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The Ochoa Legacy

Lorena Ochoa’s retirement from competitive golf at the age of 28, has shocked the golf world.

Lorena Ochoa is so completely different from today’s modern athlete. She is genuinely nice, rather than being nice to people that she needs to be nice to. Instead of saying the “right” things (see; politically correct) she actually lives and behaves just as you see her. When giving an interview she looks the interviewer in the eye and when signing an autograph she engages with the person she is signing for.

Ochoa burst into our consciousness as a two-time NCAA Player of the Year at the University of Arizona ten years ago. After turning professional in 2002, her rise to top of women’s professional golf was meteoritic. Over the next eight years, Ochoa won 27 LPGA Tour titles including two Major Championships. She won four, Rolex Player of the Year titles and four Vare trophies (the lowest scoring average over the course of a year).

After taking over the #1 player in the world ranking from Annika Sorenstam on April 23, 2007, Ochoa would maintain that top ranking for 157 consecutive weeks, until today.  Throughout her career, she played the greatest game, with grace, dignity and humility.

Ochoa also dazzled us with a brilliant smile, a sincere warmth and a spirit that would light up any room. She always said that family was the most important thing in her life and that she would one day retire. For once, you can actually believe what you are hearing.

Ochoa married Andres Conesa in December of 2009. Conesa is the father of three children and the couple plan to have more children together.

In a tournament in Thailand in February of this year, Ochoa knew that the time had come for her to retire. In her words: “It was clear to see that I didn’t want to be out there. I was thinking of other things. I wanted to get home. I wanted to start working on the foundation (she is actively involved with several charitable foundations). I wanted to he here (Mexico) close to my family”.

In her retirement announcement, Ochoa went on to say: “I’m simply making the decision today because this is the right time. This is the perfect time. I’ve always said that I wanted to leave at No. 1. I’m really happy. I’ve never been this happy. I’m ready to lead my life in a different way.”

You can believe every word that she says.

We have not seen the last of this remarkable young lady for she will surely continue to shine her dazzling light in everything that she becomes devoted to.

First amongst those will always be her family for which she should be celebrated but we imagine that hers will turn out to be a life filled with glorious accomplishments. Most of which will have been for the human race rather than the race for #1.