Lexi Thompson Says Rule Violation Was '100 Percent' Unintentional After Penalty

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2017

Lexi Thompson hits from sixth tee during the final round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Sunday, April 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Lexi Thompson posted an Instagram message late Sunday night saying her ball placement error that cost her four strokes and the championship at the 2017 ANA Inspiration was "100 percent not intentional."

"Well it was an emotional day here for me, first off I do want to say what I had done was 100% not intentional at all I didn't realize I had done that. I want to say thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and Mission Hills for making this week possible at the @anainspiration!" Thompson said in the post.

"Also to the fans out there, words can't describe what you being there for me, meant to me. You helped me push thru those last holes so thank you for always believing in me. A big thanks to my caddy as well for always staying positive and being there for me when it got tough."

Thompson, ahead of the field by three strokes with six holes remaining, was approached by an LPGA official to inform her of the error that took place Saturday. She was given a two-stroke penalty for the incorrect placement and another two-stroke penalty for turning in an incorrect scorecard.

The mistake was caught by a television viewer. LPGA officials then reviewed the tape from the round, which showed that Thompson placed the ball one inch away from her marker before a third-round putt. The ball was just one foot—a gimme—away from the cup.

Thompson rallied to force a playoff but lost to So Yeon Ryu on the first hole.

"Every day is a learning process," Thompson told reporters after the round. "I wasn't expecting what happened today, but ... it happens, and I'll learn from it and hopefully do better."

Many, including Tiger Woods, admonished ;the viewer at home for reporting the violation. Ryu said she "cannot believe the situation" after the round. The 26-year-old earned her second major championship, having previously taken home the 2011 U.S. Open.

Thompson won the ANA Inspiration in 2014.

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