Monday 25 September 2017

WATCH: Four rules decisions that were equally as infuriating as Dustin Johnson's last night

Dustin Johnson (second from left) takes with a rules official on the 12th tee box during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Dustin Johnson (second from left) takes with a rules official on the 12th tee box during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Golf has probably the most complicated set of rules of any sport and players are expected to know all of them and call penalties on themselves for any infringements.

Following Dustin Johnson's farcical US Open win, when he was docked a shot after his final round when his ball moved on the fifth green - having been told on the 12th tee officials would be reviewing the matter - we look at some of the other numerous controversial rules incidents.

DUSTIN JOHNSON, 2010

It felt like history was repeating itself at Oakmont as in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits six years ago Johnson held a one-shot lead when he drove into a sandy area on the final hole. With fans crowded around his ball it made it difficult to distinguish whether he was in a trap or not and not realising he was actually in a bunker Johnson grounded his club. He made bogey to tie with Bubba Watson and eventual champion Martin Kaymer but missed the play-off after being informed he had incurred a two-stroke penalty.

TIGER WOODS, 1999

A comprehensive knowledge of the rules can be a huge advantage to a golfer but so can their popularity. At the Phoenix Open Woods found his shot obstructed by a boulder. Such was the sheer number of fans following the then world number one he commandeered a large group to move the huge rock out of his path after declaring it a loose impediment. It is unlikely any other player would have been able to call on such manpower.

TIGER WOODS, 2013

For all Woods' understanding of the rules even the best-informed make mistakes. At the Masters he took an incorrect drop on the 15th hole after hitting into the water in the second round but despite being reported by a television viewer the competition committee failed to recognises the error when reviewing video evidence. Only when Woods referred to dropping the ball two yards further back in a post-round interview did they review the footage again and penalise him with a two-shot penalty. However, he was not disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard as officials felt they were to blame by not presenting the evidence to the player before he signed his card. Critics argued Woods' stature and reputation played a major part in the decision.

CAMILO VILLEGAS, 2011

Another eagle-eyed viewer calling in resulted in the Colombian being disqualified from the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. When a chip up the slope to the 15th green rolled back, Villlegas swatted away some loose pieces of grass in front of his divot as the ball was still moving down the slope, breaching a rule which states loose impediments cannot be moved while the ball is in motion. Villegas had already completed his round so the two-stroke penalty imposed afterwards meant he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard - a rule which has now been changed to account for such eventualities.

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