Lexi Thompson Assessed a 4-Stroke Penalty by a Home Viewer

During her round on Sunday at the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the year on the LPGA tour, Lexi Thompson was informed she had been assessed a 4-stroke penalty for something that happened during the previous day’s match. It seems she had put a coin next to her ball on the 17th hole during the third round on Saturday. She lifted the ball approximately 6 inches above the ground to make sure there was no debris on in then re-spotted the ball next to the coin. Then she putted and moved on with her match.

The problem comes in when someone at home noticed the ball was about 3/4 of an inch different from where she picked it up. They sent in an email noting this happened and the course officials reviewed the tape and determined she had committed a penalty. She received a 4 stroke penalty for the round (2 strokes for misplacing the ball and 2 strokes for signing an incorrect score card). The officials waited to inform her until Sunday when she was between the 12th and 13th holes and had the lead well in hand. You can watch the video here: LINK

The penalty lead to her tying with So Reon Ryu of South Korea and losing in a playoff to Ryu.

My question is this: WHAT THE HELL?????? You let someone watching at home make a call for you and gave a penalty for a miplacement of ball by less than an inch that gave no advantage and wasn’t done on purpose????

The problem here is not that a penalty was handed to the player, it’s that it was handed to a player because a spectator at home emailed in the call. How is this right? You and I don’t get to make the call from home and influence the outcome of major sporting events without being duly ordained officials of the sport . . .or do we?

If this is the case, we need to go back and change the call of the 2006, Oklahoma at Oregon game in 2006. Oklahoma held a 33-27 lead with 1:07 left in the game and the Ducks only had 1 timeout. They needed to recover an onside kick to have any chance at winning the game. You can watch the play HERE and tell me – OU recovered the kick. It was ruled, however, that Oregon had recovered and the review seemd to focus on whether an Oregon player had touched the ball before it went 10 yards instead of who clearly recovered the kick (Oklahoma). The Sooners, had they been awarded possession in accordance with all that is right and just, would have simply run out the clock from that point and walked out of Eugene with a victory. Instead, Oregon was incorrectly awarded possession and scored the winning touchdown with almost no time left on the clock. I watched this game from home and I clearly saw the recovery, so I’m callin this one in – OU is now to be awarded the victory over Oregon on that fateful day….you know…as long as we’re letting couch potatoes make the call from home.