Lexi Thompson loses ANA Inspiration thanks to a viewer and other weird golf penalties
Earlier this year, golf’s governing bodies moved to change some of the old and out of fashion rules of the sport. At the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, Lexi Thompson was a victim of golf’s highly criticized and out of date rules.
The American golfer was leading the tournament by three shots, but her lead came crashing to a halt. No, not due to the play of another golfer or her own inabilities to finish off the round, but thanks to a tournament viewer’s email.
Seems Thompson had made a gaff the previous day when she was marking her ball – incorrectly – on the green at the 17th hole. The penalty was not seen by anyone except the viewer, who alerted LPGA officials. Despite not receiving any advantage from the errant marking, Thompson was penalized and ended the tournament in second place, being usurped by winner Ryu So-Yeon.
With the bizarre ending to the 2017 ANA Inspiration tournament and the call for more change in golf’s rules, it has inspired a look at some other crazy golf events.
SOME INPUT FROM THE PGA PRO’S REGARDING PENATIES SUCH AS THIS.
Like Thompson, Craig Stadler was a victim of television viewers who informed tournament officials of his infringement during play. In 1987, Stadler was playing in the Shearson Lehman Brothers Andy Williams Open at Torrey Pines when he decided it was necessary to play a 14th hole shot from his knees. To prevent his trouser from being soaked through due to the wet ground, Stadler placed a towel down to kneel on. The infringement went unnoticed by PGA officials for around 24-hours, and it was only when Stadler was walking off the course on Sunday, tied for second place, that he was told of the infraction. Thanks to the television viewers calling to inform officials of their oversight, Stadler was denied the $37,000-plus purse he was set to win for the second place finish.
Despite being allergic to grass and having allergies disrupt his PGA career, Steve Elkington was penalized for chewing on the turf at one tournament. During a Swedish golf event, Elkington’s ball went in to a hazard. As he prepared for his next shot, Elkington picked a piece of grass and stuck it in his mouth. Unfortunately due to golf’s rulebook, the Australian was judge to have moved loose impediment, costing him two strokes.
Similar to Elkington, Fuzzy Zoeller was penalized two strokes for rearranging a golf course’s loose impediment. Playing at Muirfield Village, Zoeller was estimated to be 100 yards away from his ball when he attempted to cross a stream running through the golf course. To get across, Zoeller put a stone in the water to step on. Unfortunately, he was penalized.
At the 2001 The Open Championship, Ian Woosnam was cruising along and perhaps on any other day, it would have been the Welshman walking away with the winner’s check. However, it wasn’t meant to be as the PGA rules and his caddie, Miles Byrne, conspired to prevent his title win. Woosnam was tied for the lead at The Open Championship when he was informed by Byrne that his golf bag had one too many clubs in it. The caddie had placed 15 inside the bag and not the PGA’s mandated 14. Two penalty strokes were levelled out to Woosnam and he finished third.