Date: December 27, 2006
Author: Sportal

Ochoa named best

Lorena Ochoa has been named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, completing a clean sweep of the awards by the world&aposs golfers. Ochoa and Tiger Woods, who won the male athlete award, dominated the golfing world this year, winning fourteen titles between them. The 24-year-old polled 220 votes, double that of second-placed tennis player Amelie Mauresmo, who won two of the four grand slam tournaments. Mauresmo&aposs colleague Maria Sharapova tied with basketballer Lisa Leslie for third place while Justin Henin-Hardenne and Winter Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter rounded out the top five. The award capped an outstanding rise to the top by Ochoa, who won six LPGA titles throughout the year, overtaking Annika Sorenstam&aposs reign as the world&aposs best female golfer. Ochoa&aposs victory in front of her home crowd in Mexico mid-year sent her to the top of the LPGA Player of the Year award and she never looked back. In her biggest win for the year Ochoa overcame a three-shot deficit in the final round of the Samsung World Championship to haul in leader Sorenstam and win by two shots. The victory by two golfers of the female and male athlete awards was the first time since 1993 that the winners of both awards have come from the same sport.