When Lexi Thompson saw LPGA Tour’s official Sue Witters approaching her on the way to the 13th tee at the ANA Inspiration in 2017, she had no idea of what would happen, and when she found out, she still could not believe it. An email by a television viewer had alerted officials to an earlier 24-hour rule violation by Thompson in which she had a ball placement error of 1-inch. She was currently on a three-shot lead, and this was wiped out by a four-shot penalty.
Thompson's Emotional Display of Frustration
Despite the shocking turn of events, she survived the shock and tears and managed a forced playoff which saw the Dina Shore Course crowd rise to its feet. This did not stop Yeon Ryu from taking advantage of the break that was created by the extraordinary penalty. Ryu birdied the playoff hole, winning the LPGA Tour's first major of the year.
Lexi Thompson's bitter Loss
The 22-year old U.S. Olympian Thompson, who had earlier won there in 2014, was stunned by the decision that stopped her from an easy victory. This ruling was costly at her second major title. Ryu's victory won her $405,000, while Thompson bagged just over $250,000 in second place.
Thompson's Acceptance of Foul play and Her Reactions
Lexi Thompson did not disagree with the ruling. Afterwards, she said that what happened was unfortunate. She added that she felt strong through the finish and was amused to see the fans behind her.
Strong Reaction from Golfers and Golf fans
There were reactions from the social media golf fans who were bewildered by the LPGA's decision. Tiger Woods came to Thompson's rescue on Twitter, as well as Justin Timberlake. Most fans opposed the idea of allowing TV viewers to have their say.
All said and done, Ryu was the one who couldn't believe it. She hadn't checked the leaderboard, and she didn't expect what happened to Lexi. Although she was happy to win, her celebration was not as vocal due to the bizarre moment.