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Lexi Thompson Announces Retirement From LPGA Tour

Yuka saso emotional after securing second major title at 79th u.s. women’s open.

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Written By:

Sarah Kellam

It all started with the U.S. Women’s Open.

The year was 2007, and a 12-year-old, baby-faced Alexis Thompson arrived at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club to compete in her first major championship. She was a pre-teen sensation clad in a pink Titleist visor and a pair of ladybug earrings who was ready to try and make the cut in one of the most prestigious events in women’s golf.

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And while she didn’t play the weekend that year in North Carolina, little did the golf world know just who that kid would become one day.

Now, seventeen years after that life-changing moment and still wearing those ladybug earrings, Lexi is an 11-time LPGA Tour winner, a major champion, a two-time Olympian, a six-time U.S. Solheim Cup team member and one of the most recognizable faces in golf.

And she announced on Tuesday morning that this will be her last year competing on the LPGA Tour, as she plans to retire from professional golf at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Lexi Thompson via Instagram

May 28, 2024

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In a lot of ways, Lexi is one of one. Fans have had a front-row seat to her every triumph, heartbreak, struggle and success since she burst onto the golf scene all those years ago. She was one of golf’s original teenage superstars, a wunderkind that adults and kids alike gravitated towards as Thompson was someone they wanted to root for, someone they identified with.

She has carried the mantle of women’s golf forward, never considering it a burden but rather a privilege to do so. It’s the littlest of things that Lexi has done that make the most lasting of impacts – signing every hat, glove, flag and ball handed to her over the last nearly two decades and always entertaining the requests of every person at autograph alley no matter how good or bad she plays. Funny enough, she still signs as Alexis Thompson, not Lexi, an autograph that she’s stuck with since that first U.S. Women’s Open all those years ago.

Her love and respect for her fans was something that Lexi’s mother instilled in her from a very young age, often telling her that it was almost her duty to make at least one person’s day better every time she left the house. And that has driven Thompson throughout her entire career, particularly as she’s pushed boundaries in the golf space. Lexi is well aware of the platform that her LPGA Tour success has afforded her and leverages every opportunity she has to serve as a role model for those around her.

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One of the best examples of that willingness to set an example came last October when Thompson became the seventh woman ever to tee it up on the PGA Tour. She nearly made the cut that week at the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas, Nev., an accomplishment that would have rivaled her major victory. But that wasn’t Thompson’s ultimate goal when she decided to play alongside the men on the PGA Tour.

“It's been something I grew up doing with my brothers and have wanted to do, but to also send a message out to the Shriners kids that no dream is too small, and they can go after what they want and follow their dreams,” said Thompson in her pre-tournament press conference at the Shriners Children’s Open. “If I can leave here inspiring others, and especially the kids, the Shriners kids, that's what it's all about and what this tournament is. There is more than just playing golf.

Thompson also has the unique distinction of only being known by one name, as very few players in women’s golf are recognized by a singular moniker. Annika and Lorena come to mind. So does The Babe.

But Lexi is one of an incredibly small list of athletes to earn that honor in the modern era, joined maybe only by Nelly Korda in the last 20 years.

Hers is a name that crops up pretty much every time you ask a fan or kid at an LPGA Tour event, “Who’s your favorite player?” or “Who are you here to watch?” And no matter how she’s playing or how much her career has progressed, Lexi still moves the needle in ways that most athletes dream of doing throughout a career.

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But for the 29-year-old, it’s become more than second nature.

People are, of course, impressed by the golf. Lexi pounds the golf ball, throwing her entire body into every shot she hits every time she swings, an aggressive movement that still exudes grace and agility and produces some well-struck golf shots. It’s particularly fun to watch her mash her driver, but Thompson has a finesse around the greens as well that helps her short-game creativity shine, allowing her to take advantage of birdie opportunities and convert must-make pars when absolutely necessary.

But that’s not the only thing that draws people to her. LPGA Tour Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan can easily sum up Lexi’s star power and what makes her so likable, both on and off the golf course.

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“Lexi's impact extends far beyond the golf course. She embodies the spirit and dedication of our Founders — always showing up and engaging intentionally to help further the growth and impact of the LPGA,” said Marcoux Samaan. “She is beloved by fans, consistently seen signing autographs and interacting with them no matter the result that day. Lexi’s commitment to our partners has also been unparalleled. Throughout her career, she has continually made time to engage with partners, their employees and their clients, and truly has valued their tremendous support of women’s golf.

