Golf needs to get control of its rule book

Ryu birdied the first playoff hole to take the LPGA's first major of the season under freakish circumstances.

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.

The infringement had been spotted by a TV viewer and officials assessed Thompson with a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place, plus another two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard.

"It's unfortunate what happened", Thompson said.

'I had to regroup myself, my caddie helped me out tremendously, we have a great relationship. "I tried to gather myself and I made a great putt at 13", Golf Channel quoted Thompson as saying.

"It's a weird feeling, but I am proud of myself". I didn't expect what happened to Lexi.

Thompson was leading by three strokes after 12 holes in the last round when she was informed by officials she had been retroactively docked four strokes for an infringement in the previous round.

Ryu So-yeon poses for a picture with a trophy after winning the ANA Inspiration in the first playoff hole against Lexi Thompson at Rancho Mirage Mission Hills Country Club in California on Sunday.

She was promptly handed a four-stroke penalty for an incident that occurred a day earlier during the third round of the tournament. But you know what, I fought hard coming in, and I didn't give up.

Woods had his own experience at rules tip-offs during major championships, notably in 2013 when a television viewer called in to reveal Woods' errant drop on the 15th hole during the second round, for which he was given a two-stroke penalty the following day.

Thompson isn't the first player to have been affected by golf's incredulous rules.

Thompson was alerted to the violation and punishment by a rules official on her way to the 13th tee at the ANA Inspiration. She was three shots ahead, with just six holes to go in the final round. "I didn't even realise I did that".

Fellow golfers offered their support, with Tiger Woods tweeting: "Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes". She finished with a 70 to tie for third at 275 with Inbee Park and Minjee Lee, who each shot 69. "Let's go Lexi, win this thing anyway".

"Wasn't expecting that on whatever hole that was", Thompson said about the penalty in the interview with the LPGA after the round. If they can't spot a minor infraction like this, it's beyond silly that the LPGA Tour (and, for that matter, the PGA Tour) would allow viewers-who very well could have personal or financial biases driving their decision-to help police the game.

  • Julie Sanders