April 3, 2017 - 11:19am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lexi Thompson
People had a lot to say about how things unfolded Sunday night at the LPGA's ANA Inspiration, where late leader Lexi Thompson was assessed a four-stroke penalty for something that happened a day earlier after playing 12 holes in the final round.

By now, you've likely heard what a crazy Sunday night it was at the LPGA's first major of the season -- the ANA Inspiration.

In case you missed it, here's a summary...

Lexi Thompson had a two-stroke lead with six holes to play in the final round at Mission Hills. As she walked off the 12th green, the 22-year-old winner of the 2014 ANA was approached by LPGA rules officials.

At that point, it was explained to Thompson that she was going to be assessed a four-stroke penalty for an infraction that occurred on the 17th hole a day earlier in Round 3. Immediately, her two-stroke advantage switched to a two-stroke deficit.

The massive penalty came in two two-stroke parts.

RELATED: Lexi Thompson assessed four-stroke penalty at ANA Inspiration

First, Thompson was given a two-stroke penalty for incorrectly replacing her golf ball after marking it. Video evidence shows that Thompson marked her ball to the side and then replaced the ball in front of the marker.

A TV viewer noticed the infraction and emailed the LPGA, which decided to take action.

The second two-stroke penalty was the result of Thompson signing for an incorrect third-round score. Unaware of any wrongdoing at the time, Thompson signed for a 67. It should have been a 69 with the initial two-stroke penalty. When she didn't apply the penalty -- which again, no one had knowledge of at the time -- and signed for the 67, that's when the second two-stroke penalty came into play.

Here's the LPGA's explanation of the penalty:

Until a recent rule change, Thompson actually could have been disqualified altogether signing for an incorrect score.

Understandably, Thompson became very emotional when the officials broke the bad news to her.

Somehow, she managed to birdie three of her last six holes -- to go along with one bogey -- to force a playoff with So Yeon Ryu. Thompson would lose on the first hole of sudden death.

As one can imagine in this day of social media, the reaction by players and fans alike was immediate.

Here's a sampling:

Here's Thompson's interview after the tournament.

Your heart goes out to Thompson, but did she handle that like a champion, or what?

Reporters on the scene said that even after the crushing defeat, Thompson spent time signing autographs for fans.

Social media reaction to Lexi Thompson's four-stroke penalty
April 2, 2017 - 9:24pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lexi Thompson
Twelve holes into her final round at the ANA Inspiration where she led by two on Sunday, Lexi Thompson was assessed a four-stroke penalty for an infraction that occurred in Saturday's third round.

Lexi Thompson was in cruise control it seemed and on the way to her second major championship at the ANA Inspiration on Sunday. Through 12 holes, Thompson had a two-stroke lead.

As she walked off the 12th green, however, a rules official informed Thompson that she was being assessed a four-shot penalty for something that happened in Round 3 on Saturday, when the 22-year-old, seven-time LPGA winner improperly replaced her golf ball after marking it.

A television viewer noticed and called in the infraction.

Here's how it happened:

As you can see, Thompson appeared to mark her golf ball to the side before replacing her ball in front of the marker. That infraction led to a two-stroke penalty.

Thompson was assessed another two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. Until recently, that would have led to a disqualification. Now, however, it's just a two-stroke penalty.

Thompson signed for a 67, which should have been a 69 with the two strokes for the improperly replaced ball and then had to add two more for signing the wrong score.

Understandably, Thompson was extremely emotional when she learned about the ruling and fought through tears over her final six holes.

Here, Dan Maselli, Manager of Rules and Competition for the LPGA Tour, discusses the ruling on Lexi Thompson:

Somehow, Thompson managed to birdie the 13th hole after learning of the ruling. She also birdied the 15th and 18th (after a bogey on No. 16) to grab a spot in a playoff with So Yeon Ryu.

No matter how the tournament ends in the playoff, kudos to Thompson for mustering up the courage to force a playoff. 

Lexi Thompson assessed four-stroke penalty while leading ANA Inspiration
April 2, 2017 - 2:01pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
flop shot catch challenge
Instagram / andypatnougolf
First it was the "Ice Bucket Challenge," then the "Get Out Challenge," and now the "Flop Shot Catch Challenge"?

The internet has its warts, I give you that, but you can't tell me that it doesn't also have some incredible benefits.

You can order a pizza in two clicks. You can find out who that one actor is in that one movie. And last, but certainly not least, you can participate in the "challenges" that spread like wildfire across social media.

They're sometimes heartfelt, such as the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge." Sometimes they are nostalgic, as in the case of the "Running Man Challenge." Or surprising, like the "Mannequin Challenge." Or just downright hilarious, as in the new "Get Out Challenge."

But they all amount to about the same thing. You do something embarrassing or impressive, film it, and put it on the internet. Get enough people to do the same thing and you've got a challenge.

So by that criteria, do we have a new viral internet challenge on our hands?

It's called the "Flop Shot Catch Challenge," and it's exactly what it sounds like. You hit a flop shot and see if you can catch it.

With most mobile phones being able to now capture slow motion video, the drama is actually pretty intense. See for yourself.



@tourstrikergolf @jimld flop shot catch challenge accepted . Who did it better? @tpcscottsdale

A post shared by andypatnougolf (@andypatnougolf) on


Is this really going to be a thing?

