Rickie Fowler says television viewers affecting golf tournaments “is not making the game look very good at all”.
The former world number one wants outside contact with officials to end and believes all players agree.
American Lexi Thompson, 22, was leading the first women’s major of the season on Sunday when she received a four-shot penalty after a TV viewer spotted an infringement and contacted officials.
“There’s no question it should be ended,” Fowler said.
The American, who was speaking in the build-up to this week’s Masters in Augusta, added: “I don’t think you could find one player that would say otherwise.
“If there’s an official always monitoring any video or anyone on camera, that’s fine, and I have no problem with that. You look at other sports, they go to someone in the video booth and there’s an official in there that can look over stuff – great.
“There shouldn’t be any outside contact, whether it’s email or phone calls, whatsoever. We’ve seen some stuff in the past year which is not making the game look very good at all.
“There’s no other sport where people can call or email in or contact officials regarding an issue. These decisions are left up to officials. There are not people sitting at home dictating this, or in this case, having a large effect on the outcome of a major.
“I feel bad for Lexi. The way she handled it, the way she fought, was impressive.”
Thompson issues new statement
Thompson, meanwhile, has issued a new statement saying professional golfers should accept the decision of officials “no matter how painful it is”.
American Lexi Thompson receives a four-stroke penalty while leading the final round of the first major of the season – and then loses the play-off to So Yeon Ryu – after a TV replay showed her incorrectly replacing a ball.
Thompson was leading the ANA Inspiration by two shots when told of the penalty after her 12th hole.
Thompson appeared to put a marker at the side of her ball on the 17th green before lifting it and replacing in front of the marker prior to a putt of less than two feet.
The LPGA said she “breached Rule 20-7c (playing from wrong place), and received a two-stroke penalty. She incurred an additional two-stroke penalty under Rule 6-6d for returning an incorrect scorecard in round three.”
Her five-under-par third-round 67 was changed to a 71.
-13 L Thompson (US); -11 S Pettersen (Nor); -10 Mi Jung Hur (Kor), M Lee (Aus), Inbee Park (Kor), So Yeon Ryu (Kor); -8 A Jutanugarn, K Icher (Fr), C Kerr (US), M Wie (US)
Selected others: -5 C Hull (Eng), L Ko (NZ); +2 M Reid (Eng)
American Lexi Thompson takes a two-shot lead into the final round of the first women’s major of the season after a five-under 67 took her to 13 under.
World number nine Thompson, 22, carded six birdies in the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills, California to lead Norway’s Suzann Pettersen (68).
England’s Charley Hull, 21, had three birdies in a one-under 71 as she slipped eight shots off the lead.
She is tied for 11th on five under par with world number one Lydia Ko.
The 19-year-old from New Zealand, who won this tournament last year to collect her second major title, bogeyed the first hole but posted two birdies and 15 pars for a one-under 71.
Seven-time major winner Inbee Park is in a group of four on 10 under that includes fellow South Korean So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 US Women’s Open champion.
The event is back on schedule after delays caused by stormy weather but Thompson was among 56 players who had to complete their second rounds on Saturday before playing the third.
The halfway leader, who won the 2014 title, said: “Experience always helps me out, but I’m just going to focus on one shot at a time, relax out there between shots and just focus on doing my routine.”
Pettersen, winner of the Women’s PGA Championship in 2007 and the 2013 Evian Championship, has been runner-up in the event on three occasions and said: “I’m driving the ball well and that’s a major key on this golf course. If you do, you can kind of attack it as well.
“The leaderboard is packed behind me. You’ve got to expect to go out there and shoot low. There’s a lot at stake, but I’m all in for it.”
After two sub-70 rounds, former US Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie returned a 71 and shares seventh on eight under.
England’s Mel Reid, the only other Briton to make the cut, is two over par after a mixed round of five birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey saw her post a two-over 74.
With darkness falling, and your parents calling you in for tea, you squeeze in one last penalty to win the FA Cup, one last drop-kick to win the Rugby World Cup, one last putt to win The Masters.
Two Yorkshiremen had those same moments growing up around Sheffield in the early part of the century. This time last year, they made one a reality.
