Ochoa: I quit at the right time

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Five months after stepping away to start a family, Lorena Ochoa says she has no regrets about quitting the LPGA Tour.

Five months after stepping away to start a family, former world number one Lorena Ochoa says she has no regrets about quitting the LPGA Tour.

But she has also refused to rule out a return to the professional game in the future.

The Mexican sporting icon, who had topped the Rolex Women’s World Ranking list for three straight years when she opted out, believes she made the “right decision at the right time”.

“I’m not thinking right now of next year. They ask me all the time if I will play again,” she said.

“I don’t think I will ever play full-time again, but, for sure I would love to be back, maybe play a (Kraft) Nabisco (Championship) or Evian (Masters) or the British Open. I think I will play some tournaments in the future.”

Ochoa was in China on Wednesday, speaking to reporters ahead of the Mission Hills Star Trophy pro-celebrity tournament which started in Haikou, southern China today.

Ochoa is among a glittering field of world famous celebrities and golf professionals who this week will be chasing a purse of $1.28m at the inaugural Mission Hills Star Trophy pro-celebrity tournament in Haikou, southern China.

Celebrities in the field include actors Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hugh Grant, Christian Slater and Matthew McConaughey and Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps with Ochoa, Annika Sorrenstam, the great Swedish golfer she succeeded as World No 1, and Korean star Se Ri Pak among a high profile group of pro golfers that also include veterans Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, and Greg Norman along with rising young stars liken Ryuji Imada and Danny Lee

Ochoa, a four-time LPGA player of the year, who notched up 27 career wins including two majors in her relatively short career, said since leaving the tour at the age of 28 she had been able to enjoy golf without feeling pressure.

“For sure I miss (it), I would be lying if I said no, but I am also super happy. Every day it’s more clear to me I made the right decision at the right time,” she said with conviction.
“I achieved what I wanted to achieve and I wanted to retire as number one in the world.

“It was just the right thing to do for me. I knew I didn’t want to play forever – I wanted to play for a few years and then move on and do different things.”

The event ends on Sunday.

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