Berry Tramel: PGA Championship ended in worst way possible

Columnist Berry Tramel says the two-stroke penalty assessed to Dustin Johnson in the final round of the PGA Championship was absurd.
by Berry Tramel Modified: August 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm •  Published: August 16, 2010
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Yes, yes, Johnson could have asked the rules official walking with his group if the ground was considered a bunker. The same rules official who didn't even see him ground the club.

That bit of information came from television replays.

No matter where you stand on replay review in sport, admit this. Golf's is out of control. At least in football and basketball and now baseball, we get a review when the controversy arises.

In golf, we get a replay ruling whenever anyone feels like it or sees it, whether they're in a trailer at Whistling Straits or on a couch in Chickasha.

Which is an affront to the fan. In sports, like the calls or not, at least we get them and move on. We don't decide competition after the events. At least not since the 1981 Indy 500.

Remember that one? Bobby Unser took the checkered flag. The next morning, race officials ruled Unser illegally passed cars, and Mario Andretti was ruled the winner. In October, the penalty was rescinded, and Unser was declared the winner, 138 days after he crossed the finish line.

As a sports fan, that's unacceptable. What you see is what you have to get. No going back and redoing scores and results. Football has it right on the statute of limitations. If another play occurs before there's a chance to overrule, then play on.

Imagine the damage to golf had Johnson sank that par putt on 18? Johnson celebrating his first major title, being congratulated by good friend and playing partner Nick Watney, flinging his ball to a lucky fan or towards Lake Michigan, hugging his wife if he's married and his caddy either way.

Then as Johnson walked off the green and the crowd headed for the Sheboygan parking lots, being told there was a two-stroke penalty and there would be a two-man playoff of which he could only watch?

Golf likes to believe it embraces the honor system. It does no such thing. It uses the honor system, then resorts to Saudi Arabian law, only instead of a hand cut off for a stolen loaf of bread, it's two precious strokes in a bunker that really was rough.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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