Lorena Ochoa has qualified on points for the LPGA Hall of Fame, but she needs 10 seasons as an active player to be eligible for induction.
This is the start of her eighth season.
Ochoa’s management team has confirmed that she will retire in an announcement Friday. Even if she plays out the entire 2010 season, Ochoa won’t be eligible for induction as an active player. However, that doesn’t mean she won’t end up in the Hall of Fame. There's another avenue.
Ochoa can be elected to the Hall of Fame through the veterans committee five years after she becomes inactive as a player. It takes a two-thirds vote of the 12-member veterans committee to nominate a player. To be inducted, that player must then receive a 75 percent vote of approval from the LPGA membership (who respond by ballot).
While provisions for active members specifically state players 'must' be active for 10 years, the provisions for members nominated by the Veterans committee only state that they 'should' be members for 10 years but do not require so.
With 27 LPGA victories, two of them majors, and four Vare and four Rolex Player of the Year trophies, Ochoa has earned 37 Hall of Fame points, 10 more than required for eligibility.
Given Ochoa’s immense popularity among LPGA members, it seems certain she will win Hall of Fame membership via the veterans committee should she not put in 10 years of service.