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Ryu wins ANA Inspiration in playoff after Thompson's penalty


Ryu So-yeon clinched her second major title after a drama-filled play-off win over Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration.

On Sunday afternoon, a viewer emailed officials with a discrepancy the viewer had noticed while watching the broadcast of the tournament: Thompson had not properly placed her ball in the same spot while putting during the third round of the tournament the day before, off by one inch.

Thompson appeared to to put the marker at the side of her ball, which was then replaced a few millimetres in front of the marker.

"My caddie helped me out tremendously". I tried to gather myself and I made a great putt (for birdie) at 13.

"I learned a lot about myself and how much fight I do have in me."
She wrote, "I don't want anything that happened yesterday to take away from Seo Yun's victory".

Ryu birdied the 18th hole in the playoff to win her second major title, but her celebration was muted because of the weird circumstances on the Dinah Shore Course.

The official, Sue Witters, approached the golfer the next day at Rancho Mirage, Calif. "My fans were fantastic when they realised what had happened", she said. "I want to say thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and Mission Hills for making this week possible at the @anainspiration!"

Thompson had led by two shots going in to the final round and was visibly distraught, but somehow pulled herself together to bounce back with a birdie on the 13th hole for a share of the lead.

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.


After her bogey on 12, Thompson was informed of the penalties by an LPGA rules official, responding: "Is this a joke?"

She nevertheless birdied three of the last six holes to force the playoff, but couldn't match Ryu's playoff birdie.

Meanwhile, Ryu, playing ahead of Thompson, made a birdie on the 18th hole to finish with a closing 68 and get to 14 under, one stroke ahead of Thompson after Lexi bogeyed the par-4 16th.

Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women's Open victor and known as one of the nicest players on the LPGA, said the victory somehow didn't feel right.

The mid-round ruling sparked a social media storm, with Tiger Woods among many unhappy with the mid-round decision.

Footage shows that Thompson slightly moved her golf ball after marking it, even though there's no way of telling if it was done intentionally.

"Let's go (at) Lexi, win this thing anyway".

South Korean Park In-bee, Minjee Lee of Australia and Suzann Pettersen of Norway finished tied for third at 13-under.

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