August 16, 2010
So it turns out that all golf has to do to spark some interest is throw down a highly controversial rule interpretation that costs somebody a shot at a tournament. After our post Sunday about Dustin Johnson's losing battle with the rule book, many of you wrote in with your own particular takes. We love your emails; hit us up at email@example.com to add your voice to the mix.
Reactions hit every point on the compass, and we've got a sampling of the more coherent ones we received. First up, we have a gentle-but-chiding view of DJ:
Dustin and his caddy are guilty of not reading the rules sheet, that is true. Had he done that, he would not have grounded his club hence be in the play off. He still may not have won, but we'll never know. Using Roberto D.'s word, this is a "STUPID" rule. No defined bunker area is horrendous, but it means if you see sand "anywhere" don't ground the club ... Professional golfers (sans Tiger) are the most honest sportsmen I know....amateurs cheat all the time. I revere them and I revere the raw talent of Dustin Johnson. He learned from Pebble Beach and he will learn from this mistake. He carried himself well with no Tigeresque cursing or poor sportsmanship. He will be fun to watch for a long time....as will Bubba.
Could Dustin Johnson have made another error? Does the PGA regulate the sun? Perhaps:
I actually think that Dustin made another rule violation when he asked the crowd to block the sunlight from reaching the ball when he was in the now famous bunker.
And chalk up another vote for "it's the officials' fault":
The fault of Johnson not knowing he was in a bunker is because the officials failed to remove all the spectators that were in the bunker. He could not see all sides of the bunker because the people were packed in...inside the bunker. Let's assume that the officials did their job and removed all the spectators at least three feet outside of the bunker. In this situation, Johnson would have seen that he was in a bunker. Poor officiating cost Johnson.
And it wouldn't be the Internet if we didn't get emails with their points wrapped snugly in insults and absolutist thinking:
The rules of golf are the rules of golf. The PGA didn't make them up. The PGA didn't do anything wrong in their ruling. Johnson blew it, not the PGA. He should have had the presence of mind to ask for a ruling. I mean the course has 1,200 bunkers and your ball's lying in sand -- wouldn't you ask for a ruling. Oh, guess not -- after all you think the rules ought to be all about inclusion.
Don't give up your day job.
But ... but this IS my day job! What am I to do now?
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