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Lexi Thompson hit with penalty after another bizarre LPGA rules snafu

August 19, 2018

Lexi Thompson can’t catch a break.

The LPGA star had another run-in with the Rules of Golf again on Saturday at the LPGA’s Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Thompson hit a wild tee shot on the 10th hole that sailed all the way into the 6th fairway. Due to wet conditions, the tournament instituted a lift, clean and place rule for the event. So Thompson picked up her ball and cleaned it, then dropped it within a club-length of the original position.

At this point it seemed Thompson had followed the rules perfectly. But a local rule that was distributed to players before the start of the event changed things. The rule states that lift, clean and place only applied when a player’s ball was in the fairway… of the hole they were playing.

Since Lexi hit into the wrong fairway, she was not allowed to clean her ball. Fortunately, a rules official caught Thompson’s error before she hit her shot, according to Golf Chanel’s Kay Cockerill. That prevented her from being hit with a two-shot penalty.

Lexi Thompson rules penalty, 2018 LPGA Indy Women in Tech Championship.
A rules official alerts Lexi Thompson to a rules violation Saturday at the 2018 LPGA Indy Women in Tech Championship.

“Thankfully, Marty intervened before she hit her next shot,” Cockerill reported. “Otherwise, she would have been hitting from the wrong spot, and it would have been a two-shot penalty. So, in a sense, it saved her a shot.”

Thompson took the one-shot penalty in stride and saved par on the hole. She finished with an impressive 64. With that, Thompson jumped to 16 under, just five behind leader Lizette Salas.

Thompson is making her return to the LPGA this week. She took a brief hiatus from Tour that saw her miss the Women’s British Open to ‘to recharge [her] mental batteries.’

Thompson made news throughout the golf world for an especially notable rules violation in 2017. At the ANA Inspiration, she incurred  a four-shot penalty after a TV viewer called in a penalty. Thompson lost the tournament in a playoff.

Thompson shot a 68 in the first round. She fired another 68 in Round 2 to follow it up. The LPGA veteran hopes to return to the winner’s circle this week. She has not one an LPGA event so far in 2018. However, Thompson claims nine LPGA titles for her career. She won two tournaments last season, and lost three more in playoffs. That includes, of course, her playoff loss at the ANA.