What a wild finish at the PGA Championship. First, congratulations to Martin Kaymer, the 2010 PGA Champion. He played really, really well. I’m going to talk more about his beautiful swing in my next blog.
But everyone is talking about the controversy surrounding Dustin Johnson’s two shot penalty on the last hole. In case you missed it, Johnson was leading the tournament and was playing the 18th. His drive missed the fairway and ended up on narrow strip of sand. Johnson thought it was a waste area and not a bunker and he ground his club; the strip of sand was a bunker and so he incurred a two shot penalty. This cost him a spot in the playoff and a lot of money.
Never in my life have I seen a situation where hundreds of people are standing in a sandy area and the golfer is hitting from that area and the area is considered a bunker. I remember the same type of situation when the Ryder Cup took place at Kiawah Island in South Carolina; the galleries were standing in the sandy areas adjacent to the fairways and it was obvious the sandy areas were waste areas meaning it was fine to ground the club.
Johnson was leading the championship at the time. There was a lot of commotion and it didn’t look like there was an official right there to oversee the situation. David Feherty, who was with the group, said the ‘bunker’ was just a strip of sand and people in the gallery had been walking all over the area.
There’s no way it was bunker.
The situation was chaotic and a mess and it was ultimately embarrassing. It cost Dustin Johnson a spot in the playoff. Nobody in the world could look at that narrow strip of sand and call it a bunker. There’s no way hundreds of people would stand in a bunker while a player leading a major championship was playing a shot. I’m sure everyone wishes it had been handled differently.
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