Pie in Sky Sportsmanship Idea - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Pie in Sky Sportsmanship Idea

I wanted to blog this last night, but thought better of it then because I did not want to sound like I was casting aspersions on the character of golfers Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. I solved it (I’ll say what “it” is in a moment) be saying here, up front: I am not suggesting their character is lacking. In all the confusion, it would have taken extraordinary presence of mind to even THINK about what I am about to suggest. Most people in that situation would not think about it; it wouldn’t even come close to occurring to them while they are in the process of trying to get their minds right and their bodies loose for a three-hole playoff for a major championship in golf. In short, this is an acknolwedgement that it is far far easier to think about it when you are merely a TV spectator than when it is your own participation on the line. Okay, disclaimer over.

Here’s what I thought in the very moment when Kaymer and Watson were informed that Dustin Johnson would be penalized and kept out of the playoff for the title because he grounded his club in what was supposedly sand bunker: If I were they, I would have turned to the official and said: “I will not take a shot in this playoff unless Dustin Johnson is allowed to join us.” I would have reached my hand out to the other and said “Congratulations, winner.” The other would have felt obliged to say the same. If both players refused to participate in the playoff without Johnson, what would the PGA have done: handed the title to the next two players? Of course not. The PGA officials would have been forced to fold.

I would not want to wina  championship decided not just by a technicality, but by a technicality combined with a large amount of confusion. If it were clear that Johnson were in a bunker and he grounded his club even without improving his lie, that’s still a rules violation that must be penalized. That may be a “technicality,” but it is unambiguous. But what happened to Johnson was an ambiguo-technicality. It STILL isn’t clear that that area was DESIGNED as a bunker. I would not have wanted to take a tite that way without giving Johnson a chance to beat me.

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