The golf world reacted via social media with outrage and harsh words Sunday evening during the final round of the ANA Inspiration, the first women’s major of the year. This is yet another incident of golf getting in its own way and looking stupid and lame to casual sports fans who already have that impression of the game.
Walking off the 12th green with the lead, Lexi Thompson was informed she was receiving a four-shot penalty for infractions from the third round. A TV viewer notified the LPGA via email that Thompson had marked her ball and improperly replaced it before tapping-in a one-footer on the 17th hole a day earlier. She received two strokes for the incorrect ball placement and then another two shots for signing an incorrect scorecard — the whole situation was absurd, but the latter was more flagrant since she didn’t know at the time.
Despite Lexi’s impressive ability to fight back and respond with back-to-back birdies after receiving the devastating news, she eventually lost in an one-hole playoff to So Yeon Ryu. In other words, this retroactive, unbelievably delayed infraction late in the final round of a major championship cost Thompson the major title.