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LPGA superstar Lexi Thompson set to retire from golf

Lexi Thompson has announced she will retire from full-time golf at the end of the current season.

Thompson, 29, an 11-time LPGA Tour winner who appeared in the Solheim Cup six times, said in an audio letter on Instagram that she will be "stepping away from a full professional golf schedule" at the end of 2024.

Currently preparing to compete at the US Women's Open in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Thompson said: "While it is never easy to say goodbye, it is indeed time.

"At the end of 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."

Thompson burst onto the world scene as a 12-year-old in 2007 when she became the US Open's youngest-ever qualifier at the time.

She spent nine years, from 2013 to 2022, as a permanent fixture in the Rolex Rankings' top 10, represented the USA at both the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and will be appearing in her 18th successive US Open at the Lancaster Country Club this week.

Thompson referenced the challenges of constantly being in the spotlight, including dealing with social media, during the Instagram post.

"Since I was 12 years old, my life as a golfer has been a whirlwind of constant attention, scrutiny and pressure," she said.

"The cameras are always on, capturing every swing and every moment on and off the golf course.

"Social media never sleeps, with comments and criticism flooding in from around the world. It can be exhausting to maintain a smile on the outside while grappling with struggles on the inside.

"By opening up about my own battles, I've been able to connect with others who feel isolated in their struggles, offering them a sense of community and understanding.

"Each time I share, it reinforces the message that it's OK to not be OK and that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness."

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