Sports / Golf

'Snowman' freezes Dustin's chances

By Associated Press in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-18 08:04

No one knows better than Dustin Johnson how one disastrous hole at Whistling Straits can ruin a final round in a PGA Championship.

In 2010, it was No 18. On Sunday, it was No 1.

Johnson had a quadruple-bogey 8 on that first hole, spoiling his chances of challenging barely 10 minutes after getting to the tee box.

Even two eagles on the back nine, where he shot a 5-under 31, could not resuscitate Johnson's chances. He finished at 3-under 69 to tie for seventh at 12 under, eight strokes behind winner Jason Day.

"Obviously, a little disappointed to get off to that kind of start," Johnson said. "But that kind of comeback was key, I think."

'Snowman' freezes Dustin's chances

In 2010, Johnson took a two-stroke penalty on 18 after grounding his club into a bunker way right of the fairway. It dropped him out of the lead and out of a chance to take part in a playoff won by Martin Kaymer.

The stakes weren't as high this year - Johnson was six shots back of Day when the fourth round began.

Still, there was nothing cool at the first hole after Johnson's "snowman". The tee shot landed in a bunker and his second shot sailed into rough.

It only got worse. His third shot sailed five feet into a bunker, 51 feet from the pin. His fourth flew 22 feet into rough, 29 feet from the pin.

The back-breaker was his fifth shot, an errant chip that did not make it up to the green and caromed four feet back into a bunker.

GETTIN' A LITTLE ANTSY: Bubba Watson got into an animated discussion with a rules official about whether he could take a free drop after his tee shot on No 5 landed on an anthill.

The official consulted a colleague over a radio before delivering an answer.

"It's not fire ants or anything, so there's no relief on them. It's basically just a loose impediment," the official said.

'Snowman' freezes Dustin's chances

Watson followed up.

"Since the animal - it is an animal, right? You agree with that?" he asked while the two men bent over to look down at the little insects. "It's burrowing. It's digging a hole."

Not so, the official said.

Walking back to his bag, Watson asked, "So if some guy was allergic to ants, and he got an ant on him, you could care less?"

The official shook his head slowly side-to-side and finished by saying, "It's only the dangerous ants, the biting ants."

Watson got to the green in two shots and made a 4-foot putt for a birdie. He shot a 68 to tie for 21st at 7-under.

(China Daily 08/18/2015 page24)

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