“This dedication was exemplified last year when she was honored with our Founders Award, given to an LPGA Member who best exemplifies the spirit, ideals, and values of the LPGA through her behavior and deeds, as voted on by her peers. Lexi's remarkable career and the way she has conducted herself both on and off the course have inspired countless girls around the world to pursue their goals with passion and perseverance.”

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That tenacity has been critical to Lexi’s longevity throughout the years. This week marks her 18th time competing in the U.S. Women’s Open, a fitting number for Lexi’s final start in this major championship. She’s come close to winning this coveted title on more than a few occasions and will be working towards that goal again in Lancaster, Pa., but this time, there’s more to reflect upon.

As she traipses the fairways of Lancaster Country Club, memories from those 17 other U.S. Women’s Open will of course be flooding her brain, coming in waves so strong as she remembers her very first one in 2007, the one that started it all. Thoughts of her last 13 years on the LPGA Tour will certainly crop up as well, causing a wry smile or a singular tear depending on the memory sparked.

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But this isn’t the end. Not yet anyway. And while the moment will be bittersweet as Thompson bids farewell to the tournament that quite literally jumpstarted her career, there’s so much more still to come for Lexi the rest of this season.

And lucky for us, there’s still plenty of time to watch Thompson compete. The end of the year is still six months away. So much could happen between then and now.

Lexi just might once again wow us all.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi)

Lexi Thompson

Take a Look Back at Lexi Thompson’s 11 LPGA Tour Victories

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After a challenging week and a dramatic finish to the 79th playing of the U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally, it was Yuka Saso that hoisted the famed trophy for the second time in her career.

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Golf News Net

2024 ShopRite LPGA Classic field: LPGA Tour players, rankings

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The 2024 ShopRite LPGA Classic field is set with the passing of the typical Friday entry deadline. The LPGA Tour field this week is set for this event, played at Seaview Resort in Galloway Township, New Jersey, from June 6-9, 2024.

The ShopRite LPGA Classic field is headlined by the likes of Jin Young Ko, Brooke Henderson, Ashleigh Buhai and more.

This is set to be a 144-player field is played out over four days, with this event marking the 13th event of the season. The LPGA Tour remains on the East Coast as the post-US Open tournament is played on a Donald Ross design.

The tournament is being played in its originally intended slot, bringing the 2024 LPGA Tour schedule back to New Jersey for one of the most popular events on the schedule.

We do not yet have Monday qualifiers for this event in the field, with two spots decided on Monday.

The week-of alternate list is set for the week, with Yani Tseng and Christina Kim being the first two names on the alternate list.

The field will be playing for a $1.75 million purse, with 13 of the top 50 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking among the top contenders.

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Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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Lexi Thompson to retire at 29: 11-time LPGA Tour winner decides to call it quits at end of 2024 season

Thompson will end her career after 14 years playing professional golf.

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Eleven-time LPGA Tour winner Lexi Thompson has decided to retire before turning 30. The 29-year-old star, who turned professional at age 15 and became the youngest woman to win an LPGA tournament at age 16, will end her playing career at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Thompson has missed the cut in the three tournaments preceding her announcement and four of six this season. She also finished T3 at the Ford Championship and T16 at the LPGA Drive On Championship.

"I don't know if I'm thinking about all 17 [U.S. Opens], but yes, reflecting," Thompson said ahead of this week's U.S. Women's Open. "I've been out here, this is my 14th full-time year. Golf has been my life ever since I was 5 years old, tournaments when I was 7. I haven't really known much of a life different, but it's been an amazing one. This sport has taught me a lot, and I've learned so much along the way, built so many friendships and relationships. I'm looking forward to what life has in store."

Despite her early success, Thompson has not won an LPGA event since 2019. She has picked up two victories on the Ladies European Tour in that span but has not won there, either, since 2022. Thompson has missed the cut at five of the last six majors in which she has competed after posting four top 10s in the prior six such tournaments.

Thompson was a phenom as a youth, becoming in 2017 the youngest golfer ever to qualify for the U.S. Open at age 12. She was also the second-youngest woman to win a major on tour capturing the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship (now Chevron Championship) at age 19.

In 2023, Thompson became the seventh woman to play on the men's PGA Tour when she took part in the Shriners Children's Open, though she ultimately missed the cut by two strokes.

"I'm taking it day by day right now," Thompson said. "I'm not going to say 'yes' or 'no' on how many events I'll play or if I do. I'm just going to take it day by day and see how I feel, especially going into next year. But I'm very content with this being my last full-time schedule year."

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LPGA Veteran Lexi Thompson Announces Retirement After 2024 Season

Patrick andres | may 28, 2024.

Oct 13, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Lexi Thompson smiles during an interview after the second round of the Shriners Children's Open golf tournament at TPC Summerlin.

