Lexi Thompson 'Very Content' With Decision To Retire From Full-Time Professional Golf

The 29-year-old has opened up on her decision to retire from full-time professional golf at the end of the 2024 LPGA Tour season

Lexi Thompson takes a shot at the Cognizant Founders Cup
Lexi Thompson has opened up on her decision to retire from full-time professional golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lexi Thompson has explained why she is comfortable with her decision to retire from full-time professional golf at the age of just 29.

Despite her relatively young age, the American will be competing in her 18th consecutive US Women’s Open this week, having first appeared at the Major when she was just 12. In an emotional press conference ahead of the Lancaster Country Club event, Thompson admitted that golf has dominated her life since her early childhood and that she is ready to try new things.

She said: “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.”

She continued: “There's more things to life than going to a tournament every week and doing the same training every day. There's just more to it, and I'm looking forward to experiencing that.

"I feel like I'm very content with where my life is and where this decision will lead me to. Yeah, I'm just looking forward to what life has in store other than golf.”

Lexi Thompson with the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy

Lexi Thompson has one Major win, the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite Thompson’s decision to step away from the game at the end of the LPGA Tour season, she didn’t rule out a return to action on a part-time basis.

“I'm not going to say yes or no on how many events I'll play or if I do,” she explained. “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.”

Thompson, who played on the PGA Tour last year in the Shriners Children's Open, also opened up on the difficulties professional players face, saying: “A lot of people don't - they don't realize a lot of what we go through as a professional athlete. 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."

Lexi Thompson takes a shot at the Shriners Children's Open

Lexi Thompson has explained the challenges of life as a professional golfer

(Image credit: Getty Images)

She added: “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.”

While Thompson, whose one Major win to date came at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, is not looking too far ahead, she admitted there is one burning ambition she has this year - a seventh appearance on the US Solheim Cup team. She said: “Number one is to definitely be on the Solheim Cup team. Huge honor just to represent my country and play alongside the team there and my captain; definitely that."

Lexi Thompson at the Solheim Cup

Lexi Thompson is targeting another Solheim Cup appearance before retiring from full-time professional golf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thompson also hinted what the future may hold away from the relentless life of a full-time LPGA Tour pro, both in her business and personal life. She said: “I'm super into fitness. Hopefully I'll have my Lexi Fitness app up and going very soon. And just enjoying life. Family's huge for me, so I hope to have a family one day."

Far from a spur-of-the-moment decision, Thompson also admitted the thought of retiring had been in her mind for some time. She added: “I've been thinking about it for a few months now. It's just a matter of time and place.

"Like I said before, this is where my whole career got started. This is where the whole dream that's started of playing on the LPGA Tour and being out here and playing professional golf and playing against the best. I only thought it was right to make it here.”

Thompson is in a group with Rose Zhang and Minjee Lee in the first two rounds of the US Women’s Open, with the three teeing it up at 1.58pm ET (6.58pm BST) on Thursday.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.