Golf Channel Notable Quotes
Sunday, April 2, 2017 (Final Round)
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
**So Yeon Ryu defeated Lexi Thompson in a one-hole playoff to win the 2017 ANA Inspiration. Lexi Thompson was assessed a 4-stroke penalty on the 12th hole of her final round that was assessed to her third-round score, going from a two-stroke lead to two strokes down with six holes to play.**
Video: Lexi Thompson assessed 4-stroke penalty after ball-mark violation in third round
Video LPGA Manager of Rules and Competition Dan Maselli Explains Rules Violations
Video: “A Great Champion Won and a Great Champion Lost.” – Judy Rankin and Mike Tirico Recap Sunday’s Final Round
On So Yeon Ryu, 2016 ANA Inspiration Champion in a one-hole playoff (14-under par in regulation, 4-under par 68 on Sunday)
Mike Tirico – “And So Yeon Ryu wins the ANA Inspiration. Her second major championship of her career.”
Judy Rankin – “She is so professional. What a job she has done. She came here to play full time, to embrace America and to embrace this Tour. She is one of the best players.”
Rankin – “Everything she had to do, she did today. she has been creeping up on this kind of win for quite some time.”
So Yeon Ryu speaking with Golf Channel’s Lisa Cornwell following her round
So Yeon Ryu – “I just cannot believe this situation. During the play I didn’t check the leaderboard. I thought Lexi played really, really well. I didn’t expect that, what happened to Lexi. It was a very unfortunate situation. I didn’t expect it. I thought I was well behind so all I wanted to do is just play my game. I was paired with my best friend Inbee Park today so I just wanted to play golf with her and have a good, strong finish.”
Ryu – “Every player is so dedicated. “We always work hard to bring our A-game out and we always respect our game. Lexi didn’t know about the situation so it hurts me as well. It is kind of a weird feeling but at the same time I’m really proud of myself. I’m really appreciative of everything right now.”
On Lexi Thompson, 2016 ANA Runner-up (14-under par during regulation, 5-under par 67 on Sunday)
Mike Tirico – “This is going to impact her one way or the other. I think the LPGA handled it correctly. Given the rules of golf, I thought they went about it as best as they could.”
Rankin – Under the circumstances, the rules officials did the best possible job they could. I really would encourage those viewers and those people who watch shows late – not when they are actually happening – if you feel compelled to do this, make sure it is timely because this hurt more than it had to hurt. I think this is going to make Lexi Thompson stronger. I think the fact that she stood up to this. She stood up to this and got herself into a playoff after the worst news you can get midway on the back nine. This is only going to make Lexi Thompson stronger. We have had an enormous taste of her game to know how good this player is.”
Rankin – “I’m happy for both of them. Lexi will be just fine.”
On the four-stroke penalty assessed to Lexi Thompson during her final round
Rankin – “Maybe those viewers who email or call in should do that right away. Maybe they shouldn’t do it all these hours and a day later. I’m not saying that it is necessarily wrong, but once the day is complete, if you’ve got it taped and you are watching it on Saturday and it happened on Thursday, please don’t.”
Rankin – “As Lexi said, and as I know and surely everyone out there should know it was with no intent. I’m very frustrated by the ‘so long after the fact’ things that are affecting our game.”
Tirico – “The fact that this came a day late, it really is a dollar short.”
On Lexi Thompson’s final stretch of holes following being notified of her four-stroke penalty.
Rankin – “What’s done is done. She needed to play these last holes extremely well, and she really did.”
Abbott – “This is where Lexi’s caddie really earned his stripes today. He has done a really good job at getting Lexi back together.”
On Thompson’s comeback birdie on the following hole (13) after being assessed her four-stroke penalty
Tirico – “That is one of my favorite birdies ever. Because that is what an athlete is about. When you have been dealt a crushing blow. Go ahead and do it. That is great. I don’t care who wins this tournament, but good for her. That is what sports is all about. Put yourself under pressure and show them all that you’ve got it. Game on.”
Lexi Thompson speaking with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz following the conclusion of the ANA Inspiration
Q. Obviously an emotional time. You have polarized an entire sporting community in the last two hours. A lot of people rooting for you that never would even watch golf. What are your emotions on what happened in the last two hours?
LEXI THOMPSON: It’s great to have the fan base that I do and they really got me through the whole round. It’s unfortunate what happened. I did not mean that at all. I didn’t realize I did that. I fought strong through the finish and it was great to see the fans behind me.
Q. 13 when you were told walking to that tee, how were you able to sum up — whatever it takes to make birdie there.
LEXI THOMPSON: Just regroup myself. My caddie helped me out tremendously. We have a great relationship and he just said, stay with it. You can still win and we can birdie this hole and I just tried to gather myself before I hit that tee shot. Made a great putt there. But it’s all to the fans. I mean, they helped me get through the rest of the round which helped a lot.
