Watch Golfer Lexi Thompson Break Down in Interview After Controversial Penalty Costs Her Major Win


A controversial four-stroke penalty cost golfer Lexi Thompson a victory in an LPGA major on Sunday. And after the round, she was unable to contain her emotions.

The chain of events began during Saturday’s third round of the ANA Inspiration. (Best known on the golf circuit as the Dinah Shore.) Thompson marked her ball on the green with a coin and picked it up, as is normal. But when she placed the ball back on the green, she’d moved it approximately an inch away from the original spot.

The LPGA, according to a statement, received an email from a viewer, and then investigated the matter. They then assessed Thompson a two-stroke penalty, then another two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard at the end of her Saturday round.

Thompson was informed that she’d be penalized on the 12th hole Sunday. And somehow, she gathered herself to the point where she was able to force a playoff with So Yeon Ryu. (Meaning that without the penalty, she would’ve posted a commanding four-shot win.) Instead, Ryu birdied the first hole of the playoff, and Thompson was forced to settle for the runner-up spot.

Minutes after the round, she spoke with the Golf Channel, and quickly broke down.

“It’s unfortunate that happened,” Thompson said. “I did not mean that at all. I didn’t realize I did that.”

Golfers and golf fans were irate at the ruling. Several took to Twitter to make their thoughts known.

Thompson did not complain about the call and did not lash out at rules officials. But she was clearly overcome.

“I don’t know. Every day is a learning process,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t expecting what happened today. But it is what it is. I’ll learn from it. And hopefully I’ll do better next time.”

She also put out the following statement on Instagram:

Let me start by congratulating Seo Yun Ryu on her playoff victory yesterday at the ANA Inspiration. She fought extremely hard and played amazing golf.

I don’t want anything that happened yesterday to take away from Seo Yun’s victory. 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. What happened was not intentional at all, I would never do that purposely. And I hope everyone knows that.

I want to thank the amazing fans out on the course for all their support. Their cheering helped get me through those last 6 holes. Hearing all the fans cheer me on after every shot, going to every tee, truly brought tears to my eyes every time.

I also want to thank the fans around the world who have reached out to me to offer their support, and for being there for me in this difficult situation. Your support means so much to me ……. I’m so blessed to have you all as my fans. I love you all and the game of golf, and I look forward to seeing all of you very soon.

Watch above, via the Golf Channel.

[featured image via screengrab]


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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo