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Lexi Thompson capped it off a turbulent couple of years both on and off the course with an emotional victory in the LPGA Tour’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

The 23-year-old erased two seasons of hurt – dating back to her rules infraction at the 2017 ANA Inspiration – by posting a two-under-par 70 in the final round to win by four strokes over Nelly Korda.

“This year has been an eye opener,” she said. “It all kind of hit me this year after what happened last year. I kind of just tried to brush it off last year and just play through it because I didn’t really have an option and I played great golf. I don’t know how, but I managed to.

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“But it all kind of hit me this year and just kind of got me really down. I needed that time off to be with my family, to figure out things that made me happy off the golf course.

“It is hard for me because I grew up in this game. I started playing when I was five, started playing tournaments when I was seven, so I didn’t really know much different. Golf is my life. It’s who I am.

“But it is just what I do. I’m coming to realise that. It is justa sport. There is so much to life other than that, my family and my friends, and just loving every bit of that and just being grateful for what I have.”

Lexi1

In addition to various on-course problems, Thompson has had to deal with significant issues away from the golf course.

In
June 2017, her mother Judy was diagnosed with uterine cancer, for which
she has been undergoing treatment, while in September 2017, her
grandmother passed away.

Earlier this year, she took a temporary break from golf to “recharge” her “mental batteries”, which caused her to miss the RICOH Women’s British Open, while as recently as last month, she took to Instagram to post about struggles she’d been having about her body image.

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She said she’d spend time comparing herself to ‘stick thin’ or fitness models on Instagram and, due to being in the public eye, it affected her confidence.

Ahead of the LPGA Tour’s finale, Thompson split with her Scottish caddie Kevin McAlpine. The duo had worked together since just before the 2017 ANA Inspiration, where McAlpine was widely praised for his role in helping the American manage the disappointment of a controversial four-shot penalty.

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