Lexi Thompson: 'I still have nightmares' about major penalty

    Story highlights

    • Lexi Thompson has nightmares over last year's ANA Inspiration
    • American hit with four-shot penalty after rules infringement

    (CNN)The ghost of last year's ANA Inspiration still haunts world No. 2 golfer Lexi Thompson.

    The 23-year-old American was leading by two and closing in on a second major title when she received the news.
      An eagle-eyed TV viewer had alerted officials that she had incorrectly replaced her marked ball during the previous day's third round.
      Thompson was hit with a four-stroke penalty -- two for the infringement and two for signing an incorrect scorecard. From two ahead with seven to play she was behind and shaken up.
      Despite the tears streaming down her face, Thompson rallied to force a playoff but eventually lost in sudden death to South Korea's So Yeon Rhu.
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      "That night was extremely rough," she told reporters in California ahead of the 2018 ANA Inspiration.
      "I was screaming, crying. You know, I've relived it for a while. I had nightmares about it -- I still occasionally do."
      Thompson said in the weeks that followed she had to stay away from social media because it was making her feel "terrible."
      Instead, she kept to herself and spent time with family.
      "I just had to let it go and let time pass," she added.
      Thompson says some time spent on her own and with family helped her recover.
      Since then, the rules have changed and tournament officials will no longer consider any viewer call-ins for infractions they see on TV.
      "I'm just happy the rule changed so nobody else can be put through what I was put through last year," said Thompson.

      'Ready for a new year'

      While Thompson couldn't help but be reminded of last year's events when she arrived in California's Palm Springs for this year's tournament, she says she's ready to put it all behind her.
      "It's the past. It's 2018 and I'm ready for a new year and everybody needs to just let it go," she said.
      "It's just an amazing atmosphere this whole event. It's so relaxing and so peaceful here in Palm Springs.
      "I have my parents here and we rent a house and my mom cooks every night. It's just one of my favorite weeks out of the whole year."
      The 2018 ANA Inspiration will be held at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course of Mission Hills Country Club from March 29-April 1.