Monday, August 16, 2010

Cruel Decision?

CBC News is all abuzz over what it considers a 'cruel decision'. In yesterday's PGA Golf Championship, Dustin Johnson's second shot on the 18th hole was played from sand up on a hillside.
As he prepared for his shot, I was wondering, "Is that a bunker?" He clearly did not think so, and illegally grounded his club behind the ball. He played out the hole, appearing to qualify for a playoff, though along the way he had a putt with a great chance to appear to win the tournament.
It WAS a bunker, he was charged two strokes penalty, entirely appropriately, and did not make the playoff. Surely a disappointment for him, but he managed a fine discussion with David Feherty on-screen only a few minutes after the decision. A bit glassy-eyed, he admitted his disappointment, but was hardly devastated, and admitted it was his error. He even had a sardonic sense of humor, pointing out that it would have been worse if he had made the putt that would have let him and everyone think he had won his first major tournament, only to have it grabbed away ten minutes later.
Of course reporters love emotion; apparently he did not show enough so our CBC talking heads prattled on about how long it would take him to recover. As pointed out at some level he had recovered quite quickly. But there is more. In the US Open a couple of months ago, he blew a tremendous opening lead over the field in the final round. He appears to have recovered pretty quickly from that.
And now he knows he has learned a good lesson; make sure you know local rules, and always ask when your ball is in sand a simple question. He's young, he's fine, and he'll be back.
Why reporters have to spend so much time on speculating about emotions and not reporting actual facts and events is beyond me. Wait! That first thing is easy, the latter requires a little work, especially at the CBC.

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