USGA 'regrets the distraction' caused rules fiasco

After all of the backlash, the USGA isn’t ready to admit it erred in waiting until the end of Dustin Johnson’s final round at the U.S. Open to decide if he was responsible for his ball moving on the 5th green, which would have resulted in a penalty.

Johnson — and the rest of the field — had to finish the tournament unsure of one of the contenders’ official score. It was a mess. The USGA released a statement on that mess and said, while the right decision was made, it regrets the “distraction” it caused:

“Upon reflection, we regret the distraction caused by our decision to wait until the end of the round to decide on the ruling. It is normal for rulings based on video evidence to await the end of a round, when the matter can be discussed with the player before the score card is returned. While our focus on getting the ruling correct was appropriate, we created uncertainty about where players stood on the leader board after we informed Dustin on the 12th tee that his actions on the fifth green might lead to a penalty. This created unnecessary ambiguity for Dustin and the other players, as well as spectators on-site, and those watching and listening on television…

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