Lexi Thompson spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday since the four-shot ANA Inspiration penalty that jarred her path to a second major. Understandably, she was still emotional about the whole ordeal, even fighting back tears.
“That’s one of my favorite tournaments, and it’s always a dream of mine to just see myself jumping into Poppie’s Pond,” Thompson said about the debacle. “I played amazing that week. I don’t think I’ve ever played better, and just for that to happen it was just, it was kind of a nightmare.”
Thompson also spoke directly about the violation that arguably cost her the ANA title.
“I have seen the video and I can see where they’re coming from with it. It might have been, I guess, me rotating the ball,” she said. “I have always played by the Rules of Golf. … I did not mean it at all.”
“I got up to it and thought about tapping it in, but I was pretty mad after my first putt because I put a terrible stroke on it,” she added about the moment leading up to the penalized ball placement. “My dad always told me I’ve missed a lot of putts by just going up and tapping them in. I’ve stubbed a few, done all that. 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.’ ”
Even though the viewers are still allowed to officiate the game, Thompson showed class while speaking about the new standards limiting video implemented by the USGA and R&A on Tuesday. While she has not gone in-depth on the changes, she said “any rule that’s made to make the game more simple, I think, is great for the game of golf.”
For now, Thompson is set to play in the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout in Irving, Texas, and she sounds ready to move forward from this whole issue.
“I’m very excited. I’m happy to be here in Texas,” she said. “I’m really focused on this week to just get back playing again. My game is in a great spot. … I’ve been working hard the last three weeks, so I’m excited to tee it up and get this all behind me.”
With a Top 5 world ranking and four majors left to be played this year, Lexi Thompson can still make this season special. She’s certainly more than capable of doing so.