Lexi's victory ruined after being dobbed in by eagle-eyed viewer

As such, the bogey on 12 and the four dropped shots from penalties, saw Thompson drop to two strokes back with six to go.

Thompson had been leading by three and walking to the 13th tee with her second major title in sight when she was stopped dead in her tracks by a rules official, who told her of the penalty.

Someone watching the ANA Inspiration Championship in Palm Springs, California, noticed Lexi Thompson had slightly misplaced her ball on the 17th green during her third round on Saturday. Without playing a shot, she went from three strokes clear of Suzann Pettersen, to a shot behind with six holes to play.

While non golfers will be wondering how such a small infraction (Thompson didn't move her ball any closer to the hole) could have such huge repercussions, those who know the game won't be as shocked.

Thompson absorbed the news of the loss of her lead on Sunday and eventually lost the tournament in a one-hole playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

"It's unfortunate what happened", Thompson said. "They got me through the whole round", she said.

"I learned a lot about myself and how much I have in me". "I wasn't expecting what happened today, but.it happens, and I'll learn from it and hopefully do better".

OK, here's a good rule for golf - the general public should not not be allowed to officiate an event, especially if they're at home at the time.

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

The anonymous viewer emailed officials the following day and, after reviewing the video, they imposed a four-stroke penalty - for misplacing the ball and handing in an incorrect scorecard.

The American was in tears as she teed off on the 13th hole but gathered herself and birdied it.

Ryu birdied the 18th hole in the playoff to win her second major title, but her celebration was muted because of the freakish circumstances.

'I can not believe the situation. "I didn't even check the leaderboard".

Thompson also received another retroactive two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard something she says she didn't realize she did until the viewer sent in their email the next day.

"It hurts me as well, it is a weird feeling but at the same time I am proud of myself".

"For her to come back with those birdies shows the character she is", Pettersen said.

Thompson finished with 5-under 67 and Ryu 68 for 14-under 274. Jimenez shot 2-under 70 in the final round and Sauers, the third-round leader, 71 to finish regulation at 13-under 203.

It was the South Korean's second major success following her win at the 2011 US Women's Open. I knew I could still win.

  • Julie Sanders