(Reuters) – World number two Lexi Thompson says she is still having occasional nightmares 12 months after a rules violation that cost her a four-stroke penalty and victory at the ANA Inspiration in California.
The draconian penalty, which came after the American replaced her ball in the wrong spot after marking it during the third round, led to an eventual playoff loss to South Korean Ryu So-yeon.
“That night was extremely rough,” Thompson recalled on Tuesday, two days before of the first women’s major of 2018 in Rancho Mirage, California.
“I was screaming, crying. I had nightmares about it and I still occasionally do. It’s been rough. I stayed off social media after that because media was blowing it up and making me feel terrible.
“I had to let it go and let time pass.”
The Thompson incident prompted a global rule change limiting video evidence that has been called the ‘Lexi rule’.
Players can no longer be penalized for an infraction that cannot reasonably be seen with the naked eye, even if video shows otherwise.
The new protocols also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty for signing for the wrong score given players were not aware the scorecard was incorrect.
That was what was so costly for Thompson, because she received a two-shot penalty for her infraction, and then an additional two strokes for signing her third-round scorecard before the violation was reported.
Though glad the rule has changed, Thompson does not like to think of it as the ‘Lexi rule’.
“I don’t look at myself that I changed the rule,” said the 23-year-old, whose nine LPGA victories include one major.
“I’m just happy the rule changed so nobody else can be put through what I was put through last year. Everybody just needs to let it go.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)