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Dustin Johnson Robbed?

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Wed, Sep 8 2010 10:37 PM by Jpdench3. 33 replies.
  • coolswing Australia
    1,017 Posts
    Mon, Aug 16 2010 4:35 AM

    It was a heart broken moment for Dustin Johnson and many golf fans watching.  But it really came down to an oversight by him and his caddie.  Following is an excerpt from a news item on the official USPGA tournament site:

    "The bunker issue was one the PGA Rules Committee found to be so sensitive and important, that the following bulletin was given to every player in the field before the tournament started and was also posted in the locker room.

    Here is the exact wording of the bulletin given to players:

    Notice to Competitors - Bunkers

    1. All areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers will be played as bunkers (hazards), whether or not they have been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes, as well as some areas of bunkers inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, heel prints and tire tracks during the play of the Championship. Such irregularities of surface are a part of the game and no free relief will be available from these conditions. All bunkers inside the ropes will be raked each morning prior to play as normal.

    2.  The local rule allowing players to move stones in bunkers will be in effect."

    The commentators on the live telecast even mentioned that this important bulletin was placed inside every player's lockers before the 1st round began so there was no way that Dustin didn't know about this ruling !  I also questioned why his caddie didn't seem to know anything about it at all !  And say if there was a chance that this bulletin might not have been placed in the caddie's lockers or locker room, even then Dustin should have passed this info on to him ! 

    So once again we all witnessed another pro golfer having a real heartache by losing a tournament because of a lack of knowledge for the rules of golf !  Such a pity because it has been such an exciting tournament and to have an ending like that just leave a bad taste in the mouth for everyone.  Here's something to think about that made me shudder, imagine if Dustin had sunk his par putt on the 18th hole to win by a shot then this penalty saga descended upon him !  Talk about psychological damage ! LOL

  • wampguy United States
    1 Posts
    Mon, Aug 16 2010 11:43 AM

    The rules are very clear.  He was indeed caught up in the ruckus, but he should of asked an official if there was any question.  In a weekend friendly match in any circumstance that could be up for debate, wouldn't you ask for a ruling or clarification from your opponent?   How many times when you already knew the answer, you asked anyway so there would be no issue after the fact?

  • VanHalenLover United States
    1,422 Posts
    Mon, Aug 16 2010 12:28 PM

    zag,

    I understand the point, but it is a bit of a stretch. Nobody here knows what this or community does in the way of charitable donations. Maybe the lure of this course and its design allows them to profit heavily, and in turn, donate to charity. We just simply don't know. 

    And yes, this was a local course specific rule, but it was also one that was available to all of the players before the tourney ever started. I feel sorry for Dustin, but it was is own lack of preparation, as well as his caddies, that caused this penalty.

  • KingOfTheCourse United States
    419 Posts
    Mon, Aug 16 2010 12:37 PM

    VanHalenLover:

    zag,

    I understand the point, but it is a bit of a stretch. Nobody here knows what this or community does in the way of charitable donations. Maybe the lure of this course and its design allows them to profit heavily, and in turn, donate to charity. We just simply don't know. 

    And yes, this was a local course specific rule, but it was also one that was available to all of the players before the tourney ever started. I feel sorry for Dustin, but it was is own lack of preparation, as well as his caddies, that caused this penalty.

    I totally agree, and didn't you say you were planing on going to the PGA? and if so what day did you go?

  • zagraniczniak United States
    1,981 Posts
    Mon, Aug 16 2010 12:43 PM

    VanHalenLover:
    Nobody here knows what this or community does in the way of charitable donations.

    Fair enough. If we bring starving children in Africa into the equation we would pretty much have to throw out the whole game of golf.

  • TarheelsRule United States
    4,672 Posts
    Mon, Aug 16 2010 1:42 PM

    Well the PGA tour gives and has given more money to charities than any other organization around over the past 20 years, they are well over 1 billion. 

    The point of a penalty for grounding your club in the bunker relates to testing the surface which makes you wonder why you can stand and hack away in 8 inch deep rough when all you are doing is trying to test the twist of your club and find the ground.  In a sand trap, being allowed to do the same as the rough would probably end up with a dozen practice swings and no sand in the traps after a few months I guess.

