Lexi Thompson is retiring from full-time golf at 29

Lexi Thompson is to retire this year from full-time competition at the end of this season, ending a career filled with a powerful game, an appeal to young fans and plenty of star-crossed moments in the majors.

She is playing in her 18th US Women's Open this week, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The fact she is only 29 speaks to a career that began at such a young age.

Thompson was 12 when she qualified for the 2007 US Women's Open at Pine Needles, at the time the youngest to qualify. She also set an LPGA Tour record as the youngest winner when she captured the LPGA Classic at age 16.

Both records since have been broken.

"Golf has been my life ever since I was five years old, tournaments when I was seven," Thompson said on Tuesday. "I haven't really known much of a life different, but it's been an amazing one.

"Everything has exceeded my expectations of my career and the relationships I've built.

"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."

Thompson won 15 events, but only one major, at the Championship in Rancho Mirage, California. She was a runner-up in four other majors, most notably being penalised four shots in the final round of the 2017 Championship at Rancho Mirage, from a rules violation the day before called in by a TV viewer. She also lost a five-shot lead at The Olympic Club in the 2021 US Women's Open.

She also represented the United States in two Olympic Games and six Solheim Cups - with playing in a seventh this year one of her remaining targets.

She grew up playing with her brothers, two of whom reached the PGA Tour, and was renowned for her power. But for all her prodigious power Thompson has gone nearly five years since her 11th and last LPGA victory, though she did win a Ladies European Tour event in 2022. She is 54th in the Women's World Golf Rankings and has missed each of her last three cuts.

"I haven't been playing the golf that I expect myself to," said Thompson. "Of course the results haven't been what I've wanted. It's just where I'm at in my life."

"She's had such an amazing career," World No.1 Nelly Korda said. "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."

with Reuters