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Lexi Thompson announces retirement from golf

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Lexi Thompson has announced that she is to retire from full-time competitive golf at this season’s end.

Thompson revealed her retirement plans via the USGA ahead of this week’s U.S. Open. The 29-year-old met with media today at Lancaster Country Club, where spoke to the toll playing professional golf takes on athletes.

Video below via Golf Digest:

Thompson also stated, “There’s more things to life than going to a tournament every week and doing the same training every day.”

Thompson said the following in a video on Instagram:

“While it is never easy to say goodbye, it is indeed time. 2024, I will be stepping away from a full professional golf schedule. I’m excited to enjoy the remainder of the year as there are still goals I want to accomplish.

“I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life. Time with family, friends, and my trusted companion Leo. I will always look for ways to contribute to the sport and inspire the next generation of golfers. And of course, I look forward to a little time for myself.”

This week’s U.S. Open will be Thompson’s 18th consecutive start in the U.S. Women’s Open.

Thompson won the 2014 ANA Inspiration (now Chevron Championship) and notched 11 LPGA Tour victories, as well as representing the United States in the Solheim Cup six times during her illustrious career.

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19th Hole

5 examples of how Lexi Thompson has been treated harsher than any of her peers

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*Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on GolfWRX in September 2023*

Following Lexi Thompson’s Solheim Cup post-round presser on Friday evening, the 28-year-old has been the topic of much discussion.

Golf pundits and fans alike have been weighing in with their takes after this exchange with a reporter surrounding an untimely shank on Friday afternoon went viral:

After the incident, LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez said that Lexi has “been picked on and drug through negative comments. She is tired of it”

So has the criticism of Lexi Thompson been justified, or is this yet another example of her being unfairly treated?

Well, here are five times, in my opinion, that Lexi has been scrutinized far differently over the years than her peers.

2022 KPMG PGA Championship

At the 2022 KPMG PGA Championship, Lexi Thompson held a two-stroke lead with three holes to play. She couldn’t close the deal and lost the tournament.

Afterwards, she was fined $2k (as were the rest of the group) for slow play.

Lexi declined to speak to the media and got hammered on social media for doing so…

Almost every golfer at some point has skipped a media session following disappointment on the course, and nobody has really batted an eyelid.

Tiger skipped back-to-back post-round media briefings at the 2019 WGC Mexico after being frustrated with his putting. Remember the backlash over that? Nah, me neither.

Donald Trump

@TheWhiteHouse

Every (or nearly every) big-name golfer under the sun has played golf with Donald Trump. Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy etc. Nobody really cared.

For whatever reason, when Lexi Thompson did, it was a story, and she took herself off social media soon after the photo was posted.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi)

2021 U.S. Women’s Open

In the final round of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Lexi Thompson had a 6-foot eagle on her opening hole. She missed and made birdie to lead by five.

She then lost the tournament.

Following the round, Brandel Chamblee said on ‘Live From’:

“She’s got 6 feet away. Now professional golfers don’t miss the center of the face by a pinhead. Look where she hits this putt on the very 1st hole. Look where this putt comes off the face. She would have missed the center of the putter there by a half an inch. I have never — I have never — seen a professional golfer miss the center of the putter by a wider margin than that. That was at the 1st hole. “

Honest? Absolutely. Correct? Brandel usually is. Has any other LPGA golfer been handed the full-on Chamblee treatment? Not to my knowledge.

2023 Solheim Cup

Lexi Thompson spoke the words, “I don’t need to comment on that” when a reporter asked her about a failed shot, and the golf community collectively lost their minds.

Lost on many people is the fact that she literally answered the question instantly after.

Jessica Korda described the reporting of the awkward exchange with the media member as yet another example of the golf media shredding Lexi, but in reality, it was really just golf media covering the furore created by golf fans reacting to the viral clip.

Lexi then won her next two matches, collecting 3 points from 4 for the U.S. team. But nobody seems to care about that.

Instagram

‘yOu ShoUlD PrAcTIce puTTinG’

There’s very few golfers that have been plagued with such inane posts on their Instagram page as Lexi Thompson has.

