Dustin Johnson makes stellar bogey after really unlucky break

Dustin Johnson makes stellar bogey after really unlucky break

PGA Tour

Dustin Johnson makes stellar bogey after really unlucky break

Dustin Johnson doesn’t have Lee Janzen’s penchant for fortune, but he made the best of his situation.

Janzen famously avoided a stroke-and-distance penalty on the fifth hole at the Olympic Club during the final round of the 1998 U.S. Open after a wayward tee shot at the par-4 hole. His ball got stuck in a tree, something which Janzen was unaware of, and he started to walk back to the tee to hit a new drive under a stroke-and-distance penalty. That’s when his ball dropped down from the tree.

Instead, he was able to play the ball from where it dropped with no penalty. He went on to win that U.S. Open.

Johnson isn’t so lucky. During the third round of the WGC-Mexico Championship, Johnson hit his second shot from Club de Golf Chapultepec’s par-4 16th fairway into a tree. After minutes of confusion as to where the ball went, Johnson figured the ball would not be found. Under the Rules of Golf, he had to act as if it were a “Lost Ball,” which meant he had to take a one-stroke penalty and hit the ball as nearly as possible to the spot from which the original ball was last played (from his approach spot in the fairway). In shorter terms, that would be a stroke-and-distance penalty.

He proceeded to knock that shot from the fairway (now his fourth) on the par 4 to 13 feet. OK, bad luck, and we move on.

Only problem? After Johnson knocked his shot on the green his original ball fell from the tree! But that only makes things worse because … Johnson couldn’t take advantage of this stroke of fortune. The original ball is deemed “lost” (as in, it can no longer be played) once another ball is put into play under a stroke-and-distance penalty, as Johnson did here with his fourth-shot approach to 13 feet. A ball is also considered lost after five minutes of searching proves fruitless, but it’s unclear if the five-minute rule applied in this case.

Regardless, if Johnson’s original ball had fallen from the tree in under five minutes and before Johnson hit his next shot under a stroke-and-distance penalty, he could have played the ball from where it dropped from the tree with no penalty.

Got all that?

In essence, Johnson would have had a good shot at par if the ball dropped sooner, now he was staring down double bogey. He made the most of the bad luck by rolling in the 13-footer to make an incredible bogey.

As Johnson proved at the U.S. Open last year, he’s one of the coolest customers in golf. He reaffirmed that Saturday in Mexico.

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