Nelly: “Sad to see Lexi Thompson leaving”

Ronan MacNamara

Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Nelly Korda paid tribute to Lexi Thompson after she announced that she would be retiring from professional golf at the end of the season.

Thompson is retiring at the young age of 29 but she has had a long and storied career that began when she was twelve as she makes her 18th US Women’s Open appearance in Lancaster this week.

World number one Korda has played alongside Thompson for USA in the Solheim Cup in recent years and she says Lexi will have left a lasting impact on the LPGA Tour.

“She’s had such an amazing career, I think. I’ve gotten to be on the team with her a couple times representing our country,” said Korda who is looking for her seventh win in eight starts this week.

“I think she does an amazing job for the Tour. She spends so much time going to each Pro-Am party. She really dedicated her time to growing the game. It’s sad to see that she’s obviously leaving and not going to be out here with us anymore, but she’s had an amazing career, and I wish her the best in this new chapter of her life.”

The US Women’s Open is one that means a lot to Korda, it’s where she made her major championship debut aged just 14. Now in the midst of a history making run of form, the 25-year-old is ready to “risk it for a biscuit” and end a long wait for a maiden national open title.

“I would say obviously, gosh, playing against the best players in the world,” said Korda reflecting on the 2013 US Women’s Open.

“I got to play practice rounds with Michelle Wie, Na Yeon Choi; got to hit balls next to Lydia, got to hit balls next to Inbee Park, and getting to do this with my sister. I mean, that was, for me, the best of all.

“Before that, I don’t know, my sister’s first U.S. Open, I think, was 2008, I’m guessing, and I went to each and every one of those. I was like the biggest cheerleader. She snuck me into the locker room a couple of times and it was just like the coolest experience. Getting to do it myself was so fun.

“I remember on Sunday — I made the cut just on the number, and I remember on Sunday I hit a driver, and it was like a hole where, if you make an eagle, there was a donation of a certain amount to a certain charity.

“I hit it to like probably 10 feet, and I sunk the putt, and I got interviewed after. My quote was, you’ve got to risk it for the biscuit. That’s one of the main things I remember from my U.S. Open.”

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