Holding your hand in the fire

In some parallel universe of his choosing, Dustin Johnson would be a two time major winner. Instead, by his sin of ommission, he will be burdened with the mark of Cain for the remainder of his career. Dustin Johnson tried to get away with grounding his club in a bunker on national television. That is the only conclusion I can come to after seeing the video yesterday. The players received notification prior to starting the tournament (and it was posted in the lockers) that all of the bunkers, even the ones trampled by spectators, would remain bunkers. On addressing his approach after slicing his drive to the far right, he grounded his club but then stepped away as if he noticed he made a serious mistake. He can be seen considering the situation, and he hit his shot without grounding the cub a second time.

After his round, he was brought upstairs to review the tape in a scene familiar to shoplifters and mall cops. I have no doubt that Mr. Johnson is very talented, but his narcissism was revealed for the scrutiny of the voyeurs. His profession is to compete and uphold the rules of golf. Ultimately, the golf must come from a pure place. The PGA saved itself a lot of controversy by taking care of the issue before any playoff ensued. By signing his card, Mr. Johnson signed his confession. This burden will be his albatross and may end up consuming his swing thoughts, but I doubt it. If he is to compete again at this level, he will have to be continue in his selfish, thoughtless way, with total focus on dominating and winning. Champion golfers are different from you or me, and I think Mr. Johnson will redeem himself in this world.

5 thoughts on “Holding your hand in the fire

  1. You are the worlds biggest asshole and likely have no talent to do anything. Shut your hole and let winners determine his fate not a loser like yourself

    • I’m sorry you feel that way. My conclusions come from viewing the events that day -he grounds the club, backs off, then addresses without grounding the club and plays the rest of the hole. He then denies thinking it was a bunker -this is mirrored in any scandal involving a politician getting caught who plays to the public. Think about the Senator getting caught trying to hook up in a men’s bathroom at MSP. Contrast this with Brian Davis who called a penalty on himself on the suspicion he may have hit a weed on the backswing during a playoff this year’s Heritage (http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/news/story?id=5110442). Bobby Jones, when praised for calling a penalty on himself that no one else saw, famously said, “you might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.”

      To proceed with the hole after you ground your club and after you decide that you might be in a bunker is just more of the passive agressive, narcissistic “why me?” nonsense permeating society. He is being called magnanimous for playing by the rules of golf when he was caught trying to get away with breaking the very rules, on high definition broadcast TV no less.

  2. I do have to concede, the course is filled with artifice and nonsense, typical of a Pete Dye layout. With 1200 bunkers sprayed around the course, it would be easy to assume the dirt patch you are in is not a bunker, no?

  3. I think you’re being a bit too harsh. The explanation they gave on TV for his hesitation and walking away after grounding the club was that he was being distracted by a shaft of light peeking through the crowd. His reason for not grounding the club directly behind the ball was likely that he didn’t want to risk having the ball move, since it was lying on bare dirt. I think he was justly penalized, but I don’t think we should be accusing him of an attempted cover-up.

    • I think the network does not want to be a party to the de-hero-ing if Mr. Johnson who is now a bankable tv star (he was robbed!). My question is if he didn’t know he was in a bunker why didn’t he ground it the second time and incur a multi-stroke penalty like Appleby? Believe me, he will be the new golf IT boy. I used to believe ARod was clean. I still hope Lance Armstrong is. In golf, it’s not the doping, it’s honesty and honor that is integral to the game. The networks see gold in blowing up this “tragedy” when smart and boring play was what won it for Kaymer.

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