In a surprise move that has caught the world of woman’s golf off guard, Lorena Ochoa will hang up her spikes and put the clubs away. The move is thought as a temporary retirement so she can start a family with husband Andres Conesa. The two were married on December 4, 2009. Conesa is chairman of Aeromexico, one of Ochoa’s sponsors and Mexico’s biggest airline.
As you may recall, Annika Sorenstam also ended her career in a similar fashion last season a few short weeks before getting married. Perhaps Sorenstam’s plan to leave golf to start a family served as a model for Ochoa’s decision. There is no word on whether Lorena plans to return to competitive golf any time soon, and no official statement has been made. A Press conference is scheduled for Friday April 23 where she plans to explain her decision.
Lorena started the 2010 season with mixed results and never seemed to be on her game. The pressure of being the number one player in the world and being the spotlight player on a tour that needs it’s stars to shine is sure to add lots of pressure. Not only that, but having to fill the shoes of Annika as the game’s ambassador is no small responsibility.
It’s hard not to like Lorena Ochoa and this may hurt the LPGA Tour in the short term, but I think with new commish Michael Whan at the helm the long term outlook for the LPGA is pretty good. If ever there was an opportunity for the next young star to step up, this is it. It should be interesting to see who takes over at the top of the Woman’s game!
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