'I had to show I was OK and can still play golf'
Lexi Thompson will defend her title at the Indy Women in Tech Championship this week as she makes her return to golf after taking a month out of the sport.
The 23-year-old withdrew from the Ricoh Women’s British Open earlier this month as she felt she needed to ‘recharge her batteries’.
And now the American – who hasn’t won since her triumph here at Brickyard Crossing last year – will look to get back to the form of last year having struggled on and off the golf course this season.
“It was honestly just a build-up,” Thompson explained about the break in her pre-tournament press conference.
“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. It was just so much to deal with, and I had to show that I was still OK and still play golf.”
The 2017 season was a career-best year for Thompson, but it didn’t come without its troubles.
In April, she was assessed a four-stroke penalty at the ANA Inspiration for marking her ball incorrectly and then went on to lose in a play-off against So Yeon Ryu.
In June, Thompson revealed that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and then three months later Thompson’s grandmother passed away.
And then at the final tournament of the season – the CME Group Tour Championship – Thompson missed a two-foot putt on the 18th green which would have made a play-off with Ariya Jutanugarn.
The emotional rollercoaster has taken its toll. This time last year, Thompson had won at the Kingsmill Championship and had registered an additional eight top-5 finishes.
So far this year, she has been winless and has only three top-5s to her name.
“You just have to take the positive out of everything, realise that I have had a great year,” she said.
“I haven’t won, but I’m trying my best in every tournament, that’s all I can do.”
All eyes will be on Thompson this week in Indianapolis to see how she copes following her break.
With good memories here at Brickyard Crossing, where she won by four shots over Lydia Ko last year, perhaps the American may just get off to the best possible return with a first win of the season.