Lexi Thompson lost LPGA major after TV viewer’s email led to 4-stroke penalty
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.
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— GOLF.com (@golf_com) April 3, 2017
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.
Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes. Let's go @Lexi, win this thing anyway.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 3, 2017
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) April 3, 2017
— Holly P Clyburn (@HPClyburn) April 3, 2017
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) April 3, 2017
Lexi 4-shot penalty. Golf black eye. Excessive punishment doesn't fit crime. Jail time for 6 miles over speed limit. Shame #LexiThompson
— Jeff Rude (@JeffRudeGolf) April 3, 2017
Absurd. Why does golf allow TV viewers as defacto replay officials? No other sport does. https://t.co/TIOlAzXNjW
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) April 3, 2017
And the LPGA’s response:
Our statement regarding Lexi Thompson penalty. pic.twitter.com/bQrlIFrebQ
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 3, 2017