RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Lexi Thompson is not drying off from a jump in Poppy's Pond after a penalty likely cost her a big win at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage over the weekend. She ended up losing to Se Yeon Ryu due to the penalty.
The change in the leaderboard was due to a fan noticing the mishap while watching the LPGA tournament from home -- Thompson had misplaced her ball during play on Saturday during the third round. Thompson was hit with a four-stroke penalty, which she only learned about while playing her final round. She was docked two strokes for the misplaced ball and two more for an incorrect score card.
Skip Whittet, a former PGA rules official, said he agreed with the ruling.
She marked her ball and she placed it back," he said. "She didn't place it exactly on the spot that she picked it up from so unfortunately for her, she played from the wrong place."
Golfers at the driving range at College of the Desert said Thompson's penalty was unfair.
"Once they sign for their scorecard that if they haven't told them any other problems beforehand they should probably not be able to do it after the fact, so I think that was sad," Fred Schuit, said.
"To me, it doesn't seem like it's really right but that's the rules," Jennifer Baerg said.
Whittet did acknowledge that catching the penalty either at the moment or the day of would have been best, for the player's sake, but said viewers calling in on violations should continue to keep the integrity of golf.
The U.S. Golf Association is addressing this issue with a proposed rule change in 2019 that could have ruled Thompson's action as unintentional.
On Monday, Thompson reacted to the results via Instagram.
Let me start by congratulating Seo Yun Ryu on her playoff victory yesterday at the ANA Inspiration. She fought extremely hard and played amazing golf. I don’t want anything that happened yesterday to take away from Seo Yun’s victory. The LPGA rules officials made a judgment call at the moment, and we as professional golfers must accept it, no matter how painful it is. What happened was not intentional at all, I would never do that purposely. And I hope everyone knows that. I want to thank the amazing fans out on the course for all their support. Their cheering helped get me through those last 6 holes. Hearing all the fans cheer me on after every shot, going to every tee, truly brought tears to my eyes every time. I also want to thank the fans around the world who have reached out to me to offer their support, and for being there for me in this difficult situation. Your support means so much to me ....... I'm so blessed to have you all as my fans. I love you all and the game of golf, and I look forward to seeing all of you very soon.