So Yeon Ryu wins ANA Inspiration in playoff after Lexi Thompson's penalty

Ross Houston
April 17, 2017

That's when LPGA rules officials told her they were giving her a four-stroke penalty for something she did the day before.

When she found out, Thompson still couldn't believe it. But Ryu triumphed with a birdie at the first extra hole.

With six holes remaining in the ANA Inspiration, Thompson was cruising to victory with a 3-stroke lead.

She birdied the 18th to force a play-off against South Korea's So Yeon Ryu, which she won at the first hole.

"My caddy helped me out tremendously", she said in a televised interview. Every day is a learning process, and I wasn't expecting what happened today but it is what it is.

The fateful email arrived during Sunday's final round, alerting officials to the violation committed Saturday.

The weird infraction, brought to the attention of LPGA officials in an email by a television viewer, happened on the 17th hole Saturday when Thompson replaced her ball an inch away from its original position on a 1-foot putt.

Thompson signed for a 67, which should have been a 69 with the two strokes for the improperly replaced ball and then had to add two more for signing the wrong score. Witters regretfully explained the penalty to Thompson.

Q. Can you just sum up that for me, everything you just went through?

"Yeah, I just, you know, can not believe this situation". I did not mean that. "I didn't even realize I did that".

"It's great to have the fan base I do".

Golf fans on the course and the Internet erupted with outrage when the LPGA's decision became understood. "Let's go [Thompson], win this thing anyway", Tiger Woods tweeted shortly after the penalty was announced.

Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes.

It may be safe to assume that said viewer had money on the line. "Handled that with grace and fight" on Twitter.

Thompson was stunned at the time of the ruling, muttering to herself that it was a joke.

American Lexi Thompson reacts following her loss in a playoff against So Yeon Rryu.

But Ryu won in the playoff and Thompson was left wondering what could have been and why she was being assessed a penalty for something happened 24 hours earlier. "Lexi and I had a great match going there".

"I feel bad for Lexi". It's a very unfortunate situation. Probably the best golf I played all week. That took her from ahead to two shots behind, but Thompson rallied in a remarkable way.

"I can not believe the situation".

She steeled herself in superb fashion, though, and, after fighting back with an immediate birdie at the 13th, had an eagle putt on the last hole to claim what would have been an fantastic win.

Australia's Minjee Lee came close to claiming her first major championship, after finishing in a tie for third and only one shot off the lead.

Michelle Wie finished sixth at 11-under while defending champion Lydia Ko finished tied for 11th at seven-under.

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