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Why was Dustin Johnson penalized???

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by radvegas, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. radvegas

    radvegas Low-Roller

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    I still don't understand why the USGA penalised dustin johnson over the moved ball on the 5th green.

    admittedly, being a European I was rooting for lowry, garcia etc but after that incident I hoped DJ would go on and win.

    I don't know anybody who believes he should have incurred the penalty, and other wonder if they only gave him the penalty to save face knowing it didn't make a difference
     
  2. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

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    Gravitational attraction between two object of mass. F = G*m1*m2 /(r^2); m1 = mass of putter head, m2 is mass of the ball, r is the distance between the two centers of mass. Dustin got so close to the ball with his putter that the gravitational attraction caused the ball to move enough to roll one dimple...


    http://www.golfdigest.com/story/after-further-review-the-usga-got-real-lucky-dustin-johnson-won-the-us-open-by-more-than-one-stroke
    "In Johnson’s case, Hall and Pagel determined that by virtue of moving the putter in close proximity to the ball, and the ball moving “almost instantaneously” after he lifted it from practice stroke to begin his address position, it was more likely than not that Johnson had caused his ball to move."
     
  3. radvegas

    radvegas Low-Roller

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    do you believe they would have punished him if it would have cost him the tournament?
     
  4. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

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    No. I think they waited until the end to see what the final scores were.

    If it was going to make him lose, I think they would have said no penalty.
    If it was going to send it to a playoff the next day, I think they would have punished him.

    But because it made no difference, the safe thing for them to do was to give him the one stroke penalty. If they said no penalty, this situation could be referenced in the future if a similar situation arises...but because they did give him the penalty, other players will be more cautious now
     
  5. radvegas

    radvegas Low-Roller

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    I agree. I think the uproar it would have caused would have been very damaging. The three most influential players in the world (speith,McIlroy,woods) all criticising the handling of it would have made the USGA very nervous.

    I know you explained the reason why the penalty was given, but I still think it was a shocking decision. if you insist on having your greens that fast you are asking for trouble with balls moving/oscillating.
     
  6. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Yes, it would have been interesting if this penalty affected the winner of the tournament. I wonder if they would have the guts to penalize DJ if it caused him to lose the tournament. I saw replays and even I couldn't see the ball move much. I did see it oscillate but I didn't see it move position.
     
  7. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    Penalize him fine, but to wait until after the tournament is bullshit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. radvegas

    radvegas Low-Roller

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    DJ and Westwood both said that he didn't touch the ball. it kind of comes across as questioning their integrity, DJ especially as he was up close to the incident.
     
  9. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Touching the ball is not relevant. It's if he caused the ball the move. You can cause the ball to move by your weight and vibrations if the ball is precariously balanced on a blade of grass.
     
  10. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    He obviously did not touch the ball. The issue is grounding the club so close to the ball before the practice stroke. And then lifting it. That will cause the worlds tiniest earthquake in the immediate area around the ball, and thus could result in the ball moving.

    But their only evidence that the grounding did it was the timing of the ball movement, which is a logical error. Correlation is not causation. And more importantly, penalize or do not. There is no "maybe".
     
  11. radvegas

    radvegas Low-Roller

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    but until he grounds the club behind the ball and 'addresses' it, I thought that no penalty could be incurred?
     
  12. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    That was the old rule. The old rule was if you address it and it moves, you get a penalty even if you didn't cause it.

    Under the new rule you can address it and have it move and not be penalized, but if you cause it to move you get a penalty.

    Clear as mud.
     
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  13. radvegas

    radvegas Low-Roller

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    that sounds about right for the rules of golf!

    I'm surprised that the commentators and pundits on British tv (monty, butch harmon, rich beem etc) couldn't understand what the issue was either and so mustn't have been aware of the rule change.

    the crazy world of golf rules!!
     
  14. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Well, even knowing the rules change it is tough to know the issue.

    The new rule makes it basically a judgement call. And it seems that the USGA relied on timing near exclusively to make their judgement (the guy who was not assessed a penalty DID address the ball, but it did not move until seconds after he grounded the club, whereas Dustin's ball moves right after he is done grounding it beside the ball).

    What is most puzzling to me is why the USGA bothered going in to making that call. No one seemed to have a problem with the initial ruling, and the case for a penalty is at best very ambiguous. Smacks of officials trying to justify their own presence/role.

    But the most bizarre thing remains how they applied it. They had clearly made up their mind, so just tell him he has been assessed a penalty. Nothing good can happen from the uncertainty of a 'maybe' penalty. What happens if it matters and you still can't get him to agree he caused it? Do you wait until he signs the card and DQ him? Was there anything he could say afterwards to NOT get the penalty?
     
  15. radvegas

    radvegas Low-Roller

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    i cant help thinking that maybe because of who it was is the reason of the penalty and how it was put to him. The alleged drug and womanising scandals surrounding him over the last few years brought the USGA alot of bad press, so maybe they were flexing their muscles so to speak
     
  16. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Okay, I finally saw a close up of the incident on the Golf Channel last night. DJ practiced his stroke next to the ball and was moving his putter behind the ball when he saw it move back towards the putter. DJ stopped and backed up because his putter didn't even touch the ground. He then checked with the rules official before continuing.

    It didn't look like the putter was the cause of the movement. Golf Channel analysts also mentioned because of the quickness of the greens anything (like the wind) could have caused the ball to move but it wasn't because of anything DJ did. Most of the analysts agreed that it was a lame call and hopefully the rules will be changed so that a penalty will be incurred only if it is proven that the player touched or did something to move the ball. Part of the problem is that this tournament was run by the USGA so unlike regular PGA tournaments this incident was handled differently.


    The other problem was the penalty itself. They interviewed the head of the USGA and he admitted that the incident should have been handled quicker and DJ told of the penalty instead of being vague (they told him on the 11th or so hole that there was a possible penalty situation) or waiting until after the end of his round. Luckily the penalty didn't affect the outcome but I think the officials would be rapped if it had cost DJ the win.

    Too bad, a great tournament and a great win by DJ will also be highlighted by a questionable judgement call. The golf channel analysts also admitted, this call wasn't in the best spirit of the game.
     
  17. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    If you (USGA) run one tournament a year, you need to grab all the attention you can.
     
  18. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    The USGA screwed the pooch big time. There ought to be a rule that states once the rules official makes his/her ruling the ruling stands. To leave it up in the air could really have an impact how DJ, or contenders for that matter, played their shots strategy-wise down the stretch.
     
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  19. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    There is a rule that says that.
    34-2. Referee's Decision
    If a referee has been appointed by the Committee, his decision is final.

    But there is another rule that says the committee can overrule the referee in this type of situation.
     
  20. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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