Ryu wins ANA Inspiration in playoff after Thompson's penalty

Thompson was penalised two strokes for incorrectly replacing a marked ball on the 17th green and another two for signing an incorrect scorecard, thereby dropping her a shot off the lead.

It was deemed a violation and Thompson was retroactively docked two strokes plus an additional two for returning an incorrect scorecard.

In an instant, Thompson went from a three shot lead to a one-point deficit ahead of the 13th hole.

Despite not seeing the infraction at the time, the LPGA - after a lengthy deliberation following the email from a viewer at home - imposed two separate two-stroke penalties on the 22-year-old. She nevertheless birdied three of the last six holes to force the play-off, but couldn't match Ryu's play-off birdie.

At the weekend we saw a sad situation play out when American Lexi Thompson was left in tears after being handed a four-stroke penalty while leading the final round of the first major of the season at Mission Hills Country Club, in California - and then losing a play-off to So Yeon Ryu. Are the proposals good for the game?

As awkward as the situation was, it could have been worse: If golf officials hadn't made a rule change before previous year, Thompson would have been disqualified entirely.

After a full review, it was determinded that Thompson breached Rule 20-7c (Playing From Wrong Place), and received a two-stroke penalty.

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.

Speaking to the Golf Channel, Thompson said: "It is unfortunate with what happened, I did not mean that at all, I had no idea that I did it. You helped me push thru those last holes so thank you for always believing in me", she wrote late Sunday on Instagram. I didn't expect what happened to Lexi. "Every day is a learning process, and I wasn't expecting what happened today but it is what it is".

Thompson was startled by the penalty, especially as it came from an at-home viewer.

Most golfers weighing in on Twitter didn't disagree with the ruling, but condemned the practice of allowing TV viewers to have their say - particularly an entire day afterward. Why didn't they do anything about it?' I can't go to bed tonight knowing that I let a rule slide.

It emerged that a television viewer spotted the offence and informed LPGA officials, who reviewed the footage and sanctioned the American mid-round. So you're telling me that's a fair situation as well? "You know, it's a hard thing to do, and it made me sick to be honest with you". I didn't even realize I did that.

So, what on earth is going on in the world of golf?

Her third round 67 was changed to a 71 as she bid to regain the title she won in 2014.

  • Salvatore Jensen