Dustin Johnson won his first major championship on Sunday at the US Open, but not before a little controversy struck him yet again at a major.
On the 5th green, Johnson was taking practice strokes away from his golf ball, he then proceeded to address his ball and before grounding his putter behind the ball, it moved ever so slightly. The USGA was all over this and there was all sorts of drama of whether Johnson caused the ball to move or the ball moved on its own.
— Bantam Pete (@BantamPete) June 19, 2016
Now here is where I have a problem, you have a sport in which you have men with all sorts of integrity playing a game; a sport in which guys call penalties on themselves, but when you ask Johnson if he caused the ball to move, he says no, you still conduct reviews yourself and mess up the entire tournament? How about the fact that the greens were triple cut and rolled? Is there a slight possibility that it’s more probable than not that caused the ball to roll? Wouldn’t be the first time. The discussion should have ended there when they asked Johnson.
While the USGA was reviewing this, the entire golf world had no idea what was going on. At the time no one knew if Johnson had a 2 stroke lead or a 1 stroke lead. The first I have ever seen of this in any sport. It’s like having a home run call up for debate and not knowing if it counted until after the game. It’s like a touchdown pass being reviewed during the 4th quarter while in a close game. The USGA sucked all the fun right out of my Father’s Day afternoon and they should be embarrassed. Two hours plus of pure speculation, drama and nonsense.
Here is what some of the top players in the world had to say about the events:
This is ridiculous… No penalty whatsoever for DJ. Let the guy play without this crap in his head. Amateur hour from @USGA
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) June 19, 2016
Lemme get this straight.. DJ doesn't address it. It's ruled that he didn't cause it to move. Now you tell him he may have? Now? This a joke?
— Jordan Spieth (@JordanSpieth) June 19, 2016
— Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowler) June 19, 2016
— Webb Simpson (@webbsimpson1) June 19, 2016
— Brandt Snedeker (@BrandtSnedeker) June 19, 2016
— Ernie Els (@TheBig_Easy) June 19, 2016
This isn't right for anyone on that golf course. If it was me I wouldn't hit another shot until this farce was rectified.
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) June 19, 2016
No way DJ gets a penalty. Use some common sense @usga The greens are running 14 and are sloppier than Mount Everest
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) June 19, 2016
Pretty popular feeling right here by the top players in the world. The USGA messed up here and they messed up big time. I like what Rory McIlroy said and I completely agree, I wouldn’t hit another shot until they figured out the penalty on this. The next big question is; Where the heck is Tiger during all of this? Tiger has nothing to say? Was there some killer bacon and legs special down at his local Denny’s? I needed to hear from Tiger on this.
While this was all going on, the USGA went around to all the other players that were in the hunt and explained to them that there is a ruling in question that will be determined after the round and it completely screwed everyone up. Minutes after getting word, the rest of the field just completely melted down. Now I don’t know if it had anything to do with the ruling in question or the fact that it was the back 9 on Sunday at a major but I’m sure it changed a few mindsets out there.
Johnson kept his cool throughout this process; of course he did, he has the permanent look of someone that just got assigned the middle seat on a commercial flight, but you have to give him credit for staying in there even having a ruling like that looming. I personally would have pressed and completely melted down. But that’s why he’s playing on Sunday afternoon at Oakmont and I am sitting here writing about it.
Johnson ended up getting assessed the penalty after the round but he had stayed clear of the field just in case the penalty was to be assessed. “For the good of the game” Johnson was assessed the penalty according to the USGA and “For the good of the game” Johnson buried this story by winning anyways. Way to go DJ.
God bless Dustin Johnson and God bless Paulina Gretzky, the greatest trophy wife of all time.
— TB (@Brewtdb) June 20, 2016
A hair flip for the ages
— Zane Aveton (@zaneology) June 20, 2016
Now change this rule so nonsense like this doesn’t happen again.