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Golf is a game of honour

Update: June, 25/2016 - 17:00
 
Viet Nam News

By Robert Bicknell

Well, when the USGA blows it, they really blow it big time.

Remember when they screwed up the pin positions for US Open at Pinehurst and had players chipping then running to mark their balls the second they stopped for fear of it running off the green? John Daly got a two-stroke penalty for hitting a moving ball when his putt rolled back to him. The USGA admitted they screwed up on that pin position and even tried hand-watering the green in-between groups to help slow it down.

The USGA is coming off a disaster at last year’s Open at Chambers Bay where the conditions of the greens were a disgrace. Former U.S. Open champion Gary Player called it "the worst golf course I might’ve ever seen in the 63 years as a professional golfer", and Henrik Stenson said that the greens were like "putting on broccoli."

So you would think the USGA would go out of their way to make sure things went off without a hitch this time around…but noooooo.

OK, nutshell… On the 5th green, Dustin Johnson notified an official that his ball moved on the putting green. After discussion, it was agreed that Johnson didn’t cause the ball to move. Ergo, no penalty.

However, the USGA, being anal retentive refused to leave it alone and on the 12th tee,decided to let Johnson know they would review the incident after the round. In short, Dustin Johnson had no idea what his final score would be due to the situation.

How would you like that hanging over your head in a pressure cooker known as a US Open?

We all know that the USGA does things differently than most everyone else who is not in a mental institution. If this incident happened on the PGA Tour, all the player has to say to the official is “I didn’t make the ball move” and the incident is settled. Pros are supposed to be honorable and call penalties on themselves and, believe it or not, most do.

Johnson has called penalties against himself in the past in circumstances where no one else could see what happened.

Jack Nicklaus, who was at Oakmont, said he thought it was "very unfair" to have USGA officials approach Johnson on the 12th hole and tell him he could be penalized after the round.

"In my opinion, golf is a game of honour. That’s what the USGA believes in, and that’s what most of the players all believe in," he said. "And when you have a situation where the official was there and said, ’Did you cause it to move?’ and he says, ’No,’ then that should be the end of the story. How’s he supposed to know what caused it to move? You’ve got greens out there with spike marks and pitches. The ball can move at any time."

The USGA’s statement was a beautiful example of cover your ass, while trying to apply rules meant for amateurs to professionals in a televised event.

“…Our officials reviewed the video of Dustin on the fifth green and determined that based on the weight of the evidence, it was more likely than not that Dustin caused his ball to move. Dustin’s putter contacted the ground at the side of the ball, and almost immediately after, the ball moved.”

Looks like the USGA took a page from the NFL honcho Roger Goodell’s playbook in Deflategate. With no proof, they assessed Tom Brady with a suspension because he “probably, should have, might’ve, could have known…”

“More likely than not” means ZERO in a court of law. It is an opinion, not a fact. Other Tour professionals lit up Twitter with their comments, none of which were supportive of the USGA.

Rory-McILroy: This is ridiculous... No penalty whatsoever for DJ. Let the guy play without this crap in his head. Amateur hour from @USGA.

Jordan Spieth: 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?

Ernie Els: 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?

The USGA sets up Open courses to kill people, obviously when the course doesn’t do it, they take matters into their own hands. — VNS

 

 

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