IN HER FRIDAY PRESS conference on the topic of her retirement, Lorena Ochoa was asked what she would miss the most about tournament golf. I’ve turned her answer into a list:
1. The whole package.
2. Good times and bad times. (“I think I have no bad memories.”)
3. My friends, the players.
4. Seeing them [the players] at the golf course.
5. Watching them hit balls at the range.
6. Everything all set up (the bleachers, perfect greens).
7. Practicing on a Monday or Tuesday when the course is quiet in the afternoon.
8. So many things.
9. My suitcase.
From reading the transcript, though, Lorena left zero doubt that she is entirely comfortable with leaving the game in her prime as the world No. 1 female golfer.
“I always say when you’re a professional athlete, there is a day when you start, and there’s always going to be a day when you finish,” Lorena said, “and this is the perfect time for me. I’m very relaxed in a way, that this has gone the way I want it to with my beliefs and my reasons.”
Lorena’s happy day is a sad day for golf and golf fans. Brian Hewitt at Global Golf Post wrote, “She was ours to enjoy, as a competitor and a person, during her eight years on the biggest stage in women’s golf. Now her family and friends are getting her back.” Here’s the digital magazine’s “Adios” cover of Lorena with teary eyes.
Forgive my sentimentality and pass the Kleenex. I’ll get through this … I hope.
−The Armchair Golfer
(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)