Monday 18 December 2017

Video to kill any doubts at Erin Hills

A view of the 18th grandstand ahead of the opening round of the US Open golf tournament at Erin Hills
A view of the 18th grandstand ahead of the opening round of the US Open golf tournament at Erin Hills

Tournament officials will use on-course video review stations at Erin Hills to avoid a repeat of the farcical situation which overshadowed last year's US Open.

Dustin Johnson claimed his first major title at Oakmont 12 months ago, but only after being given a one-shot penalty following an incident which left players, officials and spectators unsure of his score with just seven holes to play.

Johnson had overturned a four-shot deficit to seemingly move two shots clear of the field before being told on the 12th tee that officials would review an incident on his fifth hole after the round.

The 32-year-old had seen his ball move fractionally as he lined up a putt, but called in the referee walking with his group and was initially cleared of any wrongdoing before holing out for par.

Rory McIlroy labelled the decision to review the incident after the round as "amateur hour" from the USGA (United States Golf Association), who revealed yesterday the steps they have taken to avoid something similar happening.

"I think last year there were two things we fell short on," John Bodenhamer, the senior managing director of championships said. "It took too long to make the ruling and it left uncertainty with the competition.

"I think should a similar circumstance happen I think we are poised to move quickly.

"We've enhanced the technology so we'll be able to have a quick look. We have four on-course video-review locations to assist us in expediting our rules decision-making process.

"These locations will be augmented by tablets and some of us on the committee will have those with us and will be able to move quickly on making decisions considering facts as we go forward."

Last year's controversy followed on from the heavily-criticised course set-up at Chambers Bay in 2015, when Henrik Stenson described the greens as like "putting on broccoli".

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