Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Gallery - Brian van der Linde, email

While some may feel sorry for Lexi Thomp­son (May Be­hind the

Scenes) and the penal­ties she in­curred, I would have thought that any­one play­ing at the top level would be very con­scious of how they do any­thing with TV cam­eras watch­ing their ev­ery move. Not re­plac­ing the ball ex­actly be­hind the marker is what I would ex­pect of so­cial golfers rather than pro­fes­sion­als. In fact, club golfers who mark and re­place their ball er­rat­i­cally on the greens are quickly spot­ted by oth­ers with sharp eyes, and warned.

I read that Jack Nick­laus, in com­ment­ing on Thomp­son’s trans­gres­sion, said he had NEVER in his ca­reer re­placed a ball in­cor­rectly. At the 2015 Pres­i­dents Cup match in Korea, he said an In­ter­na­tional player was draw­ing com­plaints for the way he was re­plac­ing his ball and was no­ti­fied. “They got the cap­tains to­gether and had a lit­tle con­ver­sa­tion with the young man, and it was prob­a­bly the best thing that ever hap­pened to him.” Nick­laus said an ac­com­mo­da­tion was reached in which the player was pulled out of the lineup for one day.

Thomp­son is for­tu­nate not to have been ad­mon­ished too. LPGA Tour player Chella Choi with­drew from the 2014 Cana­dian Pa­cific Open af­ter she was pre­sented with video ev­i­dence that showed her plac­ing a coin down on one side of the ball and re­plac­ing the ball on the other side of the coin, on a short putt.

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