Lexi Thompson, an LPGA Tour stalwart, is set to call it a career.

Thompson, 29, will retire at the end of the 2024 season, she announced Tuesday. The Coral Springs, Fla.,native has 11 career Tour wins to her name—including the 2014 Chevron Championship, a major, at the age of 19.

The U.S. Women's Open, presumably Thompson's last, begins Thursday in Lancaster, Pa. Thompson's best finish in the event is a tie for second in 2019; her most recent LPGA Tour win also came in '19, at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, N.J.

Thompson began her career at an extremely young age, qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open as a 12-year-old in 2007. She turned professional three years later at the age of 15.

Lexi Thompson will retire from professional golf at the conclusion of the 2024 LPGA season. She’ll be speaking to the media at 2:30 p.m. ET today at Lancaster, ahead of her 18th and final U.S. Women’s Open. — Gabby Herzig (@GabbyHerzig) May 28, 2024

She peaked at fourth in the world rankings, reaching those heights in both 2015 and 2017. In the latter season, she was involved in a highly publicized incident where a fan watching on television called in a costly rules violation on her during a major tournament.

More recently, she achieved her best finish at the Women's PGA Championship in 2022, finishing second.

Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Lexi Thompson announces retirement from full-time LPGA Tour, ending historic golf career

Sport Lexi Thompson announces retirement from full-time LPGA Tour, ending historic golf career

Golfer Lexi Thompson cries during a press conference announcing her retirement at the US Women's Open.

Former teen prodigy, major champion and all-round history-maker, Lexi Thompson has revealed 2024 will be her last year as a full-time member of the LPGA Tour.

Thompson is an 11-time LPGA Tour winner — including her lone major at the 2014 Chevron Championship, then known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship — and represented the United States in six Solheim Cups as well as two Olympic Games.

"Golf has been my life ever since I was five years old, tournaments when I was 7," Thompson said from Lancaster Country Club, site of this week's US Women's Open.

"I haven't really known much of a life different, but it's been an amazing one.

"This sport has taught me a lot, and I've learned so much along the way, built so many friendships and relationships. I'm looking forward to what life has in store."

Despite being just 29 years old, Thompson will begin her 18th US Women's Open on Thursday.

Thompson qualified for the 2007 edition of the tournament at the age of 12, then the youngest ever to accomplish the feat. She turned professional at age 15 and at 16 became the youngest player to win an LPGA tournament by capturing the 2011 Navistar Classic. Both records since have been broken.

Thompson became the seventh woman to compete on the men's PGA Tour when she participated in the 2023 Shriners Children's Open, missing the cut by two strokes.

Thompson currently is 54th in the women's world rankings, but she has missed each of her past three cuts as she has played through a hand injury.

"I haven't been playing the golf that I expect myself to, but my hand has been unbelievably better," Thompson said, when asked if injury was at least part of the reason she decided to retire.

"I've actually been able to go out there and swing without pain, which is always nice. That's been a great feeling to have. I wouldn't say that has any factor. Of course the results haven't been what I've wanted. It's just where I'm at in my life."

Thompson did leave the door open to compete at select events in the future.

"I'm taking it day by day right now," she said.

"I'm not going to say yes or no on how many events I'll play — or if I do. I'm just going to take it day by day and see how I feel, especially going into next year. But I'm very content with this being my last full-time schedule year."

The number one goal still remaining for Thompson this year is to qualify for the United States Solheim Cup team in September.

"[It is a] huge honour just to represent my country and play alongside the team there and my captain," she said.

World number one Nelly Korda commented on Thompson's impact on the LPGA Tour.

"She's had such an amazing career," Korda said.

"I've gotten to be on the team with her a couple times representing our country. I think she does an amazing job for the tour. She really dedicated her time to growing the game.

"It's sad to see that she's obviously leaving and not going to be out here with us anymore, but she's had an amazing career, and I wish her the best in this new chapter of her life."

LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan also spoke to Thompson's impact on and off the course.

"She embodies the spirit and dedication of our founders — always showing up and engaging intentionally to help further the growth and impact of the LPGA," Marcoux Samaan said.

"She is beloved by fans, consistently seen signing autographs and interacting with them no matter the result that day.

"This dedication was exemplified last year when she was honoured with our Founders Award, given to an LPGA member who best exemplifies the spirit, ideals, and values of the LPGA through her behaviour and deeds, as voted on by her peers.

"Lexi's remarkable career and the way she has conducted herself both on and off the course have inspired countless girls around the world to pursue their goals with passion and perseverance."

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