Great theater this Father's Day weekend as those of us who are absolute golf addicts watched every moment of the Fox Sports coverage. I had the TV on and the Computer on the Featured Groups.
I personally loved seeing the speed of those amazingly smooth putting greens, rolling out at stimp speeds over 15' feet 6" inches. One of the consequences of putting greens this fast is that the ball can move even just stepping onto the green near the ball.
As we were having our Annual BirdieBall US Open Contest, I was paying particular attention to DJ as our tie break was total number of Birdies.
DJ saw his ball move, he had not grounded the club and he called over a duly "committee" sanctioned rules official. The rules official absolved DJ of any wrong doing and the tournament continued. Further, Lee Westwood, DJ's playing partner absolved him as a representative of all other players.
For me this should have been the end of it. Not only because all of the technicalities were followed but in the end, it just DOESN'T MATTER! If a ball rolls one dimple backward, even if you "caused" it and it doesn't matter......IT DOESN'T MATTER. Let alone that it become baggage for Dustin to carry with him until the conclusion of the tournament that indeed he was imposed a penalty stroke.
Thank goodness that DJ won by more than a stroke. If this had cost him this tournament, many USGA members would be vacating there handicapping privileges this morning.
Having other levels of rules officials exert their opinion on the matter was inane and mad the USGA look silly.
At a time when golf is struggling to keep players, please stop making the game seem so petty and contrived. Some one please tell the USGA that golfers numbers are shrinking. They should know this better than anybody. The number of people keeping a USGA handicap has got to be on steep decline although I have never seen that statistic. For all of us fighting to make a living in the golf business we would love to see some clearer heads prevail. Should there be one over arching question to these questions. Will this change the outcome of the golf tournament and does it matter. I get it. I know that it is about the integrity of the game. Integrity does not come into play when you check in with a rules official get absolved and carry on. Please, keep the rules "pit bulls", most of whom are volunteers with real paying jobs outside the industry to keep their muzzles on when it just DOESN'T MATTER.
Oh and yes, we do have a winner in the 2016 BirdieBall, US Open, Indoor Putting Green Contest. J.P. Nolan, picked DJ and the tie breaker which was 11 total birdies. I am sure he is glad that DJ did not birdie the hole in question. The penalty stroke there would have cost him a championship as well.