Back to Tour news Solheim Cup 2023: Team USA star Lexi Thompson explains why this is her most significant Solheim Cup to date

In a wide-ranging interview, Rolex Testimonee Lexi Thompson tells TG’s Michael Catling about her surprising viewing habits on YouTube, the disappointments that have defined her, and why this year’s Solheim Cup carries greater significance than ever before.
Lexi Thompson has a hard time believing that it’s been 10 years since she made her debut as a teenager in the Solheim Cup. She’s even more surprised to learn that her fourball included both the European Team and American Team captains for this year and next. She laughs hysterically at the reminder, before composing herself long enough to wonder where the time has gone.

This September will be her sixth appearance for the United States. There’s also a chance it could be her last. The 28-year-old is taking nothing for granted nowadays and sees little reason to as she speaks glowingly about the next generation of stars coming through.

Lexi Thompson first major win in 2014 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship
It wasn’t so long ago that she was being talked about in the same way Rose Zhang is now. Thompson was only 15 when she turned pro and her association with Rolex began. She won her first LPGA and LET titles a year later, and then celebrated her first Major Championship victory before she had even turned 20.

The expectation was that she would just keep on winning, but other people’s expectations are hard to meet. There were other successes, but they were often tempered by bad luck and close calls in the events that carry the most weight.

This year has been one of her toughest yet, though she refuses to let it dampen her enthusiasm for representing her country again in the Solheim Cup. Victory in Spain, she says, could change everything…

Lexi Thompson will aim to win her first Women’s Open.
The Highs and Lows of Lexi’s Career
– Became the youngest player in history to qualify for the US Women’s Open, aged 12.
– Turned pro in June 2010, signing sponsorship deals with Cobra/Puma and Red Bull.
– Aged 16, won the first of 11 LPGA Tour titles, the 2011 Navistar Classic, winning by five strokes.
– In April 2014, claimed her first Major title at the Chevron Championship, formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
– Penalised four strokes at the 2017 Chevron Championship for incorrectly replacing her ball on the green. She still got into a play-off but lost to Ryu So-yeon.
– Let a five-shot lead slip during the final round of the 2021 US Women’s Open, and missed out on a play-off by a shot.
– Claimed her first win in three years at the Aramco Team Series-New York in October 2022.

Lexi’s Solheim Cup Highlights
I would say my very first Solheim Cup tee shot, in Colorado in 2013, would be one. The other two moments are probably from the same round during my match against Anna Nordqvist in Des Moines in 2017. I holed out on a par 5. I think it was the 11th. I was four down after nine holes and I realized that I had nothing to lose. I ended up making an eagle on 11 with a wedge that span back in the hole. I couldn’t even see it going in, but I went off everybody’s reaction – that was definitely a great feeling. The other moment was my putt on 15. I hit a 7-iron into a par 5 and I had about 30 to 35 feet. My putt broke about 10 feet. The crowd cheering gave me the chills. I managed to get a half-point for the team, which was important in those singles.

Lexi Thompson after winning the 2015 Solheim Cup
Lexi Thompson Interview
You’ve been part of five Solheim Cup teams. Do you still get the same level of excitement and nerves?

I still get the nerves and I still get the excitement. That’s what it’s all about. The Solheim Cup is my favorite event. As golf is such an individual sport, we don’t get to play team events that much and to be able to represent my country is such an honor.

Anytime there’s a team event, it is my number one goal to attend and play. Words cannot even describe the feeling of representing your country at that tournament.

All the shots we hit, all the putts we make, it’s thrilling. I get goosebumps. I’ll watch so many YouTube videos from the Solheim Cup that show the highlights from the different editions. It makes me feel so good when watching those highlights, seeing both teams making putts for their country is genuinely riveting. It’s the best feeling that you could possibly have as an athlete.

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