Lexi Thompson announces retirement from professional golf

Lexi Thompson announced her retirement from golf on Tuesday (AP)
Lexi Thompson announced her retirement from golf on Tuesday (AP)

Lexi Thompson announced her retirement from professional golf at the 79th US Women’s Open on Tuesday as she called time on a remarkable career at the top of the women’s game.

“While it is never easy to say goodbye, it is indeed time,” said Thompson, “At the end of 2024, I will be stepping away from a full professional golf schedule.

“I’m excited to enjoy the remainder of the year as there are still goals I want to accomplish. 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.”

This week’s tournament will be the 18th time Thompson has played in a US Women’s Open due to the fact that she started her career so young; qualifying for her first US Women’s Open at just 12-years-old back in 2007. At the time she was the youngest player to ever qualify for the event and went on to set a LPGA Tour record as the youngest winner when she clinched the top prize at the Navistar LPGA Classic at 16.

The 29-year-old’s career will be remembered for her powerful strokeplay, an appeal to young supporters and many sliding door moments at majors.

At 19, She won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2014 which would become her first and only major victory. Despite 15 LPGA Tour victories Thompson would never taste major success again and finished second on four separate occassions.

Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic at just 16-years-old (AP)
Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic at just 16-years-old (AP)

The most notable was when she was given a four-shot penalty in the final round of the 2017 Kraft Nabisco for a rules violation on the previous day and also when she spurned a five-shot lead at The Olympic Club in the 2021 US Women’s Open.

Thompson competed for the United States in the Solheim Cup six times and from 2013 through 2022 was a fixture in the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings, earning a spot on the U.S. OIympic Team in both 2016 and 2021.

Her withdrawal from the 2018 AIG Open and subsequent month-long leave from the LPGA Tour was a public display on prioritising mental health with Thompson writing on Instagram at the time:

“I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time. I am therefore taking this time to recharge my mental batteries, and to focus on myself away from the game of professional golf.”

Her return to the sport saw her triumph in the CME Group Tour Championship and then the 2019 ShopRite Classic but those were her last victories on the US tour, though she did win a Ladies European Tour event in 2022.