Lexi Thompson, other golfers react to new USGA rules eliminating call-in penalties

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Instead, the U.S. Golf Association, R&A and members of the PGA Tour have agreed to introduce at least one official who will monitor all major televised tournaments and check for rules infringements. The fact that armchair golf fans could conceivably shape the outcome of a professional event was ludicrous, but luckily that power has been taken away from them.

The issue has been a controversial one in golf for many years, most recently when Lexi Thompson was denied victory in April's ANA Inspiration after an email from a viewer led to her receiving a pair of two-stroke penalties, one for incorrectly marking her ball and another for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Thomas Pagel, the USGA senior director of the Rules of Golf, was clearly pleased to be rid of the anomaly. "We want you to be a fan".

"We see this today in social media and otherwise, and not just limited to golf, you see video that's clipped and manipulated", Pagel said.

What will people who have had nothing better to do when watching the world's best golfers do now?

The tournament's criminal justice system duly clunked into gear imposing a two-shot penalty for the offence and a further two shots for the scorecard signed 24 hours earlier and now rendered incorrect.

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That will see an additional two-stroke punishment for failing to include a penalty on their scorecard being eliminated in the interim before being permanently removed when the modernised Rules of Golf take effect on 1 January, 2019. After all, it should be rules officials, not fans, determining when a player has violated the rules of golf.

Spectators at tournaments, in addition to players, caddies and event staffers, can still alert officials about possible violations they spot, with those concerns addressed by an official video review.

Thompson went on to fall to So Yeon Ryu in a sudden-death playoff.

The R&A and the USGA, working alongside the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour and The PGA of America, decided on a number of new measures to follow from January 1. At the 2013 Masters, Tiger Woods had two shots added to his second-round score after being called out by a viewer for an improper drop on the par-5 15th hole.

The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the "reasonable judgment" and "naked eye" standard.

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