Lexi Thompson defends her LPGA Indianapolis title this week after more than a month away from the game to give herself a mental, emotional and physical break.
The American said it was a “hard decision” to skip the Women’s British Open two weeks ago, but one she thought was well worth it.
“I never want to skip that event,” she said Wednesday at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Club. “It’s just a very prestigious event. But with how I was just mentally and emotionally, I wasn’t ready to compete there.
“I felt like, if I skipped that tournament, it allowed me to have those four weeks of just figuring myself out a little bit, give myself the rest needed, and come out to the last seven or eight tournaments I have left refreshed.”
Thompson, a nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour, hasn’t won since lifting the trophy in Indianapolis last year.
But it wasn’t just on-course struggles driving her need to reassess her priorities.
“I’m not just a robot out there,” she said. “I need to have a life.
“I have transformed myself around this game for such a long time, ever since I was five years old,” 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,” added Thompson, whose mother, Judy, has battled uterine cancer.
Thompson also lost her grandmother last year, an emotional blow in a season whose on-course disappointments included a controversial four-shot penalty for incorrectly marking her ball at the ANA Inspiration.
“It was just so much to deal with, and I had to show that I was still OK and still play golf,” Thompson said. “I think it just kind of all hit me coming into this year. You can only stay strong for so long and hide it. I am a very strong person, but at times you just need a break.”