by Jeff Skinner
The news that Lorena Ochoa will announce the details of her impending retirement on Friday has to shock many in the LPGA family. Ochoa has been the best player on tour since the retirement of Annika Sorestam but she has meant much more to the LPGA Tour.
Ochoa was the international player that appealed to everyone. She had as many fans in the US as she had in her home of Mexico. Her 27 wins, two majors and four Player of the Year awards made her a dominant force on tour but it was her personality and generosity that made her an extraordinary asset to the LPGA. She was a beacon of civility and thoughtfulness and one of the kindest players in all of sport. She always accommodated the fans, the media and the sponsors no matter what the request.
Her personal life has changed greatly recently as she has married, become a step mother and moved from her lifelong home to be with her new family. It may be that Ochoa needs time to acclimate to all the changes that hit her all at once. She has stated before that golf wasn’t the biggest thing in her life. It’s her family and faith and her charities that give her fulfillment.
Maybe after the stress of adjusting to her new life settles down and she has started her own family as she has said she plans to, the competitive juices will kick in again and she may try a comeback. Twenty–eight seems awful young to retire from a sport you play so well but if you’re not happy doing it then walking away is the right thing to do.
Lorena Ochoa will be missed by the tour and the fans but she has her priories in the right place. Your family and their happiness should be at the top of the list and for Ochoa it certainly is. She has been a special person on the tour for years and this decision shows just how special she is.