TV viewer gets best of golfer Lexi Thompson

Lexi Thompson watches her tee shot on the second hole during the delayed second round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Saturday, April 1, 2017 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Lexi Thompson was assessed a penalty by the LPGA a day after a TV viewer noticed she incorrectly marked a ball. Was that fair?

The story:

Thompson was three shots clear in the lead after the 12th hole of her final round at Mission Hills Country Club, when officials informed her she had been penalised two strokes for incorrectly replacing her ball on the 17th green the day before. The 22-year-old American was then penalised an additional two strokes for subsequently signing an incorrect card. She eventually forced a playoff, but lost to Korean So Yeon Ryu

The penalty:

Statement from LGPA:

Her reaction:

Cost her what?:

Thompson, the U.S. Olympian who won here in 2014, was left stunned by the decision that stopped her from cruising to what looked like an easy victory. The ruling cost her more than a strong chance at her second major title: Ryu won $405,000 with the victory, and Thompson went home with just over $250,000 in second place.

Was this fair:

Barry Petchesky from Deadspin:

The golf community was up in arms, and while I’m definitely not part of that community, allow me to give my opinion: This is obviously bullshit. If your sport is reliant on viewers at home to police rules violations, maybe that’s a problem with the sport! Rely on the players to police themselves and each other, and if that doesn’t work rely on officials on the course, and if that doesn’t work then have a rules official watching TV or something. And if the violation is so minor that none of those people caught it—say, someone replaces a ball an inch away on an already-gimme putt—then maybe the violation is too minor to be worth penalizing.

After her final round:

“Every day is a learning process,” said Thompson, who still stopped to sign dozens of autographs after her heartbreak. “I wasn’t expecting what happened today, but … it happens, and I’ll learn from it and hopefully do better.”


What do you think? Was that fair?

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