    I just watched Pete Dye talk on the Golf Channel, basically defending his creation and saying that he plans to put more bunkers there before the next PGA.  Frankly this course is a tourist trap and not where a major championship should be contested unless some changes are made.  1200 bunkers are a joke, esp when you are going to let anyone wander through them, with no maintenance.  The traps outside the ropes should be played as waste bunkers, something Dye said his wife told him not to do.

    The PGA needs to set up and fix this before it happens again.  I would wager that during the hundreds of rounds played over the past 4 days, there were at least two dozen players who committed this same offense but they weren't under the view of the camera or if they didn't do it, it was because the crowd wasn't as large and they could see the outline of the trap.

  • Yakublue United Kingdom
    125 Posts
    Tue, Aug 17 2010 4:06 AM
    The golfing rule of equity should be applied more in these circumstances. I don't think Dustin was trying to 'test the surface' he just didn't presume he was in a bunker. I did read tho that all players were issued with a list of local rules before start of play Thursday which included that all sanded ares were deemed bunker hazards. Obviously either Dustin himself, or his caddy, should have been aware of this, and the rule was broken. I still believe it was harsh, but he will learn from it. I'm just glad now that he didn't make that par putt on 18. Imagine the shift from ecstasy agony as the rules official approached. His talent will see him win a major soon and help him get over this heartbreak. The Yak
  • Snaike United States
    3,678 Posts
    Wed, Aug 18 2010 11:20 AM

    Yakublue:
    His talent will see him win a major soon and help him get over this heartbreak.

    I would agree.  The melt-down on Sunday at Pebble, the grounding rule.. it's only a matter of time until Mr. Johnson gets his stuff together to finish round 4 of a major.

    I would hazard a guess that he would be winning his first major before Tiger gets his next one.

  • jakestanfill7 United States
    949 Posts
    Wed, Aug 18 2010 11:20 AM

    I believe Dustin and his caddy were very aware of the local rule.  They just didn't think it was a bunker.  There are countless places on that course that become "sandy" lies after the gallery has trampled the course for practice and tourney rounds. 

    With the gallery crowding in  (even standing in the same bunker while he hit) and no marshals willing to push them back it really was impossible to tell it was a bunker and not just some worn patch of ground.  Yes the rules official won't offer advice unless asked but this is a ridiculous rule too.  Think how much play would be slowed down there if every player asked for a rules official on every shot from outside the fairway, which I would certainly do on that course. With the wind blowing like it was there were countless shots taken from areas usually considered out of play.  It would have been a 2 day final round.

    So under the guise of officials not offering advice, then why did a rules official advise him not to sign his card?  If they were truly following their rule of don't offer advice unless asked, then they should have let Dustin sign the card and DQ him all together.  Nobody told Roberto Divicenzo not to sign his improper card at the Masters.  Same for DQ of Sergio Garcia at the PGA when Boo Weekly marked down the wrong score for him.  Very inconsistent behavior by the so called officials if you ask me.

    Up until this tournament, the bunkers at Whistling Straits that were "out of play" had always considered waste bunkers, therefore players could rightfully ground their clubs.  I forget the player but some controversy at the last major there caused the PGA to make a very stupid decision by declaring every single bunker on the course on regular hazard.  By doing that they should have also prevented ANY spectators from.

    Rules are rules, and I'm all for them, but they should be applied consistently.  This was horrible judgement on behalf of Pet Dye, the PGA, and the on course officials. 

    I also feel sorry for Martin Kaymer a bit because this whole mess has detracted from his outstanding accomplishment.  I will say that I have a new favorite golfer (well top 3) named Dustin Johnson and I hope he comes out next year and smokes the field in every tourney he plays in.

     

  • ligerwoods62 United States
    10 Posts
    Thu, Aug 19 2010 2:42 PM

    TarheelsRule... i agree with most of what you wrote, but it is ridiculous to say that whistling straits is not worthy of hosting major championships.  The bunkers are what makes the course unique.  It's no different than the wide greens and fairways at st. andrews or having to play shots from the beach at pebble.  Traits like these are what gives golf courses character.  A person can't help but feel for dustin johnson, and i know that none of the players read the rule sheets, but if he had just done his homework we wouldn't be having this discussion.  There is a reason they get those sheets.

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