Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
david_wedzik

Dustin Johnson Helped by USGA's Bungled Ruling

Note: This thread is 1215 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

45 posts / 3575 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

Hear me out.

Suppose that the Rules Official correctly (IMO) ruled that Dustin Johnson earned a penalty stroke on the 5th green for causing his ball to move.

I think there is a good chance - not a certainty - that he collapses a bit and/or Lowry plays well enough at that point that the outcome changes. Maybe they tie, maybe DJ loses outright… something. Consider that DJ probably played the last 13 holes not thinking he'd be penalized because he doesn't understand the rule, and how his mind set and decisions might have changed if he had been penalized. At the time, he'd have only been -3 while Lowry would have been -6.

I will say it this way again. There is a good chance that because a penalty was not assessed initially and DJ thought he would not incur a penalty, it affected the play of DJ, Lowry, and others over the remaining 13+ holes.

In other words, DJ might have LOST the U.S. Open if he had been assessed a penalty at the 5th hole instead of after he'd won by 3/4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Want to hide this ad? Register for free today!

We talked about this on the phone and I agree: I think there's a better than small chance DJ falls apart a bit. I think he goes "oh no not again" and that Lowry goes on to win. So, by bungling the ruling by delaying it so long, it helped Dustin a little.

I'm not certain nor are you. Nobody can be.

We also agree that it's somewhere in the 51-60% region that we'd have penalized DJ too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I disagree on him falling apart if it was assessed right there and then. I think mentally, DJ is a different character than most. And I think he's gone through so much in majors, you get to a point where you just begin to block everything out and not give a ***. I think that's why he played fine after the 12th. You would have thought after the 12th hole, he would have started showing signs of falling apart and he definitely didn't. You would think he would have crumbled after the US Open last year, and he bounced right back and was contending in the British Open and to a lesser extent the PGA. He's a little strange and not the brightest guy, and in a way, that actually helps him in moments like he's had.

I could be wrong...maybe it would have affected him and maybe mentally he's different than I think, but that's just the perception I get.

Edited by ChrisP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the prevailing theory on how DJ caused his ball to move?  In the replay it appears he is merely hovering his putter when the ball oscillates backwards away from the hole, indicating the movement was caused by wind/gravity/growing grass, etc.  Also DJ confirms that he does not touch ball or ground, as shown in the replay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, david_wedzik said:

he collapses a bit and/or Lowry plays well enough at that point that the outcome changes

By the 6th hole Lowry already dropped 2 strokes while Dustin was even.  I can see you point on this affecting Dustin, but Lowry tightened up, couldn't putt 5 footers etc.  I think he would have collapse regardless.  Now Day might have changed his strategy a bit, but his poor bunker shot on 17 did him in too.  You can say the same for the others that finished ahead of DJ, they must have had a sense for where they needed to be to win, be it -2 or -3, which none of them reached.

I do see your point though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

To add on to my point, I think it was harder to play "not knowing whether you're going to lose a stroke" than just assessing him then and there. That would drive me crazy. If I was told after the 5th green I lost a stroke, I'd be peeved but I'd move on with it. If I was told "We may or may not penalize you", it'd eat away at me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, ChrisP said:

I think that's why he played fine after the 12th. You would have thought after the 12th hole, he would have started showing signs of falling apart and he definitely didn't.

The situation on the 12th was very different. DJ was not ostensibly three strokes behind. He was winning or tied. Very, very different situation.

Plus, DJ probably still thought he wouldn't be penalized, because he doesn't know the Rules.

14 minutes ago, Tee2Trees said:

What's the prevailing theory on how DJ caused his ball to move?

This isn't the thread for that.

12 minutes ago, bmartin461 said:

By the 6th hole Lowry already dropped 2 strokes while Dustin was even.  I can see you point on this affecting Dustin, but Lowry tightened up, couldn't putt 5 footers etc.

Maybe. But instead of his lead shrinking to 1 (he would bogey the hole after DJ moved to the sixth), he'd have had a three-stroke lead.

Big difference between a 1-shot lead and a 3-shot lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

10 minutes ago, ChrisP said:

To add on to my point, I think it was harder to play "not knowing whether you're going to lose a stroke" than just assessing him then and there. That would drive me crazy. If I was told after the 5th green I lost a stroke, I'd be peeved but I'd move on with it. If I was told "We may or may not penalize you", it'd eat away at me.

I agree, on every shot there is the additional pressure that the lead you have might not be real.  If he knew with certainty it was or wasn't a penalty he may have played differently.  

A four stroke lead on the back nine typically means you can play a bit more conservative but he had to stay aggressive because he knew they could take a stroke away.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

8 minutes ago, iacas said:

The situation on the 12th was very different. DJ was not ostensibly three strokes behind. He was winning or tied. Very, very different situation.

Plus, DJ probably still thought he wouldn't be penalized, because he doesn't know the Rules.

I still don't think he would have crumbled. I think he's gone through so much and bounced back from it before. He just doesn't appear to be the kind of guy who's affected by things. He's a different cat. Kind of a weird cat.Most guys would have crumbled after the way he lost last year's US Open. Didn't seem to bother him. In fact, they asked him that in the press room and he just said "Well, it would be just one more thing to add to the list." I just think mentally he's the kind of guy who doesn't dwell on things. While it's kind of weird and abnormal, it's a good qualitiy to have. I just think it goes with the fact he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Edited by ChrisP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to say for DJ. The guy's swing was on point all day long. I'm not sure I am buying he collapses. Even if he does, I'm not buying that Lowry suddenly goes from 50% GIR to 70%+ GIR to make a charge. The guy hit 71% of the fairways and he only hit 50% of the greens in round 4. The guy's long game was struggling.

