Pro golfer Lexi Thompson was partaking in Saturday’s ANA Inspiration Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif. When she violated a rule by returning a marked ball to the wrong place on the green before putting. Nobody noticed until a TV viewer at home noticed the mistake and informed the golf association a day later via email.
The penalty: 2 points off for misplacing the ball, 2 more for incorrectly marking the scoreboard. Thomson who was leading up until that moment now found herself trailing behind and ultimately losing the tournament due to the mistake, Golf.com reports. On Sunday, officials reviewed the footage, docked the points and then notified Thomson as she was leaving the 12th hole. Thomson, stunned, called the ruling ridiculous, asking “Is this a joke?” and eventually lost in the playoff to So Yeon Ryu.
An LPGA official involved in the ruling stated that he suspects the ball-moving was totally unintentional, and that it made him “sick” to have to punish Thompson for the error.
From Thomson’s Instagram:
Well it was an emotional day here for me, first off I do want to say what I had done was 100% not intentional at all I didn't realize I had done that. I want to say thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and Mission Hills for making this week possible at the @anainspiration ! Also to the fans out there, words can't describe what you being there for me, meant to me. You helped me push thru those last holes so thank you for always believing in me. A big thanks to my caddy as well for always staying positive and being there for me when it got tough. I played some great golf so definitely a lot of positives to take from the week. Time for a very needed 3 weeks off now. Thank you everybody ❤