Lexi Thompson to retire from the LPGA Tour after 2024 season
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Lexi Thompson to retire from the LPGA Tour after 2024 season

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Lexi Thompson is retiring after the 2024 LPGA Tour season, ending her professional golf career at the age of 29.

Thompson made the announcement on May 28, ahead of competing in her 18th US Women's Open at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Penn. That record, unto itself, is a marker of how long Thompson has been in the spotlight of the sport.

In 2007, Thompson made history when, at 12 years old, she became the youngest player ever to qualify for the US Women's Open. She hasn't missed a US Women's Open since, and she's had close calls at winning the national championship, including most recently at The Olympic Club in 2021 and in Charleston in 2019. She won the US Girls’ Junior in 2008 and made her first US Women's Open cut in 2009.

Thompson turned pro in 2010, but her official rookie year on the LPGA Tour wasn't until 2012. That's because she turned pro ahead of the LPGA's 18-year-old age floor. In between, she earned her first of 11 LPGA Tour wins at the Navistar LPGA Classic.

In 2014, Thompson won her only major championship to date at what is now The Chevron Championship. At the 2017 edition of the event, then known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, she was issued a four-stroke penalty for improperly replacing her ball after marking it and then signing an incorrect scorecard. She learned of those penalties ahead of the final round, where she played her way into a playoff with So Yeon Ryu, who wound up winning.

A year later, Thompson withdrew from the 2018 AIG Women's Open and took a month's leave of absence from the LPGA Tour.

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

She came back stronger, winning the 2018 CME Group Tour Championship and the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic. However, she hasn't won on the LPGA Tour since.

The Floridian has particularly struggled on the LPGA Tour in the last two seasons. So far in 2024, Thompson has made six LPGA Tour starts, making two cuts, including a tie for third place in the inaugural Ford Championship in Arizona. However, she has missed her last three cuts in a row, continuing a longer-term stretch of difficult golf.

In 2023, Thompson needed a late-season charge to maintain her LPGA Tour status. She made 14 official starts, including the Hanwha Lifeplus International Crown to represent the United States in the team-based event. She missed seven cuts on the season, including four in a row in the summer, a stretch that included the US Women's Open and AIG Women's Open. Nevertheless, she earned a captain's pick from Stacy Lewis onto the American Solheim Cup team and was a significant contributor to a team that came up short of the win on Spanish soil.

Over the years, Thompson has been a fixture in the top 10 of the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking. However, she fell out of the top 50 with a missed cut in the Mizuho Americas Open. She has looked unhappy on the course, and she's fought injuries.

However, Thompson has long been a fan favorite. She has been the face of the LPGA Tour throughout much of her career, and she has a large fan base that has admired her powerful style and willing vulnerability. She has, at times, clashed with media in difficult moments, but she represented herself and her talents quite well.

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Ryan Ballengee

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