Lorena Ochoa Makes an Honest, Tearful Goodbye
By Stephanie Wei under General

Speaking from a press conference in Mexico City on Friday, Lorena Ochoa explained she’s walking away from professional golf to “start a new life” and “be a normal person.”

I just want to live like everyday things and be home, and be back with my family all the time that we lost in the last few years. I’m ready to move on. You know, once you achieve your goals and you are at the top, it was good to me. But there are so many other things that I’d like to do. I’m really happy today, and I’m pleased. I’m 100% complete.

It was an easy decision for her and wants to focus on charity and family, she added:

I just want to be honest with all of you. I went to Asia, and after two or three days of being in Thailand, it was really easy to me — it was really clear to see that I didn’t want to be out there, you know. I just was thinking of other things. I wanted to get home. I wanted to start working on the foundation. I wanted to be here close to my family.

Once you reach your goals, it’s really hard to find that motivation. You need to be brave to see that. Just to really listen to your heart and your feelings and be able to see that and make a decision.

Fortunately, it was so clear to me that I just came home and said, “that’s it.” I’m going to play a couple more tournaments. I’m going to play Morelia and this is the perfect time to finish my career. That’s why we are here today, and I’m really happy to say that everything just came together, and this is the perfect time. I’m at the top. I’m really happy in my life. I want to be remembered like that.

Although she’s not ruling out the possibility of returning to play a few events, it sounds like her retirement is permanent:

I’m going to leave the door open in case I want to come back in one or two years to play a U.S. Open or a Kraft Nabisco. If there is a tournament that I would like to go back, but right now, you know, that would be it – Morelia and Guadalajara.

Contrary to what some may believe, she’s not pregnant, but wants to start a family in a few years after spending some time with her husband, Andres Conesa, as a couple:

And I can go with him to his meetings or whatever he needs to attend. We can take vacations together you know sometimes and go to Guadalajara to visit the family. Just be normal for a couple of years, and then hopefully we can start a family afterwards.

She also offers some great advice to young players. Listen up!

I guess I’m afraid when the young players are 17 and 18 and they’re talking about playing professional golf. You know, maybe qualify your players so they find a balance in their life and they don’t want to play too young.

So I say stay in college, go to college, stay in college. Figure out what you want to do 100%, so by the time you play three or four years you don’t burn out and you can stay playing golf for longer.

No doubt Lorena is a class act, a fantastic ambassador for the game and will be dearly missed from professional golf. But she’s happy and that’s what’s most important. More thoughts on this later…