Ochoa confirms retirement
Women’s world number one Lorena Ochoa has confirmed she is to retire from the game after the Tres Marias Championships.
Women’s world number one Lorena Ochoa confirmed on Friday she is to retire from the game after next week’s Tres Marias Championships in her native Mexico.
Making her plans official at a press conference in Mexico City on the third anniversary of her ascent to the number one position on the Rolex Rankings, the 28-year-old from Guadalajara said it was the right moment to walk away from professional golf after eight years on the LPGA Tour.
In that time, Ochoa earned almost $15 million (£9.76million) in prize money, winning 27 times including two major championships.
Her major breakthrough came with victory at the 2007 Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews, four months after succeeding Annika Sorenstam at the top of the rankings and she went on to win the 2008 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The Mexican said she would still compete annually each November at the LPGA Tour’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara but having only entered four tournaments this season following her December marriage to AeroMexico chief executive Andres Conesa, the golfer said she was bowing out the way she wanted.
“This is a very special day, full of happiness,” Ochoa said.
“There are so many things that I will miss and this has not been an easy decision to make. But this is my moment and I dreamed of it this way.
“I am leaving the LPGA Tour as the top player, number one in the Rolex Rankings, so I am proud of myself and satisfied.
“I would like to thank so many people who have been by my side all these years, most of all my LPGA partners who welcomed me from my very first day on the tour.
“When I started to play golf 23 years ago, I had the dream to become the best player in the world, to win many tournaments and this is why now is the best time to leave, full of great memories that I am going to share with my family for the rest of my life.”
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan paid tribute to Ochoa’s contribution to the women’s game.
“Sixty years ago, the founders of this resilient, wonderful association were committed to leaving the LPGA better than when they started, and that’s what Lorena Ochoa is doing today,” Whan said.
“For nearly a decade, including when she first played as a professional on the LPGA’s Developmental Tour, Lorena has represented the very best of the LPGA, both on and off the course.
“She did more than regularly win golf tournaments; she fully embraced her role as global ambassador for the sport, raising its stature not only in her beloved home country but around the world. Lorena has championed education for children and raised standards of support for her sponsors.
“She has lifted this sport and the LPGA, and I’m confident that she will continue to do so even as she transitions into the next phase of her life.”
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