Ahh, welcome back in 2010! The Ruling on the Field blog is back in action after a long hiatus, ready and pumped for football season! As we wait, a side note about this weekend's travesty at the PGA Championship.
Wanna know who has had as bad a year as Tiger Woods? Try Dustin Johnson. Dominating the US Open at Pebble Beach, Dustin proceeds to go into epic fail mode and blow up on the first three holes in the final round. Then, the ridiculousness at Whistling Straits.
Leading the golf tournament on the 18th hole, Dustin predictably hits a terrible drive. Into a patch of sand with FANS standing in it. READ AGAIN, with FANS STANDING IN IT. There are weeds growing in this thing. It looks like my front yard.
Johnson, a player who often plays too fast and is trying to focus on getting back on track, walks up to the ball and grounds his club and takes a practice swing.
On any other day, at any other normal major championship, this would be ok. Because, it's not like he was in a bunker.......
But according to Whistling Straits local rules...any piece of sand is a bunker. Doesn't matter if there is grass growing in it. Doesn't matter if there are fans standing in it with empty beer cans around. Doesn't matter if Shooter McGavin has a crony there heckling you. It's a bunker.
Come on Whistling Straits. Seriously? Get over yourself. The course designer, Pete Dye, is known for trillions of bunkers. That's fine. MAINTAIN THEM. If you are going to make them PLAY as bunkers, MAINTAIN then like bunkers.
Guarantee Dustin doesn't take a practice swing in a NORMAL bunker. Sure, he should have read the rule sheet and known. But Whistling Straits should have done better for him. This would NEVER happen at Augusta, or Pebble, or Torrey Pines, or Pinehurst #9.