I'm still floored by the news of Lorena Ochoa's intended retirement from professional golf. Although I plan to reserve judgment until we all hear directly from her this Friday, I do have one original thought to share. I'm absolutely confident Lorena will be back. Going against the grain of most of what I've been reading, it seems to me that she's dealing more with burnout than anything else.
To me, the most relevant comparisons here are Se Ri Pak and Grace Park rather than Annika Sorenstam or Juli Inkster. Yes, family and (step-)motherhood are crucial factors for Lorena, unlike Se Ri and Grace, but to me they sound more like contributing than causal ones. Remember what the pressure of shouldering an entire nation's ever-increasing expectations week in and week out did to Se Ri? What if she had taken a long vacation or two instead of suffering through her lost seasons? If Lorena feels that her game and motivation are slipping away in the face of other commitments, then she's making the right call to step away from competitive golf for as long as she needs to.
Mark my words, she'll be back, better than ever.