Lorena Ochoa just knew her first major victory would be at the home of golf.
After a one-over 74 completed a runaway four-stroke triumph in the Women's British Open on Sunday, the top-ranked Mexican hugged her caddie, was splashed with champagne by her father and then paused to realize what she'd done.
"It's a long way, 24 majors, and finally I have this [trophy] here and I think it's for a reason and I couldn't be more happy," she said. "I believed I would win this tournament on Monday, when I started practicing."
"I wanted to win this tournament so bad. Everything I did, my thoughts [before the tournament] were very positive and very clear to me. I saw myself on the 18th green, lifting the trophy. It was clear, it was great and even better now that we did it," she said.
Ochoa, who tied for second at the US Women's Open a month ago, had been banging on the door of a major victory for a while. This was also her fourth victory of the year to go with the six she collected last year.
Ochoa, who passed US$2 million in earnings this year, made history on all sorts of fronts. She won the first women's professional tournament to be staged at St. Andrews, home of the exclusively male Royal and Ancient Club. And she became the first player to win her first major at St. Andrews since Tony Lema's triumph in the men's British Open in 1964.