When DJ (-4) was on the 12th he was one stroke ahead of Lowry (-3). I'm not sure when they notified the other players, was it at the same time? If so then Lowry goes out and birdies 12. Now he has the lead or is tied for the lead depending on the ruling. I'm not sure how that changes the mindset. It's not like it gives him a 2 stroke or 3 stroke lead where he thinks par wins out.  In the end he's still probably looking for a few more birdie shots to put it away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

6 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

It's hard to say for DJ. The guy's swing was on point all day long. I'm not sure I am buying he collapses. Even if he does, I'm not buying that Lowry suddenly goes from 50% GIR to 70%+ GIR to make a charge. The guy hit 71% of the fairways and he only hit 50% of the greens in round 4. The guy's long game was struggling.

When DJ (-4) was on the 12th he was one stroke ahead of Lowry (-3). I'm not sure when they notified the other players, was it at the same time? If so then Lowry goes out and birdies 12. Now he has the lead or is tied for the lead depending on the ruling. I'm not sure how that changes the mindset. It's not like it gives him a 2 stroke or 3 stroke lead where he thinks par wins out.  In the end he's still probably looking for a few more birdie shots to put it away. 

And that's the other thing. I don't think it changes the way Lowry swings or putts. Lowry was trying to play with the lead the first 5 holes and showed he couldn't handle it. What was going to make things change after that?

Shane Lowry is a solid player, but he's had a bad year, and a lot of times if you're playing poorly coming in, eventually it catches up to you, particularly when you factor in enormous nerves. It caught up to Jordan Spieth at Augusta. Through 3.5 days, even though Spieth was winning, we all felt he wasn't on his A-game and he definitely wasn't coming in on his A-game. And eventually, it caught up to him on 10, 11 and 12. I just think some of the things that have given Shane Lowry problems all year reared their ugly head on Sunday.

Edited by ChrisP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only if we could go to a parallel universum through a wormhole we would know. In other words, we don't know and will never know.

But I remember that Westwoods caddy tapped DJ on the shoulder after the RO came to tell/ask DJ about the problem. I think that was to comfort DJ and show compassion because of the one stroke penalty. So I think DJ was told he would get the penalty, but was not ready to accept. So they gave him the opportunity to give his side of the story after the match. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Had they ruled the penalty on that hole before continuing I believe the outcome would have been the same on DJ's end. On Lowry and the others, they MAY have played better. But I agree with whoever it was above that said Lowry was playing poorly regardless because he doesn't have the experience being that high up in the field. 

While DJ knew he was (in MY words) "cursed" for getting a win, I think he goes into #6 thinking "hey, I've been T6 or better in my last 12 starts... it's just a matter of time. Nobody has come close to that." Unlike in 2015, and 2010 where he blew it and was "finding himself." Perhaps my naive opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I like the alternative theory idea proposed by @david_wedzik but I don't think I agree. For one I think it assumes DJ has a lot going on in his head. I think things are pretty simple up here and he said it himself, he thought he was playing well. For him, I think that is all he needs, just a little confidence.

Two, Lowry look shaky from the start. Too many unforced errors. He missed greens in the wrong places, drove it into fairway bunkers with irons, he always looked prime for losing strokes. I don't think he would have won even if DJ wasn't there. 

Lastly, I think DJ dealing with as much as he had over the past few years focused him. Made him not protective once he got the lead but made him push on including a birdie on the last. Many guys get the lead finally and then get protective he seemed to know that the penalty was coming so he'd better add one or two more birdies to ensure the win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, iacas said:

We talked about this on the phone and I agree: I think there's a better than small chance DJ falls apart a bit. I think he goes "oh no not again" and that Lowry goes on to win. So, by bungling the ruling by delaying it so long, it helped Dustin a little.

Not sure I agree here. Part of me thinks that he's too stupid to get rattled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 minutes ago, Grndslmhttr3 said:

Not sure I agree here. Part of me thinks that he's too stupid to get rattled.

What if instead of DJ it was Sergio Garcia? :-)

15 minutes ago, MacDutch said:

But I remember that Westwoods caddy tapped DJ on the shoulder after the RO came to tell/ask DJ about the problem. I think that was to comfort DJ and show compassion because of the one stroke penalty. So I think DJ was told he would get the penalty, but was not ready to accept. So they gave him the opportunity to give his side of the story after the match. 

According to the USGA they didn't assess the penalty then; they said they'd review it at the end of the round.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

It's an impossible hypothetical to answer, obviously. It sure didn't seem like it affected DJ at all, which by itself is very impressive. 

But I might agree with you because it sure seemed like every one of his competitors fell apart after being notified that there "might" be a penalty on the leader. Was there any correlation between the two? Again, impossible to say - but the timing was interesting.

And in my mind, "bungled" is too soft of a word for what the USGA did yesterday. I know it's tough to make high pressure decisions in the heat of the moment, but the USGA showed such complete and total incompetence in their handling of the matter that in my opinion, jobs should be lost. I'm not sure if Jeff Hall was the point person or just the mouthpiece, but whoever made the final call on this should be out of a job this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Note: This thread is 1215 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...