Lexi Thompson Loses Major After TV Viewer Emails in Penalty

Ross Houston
April 5, 2017

In the a year ago both the LPGA and PGA Tours have faced heavy criticism from fans and players for late rulings during a major.

"Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes".

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) were quick to defend their actions and released a statement after they made a decision to hand her the penalty. Without playing a shot, she went from three strokes clear of Suzann Pettersen, to a shot behind with six holes to play. "I wasn't expecting what happened today, but ... it happens, and I'll learn from it and hopefully do better".

Fowler, speaking ahead of the Masters, said: "I don't think you could find one player that would say otherwise".

She eventually forced a play-off with another birdie that came after a missed eagle putt at 18 that would have seen the 22-year-old claim an extraordinary victory, only for So Yeon Ryu to win courtesy of a birdie on the first play-off hole.

"She fought extremely hard and played wonderful golf", she said. Thompson birdied the par-4, 387-yard 15th hole to retake the lead before giving it back a hole later with a bogey.

You know it's 2017 when...

LEXI THOMPSON: What I learned most?

LPGA tour commissioner Mike Whan appeared on Sirius XM PGA Tour radio on Tuesday with Matt Adams to talk about the rules controversy that has swirled around Lexi Thompson and the Tour since Sunday.

When an official informed her of the penalty as they stood at the 12th hole, Thompson asked "Is this a joke?"

Not for the first time in a leading professional tournament, officials chose to impose a penalty, and it turned out to be very costly for the 22-year-old American. "It hurts me as well, it is a weird feeling but at the same time I am proud of myself".

LPGA rules official Sue Witters later said she was 100-percent certain that Thompson did not do it intentionally.

Once that was exposed it led to officials dispensing a two-shot penalty, one that became four when Thompson was found to have signed an incorrect scorecard after not including that penalty in her third-round score.

I want to thank the wonderful fans out on the course for all their support. "It was a really just a letter to say that sometimes the rules of the game, they feel unfair". Their cheering helped get me through those last 6 holes.

She gained no advantage and it seems absolutely ludicrous that, yet again, a TV viewer should affect the outcome of a major golf tournament.

Again, Thompson was short for birdie, while Ryu sank a 3-footer to win. If you don't catch a violation on the day it happens, it didn't happen.

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