Emotional Lexi Thompson misses the cut in what’s likely her final U.S. Women’s Open

LANCASTER, Pa. – Lexi Thompson’s U.S. Women’s Open career ended on a Friday on the ninth hole. The 13-over finish at Lancaster Country Club, however, isn’t an accurate reflection of the week.

“Minus the golf, it was amazing,” she told the media after a second-round 75 that ended with a bogey.

The 29-year-old announced earlier in the week that 2024 would be her final full-time season on the LPGA, which means her 18th U.S. Women’s Open appearance will likely be her last. Thompson chose the U.S. Women’s Open to deliver the news because this is where the dream started at Pine Needles in 2007, when Thompson was only 12.

“Yeah, it wasn’t the golf that I wanted to play, obviously,” said Thompson, “but it was a special week, of course, with announcing what I did.

“To see all the fans out there and just to hear their chants and ‘go Lexis’ made me smile every single shot even if I kept on bogeying.”

U.S. Women’s Open: Photos | How to watch | Leaderboard

Well-wishes have been pouring in from current and former players, even some Thompson says she didn’t know that well.

“It means the world to me for them to reach out and say those kind words and to even hear that some of them have dealt with the same things and appreciate me opening up,” said Thompson, “it’s so important.”

Early on during Thompson’s press conference on Friday, she got emotional when asked what it meant to share this week with her family.

Thompson turned to the USGA media official at her side and said, “See this is why I didn’t want to do this.”

She took a few minutes to compose herself, accepting a tissue, before continuing.

After that clip was later shown during the tournament broadcast, Golf Channel analyst Karen Stupples, who was in the booth, said if she could give Thompson a message it would that it’s OK to feel those emotions.

“You don’t have to put on a brave face anymore,” Stupples added.

Thompson said she’ll play in 10 to 12 events for the rest of the season. The Solheim Cup is slated for September 13-15, and Thompson would like nothing more than to be part of one more Team USA victory. It would be her seventh Solheim Cup appearance.

2024 U.S. Women's Open
2024 U.S. Women's Open

Lexi Thompson looks on during the second round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club. (Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis took to twitter earlier in the week to react to Thompson’s announcement.

“While I wasn’t surprised by the news yesterday,” Lewis wrote, “I have struggled to put into words what Lexi has meant to women’s golf. She made an impact on the course and with her play but made more of an impact off, saying yes to sponsors and fans more than anyone I have seen.”

Earlier in the week, USGA CEO Mike When noted that when he took over as commissioner of the LPGA in 2009, girls represented only 15 percent of junior golf.

Today, that number is 36 percent. Over the last decade, more than 1,000 high school girls golf programs have been added, putting the total number almost as high as girls soccer programs.

2024 U.S. Women's Open
2024 U.S. Women's Open

Lexi Thompson looks on during the second round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club. (Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

No doubt Thompson has played a large role in that – with her play inside the ropes, her dedication to fans and her commitment to those writing the checks. Morgan Pressel noted that Thompson rarely missed a pro-am party and took the time to pen hand-written thank-you notes to pro-am partners and sponsors. Whan called her a model player in that regard.

“Coming into the sport, I just wanted to leave it in a better spot than it was when I first stepped in,” she said. “Having role models like Nancy Lopez and Annika and what they’ve done for the game and the way they’ve given back, that’s always what I wanted to do, whether my accomplishments or not, I always wanted to give back, sign the autographs, take the pictures, grow the game any way I can.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek