Golf loses a graceful star
Lorena full of grace. At a time when most headlines out of Mexico have been about violence, 28-year-old pro golfer Lorena Ochoa has offered a welcome alternate narrative of optimism and, of course, victory. Now, after four years as the No. 1 female golfer in the world, four times named the Ladies Professional Golf Assn. tour’s player of the year, she has decided to retire this week, at home in Mexico, following the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Michoacan.
Ochoa said she wanted to be No. 1 as long as she played but that she lacked the drive to remain the best. “I am leaving the LPGA tour as the top player, so I am proud of myself and satisfied,” she said with characteristic grace. Recently married, she told friends she wants to put family first. Undoubtedly many women will be disappointed that Ochoa did not feel she could have both a family and sports career, but they also should celebrate a woman who knows her mind and is fortunate to be able to choose.
Ochoa said she would proceed with foundation work, building schools in Mexico and encouraging children to learn to play golf, a game once reserved for the country’s elites. She said she wanted “to be remembered for the things outside the golf course.” She said this as five-time British Open winner Tom Watson told the Wall Street Journal why he is still playing golf at 60: “I realize I’m just a golfer.... And why would I want to do anything else?” Ochoa may decide to return to the game one day; she’s young enough to do so. Meanwhile, to each his — or her — own. They know who they are and what they want. “Life is too short,” Ochoa said. Amen.