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
Here is the exact wording of the bulletin given to
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 !