The Untold Truth Of Lexi Thompson

If you're a big fan of professional golf, then you definitely know who Lexi Thompson is — it would be almost impossible not to. At just 23-years-old, Thompson is widely considered to be one of the best female professional golfers out there. She competed in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, among countless other achievements, and she has broken many milestones. She's a truly inspiring athlete, especially for women who are interested in the world of golfing, which has long been a male-dominated sport. 

As incredible as Thompson's career has been, she has had her fair share of tough moments as well. The year 2018 was particularly hard on Thompson, who went through a lot of emotional and personal changes that affected her and her game. Still, through it all, she has shown a determined commitment to golf that helps make her stand out as such as a fantastic player. Below are some things you may not have known about Thompson.

She made history as the youngest golfer to play professionally

When Thompson first appeared on the golf scene, she instantly made history. The New York Times reported that, at 12 years old, Thompson became the youngest player to qualify for the United States Women's Open. At 15-years-old, Thompson became the youngest female golfer to turn professional when she signed an endorsement deal with Cobra-Puma golf. 

When she turned 16, Thompson again made history, that time as the youngest winner on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours. At the time, Thompson told the Associated Press (via The Globe and Mail), "It feels amazing. I'm just honored they invited me back and I'm just grateful to be here. I've been working on my game really hard and it has paid off." Thompson won her first major championship at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship when she was 19 years old, and that made her the second youngest LPGA golfer to win a major. It's definitely impressive to see how much she accomplished as just a teenager.

She was home-schooled

Considering Thompson was already making history when she was just 12 years old, she obviously didn't have a "normal" childhood. According to an interview with American Way, Thompson grew up in Coral Springs, Florida, in a family of golfers — both of her brothers played, and her parents were "golf buffs." Thompson said, "I grew up off the 12th hole at Eagle Trace. I picked up my first club at the age of 5. I remember riding my bike with my golf bag on my back." 

By the time she was in sixth grade, both Thompson and her parents felt that golf was such an important part of her life that she needed to dedicate as much time as possible to practicing. They made the decision to home-school Thompson so that she could practice for seven hours a day. Thompson admitted that it was tough, saying, "I lost the friends I went to elementary school with." 

She takes being a role model very seriously

As a female athlete, Thompson is fully aware that she is often seen as a role model for many girls who are younger than her. Because of that, she has said that she does everything she can to set a good example. In an interview with IndyStar, she talked about the importance of "loving yourself for who you are," saying, "I guess I consider myself a role model, just because a lot of people tell me I am." But it's not something she's unhappy with. She added, "As athletes, we should leave our sport better than when we started."

Thompson's stance on being a role model is obvious in the way she acts on social media: the golfer is always honest and open with her fans and followers. In an interview with Golf Channel, Thompson said, "I love being a role model." It definitely shows.

She struggles with body image issues

As a professional athlete, Thompson spends a lot of time in the gym working out and keeping herself in shape for her sport. She regularly shares photos of herself at the gym, and has shared her workout tips with publications in the past. In an interview with CNN, Thompson said, "I'm definitely addicted to the whole training part of it. I love working out. It's kind of like my outlet; just run."

But in October 2018, Thompson shared that she was struggling with some major body image issues in an honest Instagram post. In the post, she wrote that she had started doing "brutal workouts twice a day" even though she wasn't eating much so that she could lose weight. She said she would compare herself to models on Instagram and tear herself down for what she didn't have. The message ended on an inspiring note, with Thompson adding, "But what I want to share is that you're not alone in any of your struggles." 

Her brothers are both golfers as well and have inspired her

Growing up with two brothers who were also excellent golfers helped make Thompson competitive and also inspired her. In an interview with American Way, she explained that she spent her childhood practicing with them, saying, "I'd try to out-drive them and beat them in chipping contests. There was a lot of trash talk." However, her brothers were also her biggest supporters and two of her closest friends. Especially after switching to homeschooling, she spent a lot of time with them. 

It definitely seems like it paid off for Thompson in the end. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Thompson had nothing but good things to say about her brothers, explaining that she had been playing with them since she was 5 years old. She added, "I've always looked up to them, and having their support has made me into a much better player." For their family, it really seems like golf was a rite of passage. 

