AUGUSTA, Ga. – Reaction on social media to the penalty that cost Lexi Thompson four strokes on Sunday at the ANA Inspiration was swift and unwavering.
“Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes. Let's go [Thompson], win this thing anyway,” Tiger Woods tweeted shortly after the penalty was announced.
On Monday at Augusta National, the mood had not changed among Thompson’s fellow professionals, with Rickie Fowler taking a hard line on fans calling in, or in this case emailing, infractions.
“There’s no question it should be ended,” Fowler said. “I don’t think you could find one player that would say otherwise.”
Thompson was penalized after a viewer sent an email to officials claiming she had incorrectly marked her ball on the 17th green during Saturday’s third round. Thompson wasn’t informed until she was well into the back nine during Sunday’s final round that she was going to be penalized two strokes for the improper marking and another two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard.
“If there’s an official always monitoring any video or anyone on camera, that’s fine, and I have no problem with that, if that’s an official,” Fowler said. “There shouldn’t be any outside contact, whether it’s email or phone calls whatsoever.”