RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Lexi Thompson had no idea why LPGA Tour rules official Sue Witters was approaching her on the way to the 13th tee at the ANA Inspiration.
When she found out, Thompson still couldn’t believe it.
A television viewer’s email had alerted officials to a day-old rules violation by Thompson for a 1-inch ball placement error. Her three-shot lead had just been wiped out by a four-shot penalty.
“Is this a joke?” Thompson asked Witters.
After being assured it wasn’t, she responded: “This is ridiculous.”
Thompson survived the shock and tears, and she forced a playoff with three gutsy birdies that had the Dinah Shore Course crowd on its feet.
But So Yeon Ryu…