Thompson hit with penalty, loses ANA in playoff

Lexi Thompson lost the first LPGA Major of the season in horrendous fashion on Sunday after an email from a television viewer to the LPGA saw her take a 4-stroke penalty.

Lexi Thompson posted an Instagram message late Sunday night saying her ball placement error that cost her four strokes and the championship at the 2017 ANA Inspiration was "100 percent not intentional".

Golf chiefs are facing renewed scrutiny of the game's rules on the eve of the Masters following the weird chain of events that deprived American Lexi Thompson of her second Major title.

Thompson's initial reaction to being told of her four-stroke penalty - two shots for the offence and two more for signing an incorrect scorecard - was to respond: "Is this a joke?"

The South Korean won the ANA Inspiration tournament in California after trumping American Lexi Thompson, who earlier received a four shot penalty, in a playoff on Sunday (Monday NZ time).

There is no suggestion that Thompson meant to break the rules.

She stared down an eagle putt at the par-five 18th that would have clinched the title but left her attempt just inches short to set up a playoff with Ryu.

Thompson's support extended to the digital realm, where Tiger Woods immediately offered his thoughts on Twitter. "I felt strong through the finish".

LPGA Tour rules official Sue Witters, who had informed a stunned Thompson of the penalty after the 12th, said she understood the outrage of fans but insisted no other option was available. You know, I am a very emotional person. I wasn't expecting what happened today to happen and I will learn from it'.

"For her to come back with those birdies shows the character she is", Pettersen said. The violation was committed in the first round, when Thompson had an incorrect marking of the ball and signing an incorrect card.

14-time major tournament victor Tiger Woods was apparently watching from home, as he offered his two cents and encouraged Thompson to "win this thing anyway".

Lydia Ko doesn't believe viewers should be able to influence the outcome of tournaments.

Despite Thompson taking momentum with her to the playoff hole, Ryu birdied the last to claim victory. "Lexi and I had a great match going there".

A birdie at 15 moved her back into the lead, but she bogeyed 16.

"I just. can not believe this situation", said Ryu, who captured her second career major. The USGA informed the Swedish player on the next hole after she had hit her third shot. "I played under a little pressure as it's the first Major of the year", said Ariya who would remain at No 2.

I think it would be only fitting that the person that did this step forward or be made available to the media.

  • Julie Sanders