IRVING, Texas — Lexi Thompson paused, tears welling up in her eyes, when asked about how difficult things have been since a viewer-cited penalty cost her what appeared to be a sure victory in the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year.

Thompson stopped for more than 30 seconds after starting to answer the question Wednesday, a day before teeing off in Texas for her first tournament since the ANA Inspiration in California.

“That’s one of my favorite tournaments, and it’s always a dream of mine to just see myself jumping into Poppie’s Pond,” said the 22-year-old Thompson, who got to do that after winning in 2014. “I played amazing that week. I don’t think I’ve ever played better, and just for that to happen it was just, it was kind of a nightmare.”

On the 13th hole in the final round April 2, Thompson had a three-stroke lead before being told she was being penalized four strokes for an infraction on the 17th hole the previous day that was pointed out by a television viewer by email.

Thompson, in her first media session since losing in a playoff at the ANA, said she didn’t intentionally put her ball back down in the wrong spot before making the 15-inch par-saving putt.

“I have seen the video and I can see where they’re coming from with it. It might have been, I guess, me rotating the ball,” she said. “I have always played by the Rules of Golf. … I did not mean it at all.”

Golf’s ruling bodies this week issued a new decision that limits the use of video evidence and could spare players from being penalized even if they violated a rule. The decision went into effect immediately.

Players can avoid a penalty if the violation could not be noticed with the naked eye. Rules officials also can eliminate penalties if they feel players made a “reasonable judgment” in taking a drop or replacing their golf balls on the putting green.

On the placement that got her penalized, Thompson said she was trying to take her time and make sure she made that putt after a birdie attempt came up short on the previous hole.

“I got up to it and thought about tapping it in, but I was pretty mad after my first putt because I put a terrible stroke on it,” she said. “My dad always told me I’ve missed a lot of putts by just going up and tapping them in. I’ve stubbed a few, done all that. I was just like ‘Lexi, just relax, mark the putt, it’s a major championship, you don’t need to go up and miss this little putt.'”

So Thompson marked the ball, took a practice stroke, a breath, and made sure to make it.