The good news for critics of TV viewers policing golf tournaments from home? As of 2018, alleged rules infractions dialed in by viewers will no longer be considered by tournament rules committees, per a joint announcement by golf's governing bodies.
The bad news? The amendment came eight months too late for Lexi Thompson.
At the 2017 Ana Inspiration, Thompson had a two-shot lead on the back nine on Sunday. She was cruising to her second major victory, when she was notified that she improperly marked her ball on during the previous day's round. The rules committee had been alerted by a viewer. Thompson was penalized two shots for the breach, and an additional two for signing an incorrect scorecard. Did we mention this all went down on the 12th hole? Thompson rallied admirably, but she ultimately lost a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.
The additional two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard has also been abolished, as long as a player had no way of knowing he or she had committed an infraction.
After hearing the news of the rules changes, Thompson took to Instagram to comment.
"I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times," she said. "In my case, I am thankful that no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future."
Thompson just completed her final competitive round of the season, the QBE Shootout, where she teamed with Tony Finau and tied for fourth. You can read her entire statement below.
I was informed of the two rule changes this morning from my management team at Blue Giraffe Sports. I applaud the USGA and the R & A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf. In my case, I am thankful that no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future. I just finished an amazing week at the QBE Shark Shooutout in Naples, and I am excited to begin my offseason. I will have no further comment on these changes as I look forward to now spending time with my family and friends. I hope everyone has an awesome Holiday season, and I wish everyone a healthy and happy 2018!
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