Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What is this "sand" of which you speak?

Wow, this has got to be one of the "worst" good years ever. First Dustin Johnson melts down in the final round of the US Open at Pebble, then he takes a boneheaded penalty on the 18th whole at the PGA to miss out on a playoff.

Sir Dustin says, "Walking up there, it never once crossed my mind that I was in a sand trap,"

But as the video below shows, he was clearly and obviously in a sand trap! Of course so were a bunch of the spectators.


Anonymous said...

The problem is that it wasn't that clear. It was part of the gallery area, and the crowds had been stomping all over it all week. In that circumstance it looked just like a patch of dirt. None of the announcers noticed it either.

Angus said...

dude: look at the video. That is a sand trap. Why spectators are sitting in it is a mystery to me, but it's essential Platonic "sand trappiness" is not questionable.

Anonymous said...

Dude: I saw it live. No one recognized it as a sand trap until it was pointed out.

The spectators were standing in it because it was way the hell away from the fairway. It was so far away that they let the galleries stomp all over it. Not sure how many golf tournaments you've watched, but that's unheard of, to let spectators stand in a hazard. They are supposed to be well marked and undisturbed. That thing looks worse than any trap I've seen on a muni course, and its easy to see why it could be mistaken for a patch of dirt that the crowds had been stomping on.

Yes, it was a sand trap, but no one, not the golfer, his caddy, the spectators, or even the announcers, (all of whom are former golf pros) noticed it until the PGA officials pointed it out well after the fact. Their frame of reference for sand trap is "big hole with a high lip where spectators are never allowed to walk", not "patch of dirt in the gallery area".

So to point it out as a "boneheaded" penalty is unfair.

Anonymous said...

I forgot the best part: the PGA assigned a rules official to every group specifically to point out where the "bunkers" were on this course (since they aren't actually marked on any course map, unlike pretty much every other freaking course in the world). Nary a peep was heard. Good to know that the person whose job was to know it was a bunker didn't have a clue.

Stephen Karlson said...

It's a bit hard to define bunker or sand trap when the course is built on sand dunes!