Lexi Thompson to retire from full-time golf

Lexi Thompson

After a more than 15-year career, Lexi Thompson is retiring from competing full-time in golf at the end of the 2024 season.

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Thompson, according to ESPN, is one of the biggest stars in the LPGA and a “onetime child prodigy,” who started her career at the age of 12 and was the youngest golfer to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open.

The LPGA called her “a wunderkind that adults and kids alike gravitated towards.”

At the age of 14, she competed in the major in 2009 before turning pro in 2010. The next year she had her first of 11 LPGA wins at the Navistar LPGA Classic. She had her only major championship win at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

Thompson announced her unexpected retirement on social media, saying “I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life. Time with family, friends and my trusted companion Leo. I will always look for ways to contribute to the sport and inspire the next generation of golfers. And of course, I look forward to a little time for myself.”

Thompson also became one of only seven women to ever play on the PGA tour against men, the LPGA reported. She almost made the cut for the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas. It wasn’t making the tournament that was her only goal, however.

“It’s been something I grew up doing with my brothers and have wanted to do, but to also send a message out to the Shriners kids that no dream is too small, and they can go after what they want and follow their dreams,” she said before the event. “If I can leave here inspiring others, and especially the kids, the Shriners kids, that’s what it’s all about and what this tournament is. There is more than just playing golf.”

She also talked about the pressure of playing the pro sport.

“Being out here can be a lot,” she said Tuesday while battling tears. “It can be lonely. Sorry if I get emotional. I said I wasn’t going to.” She also addressed the pressures she and others face in her social media video.

“I just think, especially with what’s happened in golf, as of recently, too, a lot of people don’t realize what we go through as a professional athlete,” Thompson said during a news conference, Golf magazine reported. “I’ll be the last one to say, ‘throw me a pity party.; That’s the last thing I want. We’re doing what we love. We’re trying the best every single day. You know, we’re not perfect. We’re humans. Words hurt. It’s hard to overcome sometimes.”

She has had to take breaks due to mental health and according to the publication, “the back-nine collapses at the ‘21 U.S. Open at Olympic and the ‘22 Women’s PGA.”

Thompson’s last event will be the Solheim Cup in September, Golf magazine reported.

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