Lorena Ochoa—who quite possibly had the best season of any professional golfer last year—has said that her goals are to get to number one; to play ten years; and then to quit.
“There are things that make me a little sad, but I accept them because I have to make a sacrifice to go far,” Ochoa said in an interview with The Associated Press. “For that reason, I don’t want to play for more than 10 years in the LPGA, I would like to be a more normal person, to have a family, that God gives me the opportunity to have kids.”
That’s quite a statement. She’s been on the Tour since 2002, so if we take her literally, that means that she has just five years of playing time left.
I wonder, however, if it’s not just a little fatigue speaking. The twenty five year old won six times last year to capture the money title, the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average and LPGA Tour player of the year. She also was voted AP Female Athlete of the Year, and was awarded a national medal from the government of Mexico, her home country.
That’s enough to wear practically anyone down. If she really decides to quit in a couple of years, then more power to her. But with someone as obviously competitive as she is, I have a hard time believing she’ll quit. On the other hand, I would much rather see an athlete quit at the peak of his or her powers than soldier on thorugh one embarassing performance after another. (i.e. Barry Sanders and Jim Brown v Emmit Smith).
The exception, of course, is Arnold Palmer. I’d pay to see him shoot 100.