The USGA (United States Golf Association) made Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open a little more memorable than some may have liked in regards to as if Dustin Johnson did or did not approach the ball and cause it to move while on the fifth green. Officials continued on with the debate well after he had finished on the hole and had moved on. After more than three hours of play Johnson still had no clue as to whether or not he would receive a one-stroke penalty on a hole he had played hours before.
When officials first approached Johnson he argued on the fifth green stating that he didn’t in fact approach the ball or cause it to move. After a few minutes of debate and conversation, the official decided he would not asses Johnson the penalty he continued on with play. An official then approached Johnson again, but this time on the twelfth hole and notified him that a few officials had felt as though he had violated rule 18-2b, a rule which deals with the moving of a ball that is at rest after the player has approached the ball, leaving Johnson wondering, would he or would he not be penalized for an incident that happened seven holes back.
A few fellow PGA golfers and friends of Johnson took it upon themselves to voice their opinions on social media to let the USGA know their thoughts on the situation. One of those golfers was 2015 U.S. Open winner, Jordan Spieth tweeting “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?” after the officials had approached Johnson towards the end of his round. But after almost two hours of wondering whether or not he would be penalized Johnson finally finished his final round of the Open. Johnson would go on to win his first major championship and find out that he would not be penalized.
The USGA went on to issue an apologetic statement Monday morning regretting the decision to hold off making a final decision until the end of the final round.
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