Lexi Thompson was handed a four-stroke penalty after walking off of the 12th green on Sunday during the fourth round of the ANA Inspiration. The penalty was apparently handed out thanks to a viewer who emailed LPGA officials about a possible infraction that took place during the THIRD ROUND!
Rules officials reviewed the film for two hours before alerting Thompson of the violation of Rule 20-3. Thompson improperly replaced her ball an inch away from her marker on a one-foot putt on the 17th hole. At the time, Thompson and officials on-site saw nothing wrong and she signed her scorecard after her round. The improper placement of her ball, along with signing an incorrect scorecard cost her four strokes changing her 67 to a 71.
Thompson had a two-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen that was turned into a two-stroke deficit in mere seconds.
Some may say Thompson was cheating, but considering she is the top American golfer and was replacing her ball on a one-foot putt like she’s done thousands of times, that is ludicrous.
The LPGA released the following statement:
On Sunday afternoon, the LPGA received an email from a television viewer, saying that Lexi Thompson did not properly replace her ball prior to putting out on the 17th hole during Saturday’s third round of the ANA Inspiration. The claim was quickly investigated by LPGA Rules officials.
After a full review, it was determined that Thompson breached Rule 20-7c (Playing From Wrong Place), and received a two-stroke penalty. She incurred an additional two-stroke penalty under Rule 6-6d for returning an incorrect scorecard in round three. She was immediately notified of the breach by LPGA Rules Committee in between holes 12 and 13 of the final round.
PGA Tour players reacted with the same fierceness that they did after Dustin Johnson was penalized during the U.S. Open in 2016.
We lead off with Tiger Woods, who put the PGA and LPGA in their place with a very obvious statement.
It may be safe to assume that said viewer had money on the line.