Lexi Thompson lost LPGA major after TV viewer’s email led to 4-stroke penalty

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)

Lexi Thompson lost the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the LPGA season, after a TV viewer’s email led to a four-stroke penalty for the young star.

LPGA officials docked Thompson, who was leading by 3 with six holes to play at the time, after reviewing play on the 17th hole from Saturday’s round and ruling she had slightly misplaced a marked ball.

She was docked two strokes for the infraction and two more for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Amazingly, she gathered herself enough to hit three clutch birdies and force a playoff with So Yeon Ryu, but failed to capitalize on the extra hole.

Thompson was miffed when LPGA official Sue Witters informed her of the penalty, first asking “Is this a joke?” and then telling Witters “This is ridiculous” after learning it was not a joke.

Some golfers, Tiger Woods among them, suggested the only joke was letting viewers police the sport from their couches.

And the LPGA’s response: