Most contentious moments of Golf in 2016

Sameer Bahl
Modified 29 Dec 2016

USGA makes a meal of Dustin Johnson’s US Open final round ruling

USGA got it’s assesment of Dustin’s ball’s movement on the fifth green in the final round of the US Open, very wrong. In the words of the USGA’s executive director, Mike Davis, the USGA made a “big bogey” in stroking Dustin Johnson for a moving ball penallty in the final round of the US Open. 

He called for the referee immediately when his ball moved even though he had not addressed the ball and was adjudged to have not caused the movement. Hence, he was asked to go ahead with the putt without replacing the ball.

The USGA committee further reviewed the incident and found video evidence where DJ was seen grounding his putter very close to the ball, following which there was visible movement of the ball. The committee overturned the referee’s decision and awarded DJ a one-stroke penalty. 

The subjective nature of the rule 18-2, that came into effect, to the haphazard handling of the incident; it was a public relations disaster that could have well been amplified had it caused Dustin Johnson to come up short in his pursuit of winning a major yet again. What comes as a relief is the USGA’s decision to amend the rule in 2017.

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Published 29 Dec 2016
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