Lexi Thompson retires from the golf at just 29

The golf world bids farewell to one of its most talented, dedicated, and admired professionals as Lexi Thompson, at just 29 years old, steps away from full-time golfing

by Andrea Gussoni
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Lexi Thompson retires from the golf at just 29
© Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Sport

The golf world bids farewell to one of its most talented, dedicated, and admired professionals as Lexi Thompson, at just 29 years old, steps away from full-time golfing. Her announcement, delivered with a mixture of sadness and tears, doesn't solely reflect the farewell itself, but rather the circumstances that led her to this decision.

Lexi Thompson, results

"We professionals do what we love. We live every day to the fullest," said Lexi at a press conference preceding the US Women’s Open in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "But we're not perfect. We're human.

Words hurt. Sometimes it's hard to overcome." There's a clear reference to the human drama of Grayson Murray, with Lexi citing her mental health as one of the factors behind her decision. She has always been candid about her struggles: in 2018, she took a year and a half hiatus from the golfing world, citing mental and emotional exhaustion after withdrawing from the Women’s British Open.

More recently, she admitted to not feeling "100% mentally healthy" in recent years. Lexi emotionally recounted her years on the Tour. "I think we all have our difficulties, especially here on the field. Unfortunately, in golf, you lose more than you win.

It's a constant battle. Always putting yourself out there in front of the cameras. Always working hard without achieving the desired results. And to top it off, facing criticism. It's tough." Lexi Thompson embodies the profile of the nearly perfect pro.

At 29, she's about to play her eighteenth US Women’s Open. Her first was in 2007 at the age of 12 at Pine Needles (a record at the time). Four years later, she clinched her first victory on the LPGA Tour at the Navistar LPGA Classic (another record).

In total, she's secured 15 titles on the LPGA Tour, the premier women's circuit. In 240 starts, she's earned over $14 million in prize money. She's played in six Solheim Cups and two Olympics (2016 and 2021). Yet, it only takes one empty spot on the shelf for the Majors.

In nearly twenty years of her career, the American has only claimed the Kraft Nabisco Championship. It was in 2014 when Thompson was 19. In total, she's finished second in a Major four times, in the top three eight times, and in the top ten 19 times.

The memory of the 2021 Olympic Club stings, where Lexi managed to lose the US Women’s Open despite starting with a five-stroke lead. In 2017, there was the infamous second-place finish when, leading the ANA Inspiration (now the Chevron Championship), she was penalized four strokes for incorrectly replacing her ball and signing an incorrect scorecard.

All of this was initiated by a spectator comfortably seated at home. "Is this a joke?" she said to the marshal who informed her of the jump from -3 to +1 at the 13th hole. Thompson rallied but ultimately lost in the playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

It remains unclear what Lexi Thompson means by stepping back from full-time golf. Certainly, it means fewer flights and more weekends spent in total freedom. Thompson has expressed her desire to be part of the Solheim Cup team one last time.

She's passionate about fitness and is launching a dedicated app. "So far, I've only played golf," she says. The best is yet to come.

Lexi Thompson
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