Lexi Thompson will sit out the 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open with plans to return to golf two weeks later, on Aug. 16. The Women’s British begins Aug. 2 at Royal St. Annes & Lytham.
In a message to her fans on Instagram, the No. 5 player in the world wrote that she needed time to focus on recovering from what has been a draining past year and a half.
“I realized recently that I need to take some time to work on myself,” she wrote. “The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally. 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.”
In April 2017, Thompson found herself at the center of a public firestorm over the Rules of Golf after she was penalized four strokes during the final round of the ANA Inspiration. A TV viewer called in to report that she had marked her ball incorrectly the day before. The penalty effectively cost her the win. In March 2018, Thompson said that the trauma of that night had not completely left her: “I’ve relived it for a while,” she said. “I had nightmares about it — I still occasionally do.”
Thompson’s mother Judy was diagnosed with and was successfully treated for uterine cancer in 2017, a situation that contributed to Thompson’s tumultuous year. In May, she spoke about the “huge relief” of her mother’s recovery.
“She’s my best friend, so just to have her here again this year, supporting me and always there for me to say that she loves me, that’s all I need,” Thompson said.
Despite the turmoil, Thompson has played well this season, with four tops 10s in 2018, including a tie for 5th at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Thompson said she plans to defend her title at the Indy Women in Tech Championship in mid-August.