We have another major championship with a big-time rules controversy. And the reaction to the odd situation at the first women's major of the year has already been overwhelming.
In the middle of the final round of the ANA Inspiration, Lexi Thompson was informed by a rules official that she would be assessed a four-shot penalty -- for replacing her ball in an improper spot on Saturday. After officials reviewed the tape, Lexi was assessed a two-shot penalty for putting her ball in the wrong spot, and then a two-shot penalty for signing a incorrect scorecard. She would lose on the first hole of a playoff against So Yeon Ryu.
Here's footage of the infraction:
Though the USGA and the R&A announced proposed rules changes earlier this year to modernize rules, wouldn't take effect until 2019 -- leaving the potential for rules scenarios like this to keep happening.
Lexi's unfortunate circumstance comes after back-to-back weeks of rules controversies at the U.S. Open with Dustin Johnson and the U.S. Women's Open with Anna Nordqvist. Nordqvist was assessed a penalty after officials reviewed high-def video from the telecast, yet she wasn't informed until a hole later.
And DJ, who still won the U.S. Open at Oakmont, wasn't informed of the USGA's decision of his drama from the 5th green until the 12th tee box.
Here's the LPGA's statement on the situation:
Given all of that, the reaction was swift and one-sided after Lexi was assessed the penalty on Sunday evening.
Even Tiger Woods was watching and chimed in:
And this was just the immediate reaction -- on what will certainly be a much-discussed topic in the coming weeks. It's another unfortunate rules situation, this time heading into Masters Week, after what had been a great week of golf at the ANA Inspiration.