A Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament player thought she was cruising to a tournament win with a three-stroke lead on Sunday when she found out she was suddenly behind by a stroke, thanks to a move she made the day before.
And Lexi Thompson’s expected win at the ANA Inspiration tournament in Rancho Mirage, California, turned out to be an illusion after all.
According to Golf Magazine, the situation arose when Thompson marked her ball Saturday on the 17th hole, then replaced it on the ground approximately one inch from its original spot.
At first, apparently nobody noticed the infraction, but then a TV viewer emailed the tour about it, spurring officials into pulling up some playback footage and reviewing Thompson’s performance at the 17th hole. They subsequently determined that she had violated the tournament’s rules and would therefore have to face several penalties.
Our statement regarding Lexi Thompson penalty. pic.twitter.com/bQrlIFrebQ
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 3, 2017
“After a full review, it was determined that Thompson breached Rule 20-7c (Playing From Wrong Place), and received a two-stroke penalty,” the LPGA announced in a statement Sunday. “She incurred an additional two-stroke penalty under Rule 6-6d for returning an incorrect scorecard in round three.”
The announcement was made to her when she was finished the 12th hole during the final round of the tournament Sunday, and not surprisingly, the 22-year-old golfer did not take the news well. She reportedly called the ruling “ridiculous” and fought back tears as she tried to continue playing.
She almost pulled it out, managing to play two-under par from the 13th hole to the end, setting herself up for a tie with South Korean So Yeon Ryu, according to Golf News Net. She faltered in sudden death play, though, and So won the first major victory of the LPGA season.
Afterward Thompson said hadn’t realized what she had done.
Interestingly, she was not the only one upset by the LPGA’s decision. Golfing champion Tiger Woods was the biggest name in a chorus of outrage against the golf organization on Twitter.
“Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes,” he wrote Sunday. “Let’s go @Lexi, win this thing anyway.”
“Feeling for Lexi … some things in sports just don’t make sense,” added fellow golfer Zach Johnson.
Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes. Let’s go @Lexi, win this thing anyway.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 3, 2017
Feeling for Lexi…some things in sports just don’t make sense. Unreal fortitude shown. Heart of a champion.
— Zach Johnson (@ZachJohnsonPGA) April 3, 2017
Realistically, though, it was highly unlikely that the LPGA would reverse its decision. While Thompson made a careless mistake, rules exist for areason.
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H/T Fox News