Danny Willett may have hit the drives and holed the putts that made him the first Englishman since Nick Faldo in 1996 to win the Masters and don the famous Green Jacket, but his caddie Jonathan Smart is claiming a bit of the credit.
In a documentary – When Danny Won The Masters, to be shown on BBC Two at 15:00 BST on Sunday, 2 April – the friends share their memories of an unforgettable Sunday afternoon playing the back nine at Augusta National.
Willett, playing with fellow Englishman and friend Lee Westwood, began the final round three shots adrift of defending champion Jordan Spieth, who was four groups behind him on the course.
The 29-year-old, who was only playing in the tournament because his son Zachariah was born a week early, takes up the tale on the 10th tee…
Danny: We were two under through the first nine but we were still three shots behind Jordan.
Jonny: We made an unbelievable par save on the ninth; it was the smelliest nine-footer down the hill and it kept us going. Then we had our funniest moment of the week walking down the 10th fairway. Danny said: “We’re in contention on Sunday at the Masters.” We were like little kids. We were laughing, not in disbelief, but at realising the situation we were in.
Danny: I hit two lovely shots on 10 and made par.
Breezing through Amen Corner
Danny: Everyone knows how difficult 11, 12 and 13 are with the wind swirling between the trees. I hit two lovely shots on 11 and made par, found the front edge on the par-three 12th and made par. We stepped on to the 13th tee and Jordan had birdied the eighth and ninth and stretched out to a five-shot lead.
The tee shot on the par-five 13th is really difficult for me because I hit a fade and it needs a draw. We hit three wood all week and almost played it as a three-shotter, but on Sunday Jonny and I said, ‘If we’re going to do anything we need to try and force it a little bit’. So I stepped up and gunned it. A little five-yard draw with the driver round the corner.
Jonny: Dan is adamant that was his best shot of the week.
Danny: I then hit five iron to the middle of the green and had a two-putt birdie but while I was doing that, Jordan had bogeyed 10.
Willett gets within one
Danny: I hit a nice drive down the right on 14 and a wedge to four feet and made birdie again. Jordan bogeyed 11.
Jonny: It was a four-footer that was straight downhill but I wasn’t sure if it was going to break, it wasn’t obvious. Nothing is said, we both know we’ve got to keep pushing. Those two holes were massive for us.
Willett improves to -4, Spieth drops to -5
Spieth sinks on the 12th
Danny: The next time we see the leaderboard, Lee Westwood has just chipped in for eagle from the back of the 15th green to get within one of us.
Jonny: Everything went ballistic. We had another birdie chance but that shot from Westy brought another player into it. I had goosebumps because the fans on the 16th can also see everything and the sound was ridiculous.
Danny: I had a 10-12-footer from the back edge. I thought that was to tie the lead. I missed it but tapped in for par. John put the flag in, walked back, said ‘that was a good effort’ and then we heard all the oohs and aahs from the gallery.
Jonny: I’ll never forget walking to the 16th tee. I saw people in the gallery putting their head in their hands and we turned around and saw they were changing the big scoreboard.
Danny: It’s just off the back right of 15 and Jordan had gone from five under to one under on 12 and we were at four under. So we looked at each other and waited for them to change the score because we thought they’ve got it wrong. After five or 10 steps, we realised we were at four, Westwood at three and Jordan at one.
Jonny: That’s when things got a little bit more interesting.
Five good swings with shaking hands
Danny: I’d been dying for the bathroom so I ran down past the 16th tee and everyone’s saying ‘look at the leaderboard, you’re leading the Masters’. I’m in the bathroom and my hands are shaking and I’m nervous but thinking ‘this is what you practise for’.
I kept telling myself, five good swings, see if you can hole a couple of putts and we’ll see what happens. When I came out, I was in the best frame of mind I’d been in for a long time. Mentally I was seeing everything as it happened and I wasn’t getting too far ahead.
Jonny: There was no discussion. If we acknowledge the position we’re in, we’re admitting we’re nervous, so how is that going to help? We stick to our routine. We had 181 yards to the flag. An eight iron. We created a picture, just like we do on every shot.
