Referring to a working group, including representatives of the major professional golf tours, which agreed on a "new set of video protocols", the USGA said the committee "does not need or want outside intervention by viewers who believe they may have seen a Rules violation on the video broadcast".
The group - which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America - also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations. Thompson was leading in the final round of the ANA Inspiration when officials told her she had been assessed a 2-shot penalty because of a rules infraction a day earlier.
Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of the Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, says that the Local Rule, which goes into effect January 1, will be adopted by all the major men's and women's professional tours around the world.
In addition, even if a tournament's official video review shows a player committing a rules violation, the player will not be penalized if he or she could not have "reasonably" noticed the violation with the "naked eye". "Let's leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament". Rather, it was the additional two strokes Thompson had to add to her Saturday score because she had failed to account for the original penalty in the first place. Because that would have made her score two shots higher, she received an additional two-shot penalty for the scorecard error. These officials could still assess penalties for violations they spot on coverage if they deem the player had knowledge of the rule they were violating and committed the violation on objective, disregarding the rules. If the same thing happened in 2018, it appears that none of the four penalty strokes would have been applied. Thompson was left in tears by the controversy and eventually lost in a playoff.
On Monday, the USGA and R&A confirmed they would discontinue the inclusion of viewer call-ins as of January 1, 2018. In changing the rule to be more lenient, officials acknowledged a DQ was a punishment that didn't fit the crime.
The Telegraph noted that Padraig Harrington, Camilo Villegas and Tiger Woods had all fallen victim to the calls of sharp-eyed viewers who brought up violations that may have gone unnoticed.