R&A and USGA set for announcement on Lexi Thompson incident

Lexi Thompson suffered a four-stroke penalty during the ANA Inspiration. Picture: Getty
Lexi Thompson suffered a four-stroke penalty during the ANA Inspiration. Picture: Getty
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An announcement is set to be made by the R&A and USGA tomorrow in the wake of the rules incident that cost Lexi Thompson her chance of winning one of the women’s majors earlier this month.

The American was hit with a combined four-shot penalty after an armchair viewer phoned up to highlight her improperly replacing her ball on the green during the third round of the ANA Inspiration in California.

She was assessed a two-stroke penalty for that infringement, plus another two shots for signing for a wrong scorecard. Prior to 2016, the latter would have resulted in disqualification.

Thompson was informed of the penalty while in the lead in the final round but eventually lost out to Korean So-yeon Ryu in a play-off.

The nature of the incident, especially the fact it had been brought to the attention of officials the day after it had happened, led to Thompson receiving widespread support from some of her fellow players.

In fact, during the Masters, Phil Mickelson said he reckoned that Thompson should be awarded the trophy.

Now, it has emerged that the R&A and USGA, the game’s two ruling bodies, will make an announcement tomorrow that looks set to address the Thompson affair.

That probably points to no-one, and certainly not armchair viewers, being able to influence events in such a way once a scorecard has been signed.