Sunday, August 15, 2010

PGA Tools

If you haven't heard how the PGA shanked golfer Dustin Johnson here's the "story".
Can you see the trap? It looked like a patch of sand in the rough. Most hazards that aren't apparent hazards are marked with red lines to call attention to the hazard, even in municipal tournaments. I realize the course is known for bunkers and the stuffed shirt came out later flouting the rules sheet, but why not declare any unmaintained bunkers as part of the rough? His tee shot flew into a solid mass of people and hit someone.

I've defended some of the inane rules of golf to others before, explaining how if the ball moves even a half rotation it could improve the lie and change the score. But this level of inanity is indefensible. The spectators were STANDING IN the so-called sand trap. At what other major can people just stand in a damn trap? Augusta would have them shot, or at least tazed and put in straight-jackets.

Besides, had his ball settled a few inches away on a patch of grass but still in the sandy area, would it still have technically been in 'the bunker'? And no dude, if it never crossed his mind he was in a trap why would he have asked for a ruling? Feherty, Faldo, Nance and the rest of the golf announcer crew never mentioned it before he swung, and they've got about 1000 years of experience between all of them.

Johnson handled it much better than some bloggers--he got paid nicely and will be back and with the crowd on his side. But here's another question--would they have penalized Woods or Mickelson in the same manner, at the same moment?

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