The world number five returns this week after taking time out from the game

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Lexi Thompson: “I Need To Have A Life”

Lexi Thompson returns to professional golf a month after announcing that she would take “some time to work on myself.”

The world number five pulled out of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, won by Georgia Hall, and is back this week at the Indy Women In Tech Championship.

She defends the tournament which she won in its inaugural year in 2017.

Lexi was speaking to the media ahead of this week’s tournament, and unsurprisingly most of it was about her time off.

“It was honestly just a buildup,” she said.

“The last year and a half, I have honestly been struggling a lot, emotionally, and it’s hard because I can’t really show it.”

Lexi also alluded to a tough 18 months in her original announcement last month.

In the past year and a half she has lost her grandmother, her mother got cancer for the second time and she was the centre of the golfing world after being docked four strokes at the ANA Inspiration in the final round for a rules infringement.

She eventually went on to lose in a playoff after being four strokes ahead with seven holes to play before getting the penalty.

As well as that, she missed a short putt on the final hole at the season-ending Tour Championship to miss out on the win and the world number one spot.

“It was just so much to deal with, and I had to show that I was still okay and still play golf. And I don’t even know how I played that well, honestly. And I think it just kind of all hit me coming into this year.”

Golf To Scrap Viewer Call-Ins On Rules Infringements Lexi Thompson rules penalty Video Reviews In Golf

Her rules penalty was one of the biggest stories in professional golf last year

Thompson was asked about what she has been doing off the course in the past month.

“I would say it’s just figuring out what really makes me happy off the golf course, as well, figuring myself out,” Thompson said.

“I have transformed myself around this game for such a long time, ever since I was five years old.”.

“That’s what I grew up knowing,” she said of golf and practice. “Didn’t know much different.

“I was always a very determined person, and coming to this age, a little older, I realise I do need to make time for myself and enjoy life, because not a lot of 23-year-old girls are doing what I am.

“People need to realise that. I’m not just a robot out here. I need to have a life.”

Lexi has been in the spotlight since the age of 12, where she became the youngest player to tee it up in the US Women’s Open.

A 12-year-old Lexi Thompson at the 2007 US Women’s Open. (Photo by Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)

She turned professional aged 15 and won her first LPGA Tour title aged 16.

Now, she gets most of her joy from feeling like a regular person, not a sports star.

“I truly love being home and around my family and friends. I really enjoy that time,” she said.

“Even if it’s two days, I get the most of it. Just being home and being a regular person, it’s nice.”

Watch Lexi Thompson’s interview with the LPGA Tour here:

Lexi Thompson has won nine times on the LPGA Tour including the 2014 ANA Inspiration – her first major title.

The 23-year-old has had five top-10s on the LPGA Tour this year.

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