Lexi Thompson Loses LPGA Tournament After TV Viewer Calls Penalty

Two leading men's golfers have criticised a decision which saw the United States' Lexi Thompson given a four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration tournament - which contributed to her loss at the event.

So Yeon Ryu won the ANA Inspiration on Sunday in a one-hole playoff with Lexi Thompson, who was penalized four strokes late in the final round of the LPGA Tour major for an incorrect ball placement and signing an incorrect scorecard a day earlier. The ball placement error occurred during Saturday's round, and officials were alerted to the infraction by a television viewer during the final round. Then when she eventually lost to So Yeon Ryu, who should frankly give the trophy back, she said it was a learning experience and "would try to do better next time".

Lydia Ko doesn't believe viewers should be able to influence the outcome of tournaments.

Justin Thomas, a three-time victor on the PGA Tour this season, added: "Whatever number this is that people can call in [sic], it needs to go away".

Despite losing the tournament in such a hard way Thompson remained composed and gracious throughout the event.

Tiger Woods led a chorus of incredulity across the golf world as the controversy unfolded.

"Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes", the 14-time major champion tweeted. Lexi Thompson was on the verge of winning second major L.P.G.A. championship when she was informed of the bad news.

Ryu was the lucky beneficiary as she claimed a second major title after making a four in the play-off, but admits her win does not feel right. "My fans were fantastic when they realised what had happened", she said. "I'm not going to overrule something that is correctly ruled". "Ignore a rules violation?"

"The LPGA rules officials made a judgment call at the moment, and we as professional golfers must accept it, no matter how painful it is", she said.

"Is this a joke?"

Realising it was not, she added: "That's just ridiculous", before beginning to cry. She was penalised two shots for the infraction, and a further two shots for signing an incorrect scorecard. Thompson birdied the par-4, 387-yard 15th hole to retake the lead before giving it back a hole later with a bogey.

'I had to regroup myself, my caddie helped me out tremendously, we have a great relationship.

I want to thank the incredible fans out on the course for all their support.

"I just. can not believe this situation", said Ryu, who captured her second career major.

14-time major tournament victor Tiger Woods was apparently watching from home, as he offered his two cents and encouraged Thompson to "win this thing anyway".

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