Martin Kaymer became only the second German to ever win a Major Championship on Sunday when he defeated Bubba Watson in a playoff at Whistling Straights golf course in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The three-hole playoff was decided on the third hole when Bubba Watson hit a stray shot into a water hazard, allowing Kaymer to safely put his way to victory.
All of this came after a wild 18th hole, where Dustin Johnson had a put to win the championship but instead found himself dropping all the way down to a fifth place finish. After paring the final hole to force a three-way playoff, Johnson was immediately approached by a rules official who claimed that there was a problem. Johnson had apparently grounded his club in a bunker before his second shot. This notion was reinforced by CBS video coverage that clearly showed Johnson ground his club. Dustin Johnson was then forced to change his score and take a two shot penalty for the discretion, eliminating him from the playoff. The real controversy with the decision was the fact that Dustin Johnson claimed that he was unaware that he was even in a bunker when he grounded his club. What appeared to be a bunker was actually just worn away soil where fans had been walking all week. However, the rules clearly show that the spot qualifies as one of the nearly 1,200 bunkers on the course.
This is Dustin Johnson’s second disaster at a major this year and may be even more difficult to swallow then his collapse at the U.S. Open after leading in the final round. There is a silver lining for Johnson though, who qualified for the U.S. Ryder cup team with his fifth place finish on Sunday. Despite his misfortune, Dustin Johnson looks like a promising young talent and will surely be a player to watch for in future tournaments.