by Jeff Skinner
I know a rule is a rule but how the heck can you tell if you’re in a bunker when thousands of people are standing in it. Dustin Johnson gets penalized on the final hole of the PGA Championship for grounding his club in what could best be described as the “remnants of a bunker” to the right of the 18th fairway. We all know the rule, no grounding your club in a bunker, but come on. No one could tell that was a bunker, not Johnson, not his caddy, not David Feherty or Jim Nantz and Sir Talks-a lot Faldo had no idea either and they were looking at it from the overhead shot. All you saw was a splash of sand and a path ten feet wide that the fans had cleared to allow Johnson to play. The “bunker” in question was so far out of play it was behind the gallery and bore no resemblance to a real bunker.
The PGA rules committee broke the news to Johnson that he would be assessed a two stroke penalty and his 71 that tied for a three man playoff was now 73 and he would finish tied for fifth. Give Johnson some credit, he handled it with class. David Feherty tracked him down in the locker room and he said “It never crossed my mind that it was a bunker…I thought it was a piece of dirt that the crowd trampled down.” This episode is especially tragic when you consider that Johnson blew his lead at The U.S Open and now had his chance at redemption taken from him. He showed plenty of class when he said, “I just have to deal with it.”