Lexi Thompson has made it quite clear that she doesn’t want to talk anymore about the delayed four-shot penalty she incurred at this year’s ANA Inspiration – and it’s pretty easy to see why. In all likelihood, the surprising penalty (Thompson was docked four shots during her final round for incorrectly marking her ball during her third round) cost her a second career Major championship while dealing her one of pro golf’s all-time most painful losses. And now she knows that if it happened again, there are rules in place that probably would have saved her.
Thompson, however, did issue a statement on Twitter concerning the rules changes regarding TV viewer call-ins announced on Monday. Here’s what she had to say:
My statement on the changes this morning…Happy Holidays! 🎁 pic.twitter.com/krrcdF6iAo
— Lexi Thompson (@Lexi) December 11, 2017
There’s not a lot of actual reaction to the rule in there, but Thompson, who wound up losing in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu, does say, “In my case, I am thankful that no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.” And tour pros everywhere that won’t have to deal with similar situations should be thankful for Thompson’s case, which was clearly the impetus behind the new rules.
Less than a month after Thompson’s rules controversy, golf’s governing bodies announced Decision 34-3/10 that limited the power of video replay and put more emphasis on player judgement and integrity. And on Tuesday (AEDT), the decision to eliminate the fielding of viewer rules inquiries was further proof that the USGA and R&A don’t want to see another scenario like the one that played out in April.
People will no longer be able to affect the outcome of a golf tournament from their couches, a decision that’s being met with almost universal approval. But for Lexi, it still must be difficult not to think all these rules are too little, too late.