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Johnson`s Penalty Costs Him Shot at PGA Title

Posted August. 17, 2010 12:46,   


Golfer Dustin Johnson says he feels more regret over bogeying the final hole instead of making par.

One can hardly understand this comment in a normal situation but this is what the unlucky player said. The reason is pretty self-evident.

At Whistling Straits Golf Club Monday in Kohler, Wisconsin, Johnson was penalized two strokes for grounding his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship, eliminating him from the sudden-death playoff.

At 12 under overall through the 17th hole, Johnson was leading Bubba Watson of the U.S. and Martin Kaymer of Germany by a single shot and could smell his first major PGA title. The surprise incident occurred on the final hole.

Johnson’s tee-shot bended right and fell in-between the gallery. Without serious thought, he hit the second shot and bogeyed the hole. Tied with Watson and Kaymer, who shot par, Johnson was ready for the playoff.

Then the PGA rule committee declared a two-stroke penalty for Johnson, saying his teeshot entered the bunker and that his club touched the ground when he hit the second shot.

Whistling Straits, the venue of the event, has more than 1,200 bunkers. Never recognizing the ball to be in a bunker, as it was sitting in-between a gallery, he grounded his club.

Afterwards, Johnson said, “It never once crossed my mind that I was in a sand trap. I just thought I was on a piece of dirt that the crowd had trampled down. I never thought I was in a sand trap.”

Johnson finished fifth.

This was not the first mishap for the American at a major PGA tournament. In this year’s U.S. Open, he led through the third round but shot an 11 over-82 on the final day to miss out on his first title.