Lexi Thompson says she is yet to get over the rules penalty which cost her the ANA Inspiration, after a tearful press conference ahead of this week’s LPGA event.
Addressing the press before this week’s Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, Thompson confessed that the incident had been something of a nightmare for her.
An ordeal other players should now be spared following an expedient decision by golf’s governing bodies to usher in a new rule which places emphasis on a player’s integrity over video evidence.
During Wednesday’s press conference Thompson maintained, just as she did in her comments immediately following her playoff loss to So Yeon Ryu, that it was not her intention to improperly move her ball. Thompson went on to explain the process by which she lines up her ball when putting.
“I mark my ball with a dot and that’s where I focus my eyes on, where I want to make contact,” Thompson said. “When I marked it, I just rotated my ball to line up my dot to where the ball would make contact.”
Thompson says she hit a terrible first putt in her birdie attempt at the par three 17th hole. She had a 10 to 15 footer and was “pretty mad at the first putt because I put a terrible stroke on it.” Relying on advice from her father, Thompson says she went ahead and marked the ball to give her time to regroup.
“I was just like ‘Lexi, just relax. Mark the putt. It’s a major championship, you don’t need to go up and miss this little putt,’” Thompson told the media. “I went and marked it and just took my time with my practice stroke, took a deep breath and made sure I made it.”
Thompson says she has seen the enlarged video of her moving the ball, which she explained as part of her routine of lining up her putt.
“I have seen the video and I can see where they’re coming from with it. It might have been me, I guess, rotating the ball,” Thompson said. “Those greens were absolutely perfect. The whole week there was nothing in my line to be moving it from or anything. I have no reason behind it. I did not mean it at all.”
The American, who handled the incident with incredible maturity, was incredibly emotional throughout the interview, showing just how much the loss of the major championship had wounded her.
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