Sunday, 19 June 2016

DJ Gets It Done Despite the USGA's Nonsense

Finally, the incredibly talented and so far snake-bitten Dustin Johnson finally won his first Major.  This he accomplished despite the interference of rules officials who left him guessing for the final six holes as to whether he needed one or two strokes to win.

Imagine, with everything DJ has been through to date trying to get himself one of the big ones, to be told you might be assessed a penalty because you may, or may not, have caused your ball to move a fraction of an inch while addressing a putt.  Only, it seems, in the game of golf can you be informed that you "might" be penalized and have to finish your round with this hanging over you.  Only in golf can a fan phone in and alter the outcome of a championship because they observed a breach of the rules.

Nevertheless, DJ, seemingly undaunted, played his way to the clubhouse as his pursuers fell away.  His magnificent birdie on the last hole left no doubt that he was the champion.  Nevertheless, the uncertainty created by the USGA by reserving their decision on the penalty might have negatively affected a number of the competitors--not just DJ.  These guys were informed of the situation and had to finish their rounds as well not knowing where they actually stood.  It was a fiasco.

Life isn't always fair.  Golf isn't either.  But the rules of golf are sometimes awfully difficult to comprehend.  To think that DJ actually might have lost the Open because his ball moved a fraction of an inch, even though he had not soled his putter.  It is just ludicrous.  The punishment would certainly not have fit the crime.  And yet the same rules once permitted Tiger to enlist the aid of several fans to move a damned boulder out of his way because it was considered a loose impediment.  It just makes no sense.  

In the end DJ finally broke through.  But we, as fans, and the players were subjected to some real foolishness thanks to some obviously incompetent rules officials.  A wonderful triumph by DJ was somewhat tarnished by an outside agency, namely the USGA.  What a shame.