I'm here for it!

Is the 'flop shot catch challenge' really a thing?
April 2, 2017 - 12:59pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
angel cabrera
@PGATOUR on Twitter
On his final hole at the Shell Houston Open on Sunday, Angel Cabrera made a hole-in-one.

You always want to go into Masters week on a high note.

I'm not sure how anyone could top what past Masters champ Angel Cabrera did on Sunday at the Shell Houston Open though... short of winning.

Cabrera, who won the Masters in 2009 to go along withe his 2007 U.S. Open (he also lost in a playoff at the 2011 Masters), had a walk-off hole-in-one on the ninth hole -- his last of the day -- in the final round at The Golf Club of Houston.

Here's the shot:

That should have the Argentine riding a nice high into Augusta. 

Angel Cabrera makes walk-off ace at Shell Houston Open
March 30, 2017 - 2:43pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Eun Jeong Seong
Eun Jeong Seong, 16, is playing in the LPGA's ANA Inspiration this week. In Thursday's opening round, she made a hole-in-one.

Playing in a professional major championship as an amateur is pretty darned special.

But -- outside of winning -- you know what could make it even more special?

How about a hole-in-one?

That's what 16-year-old reigning U.S. Women's Amateur and U.S. Girl's Junior champion Eun Jeong Seong did on Thursday in the first round of the LPGA's ANA Inspiration.

Here's a look at the shot, a 6-iron from 182 yards:

And how good is that reaction?

That's something she'll never forget.

Amateur, 16, makes hole-in-one in LPGA's first major of 2017
March 30, 2017 - 1:04pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
USA Today Sports Images
Few venues in sport provide more drama and more memorable moments than Augusta National during the week of the Masters.

A while back, we reached out to our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation and asked the following question:

What's your favorite Masters moment?

With a course as special as Augusta National -- one that lends itself to guaranteed drama year in and year out -- there were tons of moments to choose from.

PGA.COM ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow us on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Here's a look at some of the best moments you offered up, along with accompanying video (if we could find it) to help you relive them.

9. Bubba Watson's hook wedge in 2012. Forgetting the fact that this happened in a sudden-death playoff with the Masters on the line, the hook wedge has got to be one of the most difficult shots in golf to pull off. But, from the pine straw right of the 10th fairway, that's exactly what the lefty did to set up the victory.



8. Louis Oosthuizen's albatross on the second hole in the final round of the 2012 Masters. Oosthuizen would come up short in the playoff with Bubba Watson, but he'll never forget this albatross on the par-5 second hole that made him one of just four players in Masters history to record a rare 2 on a par 5.



7. Larry Mize's playoff-winning chip in 1987. It doesn't get much sweeter than this. Mize, an Augusta native, put a dagger through the heart of Greg Norman when -- on the par-4 11th hole, the second hole of a playoff that also included Seve Ballesteros (Ballesteros was eliminated on the first playoff hole) -- Mize holed a pitch shot for birdie. It wasn't a walk-off win as Norman still had a chance to match the birdie, but when the Aussie failed to do that, Mize slipped in to the green jacket.



6. Ben Crenshaw's win in 1995. This, the second of Crenshaw's two Masters wins, was extra special. Just days before, Crenshaw helped lay to rest his instructor, the legendary Harvey Penick. Crenshaw played with a heavy heart all week and said the thought of Penick served as his "15th club" throughout the tournament.



5. The birdie chip on the par-3 16th hole by Tiger Woods in 2005. The imagination Woods displayed on this shot was incredible. Sure, many before him and many after him, have faced this situation, relying on the backstop on the 16th green to help suck the ball back down to the front-left, Sunday hole position. But Woods perfected it. The ball just died into the hole and he went on to his fourth Masters triumph (and last, to date). The shot elicited this famous call by announcer Verne Lundquist: "Oh wow! In your life have you ever seen anything like that?"



4. Phil Mickelson's "threading of the needle from the pine needles" shot on the 13th hole in the final round of the 2010 Masters. There's no bigger risk taker in golf today than Mickelson and he proved that yet again with this doozy in 2010. What would have been a "chip it back into play" shot for most turned out to be a career highlight for Mickelson. He hit the ball between two trees and knocked it to within five feet of the hole. Mickelson didn't convert the eagle putt, but settled for birdie and went on to win the Masters for the third time.



3. Arnold Palmer wins the 1960 Masters. Before we had Mickelson, Arnie was the man who invented throwing in all the blue chips with every shot on the golf course. In 1960 at Augusta National, Palmer became the first player to birdie each of the final two holes to win. It was the second of Palmer's four Masters wins.

2. Tiger Woods wins the 1997 Masters. This is the win that really -- I mean really -- put Tiger on the map. The first of his 14 major victories, Tiger crushed the field by a record 12 strokes in becoming the youngest player ever to win the tournament at age 21.

1. Jack Nicklaus's putt on No. 17 in 1986. Many argue this was the greatest Masters of all time. This birdie putt on No. 17 pretty much sealed the deal for Nicklaus, who became the oldest player to win the Masters at age 46. It was his sixth Masters overall, which remains two better than anyone else.



Your favorite Masters moments