Why Lexi Thompson got a four-stroke penalty at the ANA Inspiration

Why Lexi Thompson got a four-stroke penalty at the ANA Inspiration

Lexi Thompson was given a four-stroke penalty on Sunday during the final round of the 2017 ANA Inspiration for something that happened during Saturday's third round.

Thompson had finished the 12th hole of the final round when she learned of the two separate two-stroke penalties. At the time, Thompson was at 17 under par and ahead by three shots. The LPGA informed Thompson of the penalty as soon as they confirmed they would be assessing the penalty.

"Is this a joke right now?" Thompson said to LPGA officials as she was informed of the penalty. "Oh my God. Four-stroke penalty. Whatever, that's just ridiculous."

The two separate penalties are for Thompson first incorrectly replacing her ball on the 17th green in the third round, then she was assessed a two-stroke penalty for therefore signing an incorrect scorecard because she didn't properly assess the first penalty to herself during the round. Thompson was not disqualified because a TV viewer made the LPGA aware of the infraction after Thompson had signed her card.

Thompson is seen on video clearly placing her coin behind her ball on the green, picking up her ball to look at it quickly, then placing it back on the green not at the original spot where she had marked the ball. That's a failure to replace the ball after marking it, which is a two-shot penalty.

Before Jan. 1, 2016, under the Rules of Golf, signing for an incorrect scorecard would have been an automatic disqualification. However, under new Rule 6-6d, which was made to account for this type of situation, a player is not automatically disqualified if the penalty is discovered after the round and it's deemed that that that player could not have realized their infraction were it not for technology (TV cameras in this case). Instead, they are given a two-stroke penalty and allowed to continue competing.

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