Sunday, August 22, 2010

Controversy at the PGA Championship

Who was the real winner at the PGA Championship this past week? Does anyone even care? It’s a shame that the winner of the tournament, Martin Kaymer, will be an afterthought after the events that happened on the 72nd hole altered the results.

For those of you that missed it, Dustin Johnson walked onto the tee of the 72nd hole at Whistling Straits with a one stroke lead. He flared the ball into the crowd that lined the right hand rough. When his ball came to rest it was on a patch of sand. He proceeded to bogey the hole to finish in a three way tie with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.

Not so quick. As Dustin walked off the green an official informed the player that he had grounded his club in a hazard. That is a golf no-no. Johnson was assessed a two stroke penalty. What was expected to be a three way playoff turned into a two way battle between Watson and Kaymer.

The rules had been posted all week. Anything on sand was pretty much considered to be in one of the twelve hundred bunkers that dotted the golf course. Johnson had no idea that he was in a sand trap. In this case the shape, configuration and even the identification of the sand trap was in question. The crowd had also trampled it down.

Johnson took his medicine and recorded a seven on the last hole. In this case the PGA
was the loser. Few are talking about Kaymer’s win. Most are talking about the ambiguity of the playing service and the raw deal that was administered to Johnson. Such is life when playing within the rules of golf. It doesn’t seem fair, though, does it?

James Ross has authored four novels about the “gentleman’s game.” Feel free to join his cast of characters that seem to have no shortage of comments concerning life in the society that we have created for ourselves. Read Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, Tuey’s Course and his new release Opur’s Blade.

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