Lexi Thompson handed four-stroke penalty mid-round at ANA Inspiration

Although she had lost her big lead at the ANA Inspiration on a four-shot penalty for a day-old rules violation, Thompson had gained the unabashed support of a crowd desperately willing her to overcome this weird break.

She birdied the 18th to force a play-off against South Korea's So Yeon Ryu, which she won at the first hole.

But what happened Sunday was unprecedented when Lexi Thompson lost her lead and probably the championship at the ANA Inspiration, one of the LPGA's major events, because a TV viewer emailed the tournament to inform it that Thompson had broken a rule. The LPGA said that a television viewer had alerted them to the infraction.

In an Instragram post late Sunday, Thompson wrote, "It was an emotional day here for me, first off I do want to say what I had done was 100% not intentional at all I didn't realize I had done that". "I didn't even check the leaderboard". I thought it was atrocious. "I wasn't expecting what happened to me today, but it is what it is, and I'll learn from it".

"She's trying to hit this tee shot from tears", Mike Tirico said on the telecast.

Ryu So-yeon clinched her second major title after a drama-filled play-off win over Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration. The claim was quickly investigated by LPGA Rules officials.

Q. Can you just sum up that for me, everything you just went through?

With emotions visible on her face amid loud chants of her name, Thompson gathered herself - and left a 15-foot winning eagle putt inches short.

Tiger Woods led a chorus of incredulity across the golf world as the controversy unfolded. They gave here a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place, plus an additional two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard after the third round.

"Granted there was a rules infraction there, but isn't there some sort of time limit on that because it was insane?"

"Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes", tweeted Woods. Her celebration was understandably muted, but she still took the traditional leap into Poppie's Pond. But in a display of incredible resilience, she drained a 20-footer for birdie to move back into a share of the lead.

"Let's go (at) Lexi, win this thing anyway". "Then I was able to handle the tough situation well".

Thompson released a statement on her Instagram following the controversy explaining she wasn't aware of her error, and thanking fans for their fervent support in what was obviously a hard moment.

Defending champion Lydia Ko, who tied for 11th place in Rancho Mirage, California, voiced her to desire for a swift rule change.

  • Julie Sanders