'I Looked Up To Her' - LPGA Pros Pay Tribute To Retiring Lexi Thompson

Nelly Korda and defending US Women's Open champion Allisen Corpuz paid tribute to Lexi Thompson after she announced her upcoming retirement

Nelly Korda speaking into a microphone and Lexi Thompson smiling on the golf course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lexi Thompson made the shock announcement that she would be retiring from a full playing schedule, and her peers have paid tribute to the 11-time LPGA Tour winner and six-time Solheim Cup player.

Lexi, who competes in her 18th-consecutive US Women's Open this week after making her debut as a 12-year-old, will play the remainder of the year, where she has set a goal of making another Solheim Cup appearance before hanging up her clubs.

Her surprise decision was the talk of the golf world on Tuesday and two big names had their say on her incredible career and the influence she's had on them and the women's game in general.

"I honestly heard probably 15 minutes ago that she's retiring. She's had such an amazing career, I think. I've gotten to be on the team with her a couple times representing our country," World No.1 Nelly Korda said at Lancaster Country Club, site of this week's US Women's Open.

Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson laugh together during an LPGA event

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I think she does an amazing job for the Tour. She spends so much time going to each Pro-Am party. 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."

The defending champion Allisen Corpuz revealed she looked up to Lexi while growing up and was another to praise her for her work in growing the women's game and spending time greeting fans and partners at Pro-Am parties.

Alisen Corpuz with the US Women's Open trophy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"First I just wanted to say she's had such a great career. I looked up to her, and I'm not that much younger than her, but I watched her play in multiple US Opens, watched her win a bunch," Corpuz said.

"She's just such an inspirational player both on and off the course. She's at pretty much every Pro-Am party, always up to do everything. Just to see how she's impacted the Tour is really special, and I just wish her all the best."

"I think the reason why I'm here is because of, like you said, all the women before me and really just making their best effort to put their best foot forward.

"I think it's really important just to keep growing the game and keep growing the women's side especially, just keep bringing more attention to how good we are."

Thompson spoke more about her decision to retire on Tuesday in Pennsylvania, where she admitted that many don't know what professional athletes go through on a day-to-day basis in order to perform at the highest level - and the criticisms that come with performing on the big stage.

"I just think, especially with what's happened in golf, as of recent too, a lot of people don't realize a lot of what we go through as a professional athlete," Thompson said in an emotional address to media.

"I'll be the last one to say like throw me a pity party. That's the last thing I want. We're doing what we love. We're trying the best every single day. You know, we're not perfect. We're humans. Words hurt. It's hard to overcome sometimes.

"But having the people around you that love you and support you, I feel like that's been the biggest thing for me. I might not have a huge friend group, but to have the people that matter the most around me have gotten me through some really hard times.

"I think it's a lot for everyone out here or in any professional sport. A lot of people don't know what we go through. The amount of training and hard work that we put ourselves through, it's a lot. I don't think we deserve -- I think we deserve a lot more credit than what we get."

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV