Social Media Blows Up On Lexi Thompson Rules Incident... But Did She Do Anything Wrong?

Twitter blew up after a video of Lexi Thompson in the rough. Here's what the Rules say...

Lexi Thompson Rules Incident
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Twitter blew up over a video of Lexi Thompson in the rough. Here's what the Rules say...

Social Media Blows Up On Lexi Thompson Rules Incident... But Did She Do Anything Wrong?

A video of Lexi Thompson in the rough at the Women's Open was doing the rounds on social media, where she was seen moving a piece of grass with her club.

The American was in the right rough on the 16th hole at Royal Troon where her ball was sat next to a big tuft of grass.

Lexi looked to move the grass away with her club before playing her shot, although it did come straight back to the original place.

Watch the clip below -

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She was criticised on social media for the incident, but did she do anything wrong?

Update: R&A releases statement on Lexi Thompson incident

Commentators did not mention any wrongdoing during the coverage and she was not penalised by the rules officials.

Rule 8.1a states that you must not 'Move, bend or break any growing or attached natural object' if it improves the conditions affecting the stroke.

She did not actually improve her lie as the ball remained in the same spot, as did the grass.

The jury's out, but it would be difficult to 100% say that she did anything wrong as both the ball and the long grass remained in the same spot, ultimately not affecting or improving her stroke.

Related: Women's Open Live Stream - How to watch the Major

However, social media was not in agreement with plenty of accounts criticising her actions.

"@Lexi please explain what you’re doing with your club in pushing the grass away from the back of the ball. @LETgolf @RandA this is fine is it? I just need to be clear on the rules because at present, I seem to be confused like many others," former European Tour player Gary Evans wrote.

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Related: 10 Rules golfers still get wrong

Lexi was involved in a high-profile rules incident in 2017 that ultimately cost her a Major title.

After the third round at the ANA Inspiration, a TV viewer noticed that she placed her ball down on the green in a slightly different spot to where she marked it.

The following day she was given a two stroke penalty for the incident, which was made into a four stroke penalty as she was then deemed to have signed for a wrong score.

Lexi was told by a rules official during the final round of the event and she went on to lose in a playoff.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x