Lexi Thompson harshly misses out on major after viewer tip

ANA Inspiration - Final Round

In the back of Lexi Thompson's mind, she would have been counting down the holes as she held a two-stroke lead with nine holes to play in the first female golf major of the year, the ANA Inspiration.

There were always bound to be nerves, but as long as the 22-year-old kept a steady hand, a second success in the tournament after her win in 2014 would be hers.

With all of the variables, hazards and rules that you can think of in the game of golf, one of the last things that would have come to mind would be getting pulled up by a viewer watching from the comfort of their lounge room.

This is exactly what occurred when an email was received via the LPGA website’s fan feedback link.

The hopes and dreams for tournament success were about to be shattered for the world number four.

Deadspin reported that the viewer had seen Thompson mark her ball on the 17th hole in Saturday’s third round, misplacing it by an inch at most.

As officials conferred on what to do next, Thompson was informed on the 12th hole that she would be penalised four strokes, two for incorrect ball placement and another two for signing an incorrect scorecard.

At first Thompson may have thought this may have been a late April fools' joke. When told that it was a fact, Thompson was heard to say: "this is ridiculous."

Initially with tears in her eyes , Thompson managed to pull herself together, playing with a steely determination to get back what she thought was rightfully hers.

The fans were well and truly on Thompson's side, chanting her name at every opportunity.

Video: The full incident

She managed to birdie the 18th hole and force a playoff, however she ended up losing it to South Korean So Yeon Ryu.

Speaking after the tournament Thompson gave credit to her support crew.

"My caddie helped me out tremendously. He just said, ‘Stay with it. You can still win.’ But it’s all to the fans. They helped me get through the rest of the round, which helped a lot.”

Debate

Once the tournament was finished, debate raged over the ethics of what had occurred. A great majority of fans of the game along with the players felt a great injustice had just taken place.

In a sport as prestigious as golf and an event as special as a major, there is little doubt that it should not have been spoiled by an over-enthusiastic person who was not even at the course themselves.

Officials on the course as well as players themselves should be monitoring what goes on, and that way the sport will gain a whole lot of respect.

Kia Classic - Round Three

Thompson's rise

While it may not seem so at the moment, this disappointment will only drive on Thompson to bigger and better things.

There is little doubt that she would have gained a whole new fanbase with the way she conducted herself when adversity hit at the most inopportune of times.

It would have been extremely understandable for the youngster to drop her bundle and finish in the middle of the pack.

To be able to carry on and almost pull off a remarkable victory shows the character Thompson possesses.

The greater golfing world will no doubt wish for her to be in that same winning position again and this time raise the trophy in style.

Kia Classic - Final Round

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