Lexi Thompson to step away from ‘full-time schedule’

By Reuters
May 30, 2024
Lexi Thompson smiles during an interview after completing the second round of the Shriners Children's Open golf tournament at TPC Summerlin. — USA Today Sports/file

MIAMI: While expressing contentment, Lexi Thompson said on Thursday that 2024 will be her last year as a full-time member of the LPGA Tour.


Thompson, 29, is an 11-time LPGA Tour winner -- including her lone major at the 2014 Chevron Championship. She also represented the United States in six Solheim Cups as well as two Olympic Games.

"Golf has been my life ever since I was 5 years old, tournaments when I was 7," Thompson said Tuesday from Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club, site of this week's U.S. Women's Open. "I haven't really known much of a life different, but it's been an amazing one.

"This sport has taught me a lot, and I've learned so much along the way, built so many friendships and relationships. I'm looking forward to what life has in store." Thompson will begin her 18th U.S. Women's Open on Thursday.

"On behalf of the LPGA, I want to thank Lexi for her incredible contributions to our Tour and to women's golf," LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said. "We wish her all the best in her next chapter, and we, along with the fans, look forward to watching her compete and celebrating her throughout the rest of the season."

Thompson qualified for the 2007 U.S. Women's Open at the age of 12, then the youngest ever to accomplish the feat. She turned professional at age 15 and -- at 16 -- became the youngest player to win an LPGA tournament by capturing the 2011 Navistar Classic. Both records since have been broken.

"Gosh, at my first U.S. Women's Open ... well, I was trying to get over shaking there from being so nervous," Thompson said. "It's been a blessing. Everything has exceeded my expectations of my career and the relationships I've built.

"I'm just so blessed and grateful for every single person and experience that I've had along this career." Thompson became the seventh woman to compete on the men's PGA Tour when she participated in the 2023 Shriners Children's Open. She missed the cut by two strokes, however.

Thompson currently is 54th in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, however she has missed each of her past three cuts as she has played through a hand injury. "I haven't been playing the golf that I expect myself to, but my hand has been unbelievably better," Thompson said, when asked if injury was at least part of the reason she decided to retire.

"I've actually been able to go out there and swing without pain, which is always nice. That's been a great feeling to have. I wouldn't say that has any factor. Of course the results haven't been what I've wanted. It's just where I'm at in my life." Thompson did leave the door open to compete at select events in the future.

"I'm taking it day by day right now," she said. "I'm not going to say yes or no on how many events I'll play - or if I do. I'm just going to take it day by day and see how I feel, especially going into next year. But I'm very content with this being my last full-time schedule year."

One goal still remaining for Thompson this year is to qualify for the United States Solheim Cup team for the Sept. 10-15 event at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va. "No. 1 is to definitely be on the Solheim Cup team," Thompson said. "(It's a) huge honor just to represent my country and play alongside the team there and my captain; definitely that.

"Every tournament I tee it up, I want to win, still. Doesn't matter what position I'm at, I want to win and just enjoy the ride and keep on seeing the improvements. I've been working very hard on my game, so to see the continued - hopefully - improvements, that's big for me."

World No. 1 Nelly Korda commented on Thompson's impact on the LPGA Tour. "She's had such an amazing career," Korda said. "I've gotten to be on the team with her a couple times representing our country. I think she does an amazing job for the Tour. She spends so much time going to each Pro-Am party. She really dedicated her time to growing the game.

"It's sad to see that she's obviously leaving and not going to be out here with us anymore, but she's had an amazing career, and I wish her the best in this new chapter of her life." Marcoux Samaan also spoke to Thompson's impact both on and off the course. "She embodies the spirit and dedication of our founders -- always showing up and engaging intentionally to help further the growth and impact of the LPGA," Marcoux Samaan said. "She is beloved by fans, consistently seen signing autographs and interacting with them no matter the result that day.