U.S.G.A. Regrets ‘Distraction’ in Ruling Against Dustin Johnson


Dustin Johnson with an official on the fifth green. The U.S.G.A. said it regretted the “distraction” caused by its lack of an immediate ruling on a ball that moved.

John Minchillo/Associated Press

Organizers of the United States Open said Monday they regretted the “distraction caused” by their decision to wait until after the final round to issue a one-stroke penalty to the eventual champion, Dustin Johnson.

A day after the lack of an immediate ruling created uncertainty for hours in the climactic moments of the country’s national championship, the United States Golf Association, however, did not back down from its decision to enforce the penalty based on its examination of the various factors when Johnson’s golf ball moved as he was preparing to putt on the fifth green Sunday.

Although Johnson had consulted with a rules official on the green after his ball moved and had been allowed to continue without penalty, he was informed by U.S.G.A. officials on the 12th tee that after video review, he might still be penalized a stroke.

That set in motion a…

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