Speed Reads

Goofy golf

Top American golfer belatedly penalized because of TV viewer's keen eye

Don't let anyone tell you different: The great American pastime is actually screaming at refs on your TV. The Ladies Professional Golf Association, at least, appears to be on board. On Sunday, officials penalized top player Lexi Thompson after a TV viewer wrote an email to the LPGA pointing out a violation Thompson made that slipped their notice.

Here is how The Big Lead describes what happened:

[After getting the tip from the TV viewer], rules officials reviewed the film for two hours before alerting Thompson of the violation of Rule 20-3. Thompson improperly replaced her ball an inch away from her marker on a one-foot putt on the 17th hole. At the time, Thompson and officials on-site saw nothing wrong and she signed her scorecard after her round. The improper placement of her ball, along with signing an incorrect scorecard, cost her four strokes, changing her 67 to a 71. [The Big Lead]

The penalty bumped Thompson from a two-stroke lead on opponent Suzann Pettersen to a two-stroke deficit.

Many professional golfers lashed out at the organization for listening to the armchair official, including Tiger Woods, who tweeted: "Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes. Let's go @Lexi, win this thing anyway."