Golf: Scot nets $200,000 prize with Lorena Ochoa win

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NORTH BERWICK’S Catriona Matthew celebrated her stunning success in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico with a much-needed margarita.

The 42-year-old admitted she needed the local tipple after a dramatic final round in which she earned a $200,000 pay-day at Guadalajara Country Club.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said the Scot of her win. “I’m also exhausted after having to hang in over the last few holes but I’m sure I will pick up after a margarita.”

Three ahead at the start of the day, Matthew stretched her advantage to eight shots after racing to the turn in four-under 32 in the $1 million event.

She eventually claimed the fourth LPGA Tour success of her career by four shots but only after seeing her lead trimmed to just three with three holes to play.

“I think in a way it’s just that much more difficult when you’ve got such a big lead,” said the Archerfield Links player.

“I didn’t know whether to keep trying to go for birdies or just play for pars and see if they make birdies and, in the end, I kind of did neither and just kind of messed up a couple of holes.

“But, luckily, I had a big lead. In a way it’s more difficult when you’ve got a big lead because you know it heats up at the turn and, if you lose that, it’s not very good, so it’s more pressure.”

Matthew, who won comfortably in the end from Swede Anna Nordqvist and defending champion IK Kim from South Korea, closed with a one-under 71 for a 12-under total of 276.

It was her second success of the year after turning the Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield Links into a procession in August.

She’s up to 15th on the 2011 LPGA Tour money-list with earnings of $682,217.

And, on the career money-list, the former British Women’s Open champion, is now lying 19th with just over $6,720,000.

Matthew, who usually has husband Graeme caddying for her, was on her own in Mexico on this occasion.

As Graeme stayed behind in East Lothian to look after their two daughters, Katie and Sophie, Matthew hired an old friend from the PGA Tour as her caddie.

“In a way it makes me try to concentrate and focus harder because I’m away from family so I try and make the most of it,” she said.

“They travel (her family) maybe 60 per cent of the time with us. They have a good daycare system in the States so that works out well.

“It’s difficult when you’re away but I’m going to be home for two months so back to being a normal mum. But it’s a bonus Christmas present now [for the girls].”

Matthew revealed her husband probably missed seeing her latest triumph on TV as he was flying to Orlando to resume his bag-carrying duties for this week’s CME Group Titleholders event.

“He caddied for me last week [in Japan], so he knew I was playing well,” added the Solheim Cup star.

Former World No.1 Ochoa, who is now retired from top-level Tour golf, was staging her charity event for the fourth year.

“That makes it so much more special,” said Matthew of her win. “Lorena is doing such good work with her foundation.

“You come and you think I’m not doing enough when you see all the things she does, so to have won her tournament is a special moment for me.”