The American golfer Lexi Thompson has declared that she would complete her illustrious career by retiring from the professional golf circuit at the conclusion of the 2024 season. Thompson will be 29 years old at the time of her retirement.

This week, the 11-time LPGA Tour champion made her choice public in advance of her 18th consecutive appearance at the US Women’s Open. It has been 17 years since she first made her debut in the sport, when she became the youngest player to ever qualify for the tournament at the age of just 12 years old.

Lexi Thompson plays her shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the 2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Congressional Country Club.

The Floridian turned professional three years later, in 2010, and went on to win major honors in the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, which is now known as the Chevron Championship. Additionally, he has represented Team USA at six Solheim Cups and two Olympic Games.

In a letter that was posted on Instagram, Thompson included a video that accompanied the message. He stated, “While it is never easy to say goodbye, it is indeed time.”

Because there are still objectives that I want to achieve, I am looking forward to making the most of the remaining months of the year. The next stage of my life is something that I am looking forward to. I wanted to spend some time with my family, my friends, and my reliable buddy, Leo.

“I will never stop discovering new ways to make a positive impact on the sport of golf and to motivate the next generation of players. And of course, I am looking forward to having some time to myself at this period.

Thompson became the youngest to ever compete at the US Women's Open in 2007.

Thompson soared as high as world No.4 as she won a streak of victories, but injuries contributed to a slow decrease in ranking to world No. 54. She has not earned a victory on the LPGA Tour since June 2019, but did win an individual title at the Aramco Team Series — a Ladies European Tour (LET) event – in October 2022.

Finishing eight times inside the top-three at the five flagship events, Thompson often came agonizingly close to adding to her single major crown, including a memorable near-miss at the 2017 ANA Inspiration (now Chevron Championship).

A rules infraction for mismarking her ball — reported by a TV viewer – saw Thompson slapped with a four-shot penalty during the third round. Though she rallied to make a playoff, she was subsequently defeated by South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon.

“You haven’t always been easy on me, or fair for that matter, but through all the ups and downs, you’ve given me a platform to inspire others and positively impact the world,” Thompson stated in her letter.

“That has been a driving force that kept me playing and relentlessly working to be better.”

Thompson is drenched after winning her first major in 2014.

‘A whirlwind of constant attention, scrutiny and pressure’

Thompson spoke through tears during a press conference at Pennsylvania’s Lancaster Country Club, US Women’s Open site, on Tuesday.

Her letter recounted a “whirlwind of constant attention, scrutiny and pressure” since her breakthrough as a 12-years-old, with social media playing its part in Thompson sometimes finding it “exhausting to maintain a smile on the outside while grappling with struggles on the inside.”

Asked what she was most proud of for overcoming during her career, a teary Thompson answered: “Just staying true to myself. Being out here can be a lot. It can be lonely.

“I’ll be the last one to say like throw me a pity party. That’s the last thing I want. We’re doing what we love. We’re attempting the best every single day. You know, we’re not flawless. We’re humans. Words hurt. It’s hard to overcome sometimes.

“But having the people around you that love you and support you, I feel like that’s been the biggest thing for me. I might not have a vast buddy group, but to have the individuals that matter the most around me have gotten me through some pretty bad times.”

Thompson in action at the 2017 Solheim Cup.

In October, Thompson became just the seventh woman ever to compete at the PGA Tour event when she teed up at the Shriners Open, just missing out on making the cut after shooting even-par.

Earlier this year, she joined compatriot Rose Zhang as the first women to take part in The Match, squaring off against PGA Tour stalwarts Rory McIlroy and Max Homa.

“To all the girls that have cheered for me, you have been my inspiration, my encouragement and my strength,” Thompson continued in her letter.

“On the days that were tough, and I wanted to give up, your support motivated me to dig deep and keep competing.”