[PHOTO: Adam Hunger]

Lexi Thompson, who turned pro in 2010 and joined the LPGA Tour in 2012, will retire at the end of the year.

The news was first shared by the USGA on Tuesday (US time) ahead of this week’s US Women’s Open, where Thompson, 29, will be making her 18th start in the championship.

Thompson became the youngest player to ever qualify for the US Women’s Open, doing so in 2007 at age 12 (the mark has since been broken by Lucy Li, who was 11 when competing in the 2014 US Women’s Open). Thompson turned professional at age 15 and became the youngest winner in LPGA history by capturing the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic at age 16 (the mark has since been broken by Lydia Ko, who was 15 when she won the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open).

Thompson won 15 worldwide tournaments in the next 13 years, including 11 on the LPGA Tour. She has made more than 240 starts on the LPGA, earning more than $US14 million in prizemoney. Her biggest career triumph came at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, when she became the second-youngest major winner in women’s history. It would prove to be the only major title of her career, although she logged 19 top-10 finishes at majors and eight finishes inside the top-three. This included a runner-up in a playoff at the 2017 Chevron Championship, when she received a four-shot penalty for improperly replacing her ball after marking it and then signing an incorrect scorecard.

Last October she became just the seventh woman to play on the PGA Tour, nearly making the cut at the Shriners Children’s Open with rounds of 73-69. She made six appearances for the United States at the Solheim Cup and compiled a 9–7–7 record in 23 matches.

Retiring Lexi Thompson doesn’t want a ‘pity party’, but says life on tour is lonely and ‘words hurt’

Thompson has also been open about her mental struggles with the game, withdrawing from the 2018 Women’s British Open citing emotional and mental exhaustion. She’s also admitted that she hasn’t been feeling “100 percent” healthy in recent years as her performance has dipped.