Rules sheet spelled out penalty

Officials tried to make clear all bunkers would be considered hazards

August 16, 2010|By Chris Hine, Tribune newspapers

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — The first item on the rules sheet the PGA of America handed out last week warned players to watch out — they could be hitting out of one of the 900-plus bunkers at Whistling Straits and not even know it.

"That might mean many areas outside the ropes that might contain many footprints, heel prints or even tire tracks from golf cars or other vehicles," said Mark Wilson, co-chairman of the rules committee, which even posted the rule, by itself, on the mirrors of the locker room.

Dustin Johnson found himself in one of those outside-the-ropes bunkers Sunday after his wayward drive on the 18th hole — and didn't know it.

He grounded his club before the shot, a two-stroke penalty if done in a hazard.

Johnson said he was hitting from a "piece of dirt the crowd had trampled down."

Wilson said Johnson could have requested a ruling from the walking official, David Price, on whether he was in a bunker.

Nick Watney, Johnson's playing partner, said: "Honestly, I don't think anyone reads the (rules) sheets. We've played in hundreds of tournaments. You get a sheet every week."

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