Golfer Lexi Thompson was competing in the ANA Inspiration, the LPGA's first major tournament of the season on Saturday, when she fell victim to a very unusual predicament.

"A television viewer's email had alerted officials to a day-old rules violation by Thompson for a one-inch ball placement error. Her three-shot lead had just been wiped out by a four-shot penalty."

Thompson was shocked.

What appeared to be an easy victory for the taking had suddenly turned into a fierce battle with her opponent, So Yeon Ryu. Despite brilliantly forcing a playoff, Thompson lost to Ryu in the end. Ryu took home the first place prize of $405,000, and Thompson settled for second place and just over $250,000.

Now that's a tough way to lose.

Tiger Woods felt similarly, quickly coming to Thompson's defense on Twitter:

In her post-tournament interview, an obviously emotional Thompson credited her fans for helping her get through the day, and showed a great mindset:

"It was great to see the fans behind me ... they helped me get through the rest of the round, which helped out a lot."

"Every day is a learning process. I wasn't expecting what happened today, but ... it happens, and I'll learn from it and hopefully do better."

In a world where many professional athletes blame refs, coaches, or even teammates for their losses, I love Thompson's ability to keep her emotions in check, avoid shifting the blame, and focus on learning.

Because, remember:

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."