As she prepares to return to professional golf at this week’s Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson has elaborated on the reasons that led her to take some time out from the game to recharge her “mental batteries”.
The 23-year-old former ANA Inspiration winner announced last month that she would be sitting out the RICOH Women’s British Open.
“The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally,” she wrote in an Instagram post on July 26.
She added: “I have not truly felt like myself for some time.”
Ahead of her return to the LPGA this week, Thompson explained that she simply had to take some time out for her own well being.
“It was honestly just a build up,” she said. “Last year and a half, I have honestly been struggling a lot emotionally, and it's hard because I can't really show it. I went through a lot of things, especially last year with ANA, my mum going through cancer, then my grandma passing away. It was so much to deal with. And I had to show that I was still okay and still play golf.
“I don't even know how I played that well, honestly. I think it just kind of all hit me coming into this year.
“You can only stay strong for so long and hide it. I am a very strong person, but at times you just need a break, you need to realise you need to have time for yourself.
“I mean, I'm a 23-year-old girl, and that's what a lot of people don't realise. I'm not just a golfer, I need to have a life as well and enjoy it.”
Solheim Cup star Thompson added that, in addition to her family and management team, she has sought professional help “just to talk about stuff”.
“I would say it's just about figuring out like what really makes me happy off the golf course as well, figuring myself out. I have transformed myself around this game for such a long time, ever since I was five-years-old. So, I have always been a hard practicing person and that's what I grew up knowing. Didn't know much different. I was always a very determined person.
“Coming to this age, I realise I do need to make time for myself and enjoy life, because not a lot of 23-year-old girls are doing what I am, and people need to realise that.
“I'm not just a robot out here, I need to have a life.”