Twitter is a notoriously divided place. Ironically, it took a wall to unite it.
The blue advertising structure positioned behind the par-5 18th green at Mission Hills Country Club, host of the ANA Inspiration, was roundly condemned by social media users for the ultimately decisive role in played in deciding this year's winner of the women's major.
With the tournament taking place behind closed doors this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials took the unorthodox step of replacing the grandstand behind the green on 18 with a blue wall bearing the logo of the event sponsor, Japanese airline ANA.
A smart commercial move... but a disaster for sporting integrity.
With the structure needlessly inserted, the water behind the green was largely taken out of play and replaced, instead, by a backstop that players could use to go for the green in two without having to worry about the consequences of over-cooking their shots.
Should the wall impede their swing, for instance, they could claim free relief.
That's what Mirim Lee did in the final round. When her approach to the green hit the wall, she was given free relief - and promptly chipped in for eagle.
Brooke Henderson also got free relief after her ball came to rest underneath the wall after she also went for the green in two. Had the backboard not been in play, her ball would have trickled into the water, ending her title prospects.
Instead, she was able to take free relief, pitch up and make birdie, tying Lee for the clubhouse lead.
Long-time leader Nelly Korda was unable to go for the green in two after finding the rough off the tee. She laid up and two-putted for a par.
Lee would go on to win the play-off to secure her first major title. Many, though, were unhappy at the circumstances which led to it and vented their frustration on Twitter...
What a balls they’ve made of the 18th at the ANA La-dies Major.... a backstop past the green so ‘hit it as hard as you like, no downside’ is bad enough, but then the fence/wall is not secured properly so your ball could go under and get lost or thru to the water?! Utter rub-bish— Ian Wassell (@ianwassell) September 13, 2020
@LPGA why have a man made wall on the ANA 18th tee - what a shame— Steve Morris (@officialstevoid) September 13, 2020
How bad is that wall in the ANA. Add in a typical dose of very slow play (Except Nelly) and this is a tough watch.— Michael Goldstein (@Pure_Golf) September 13, 2020
Kind of a nightmare for all this artificial landscape non-sense to be determinitive of the outcome of a tournament. #ANA— One Bearded Golfer (@1beardedgolfer) September 13, 2020
I get that everyone plays the same course, but walls and drops and obstructions on the 72nd hole just doesn't sit right.
Ridiculous last hole at the ladies major. Temporary wall up on 18th hole is crazy, spoiling a good hole. No need for strategy, just smash it and get a drop. Stupid end to a good championship. #SkySports#ANA— Paul Spence Walpole (@Paul171276) September 13, 2020
Man, all week we hoped the wall wouldn't materi-ally affect the tournament at the ANA Inspiration. And now it happens, at the most crucial time. After such a great championship, too. So unfortunate.— Griss (@conor_os) September 13, 2020
Brilliant finish to the ANA Inspiration but whoever de-cided to have a big wall as a back stop behind the 18th needs their head looking at— Jamie Greaves | Golf Fitness (@JGGolfFitness) September 13, 2020
The LPGA ANA inspiration outcome was altered by a man-made wall of advertising on the 18th green. Shame on you greedy corporations.. shame on you ANA. #LPGA— Mr. President (@coldfire66) September 13, 2020