Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mark My Words, Lorena Will Be Back

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.


Hound Dog said...

I agree with you that she is much more likely to return than Sorenstam. She could sit out three years and still be only 31 when mounting her comeback. I disagree that she would be "better than ever" - she's got a tremendous record to surpass. Even if she kept on playing (and wasn't burned out as you reasonably suppose), I couldn't expect her to be better than she has been over the last four seasons. The layoff will have some negative effect that she would have to overcome. "As good as ever" or "Will pick up right where she left off" is what I would have said.

Not trying to nit-pick - I completely agree with your sentiments.

The Florida Masochist said...


Will Ochoa play the LPGA after 2010?


Will she ever return to full-time play?

I don't think so.

Will she ever return to her Spring 2008 level of play? No

Those are my predictions

The Constructivist said...

I think she has it in her to do what Sorenstam did in her 30s. Maybe not so dominant compared to the competition, but back to sub-70 scoring averages, etc.