The top-12 biggest and amazing moments of Lexi Thompson’s career

 Lexi Thompson announced on Tuesday ahead of this week’s U.S. Women’s Open that she’ll retire at the end of this season. Fittingly, the 29-year-old has been synonymous with the national championship since qualifying for the major in 2007 when she was just 12, starting a streak of 18 consecutive appearances before turning 30. It's another “youngest to accomplish” record that Thompson holds, one of many she has set over her 15-year professional career.

"Pine Needles [in 2007] when I teed it up, that's when I realized I want to play against the best," Thompson explained. "It's been an amazing journey. I've loved every bit of it. So to be able to tee it up on my 18th is unbelievable."

Ahead of what could be Thompson’s final U.S. Women’s Open, here is a timeline of the top moments to know throughout her playing career.Lexi Thompson walks with her father/caddie Scott during the first round of the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open.

Thompson’s appearances started when she set the then-record for the youngest, at 12 years old, to qualify for the major at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club. She impressed with a 76-82 performance, one of only five times she would miss the cut. It was the first of three times as an amateur she would qualify.In Thompson’s only appearance at the USGA’s amateur team match-play event, she dominated with a 4-0-1 week. The then-15-year-old was the youngest player on the team, two years junior to Jessica Korda. In a similar format to the Solheim Cup, Thompson played in all five sessions, wrapping the week up with a commanding 6-and-5 singles victory over Sally Watson. The U.S. won 12 ½-7 ½ for its seventh consecutive title. Thompson turned professional the following week.

In Thompson’s first professional event, she finished T-10 at Oakmont Country Club. The 15-year-old sat in sixth place in the final round, ending the week with a 73 for her first of five top-10s at the major.

Thompson’s first LPGA title came while trying to qualify for the tour. Two months before the Navistar win, Thompson successfully petitioned LPGA commissioner Mike Whan to let her try to qualify for the LPGA while she was 16. She medaled at the first stage of LPGA Q School by 10 strokes. Two weeks ahead of Stage II, Thompson broke away for a five-stroke victory at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail with a winning score of 17.

Since Thompson was not yet 18, she was not automatically granted LPGA membership for the victory. After another successful petition to Whan, she received her tour card for the 2012 season.

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