Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson offer *interesting* thoughts on rules of golf changes

Rory McIlroy (left) and Dustin Johnson talk shop on the seventh fairway. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson offer *interesting* thoughts on rules of golf changes

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Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson offer *interesting* thoughts on rules of golf changes

With this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions being the first PGA Tour event with the sweeping changes to the Rules of Golf in effect, players are getting plenty of questions on this front.

And the answers have been rather, uhh, interesting.

The responses of Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson stand out.

Among the most notable changes is that the procedure for dropping a ball is now to do so from knee height rather than from shoulder height (at arm’s length while standing straight up).

Here’s what McIlroy had to say about that:

“(With dropping from knee height), we’re saying that Brian Harman has got a big advantage, he can basically place it. Where you got someone like Tony Finau who is dropping it probably from like waist high for me. But I think that they’re trying to simplify the rules which I think is a great thing for the game. I’ve always said that the rules of golf are way too complicated, especially after the debacles and farces we have had at U.S. Opens and all sorts of stuff over the last few years. So I’m happy that they made the decision to try and simplify them and just try to make everything a little bit easier to understand.”

Overall, the Northern Irishman seems to like what the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A have done with implementing these changes. But those comments about the knee-height drop and how it relates to player height were a bit spicy, no? Harman certainly might think so.

As for Johnson, a pair of his answers were fairly classic him.

The famously laid back World No. 3 noted that he has at least looked over the changes and feels there aren’t huge differences.

But he was also asked Wednesday about whether his brother Austin, who serves as his caddie, has had instructions on the rules changes.

His response:

“I had one of the (PGA) Tour officials do a printout that I’m going to give to him to study later on today.”

And how do you think that will go, DJ?

“Probably not very well.”

Hopefully it went better than expected, we guess. Clearly, the rules changes will lead to some entertainment in the adjustment period.

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