Lexi Thompson emotionally reflects on career after tough U.S. Women’s Open finish

Lexi Thompson did not have her best stuff at the U.S. Women’s Open this week.

But she still had her trademark smile everywhere she went, signed as many autographs as possible, and posed for plenty of pictures, despite finishing at 13-over par and thus missing the cut.

That’s who Thompson is, which explains why she has so many fans.

“It wasn’t the golf that I wanted to play, obviously, but it was a special week, of course, with announcing what I did,” Thompson said after her second round on Friday.

“Seeing all the fans out there and hearing their chants of ‘Go Lexi’ made me smile every single shot, even if I kept on bogeying. But it was a special week for sure.”

Earlier this week, the 29-year-old announced she would step away from a full-time schedule on the LPGA Tour. Her retirement came on the precipice of her 18th appearance at the U.S. Women’s Open, where her dreams of becoming a professional golfer first became a reality in 2007.

Lexi Thompson, U.S. Women’s Open

Lexi Thompson smiles during the second round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

“I know when I teed it up first at Pine Needles, that’s where I wanted to be playing against the best and to continue to do so and to be playing in my 18th even though it wasn’t the way I wanted to end it, it was always special every time I teed it up in a USGA event,” Thompson added.

“I cherished every moment that I had.”

If Thompson could go back and lend some advice to that young 12-year-old at Pine Needles, she would tell herself to simply enjoy life.

“Enjoy every single experience, like really just embrace every shot you hit, every tournament you have,” Thompson reflected.

“Just be grateful for everything that you have in your life. Enjoy every experience that you get to make and just being out here.”

Thompson then revealed that she will play 10 to 12 more times this season, but after that, she has no plans. She will miss the competition and the camaraderie of the LPGA, but understandably, she will not miss those 5:30 a.m. alarms.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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