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The Bizarre US Open Controversy That's Overshadowing The Dramatic Run-In

The Bizarre US Open Controversy That's Overshadowing The Dramatic Run-In
By Paul McNulty
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Controversy rages at the Oakmount Country Club as a possible penalty stroke could be added to Dustin Johnson's score at the end of the round.

An incident at the fifth hole is causing conniptions in Pennsylvania as officials have said that they couldn't make a ruling on the course and will have to make their decision after the round is over by reviewing the video footage of the incident in the presence of Johnson.

The doubt is clearly having an effect on Johnson who missed a simple four-foot putt on the 13th and Sky Sports commentator Butch Harmon said the officials should have made a decision on the course when the incident occured.

"They have a duty to tell him because that would affect the way he would play the last few holes. The USGA has put the whole field in a weird place."

Lee Westwood - Johnson's playing partner was heard telling officials that Johnson did not ground his club. Grounding the club makes the difference between a practice stroke and what is called "addressing" the ball. Once the ball is addressed - any movement of the ball incurs a penalty stroke.

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USGA official Jeff Hall, speaking on Fox Sports has seemed to indicate that Johnson will be hit with a one-stroke penalty. The reasoning being that the ball moved - and if Johnson didn't move it: what did?

The question now is whether Johnson addressed the ball - he claims he didn't but the video above seems to indicate this is in doubt. Touching the putter on the green is grounding the club and this appears to happen at the end of the above video.

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Ironically, Shane Lowry called a one-stoke penalty on himself on the 16th hole (his 7th hole as he started on the 10th) during Saturday's second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyJmkuWrI6A

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