Danny: I hit a lovely eight iron to about 10 feet.
Jonny: I walked off ahead as soon as he hit it. I’m pretty excitable and I didn’t want him to see any emotion I’m giving off. Walking to the green there was no discussion. Everyone’s telling Danny ‘this is yours’ but he probably didn’t hear any of it. He was ridiculously focused.
Danny: We rolled in our birdie putt.
Jonny: The putt on 16 was all him. When he has a good line, why would he call me in? It only creates doubt.
Danny: Westy hit it to 35 feet and three-whacked, so all of a sudden we’ve opened a bit more of a gap. In the past 45 minutes, we’d gone from four behind to two in front. It was bonkers.
Jonny: On the 17th tee, I consciously said to Dan that these guys behind us are good and capable of making four birdies in a row.
Danny: I hit not a bad tee shot but was a bit hindered by a tree for the second and I hit eight iron long left. Looking back, I left myself a really tricky chip.
Jonny: I was thinking ‘there’s loads of green to work with’ and it was a bog-standard chip shot. It got to the top of the hill and I thought ‘he’s not hit that hard enough’ but it rolled over and then I thought ‘that’s quick’ but it finished stiff and I thought that wasn’t an easy chip shot!
Danny: I chipped it pretty much stone dead, which, round Augusta, you don’t do. I’m going to go back this year and put a ball down and just see how difficult it is.
Driving down the corridor
Danny: We’d hit a little cut driver off the 18th tee all week but we were pretty pumped with adrenaline and Jonny called three wood.
Jonny: My book said 296 yards to reach the bunker, so it’s not hard to hit a good drive straight into it. He’s got a low ball flight so he couldn’t have done what Sandy Lyle did out of that bunker and reach the green.
Danny: He said: ‘You can hit three wood as good as you like and you’re never ever going to reach those bunkers.’
Jonny: Everyone was hustling to get a place to stand.
Danny: There was a lot of commotion. I stepped off the tee twice because people are moving up the sides, through the leaves, through the trees.
Jonny: That tee shot to me looks like hitting down a hotel corridor and I’m thinking it’s getting narrower. Third time he’s pulled the trigger.
Danny: I hit it 295 yards, straight down the middle of the fairway. Again, the hands were shaking, everything was shaking, but the walk up to the second shot was pretty enjoyable.
Jonny: There’s a dip down before you walk up the hill to the green. As we got to the bottom, he took a massive deep breath. I knew he was nervous so I just said to him: ‘You don’t need to take that deep a breath, it’s not that big a hill.’
Danny: I’d done 80% of the job I told myself I had to do – to make five good swings. One more to go. I think we had 183 yards, Jonny will still know. Can’t miss the green left, can’t miss it short, can’t miss it long. I’ve seen it millions of times on the television, where it’s impossible to get up and down from, and where you can give yourself a bit more margin. I pushed the seven iron a bit but it pitched on the collar of the green and worked off the bank back down exactly as I’d seen it before.
Jonny: The walk up to the green was an unbelievable experience. We were having a little giggle to ourselves, saying ‘this is pretty cool’. I wish I’d taken it in more.
Danny: It was almost job done. We’ve got a 13-footer to get to six under, which I thought would be a difficult number for anyone to get to. But we get up on the green and look at the putt and you think it would be nice to get to six but I don’t want to drop to four. So I cosied it down there and tapped in for par.
Jonny: The walk from the green to the clubhouse was bonkers. It was bizarre, surreal. It’s stuff you watch on television and don’t do yourself. We’re walking off 18 and half-thinking we’ve won the Masters.
Danny: My father-in-law was at the back of the green, giving me a hug. You walk up to the cabin, sign your card [a bogey-free five-under-par 67], making sure you’ve got all that right and then it’s a waiting game. We had 45, 50 minutes of waiting.
Jonny: I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was half-watching, half-wondering if we should go the practice range in case there’s a play-off.
The winning moment
Danny: We sat outside the recorders’ hut and I’m trying to call [wife] Nic. The signal’s not great, I’m just trying to get through to her. And I’m texting my mum and dad and brothers. But I’m constantly looking at the television to see what Jordan does.
