Lexi Thompson gets 4-stroke penalty, loses late major lead

Lexi Thompson hits from sixth tee during the final round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Sunday, April 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) Lexi Thompson has been hit with a four-stroke penalty during the final round of the ANA Inspiration for making an incorrect ball placement one day earlier.

The extraordinary penalty Sunday knocked Thompson out of the lead at the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year with six holes to play.

Thompson was penalized after a television viewer apparently alerted officials that Thompson marked her ball and then put it back in an improper place before a 1-foot putt in the third round Saturday.

The LPGA didn’t decide on a penalty until Sunday, when Thompson had a three-stroke lead and appeared to be cruising to her second major championship.

Thompson was penalized two strokes for an incorrect ball placement and two strokes for an incorrect scorecard.

Thompson reacted with disbelief.