The Lexi Thompson controversy is shocking to me.

It was a pretty big golf story so I’m guessing you heard about it:  after marking her ball, Thompson replaced it in a different spot.  The LPGA was alerted to the infraction by a TV viewer a day after it happened.  LPGA Rules Officials reviewed the video tape and ended up assessing a heavy penalty which cost Thompson the coveted championship.

I was at the course when the news broke.  Fans were outraged at LPGA Rules officials.  People were screaming, “They screwed her,” and “They stole this from her!”  Given their reaction, I wondered if Thompson had replaced her ball just a blade of grass from the correct spot and some viewer, some trigonometry buff using signs and cosigns, had calculated a 1/100th of an inch breach.

As Warner Wolf used to say… let’s go to the video tape:  Click here

It’s stunning to me!  First-off , I’d assumed she had marked her ball and then waited for others to play before replacing it – maybe forgetting how she marked it.   But noooooooooo, the entire process was done in one action.  She marks the ball, picks it up, then immediately replaces it to the left.

I’d also assumed she missed the correct spot by a blade of grass, but noooooooooo again – it was half a ball-length.  Look, this isn’t Hedwig’s Angry Inch, but for a professional golfer to misplace her ball by this much is shocking.

And the real stunner is she only lifted the ball an inch off the ground!  There’s no way she “accidentally” moved her ball to the side almost as much as she picked it up off the ground, is there?

There are only two possible reasons why she did this:  1) She cheated – she wanted to avoid some kind of imperfection on the green so she moved her ball.  2)  She didn’t know the rule.

Both of these scenarios are hard for me to believe.  She seems like a decent kid, so I’m having a hard time believing she did this intentionally.  But how does a professional golfer not know this rule?  It’s like a basketball player forgetting she has to dribble.    Please tell me what you think!