Q. Ten years from now, if you have to write a paragraph what you remember most from this week, anyway to predict what that might be?
LEXI THOMPSON: What I learned most? I learned a lot about myself and how much fight I do have in me. And I don’t know, every day is a learning process, and I wasn’t expecting what happened today but it is what it is. It happens, and I’ll learn from it and hopefully I’ll do better.
Q. Mike Tirico said what you did on 13 and there on after defines what an athlete is. I think a lot of people are proud of you. How proud are you of yourself?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I am proud. Just the way I played coming in. You know, I am a very emotional person. I fought strong and that’s all I could do.
Q. Can you just sum up that for me, everything you just went through?
LEXI THOMPSON: You know, I played amazing today. Probably the best golf I played all week. Wasn’t expecting that on whatever hole that was. I did not intentionally do that. So to the officials, or whatever called in, that was not my purpose. I didn’t even realize I did that. But you know what, I fought hard coming in, and I didn’t give up. I knew I could still win. But I mean, so many players played great, so congrats to So Yeon.
On the Sunday’s final round at the ANA Inspiration and Thompson’s rules violation
Tirico – “I think we all are going to have stories to tell on how this final round has played out this year.”
Tirico – “This is so frustrating for the game. It takes away from what was a really, really good tournament.”
Rankin – “We don’t see every putt, we don’t see every move every player makes. Those that are playing well are under a different kind of scrutiny. I would also remind those at home that those players know that every move they make is on the camera and that the cameras have close ups. So if you think that anybody out there is trying to take advantage, you are not thinking right. That is no part of this conversation.”
Rankin – “It happened the way it happened, we have to accept that. We do know that a great champion won, and a great champion lost in that playoff. I believe that his young stage of her career, in a weird sort of way, will help her.”
Rankin – “I think they [The LPGA Rules Staff] were terrific. They did what they had to do. It is kind of like taking those steps that you hate to take in the toughest situation that you can imagine. They disliked it as much as anyone. But their job is to follow the rules. And per the rules, the did what they had to do and they did with a certain kind of expediency.”
Rankin – “I know that we bring you up close and personal. We are the ones who give you that view where you see every dimple on that golf ball. If you feel compelled and you have to, please, please, please do it in a timely manner, because you will be helping the player, who in 99.5 percent of the cases had no intent to make a mistake.”
Tirico – “Every sport continues to move more and more towards the league and their officials monitoring replay. This is so hard because this spans over so many acres with many balls moving at once. For TV purposes I would go this way. Put a rules official in the truck – it happens most of the time on most Tours – but if that rules official is watching TV and doesn’t see a rules violation, you can’t call in and go backwards retroactively. Let the official have the power to see it on TV. If they don’t catch it, it is just like me calling last night and saying the guys missed a call during the Final Four.”
Rankin – “I really do believe that every player was a little bit affected by, ‘How did this happen?’ and ‘Is this how I want to win?’”
On Suzann Pettersen, T3 at 13-under par (2-under 70 on Sunday)
Rankin – “She has had heartbreak on the 18th green so many times”
Foltz – “New putter that Suzann put in play last week in San Diego. Very similar to the one she was using. With the improvements we are seeing out of her and her swing changes, I think it is going to be a very big year for Suzann. A resurgent year.”
Rankin – “For the first time in a long time I really love her golf swing.”
Foltz – “I don’t believe there is anybody in women’s professional golf with as much competitive fire as Suzann, as much self-belief and as high of self-expectations that she places on herself.”
Foltz – “She has really found that length off the tee again with one simple swing change.”
Suzann Pettersen speaking with Lisa Cornwell following the conclusion of the tournament
Suzann Pettersen – “I thought it was something more than a warning for just slow play, when you have two rules officials come up and talk to a player. At the time I just let them talk it out. I was told on the tee what happened, her 4 shot penalty. I felt awfully bad for her. I thought she took it with the character that she is. She fought back with birdies. She is true class. We played fantastic. Both of us, the final day. It is a major, all of it is on the line and then you get hit in the face after 12. That’s not easy. For her to come back with birdies – I even have goose bumps talking about it – because it shows the type of character that she is.”
Inbee Park, T3 at 13-under par (3-under 69 on Sunday) speaking with Golf Channel’s Lisa Cornwell
Inbee Park – “I think Lexi has done a very good job of holding her mentality through the round today. I think she had to go through a lot of bad moments out on the course today with the bad news. Obviously it is really unfortunate that it happened. She had a strong mentality to hold on to it.”
-NBC Sports Group-