I know it is Masters week and most of us are focused on the exciting golf starting in a couple of days, but I cannot stay quiet! The LPGA decided graciously award Lexi Thompson a 4 stroke penalty in the final round on the 12th hole of the ANA Inspiration golf tournament.
As a result of this decision, Thompson immediately went from 3 up to 1 down to the eventual winner. She struggled back to tie the eventual leader after 18 holes, but lost in the first playoff hole. She handled herself throughout the entire incident with style, grace and professionalism. I applaud Lexi Thompson for providing an awesome example of sportsmanship to all amateur golfers.
As Thompson was putting on the 12th hole during the final round, the Golf Channel commentators began talking about a rules infraction that had recently been brought to their attention — but it happened in the third round.
On the 17th hole on Saturday, video shows Thompson marking her ball before attempting a short putt. In the replay, Thompson’s coin was not visible when she marked her ball, but it was afterward when she placed the ball back on the green, meaning she had replaced the ball in the wrong place.
Officials retroactively assessed Thompson with a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place, plus an additional two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard after the third round.
See for yourself.
Thompson made a couple of errors; it was very obvious from the video that the ball was not in the same position. I attribute her mistake to marking her ball from the side and not from directly behind. If she would have been aligned properly behind the ball, this error would have been avoided. The fact that Lexi Thompson was awarded a 4 stroke penalty is well within golf’s rules, but how the LPGA found out is ridiculous!
A fan emailed the LPGA well after the fact and the penalty was retroactively awarded. It is absolutely crazy that the 4 stroke penalty was awarded after the fact. The ability of armchair referees calling at what they ‘think’ is a rules infraction is something I have hated since the initial Craig Stadler towel debacle of 1987.
It does not look like the PGA or LPGA Tours are going to change the rule allowing viewers to call in if they believe there is a rule infraction. The PGA Tour Commissionaire states that they like the interaction! After the quick news release from the LPGA, social media went crazy and the majority of the comments have the LPGA is on the wrong side of allowing viewers to call in after the fact.
I am in agreement. Viewers should remain viewers. Sorry for the rant today, however, this situation is very disappointing and has no place in professional golf.
Now back to The Masters.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!