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What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

The ball did not move!

I have reviewed the video of Dustin Johnson’s apparent violation of Rule 18-2, and I still cannot see how he caused that ball to move. In our justice system in the USA, unless there is overwhelming evidence of guilt, the person is presumed innocent.  I could not see any overwhelming evidence in this case.  Many golf fans disagree with the USGA ruling, and plenty of the PGA players also weighed in as they vented on social media.  To put things in perspective,  Jaime Diaz of Golf World gives us his take on this ruling.

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

OAKMONT, PA – JUNE 19: Dustin Johnson of the United States chats with a rules official on the fifth green during the final round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club on June 19, 2016 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

It was a bad moment for the USGA. But, man, it could have been a million times worse. Dustin Johnson bailed out the governing body by playing well down the stretch on Sunday at the 116th U.S. Open, and his challengers cooperated by playing poorly. It created a big enough stroke swing that what could have been the toughest rules decision in USGA history basically was of no consequence.

What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

Thank you, Dustin! But some advice for the USGA: Please take a hard look at what almost transpired.

A quick recap. On the fifth hole during the final round at Oakmont Country Club, Johnson ran a seven-foot birdie putt four feet past the cup. As he prepared to hit his second putt, Johnson took some practice strokes besides his ball. As he stepped in to address the putt—but before he grounded the club—Johnson noticed his ball had moved slightly. Quickly, he called in rules official Mark Newell. Johnson told him that the ball moved a bit backward, but he had not addressed his putt by grounding his club. Newell confirmed with Johnson “and you didn’t address it?” At that point, with playing partner Lee Westwood confirming Johnson’s view, Newell did determin that a rule had not been broken. Johnson played on, making his putt.

About the time Johnson reached the ninth hole, however, Jeff Hall, managing director of rules & competitions for the USGA, had video brought to his attention that he said had caused concern. After studying the video and consulting with Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, the two met Johnson on the 12th tee, where Johnson arrived with a one-stroke lead. They told Johnson that the USGA had reviewed video and that officials needed to talk to Johnson about his being the possible cause of his ball moving on the fifth green.

“We told him the USGA could very well assess him a one-stroke penalty,” Hall said.

Johnson crushed a drive on the 12th hole more than 350 yards. He later said that the rules issue didn’t weigh on him as he played on. “I just told myself, we’ll worry about it when we get done,” said Johnson, who felt he was safe because he had not grounded his club behind the ball. “I didn’t think there was going to be a penalty. They said they were going to review. There was nothing I could do about it. Just focus on this next shot. I tried to do that from there, all the way to the house. It was just me and the golf course.”

But Johnson wasn’t as sharp with his shot-making, which had been superb, over the next few holes. With only 210 yards remaining for his second shot on the par-5 12th, he hit a bad push into long rough, from where he didn’t get up and down for the birdie he was counting on. On the par-3 13th, he pulled his approach into a bunker but managed to make a great recovery and saved par. But on the par-4 14th, he took three putts, and the pressure looked like it might be getting to Johnson, just as it seems to happen in several other instances throughout his star-crossed major career.

To see the rest of the USGA’s decision on this matter, go here!

Source : Jaime Diaz  Golf World

Pictures : David Cannon/Getty Images  Hone Morihana

Thanks for reading – What is your take on the Dustin Johnson Rules decision?

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