Responding to media reports of Ochoa's impending retirment, The Ochoa Group issued a statement today saying that Ochoa "has confirmed her retirement from the LPGA." The LPGA Tour also confirmed to the Golf Channel that Ochoa is retiring.
The news certainly comes as a shocker in one respect - very rarely do athletes in any sport retire when they are in their prime years. But expectations of an early retirement by Ochoa have been commonplace among her peers on the LPGA Tour. Multiple other LPGA Tour stars have predicted that Ochoa would retire in her early 30s. She turns 29 this year.
In her recently published book, Christina Kim wrote of Ochoa, "Lorena is like a comet passing by - you better enjoy her now, because she will be gone before you know it."
Ochoa got married at the end of 2009, acquiring three step-children in the process. She has talked about wanting to have children of her own, and she is known to be deeply committed to helping children in Mexico through various charitable efforts.
Ochoa has also been visibly upset on the golf course far more lately than we've ever seen her before. She's clearly been frustrated with her game over the past 18 months or so. Ochoa dominated the LPGA in 2006-2008, winning 21 times in those three years. In 2009, she fell off to "only" three wins. So far in 2010 she has just one Top 10 finish in four starts.
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For more coverage, see Lorena Ochoa Retirement