I’ve tracked golfer’s social media accounts over the past few years (job requirement, sort of?). I can categorically say that Lexi gets some of the angriest and most aggressive responses to her posts of any golfer. Male or female. (She also gets some very nice ones too).

Despite countless posts of Thompson relentlessly practising her putting, the number of comments from dummies accusing her of neglecting that area of her game is both bizarre and alarming. Notice how the comments have been disabled on the post below? Probably not a coincidence.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi)

Go on any other golfer’s social account, and it will be hard to find the same dynamic.

Throw in the scandalous rules decision at the 2017 ANA Inspiration that cost her a second major title and spawned the “Lexi rule,” and it’s hard not to think Lexi has had a bit of a raw deal at times.

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Rory McIlroy reveals his one regret over his involvement in PGA Tour-LIV standoff

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Since LIV’s inception, Rory McIlroy has been heavily entangled in the discussion around the PIF’s involvement in men’s professional golf.

Rory famously called LIV “dead in the water” in the early days of the rival league’s presence and was outspoken in his criticism against the league and its players.

That all seemed to change when his friend and Ryder Cup teammate, Jon Rahm, joined LIV.

On the Stick to Football Podcast, calling Rahm “smart” for his decision.

“Jon Rahm hasn’t got any of the heat that the first guys got for going. It’s made it easier for guys to jump. I think Jon, he’s smart, and I think he sees things coming together at some point, so he’s thinking ‘O.K. I’ll take a lot of upfront money,’ which is his prerogative, he can absolutely do that and if things come together, ‘I’ll maybe play LIV for a year then come back to play on the Tour and play some team golf on the sort of fringes.”

He also said at a later date that he was “probably being too judgmental” in the initial stages of LIV’s arrival.

This week, while speaking at the RBC Canadian Open, McIlroy continued down a similar path, saying he wish he “hadn’t have gotten as deeply involved” in the LIV discussion.

“I think, in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t have gotten involved, or not ‘hadn’t have gotten involved,’ but hadn’t have gotten as deeply involved in it, and I’ve articulated that.”

“My whole thing is I’m just disappointed to what it’s done to — not to the game of golf, the game of golf will be fine — but men’s professional golf and this sort of divide we have at the minute. Hopefully we’re on a path to sorting that out and getting that to come back together, but, yeah, I mean, hindsight’s always 20/20, but in hindsight I wish I hadn’t have gotten as deeply involved as I have.”

McIlroy will tee it up at Hamilton this week. The last time the course hosted the Canadian Open, the Northern Irishman won by five shots.

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‘Whenever I lose my spot on LIV, I think that will be me done’ – LIV pro outlines retirement plan

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LIV golfer, Richard Bland, is the rare golfer who’s gotten better as he’s aged. He notched his first European Tour win at the 2021 Betfred British Masters at the age of 48. Bland turned pro in 1996, and it took 478 starts for him to emerge victorious.

This week, Jamie Kennedy of Golf Digest posted a chart of just how far the Englishman has come in the late stages of his career.

“Made $7m in first 26 years as a pro. Has now made over $12m in the last three years ?”.

Last week, Bland won the Senior PGA Championship, which is a major on the Champions Tour, in his first ever start on the circuit.

The win was an emotional one for the 51-year-old, as he dedicated the performance to his brother, Heath, who has cancer.

After the win, Bland spoke with The Times, saying he envisions himself retiring in the next few years.

“Whenever I lose my spot on LIV, I think that will be me done, regardless of how I’m playing. I’ve got maybe another 18 months left and then I’ll cross that bridge.”

“I love what I do, I’ll never stop playing golf, but I’ve travelled the world without seeing an awful lot of it. I’d like to do that while I’m still fit and able, I’d like to go on golf trips with friends and just have fun without competing.”

Despite winning the Senior PGA Championship which usually comes with an exemption onto the Champions Tour, Bland will not be eligible for the Tour due to his affiliation with LIV.

Bland will tee it up next at LIV Houston next week and currently sits 25th in the individual standings.

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