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Dramatic ending for the 92nd PGA Championship
Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm 0 COMMENTS Bookmark and Share

Martin Kaymer won the 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits late yesterday afternoon and became the 3rd straight first time winner of a major championship this year.  Kaymer hit a must need 12 foot par putt on 18 to remain at 11 under par and to force a 3 hole playoff with Bubba Watson. After playing the first 2 holes of the playoff the 2 golfers were tied when Watson hit his second shot on the final hole right into the water. Watson went on to double bogey the hole while Kaymer bogied to win his first U.S. tournament and first major championship.

Although Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship yesterday, the bigger story was about Dustin Johnson, who had come to 18 with a 1 shot lead at 12 under. All Johnson had to do was par 18 (which was no easy feat, I may add) to win the championship. Johnson hit his drive right, landing in patch of sand that had been walked through and packed down from all the fans walking the course. Johnson gets up to hit his 2nd shot just like any other shot that day, and hit it left of the green. He would then chip up and over the edge of the green to leave himself about an 8 foot par putt to win the PGA Championship. He missed the putt right and would have to settle for a bogey and a spot in the 3 person playoff. But wait just a minute. As Johnson was walking off the 18th green a rules official approached and informed him that the little patch of sand that he had hit his 2nd shot from was a sand bunker. Johnson had grounded his club while in the said 'sand bunker,' which lead to a 2 shot penalty, putting him at 9 under and tied for 5th place. Was he in a bunker and if so was it his fault he didn’t know?

Here is an excerpt from the "Supplementary Rules of Play" that was hanging in the locker room at Whistling Straits.

Bunkers: All areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers will be played as bunkers (hazards), whether or not they have been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes, as well as some areas of bunkers inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, heel prints and tire tracks during the play of the Championship. Such irregularities of surface are a part of the game and no free relief will be available from these conditions.

Johnson apparently didn’t see that in the locker room and would later say, "I never thought I was in a sand trap. It never once crossed my mind that I was in a bunker."

Maybe it is Dustin’s fault, maybe the official standing right there before Dustin took the shot should have said something, maybe his caddie, of all people, should have known what was up. Either way, this patch of sand cost Dustin Johnson a chance to play in the 3 hole playoff, and it may have very well cost him a major championship.

What do you think???

Stephen Bethea aka “Dr. Smack” – Rivalry Rage, Inc.