Lexi Thompson 'Very Content' With Retirement Despite Taking The Lead At PGA Championship

Despite leading the Women's PGA Championship after her best Major round in two years, Lexi Thompson says she's still happy with her decision to retire

Lexi Thompson
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Although she's announced her retirement from the game, Lexi Thompson is playing as well as ever as she shot a first-round 68 to lead the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

At four-under, Thompson holds the solo first-round lead at a Major for the very first time in her career, with her best round in a Major for two years, to hold a one-shot lead over Nelly Korda and Patty Tavatanakit.

The 29-year-old, who announced just ahead of the US Open that she would be calling time on her career at the end of the season, also played superbly last week when finishing runner-up.

But even though she's in the driving seat at Sahalee Country Club, Thompson says she's content with her retirement decision - even if she manages to go on and win another Major this week.

"I figured I would be getting that question," Thompson said when asked if winning this week could alter her decision. 

"I'm just taking it one day at a time. I made my announcement. I'm very content with it. Golf is a crazy game, so I'm not going to look too far ahead. Just taking it one day at a time and see where it takes me."

And Thompson does not feel her recent form is down to her knowing that it's her final season on tour.

"I don't think that has to do with announcing what I did. It's just a matter of being comfortable out there, playing free-swing Lexi I guess. Just enjoying being out there every step of the way."

One reason that could be behind Thompson's form is the addition of Englishman Mark Wallington as her new caddie - who has previously spent time on the bags of Charley Hull, Mel Reid and Emily Pedersen.

"Mark has helped me out dramatically," said Thompson, who was full of praise for her new bagman.

"He's so positive out there. Even when I make a bogey or bad shot he's like, all right, let's just gets get it back in position and you've got this. I think that's what I need.

Lexi Thompson with caddie Mark Wallington

Lexi Thompson with new caddie Mark Wallington

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I can get a little bit too hard on myself sometimes and I need that person by my side to pick me up when I'm down. He's great and we have a good time out there and he keeps me smiling, so I'm enjoying him.

"I've known him for a very long time and we've always had a very great friendship. We get along so well; just never have worked together.

"So I was like, you know what? This sounds great. Let's just work together and see how it does. No matter what, we'll always have that friendship and bond. That will never leave us.

"Ended up working out. He's amazing out there for me. He's very positive, and that's what I need out there."

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.