February 17, 2011
Late to the first tee is no way to go through life, son.
Dustin Johnson nearly became the 2011 version of Jim Furyk when he ran late for his 7:32 a.m. PT tee time Thursday morning at Riviera in the first round of the Northern Trust Open. Although Furyk was DQ'ed for missing the tee-off of The Barclays pro-am last August, DJ managed to escape with only a two-stroke penalty.
Why? Well, as Waggle Room helpfully points out, the rules of golf give a little "wiggle room" (no pun intended, I'm sure) in this case. As Rule 6-3a notes: "If the player arrives at his starting point, ready to play, within five minutes after his starting time ... the penalty for failure to start on time is loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play instead of disqualification." (What's that? The rules of golf actually making some accommodation for reality? Someone's going to have to check on that.)
Johnson is, at this writing, still on the course, but we imagine he'll have something to say once he gets finished. Sadly, there are as yet no photos of Johnson rushing to the first tee, one sock foot and one bare foot, his golf glove in hand. But rest assured, if they're out there, we'll get 'em.