Spieth birdies the par-five 15th to go three under with three to play.
Danny: You’re going over all the scenarios where you can get beat. And then he made bogey on 17. He dropped back to two under and it’s a physical impossibility to tie.
Jonny: I didn’t realise the cameras were there and I just jumped on him.
Danny: I was on the phone to Nic, and Jonny jumped on me on the sofa. Everyone’s seen that on the TV. That was the moment you realise that’s what you’ve worked for and what you’ve just achieved. It isn’t a dream. It’s come true.
‘Dan’s putting a Green Jacket on’
Danny: Every major trophy is significant in its own way but the Green Jacket is special. It’s having your locker in the champions’ locker room. It’s your jacket being in there for the rest of your life. It’s being able to go back to Augusta forever, until you don’t want to play any more. The ceremony in Butler Cabin. You don’t get to go inside the places I got to see at Augusta unless you win at Augusta. I’m honoured to be part of that now.
Jonny: We were whisked round the back of the clubhouse to Butler Cabin. That was cool. You’ve watched it on TV and then we’re doing it. Dan’s putting a Green Jacket on. I remember them fitting it because they’ve got them all lined up. Before he went in the room he looked across at me, just laughing. It was nuts. We’ve all had putts as juniors to win the Masters. I always dreamt about doing it but it was mega to be as close as I was to it and have some sort of contribution to Dan winning it.
Danny: When you walk through the door at home, you’re not Masters champion any more. You’re dad, or Dan. You’re straight back to changing nappies and you take the jacket off so you don’t get anything on it. The only time I’ve watched it back was that evening. I opened a beer and sat on the sofa with Nic. Watched it for an hour and a half. Highlights of what we’d done two days before. Just a crazy old few days really.
-5 K Icher (Fra); -4 M Wie (US), SY Ryu (Kor), SH Park (Kor), EJ Seong (Kor); -3 L Thompson (US), J Shin (Kor)
Teenage amateur Seong Eun-jeong hit a hole-in-one to help move her into early contention at the ANA Inspiration, the first women’s major of the year.
The 17-year-old South Korean carded an impressive four-under 68 to go one shot behind clubhouse leader Karine Icher.
French veteran Icher, 38, sunk seven birdies to lead ahead of Michelle Wie, Ryu So-yeon, Park Sung-hyun and Seong.
England’s Charley Hull and Scotland’s Catriona Matthew were still out on the course when high winds stopped play.
World number 16 Hull was two-under after seven, while Matthew – ranked 65th – was three-over after six at the event in California.
England’s Mel Reid finished her round with a level-par 72, with compatriot Jodi Ewart Shadoff ending a shot behind.
Seong, who became the first player to win the US Women’s Amateur and US Junior titles in the same season last year, birdied the first two holes before acing the 182-yard par-three fifth with a six-iron.
Danny Willett and caddy Jonathan Smart describe the moment they discovered they were leading the 2016 Masters for the first time.
“When Danny won the Masters” is a documentary about the Sheffield golfer who in 2016 became the first Briton to win the Masters since 1996. It airs for the first time on Sunday 2 April at 15:00 BST on BBC Two.
Asked if she was relishing the challenge of keeping up, Matthew replied: “Yeah, absolutely.”
Of Mission Hills, the Scot said: “It’s in great shape but it’s what you expect here.
“The fairways are good, the rough’s thick. It’s not ridiculous, once you get to mid-to-longer irons, it’s a struggle. Obviously, key to try to keep it on the fairways because the greens are only going to get firmer. The greens are perfect.
“I’m very excited. I’ve always enjoyed this course, enjoyed the place here. Very windy yesterday and today and I think, so they say, it’s going to be windy Thursday, Friday so that’ll be a challenge.
“Everyone says you never get windy weather over here but I’ve played in enough wind over here.
“In this kind of wind, these courses are kind of different – not designed for playing in very windy weather so it makes it more challenging. You can’t run the ball up on as many holes as you can, perhaps, at home [in Scotland].”