Tom Sorensen

Cheaters never win, at least when couch police are on duty. If you are among them ...

Lexi Thompson lost a major, the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Sunday because a TV viewer turned her in for a rules violation.
Lexi Thompson lost a major, the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Sunday because a TV viewer turned her in for a rules violation. AP

I believe I saw North Carolina point guard Joel Berry II travel Monday. I waited for officials to blow their whistle but Berry is not a big man and they didn't see it. Yes, Berry is a courageous leader. But a rule is a rule. I emailed the NCAA to complain about the absence of a call, but they didn’t get back to me. It’s almost as if they didn’t need a TV referee.

Somebody emailed the LPGA website Sunday to complain about golfer Lexi Thompson. The complaint: at the Ana Inspiration tournament in Rancho Mirage, Cal.,Saturday, Thompson did not correctly place the marker for her ball. Missed it by an inch.

After the email, officials went to the replay booth or wherever they go, and assessed Thompson a four-stroke penalty – two for the incorrect placement and two for an incorrect scorecard. Thompson was at the time leading the Ana Inspiration by four strokes.

We saw a similar development at the Masters in 2013. Tiger Woods used an improper drop, although I've also heard it referred to as an illegal drop, which I prefer. Illegal makes me think of prison. You’re doing hard time, Tiger, and on your way there you need to pick up Lexi Thompson and Joel Berry II.

People who call or send emails to golf officials will say they are merely sticking up for the honor of the game. They might say their message is noble. But nobody has ever been knighted for tattling.

KID TO MOM: Mom, hey mom. I saw Tiger and Lexi cheat. They didn’t cheat on purpose and they didn’t get an advantage. But they cheated. Also, in the Carolina Panthers-San Francisco 49ers game last season I saw Ryan Kalil hold a pass rusher and the hold wasn’t called and I called the NFL to complain. Did I do good mom?

MOM TO KID: Are you sure it wasn’t Matt Kalil who held? Yes, you did good, son. You know, you’re 34 years old now and, since you’re accepted responsibility for a major sport, how about you turn off the TV and move out of the basement?

Some fans have the ability to watch a tournament or a game or an event without becoming part of it. They don’t perform, they don’t do the wave and they don’t push kids out of the way so they can ask an athlete younger than they are for an autograph. They do not tattle.

Lexi Thompson, on the cusp of her biggest victory, lost in a playoff. Yet when the playoff ended, she stayed to sign autographs. No word on whether somebody emailed the LPGA to complain about her cursive.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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