Lorena Ochoa Retirement
Yesterday’s announcement that Lorena Ochoa, easily the most dominant player on the women’s golf circuit, has retired at the ripe old age of 28 has taken the sports world (or, at least, the tiny subsection of it that care’s about women’s golf) by surprise.
OTB Sports‘ Bill Jempty calls it “a stunner because of its timing. She needs to play the LPGA till 2012 to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Her points total already qualifies her, but a player must play the tour for 10 years also and Ochoa was a rookie in 2003.”
It’s an interesting development but hardly shocking.
Unlike top male golfers, women have to choose between children and their careers. While Ochoa would presumably still be perfectly fertile in 2012 — she’d only be 30 — the clock is ticking if she wants to have multiple children. And pregnancy rather interferes with one’s golf swing.
Her decision was, presumably, made somewhat easier by the fact that she’s married to Dr. Andres Conesca, the CEO of Aeromexico airline. One imagines that their ability to pay the bills won’t be severely impacted.
My strong guess is that, like Nancy Lopez and other great women’s golfers before her, Ochoa will make a comeback in her mid-to-late 30’s and become productive again.