She took a break from golf to feel like a "normal" person

In August 2018, when Thompson was 23 years old, she made a huge decision: she needed a break from the golfing world. During a pre-tournament press conference at the Indy Women in Tech Championship, she said (via GolfLink), "I'm not just a robot out there. I need to have a life." She had had a tough year: her grandmother passed away, her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she wasn't playing her best. Thompson 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." 

In an Instagram post, Thompson wrote that she needed time to work on herself, saying, "I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time. I am therefore taking this time to recharge my mental batteries, and to focus on myself away from the game of professional golf." The break lasted a few months before Thompson made her return in late 2018. 

She loves golf because she finds it so challenging

As a famous golfer, Thompson has a lot of reasons to love her career, but it's golf itself that she appreciates the most. She even loves it when she's not performing her best. In an interview with American Way, she said that she's learning how to get through the negative stuff and get herself back on track. She also revealed that sometimes it gets to be too overwhelming, saying, "There are days when I'm like, 'I've had enough.'" 

But then she added, "Every day I wake up and something's different in my game: my swing, the weather. That's the thing about golf. It's always a challenge every time you wake up. That's why I gravitated toward it. What keeps me going is that you can never perfect it." In one interview with ESPN, she said that golf has been her life "for a very long time," and it took her a while to realize it's "just a game." Still, she said that golf has always been in her blood — and it will always be there.

She held a contest to find a prom date

Because she was home-schooled, Thompson didn't have your average high school prom experience. But even so, she maintained an active social life and hoped to go to one of her friends' proms. The problem was, she didn't have a date. Her mom told Sports Illustrated in 2011 that it was because all the boys were afraid and intimidated to ask her. Thompson said that was either because of "the whole golf thing" or because she's so tall (she tells people she's 5"11, but her agent insists she's taller).

She told American Way that she worked with her agent and Red Bull, her sponsor, to launch a Facebook contest to find a prom date. The winner would get an all-expense-paid trip to Florida to be her date, and anyone who entered had to be a military veteran under the age of 21. She ended up choosing 20-year-old Marine Lance Corporal Mark Scott of Naperville, Illinois, who'd received a Purple Heart in Afghanistan. The two went to her prom followed by a camera crew from E! Thompson said, "It was definitely not your normal prom. But it was pretty special, a really cool experience." 

Her puppy helped her get through tough times

During her brief hiatus from golf, Thompson really focused on doing things that made her happy, being true to herself, and improving her mental health. One way she did this was by getting her own puppy. She told the New York Times that she found her puppy when she went to the Heavenly Puppies pet store in South Florida, where she wanted to go volunteer to walk the dogs to get an escape. 

As soon as she went in, she saw a small Havanese and miniature poodle mix wearing a ladybug patch — Thompson has one on her golf bag and wears ladybug earrings for good luck. She knew it was fate, and told her mom, "I've changed my mind. I don't need to volunteer. I'm getting a dog." She named the dog Leo, and when she returned to golf, she had him by her side. Thompson regularly posts adorable Instagram photos with the pup.

She's open about her mom's battle with uterine cancer

In May 2017, the New York Times says that Thompson found out that her mom, Judy, had been diagnosed with uterine cancer. A month later, Judy underwent a hysterectomy to remove the malignancy. It was Judy's second time being diagnosed with cancer after battling breast cancer 11 years before. Thompson has always been honest about her mom's diagnosis and how it has affected her game. She has described her mom as her "best friend," calling her "the strongest woman I know." 

Speaking to Golf Week, Thompson gushed about her mom, saying, "You know, (my mom) has always been, no matter what she's going through... the biggest fighter. She's always been a role model of mine. I always aspire to be the woman –- half the woman that she is." One of the reasons Thompson has stayed on top of her game is because her mom has continued to encourage her to do so. 

She sometimes plays golf with Donald Trump

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Thompson has played golf with Donald Trump several times. She said she had played with him along with both of her brothers, calling him "a great supporter of the game." She added that he's a decent player, saying, "The best part of his game is his driver. He hits it pretty straight. And he's the fastest player ever." Thompson told Yahoo News that she has known Trump for years, saying that when she was trying to find a golf course to practice on in South Florida, he offered her a membership to a Trump course.

Since Trump became President, Thompson has been asked about his politics, but she stays out of it. She told Golf Week that she never talks politics with Trump, saying, "I'm not into politics, so honestly I can't even ask him anything." She did say that a lot more people follow him around on the course now than before.