Lorena Ochoa retirement rocks the golf world … again

Lorena Ochoa

Lorena Ochoa image from Flickr.

The Lorena Ochoa retirement at age 28 rocked the world of golf on Tuesday. This marks the second time in three years that Ochoa, currently No. 1 in Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) world rankings, has decided to leave LPGA pay day cash behind. Ochoa has been No. 1 in the world since her first retirement announcement and has 27 tour victories since she took the LPGA by storm in 2004. As the first Mexican golfer, man or woman, to be ranked No. 1 in the world, most consider her to be the best Mexican golfer of all time.

Lorena Ochoa retirement details on Friday

The Lorena Ochoa retirement was announced on her website. She declined to discuss details until a news conference on Friday. The LPGA is also withholding comments until then. The statement said:

“Lorena Ochoa confirms her retirement from the LPGA, as news reports in some media have said today,” her statement said. “The reasons and more details on the matter will be given by Lorena personally in a press conference on Friday in Mexico City. Lorena will share this news of a new stage in her life with her sponsors, family members and friends.”

Will Lorena Ochoa play again?

Lorena Ochoa is scheduled to play next week in the Tres Marias event in Morelia, west of Mexico City. Until Friday’s news conference, nobody knows if she will play there, or if the Kraft Nabisco Championship later this month in California, where she finished fourth in the year’s first major, will be Lorena Ochoa’s final tournament appearance.

Lorena Ochoa overtakes Annika Sorenstam

Lorena Ochoa arrived on the LPGA scene and started winning instant cash in 2004. Lorena Ochoa won six tournaments in 2006 and rose to number one, seizing the mantle from Annika Sorenstam as the dominant player on the LPGA tour. Sorenstam was the longtime face of the LPGA Tour, winning a career Grand Slam, becoming the only woman to shoot 59 and the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour. Sorenstam was 37 when she announced her retirement in May 2008, saying she wanted to pursue other interests and start a family.

Lorena Ochoa clearly has other plans

In 2006, 2007 and 2008, Ochoa won 21 tournaments, but last season she won only three times– results considered exceptional for most golfers, but not her. Ochoa won her fourth consecutive LPGA Tour player of the year award in 2009. She’s making money now, but has only played in four events this year, with no victories and one top 10 finish. Recently she has talked openly about wanting to have children. Ochoa was married in December to Andres Conesa, the chief executive of Aeromexico airline. Last year she began traveling more, playing less and had more off-course obligations, which include her charity foundation.

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