Dustin Johnson Slapped With Unwanted New Year First Penalty.

Defending Sentry Tournament of Champions titleholder Dustin Johnson has had many firsts in his career but never a first penalty of a new year.

Yes, that’s what happened to the golfer affectionately known as ‘DJ’ on day two of the winners-only event in Hawaii.

Johnson was handed a two-shot penalty during Friday’s second round after he played the wrong ball from a penalty area on the par-4 fourth at Kapalua’s Plantation Course.

It seems Johnson had been ‘misinformed’ by a course marshal the actual location of his ball in the penalty area.

Dustin Johnson slapped with the first rules penalty of 2018 in hitting a wrong ball from a hazard on day two of the Sentry Tournament of Champions

In fact, it turne out Johnson’s ball was actually 10 yards away from where the marshall had been pointing.

For the rules purists, it meant ‘DJ’ infringing Rule 6.3c(1) – “A player must not make a stroke at a wrong ball” – and an eventual double bogey on the hole.

Here’s how Johnson explained what took place:-

“Yeah, I mean obviously it was my fault. I should have — the Marshall had it marked, said it went in the hazard right there, so and there was a ball right there and it was a TaylorMade. I could see the logo on the side, so I just, obviously, just assumed it was mine.

“And it was way up in there, so I didn’t want to move anything. But I guess now understanding the new rule, I still, I got to identify, if it moves it’s not a penalty.

“So that won’t ever happen again. I can promise you that. But, yeah, it’s just bad luck.

Qn. What was the ball — when you went down, what was the thing that made you realize it wasn’t yours?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, when I walked up 20 yards, and I saw my ball. That’s what made me realize it
wasn’t mine.

Q. Did you ever hit the wrong ball on a hole before?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No. And I won’t ever do it again.

Q. Did you say anything to the Marshall?
DUSTIN JOHNSON: No, it’s not his fault. No. Just kind of went on about my day. Hopefully it gets better and it didn’t, so.”

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