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Lexi Thompson has announced her intention to retire from professional golf at the end of this season.

The 29-year-old shared the shock news ahead of this week’s US Women’s Open – her 18th consecutive start in the championship.

In a video shared to her social media channels, Thompson shared a ‘letter’ to the game, outlining her reasons for walking away.

“Since I was 12-years-old, my life as a golfer has been a whirlwind of constant attention, scrutiny and pressure,” she added. “The cameras are always on, capturing every swing and every moment on and off the golf course.

“Social media never sleeps with comments and criticisms flooding in from around the world. It can be exhausting to maintain a smile on the outside while grappling with struggles on the inside.

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“By opening up about my own battles, I’ve been able to connect with others who feel isolated in their struggles, offering them a sense of community and understanding.

“Each time I share, it reinforces the message that it’s okay to not be okay and that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.”

“While it is never easy to say goodbye, it is indeed time.”

The Florida-born golfer first gained widespread attention in 2007 when, at the age of 12, she became the youngest golfer ever to qualify for the US Women’s Open, a record that stood until 11-year-old Lucy Li claimed it in 2014.

At age 15, in 2010, Thompson turned professional, successfully petitioning the LPGA for a waiver to the rule that members must be at least 18 years old, and, in September 2011, she rewrote the history books again when she became the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA event.

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Three months later, she became the second-youngest winner of a Ladies European Tour event before, in 2014, at the age of 19 years, one month and 27 days, she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, becoming the second youngest LPGA golfer to win a major.

However, she has been unable to add to her major tally since then, racking up four runner-up finishes and a further four third-place finishes.

In 2018, Thompson withdrew from the Ricoh Women’s British Open and took a month-long leave from the LPGA.

Explaining her decision on social media, she wrote: “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.”

She returned to the game some months later and, in 2018, won the CME Group Tour Championship.

In October last year, she became the seventh woman to play on the PGA Tour when she entered the Shriners Children’s Open, narrowly missing the cut.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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