So Yeon Ryu won the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in shocking manner Sunday, defeating Lexi Thompson in a sudden-death playoff.
The victory came on the first playoff hole, after the two golfers were tied at 14-under par following 72-holes.
Thompson trailed by one heading to the 72nd hole where she reached the par five in two to set up a chance for an eagle. Her putt fell about three inches short of the hole. She tapped in for birdie to set up the playoffs.
“It’s great to have the fan base I do,” Thompson said Sunday on Golf Channel after the playoff. “I did not realize I did that.”
Ian Baker Finch summed up the feelings of golfers and fans world-wide with this Tweet.
Thompson was hit with a day-old, four-shot penalty after the LPGA spent more than two hours reviewing video footage from Saturday.
A stunned Thompson received the penalty walking off the 12th green Sunday at the ANA Inspiration. LPGA officials received an email from a viewer about a possible rules infraction during the third round when Thompson was on the seventh hole of Round 4.
Officials informing Thompson that she had replaced her ball an inch away from its original position on a 1-foot putt on the 17th hole Saturday. She received two strokes for that violation plus two more for signing an incorrect scorecard. Her third-round 67 was changed to a 71.
“Oh my God,” Thompson said, walking to the tee. “This is ridiculous.”
“Is this a joke?” she asked.
LPGA rules official Sue Witters later said she was 100-percent certain that Thompson did not do it intentionally.
“It was a hard thing to do. To be honest, it made me sick.”
The LPGA said she breached USGA Rule 20-7c and Rule 16-1b. She incurred an additional penalty for incorrect scorecards under Rule 6-6d.