 20.

Jiyai Shin spent time at the range before leaving early to get her hair and make-up done for the Rolex Awards Reception Friday night. With the Rolex Player of the Year still up for grabs, both Ochoa and Shin were on hand to take pictures with the trophy. Cristie Kerr needs to win this week to overtake the pair. She did not attend the banquet.

While the Player of the Year race is undecided, Shin handily won the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year race and delivered an inspiring speech.

Shin paid tribute to LPGA founders, saying the financial troubles the tour now faces are nothing compared to what players like Suggs endured. She dedicated the evening to her mother, who died in 2003 from injuries sustained in a car crash.

“Some of us play for quiet, shy girls with little glasses who have a song in their hearts,” Shin said. “To those girls I say, ‘Do not be afraid. Dream big.’ ”

She then walked down from the stage and gave Suggs a heartfelt thank you.

Pure class.

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