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Drummond Golf oct 2020
Lexi Thompson stepping away from a full-time career on the LPGA

Thompson made the announcement on Tuesday at Lancaster Country Club where she is preparing for her 18th U.S. Women’s Open appearance.

29-year-old Thompson has been playing professional golf since she was 15. She turned professional following an amateur career that saw her qualify for the Women’s Open at age 12, a record at the time. She represented the United States in the Curtis Cup in 2010 as a 15-year-old and turned professional immediately afterward. 

Lexi’s professional resume includes 11 LPGA wins, among them the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship [today the Chevron. Championship].

She indicated she might continue to play in occasional events but that 2024 will be her last full-time LPGA season and said several factors influenced her decision.

“It's my 14th year. I'm not going to sit here and say it hasn't crossed my mind in past years, but I feel like I'm at a point in my life where it is time to step away from a full-time schedule.

There are more things to life than going to a tournament every week and doing the same training every day. There's just more to it, and I'm looking forward to experiencing that. I feel like I'm very content with where my life is and where this decision will lead me to. I'm just looking forward to what life has in store other than golf.”

Becoming emotional at one point during her remarks, Thompson spoke of the challenges she has faced during her career and how she’s dealt with them.

“I think honestly just staying true to myself. Being out here on tour, it can be lonely. I just think, especially with what's happened in golf, as of recent too, a lot of people don't - they don't realise a lot of what we go through as a professional athlete.”

“I'll be the last one to say like throw me a pity party. That's the last thing I want. We're doing what we love. We're trying our best every single day. You know, we're not perfect. We're humans. Words hurt. It's hard to overcome sometimes. But having the people around you that love you and support you, I feel like that's been the biggest thing for me. I might not have a huge friend group, but to have the people that matter the most around me has gotten me through some really hard times. I think it's a lot for everyone out here or in any professional sport. A lot of people don't know what we go through. The amount of training and hard work that we put ourselves through - it's a lot. I think we deserve a lot more credit than what we get.”

Thompson spoke about the steps she’s taken to protect and enhance her mental health.

“I feel like mental health is such an important thing, just for the everyday person, not just athletes. Everybody out here has their struggles. That's what I always say don't judge anybody because you don't know what they're going through and what they have going on in their mind and their heart and just be gentle with them.

I think we all have our struggles, especially out here. Unfortunately, in golf, you lose more than you win, it's an ongoing battle to continue to put yourself out there in front of the cameras, to work hard and maybe not see the results you want and then get criticized for it.

“I will say, yes, I've struggled with it. I don't think there's somebody out here that hasn't. It's just a matter of how well you hide it, which is very sad. It's an important thing to address and be okay with getting help and getting the support and surrounding yourself with the people who support you and love you because there are always people who do care so much about you and will help you get through those tough moments.”

Words by Rick Woelfel