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• Paul McGinley among those unimpressed with DJ ruling
• “This cannot happen again,” said the ex-Ryder Cup captain
• USGA’s Jeff Hall: “We feel comfortable with process in place”
Paul McGinley attacked the USGA over their decision-making regarding the Dustin Johnson penalty stroke, which totally overshadowed the final day’s play at Oakmont.
Speaking in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports, the 2014 Ryder Cup captain criticised the words of USGA official Jeff Hall, who was put in front of the media to explain the ruling and why it took so long to tell Johnson about it.
On the fifth green, Johnson lined up a putt but before he addressed the ball, it moved. The American called in a rules official but everything was deemed fine. However, on the 12th tee, and with a two-shot lead over Shane Lowry, Johnson was spoken to by a rules official, who explained that the USGA were reviewing what happened. A one-shot penalty was the result, but a decision hadn’t been made on the matter at the time, leaving the American unsure as to whether he would be receiving a penalty or not.
“He caused the ball to move with his actions near the ball,” official Jeff Hall told Sky Sports. “We evaluated the video and discussed it with Dustin and we’re comfortable that those actions caused the ball to move and as a result, he was penalised one stroke.
“On the 12th tee, we had a conversation to let him know we were concerned and there may well be a penalty. We asked Dustin whether there was something else that could’ve caused the ball to move and it was agreed that probably the best thing to do was to have him take a look at the video so he had the benefit of seeing what we saw when the round was over. But we wanted to let him know that there was a possibility there could be a penalty stroke.
“Every situation is unique and you’ve got to review the facts and do the best you can. It’s a tough situation. We did the best we could and we feel pretty comfortable with the process we had in place.”
But McGinley wasn’t impressed with what Hall had to say on the matter.
“It was lawyer speak,” said Paul McGinley. “He went round in circles, didn’t give us a real explanation. He said his actions caused the ball to move. What actions? We played it ten times over. He quite clearly didn’t ground the club, he didn’t touch the ball and for me, that wasn’t a satisfactory explanation.
“Practice strokes are not part of addressing the ball. There’s confusion again. There’s no clarity, a lot of lawyer talk in quoting rules and it just needs a human being to come out and give a clear explanataion and if not, don’t let it happen again. This cannot happen again in the heat of the competition in one of our premier golfing events with a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions.”
Paul McGinley :: Do you agree?
Do you agree with what Paul McGinley had to say on the matter? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.
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