DJ happy to see changes to ball-moving rule


MEXICO CITY – Among the proposed changes introduced by Wednesday’s modernization of the Rules of Golf is how to handle a ball moving, a concept that is particularly interesting to Dustin Johnson.

Johnson was penalized a stroke during the final round of last year’s U.S. Open after his golf ball moved on the fifth green. Although Johnson said he didn’t cause his ball to move, under the current rule the player has violated the rules based on a weight of evidence, with a standard of “more likely [to have caused the ball to move] than not.”

Under the proposed rule, “the player will be found to be the cause [of the ball to move and assessed a penalty] only when it is known or virtually certain (meaning at least 95 percent) to be the case.”

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“Some of the rule changes I think are really good, especially the ball on the putting green when you don't feel like you caused it to move and you're still getting a penalty, that to me makes no sense,” Johnson said on Wednesday at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

“The rule now is, or even then, the rule is if you didn't cause it to move, it's not a penalty. I don't understand it, I still don't. I know now [under the proposed rule] that I wouldn't get a penalty if my ball rolls, so that's nice.”

Despite the penalty last year at Oakmont, Johnson won the championship by three strokes for his first major.