Lexi Thompson breaks down while addressing media for 1st time since ANA

Lexi Thompson LPGA ruling Getty Images

Lexi Thompson breaks down while addressing media for 1st time since ANA

LPGA Tour

Lexi Thompson breaks down while addressing media for 1st time since ANA

Lexi Thompson addressed the media Wednesday at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout for the first time since the ANA Inspiration, where she was the subject of a controversial ruling by the LPGA during the final round.

And she broke down in tears when asked about the toughest part of the past few weeks.

“The hardest part? Just going through it,” said a tearful Thompson, who needed more than 30 seconds to compose herself.

Earlier, Thompson had opened the presser, saying it had “been an interesting three weeks.”

“It’s definitely been really hard on me,” Thompson said. “… Just taking time for myself, trying to regroup myself.”

Thompson received a four-shot penalty while leading the ANA Inspiration in early April, the first women’s major championship of the year. The 22-year-old American mis-marked her ball before a short putt on the 17th green in the third round, and a television viewer spotted it and called in the violation the next day. Thompson was given a two-shot penalty for mis-marking her ball on the green and an additional two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Thompson’s penalty was assessed during the fourth round as she had a commanding lead, knocking her down the leaderboard. She eventually lost a playoff to So Yeon Ryu. Thompson said after the round that she didn’t realize she had moved the ball and that she was not trying to gain an advantage.

“It was not my intention at all,” Thompson said Wednesday. She said that she normally tries to line up a dot on her ball with where she wants to strike it with the putter, and that’s why she re-marked her ball.

Many fans and players were aghast at the ruling, and the controversy of having a viewer make such an impact on an event reached beyond normal LPGA coverage and took off on social media. Thompson said she was happy to have received so many well wishes, some from people she didn’t even know had her phone number.

Thompson also said she understands the ruling that was made.

“I have seen the video and I can see where they are coming from with it,” Thompson said.

On Tuesday, the USGA and R&A issued a new Decision on the Rules of Golf to limit the use of video evidence. The new Decision 34-3/10, effective immediately, puts in place two standards for the rules committees to limit the use of video. The first standard limits evidence that cannot be reasonably seen by the naked eye. The second relies on reasonable judgement to determine a specific location when applying the rules.

“I haven’t read too much into the (new USGA) rule,” Thompson said. “… I think it’s great for the game of golf.”

As for how Thompson will move forward?

“I’m going to keep marking my ball,” Thompson said.

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