The USGA is a pretty great organization. The USGA has also had a rough few weeks. First, it was Dustin Johnson's penalty and the foolishness surrounding it at the U.S. Open in June. On Sunday, the USGA had another penalty situation on it's hands at the U.S. Women's Open and once again handled it controversially.
Brittany Lang and Anna Nordqvist went to a playoff after they were tied at 6 under after 72 holes. They both made par at the first hole in a three-hole aggregate playoff and finished the second hole still even after another set of pars. Except, well, Nordqvist did not because she apparently grounded her club in the bunker, as you can see below.
That's a two-stroke penalty even though Nordqvist did not realize what she had done at the time. The USGA caught it, though, and informed both her and Lang of the penalty on the third hole of their three-hole playoff.
Here's the catch and the issue. The USGA alerted them after Nordqvist had already hit her third shot but before Lang hit her third, building in a perceived advantage for Lang. The entire thing, although not quite to the level of the Johnson mess, was another nightmare for the USGA.
No, Fox called USGA and asked if there was any issue observed in bunker at 17th, caused USGA to take a look at video https://t.co/uBBU5Eeu0n— Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) July 11, 2016
Anna Nordqvist only complaint? She wishes USGA would have told her before she hit her third shot.— Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) July 11, 2016
"It's hard to lose that way, but it's the game of golf," Nordqvist told Golfweek.
"It's blowing 35-40 mph out there and I had a 5-iron downhill lie in the bunker on No. 17," she wrote on Instagram. "It was obviously not my intention to touch the sand, but it happened and life will go on. Congratulations to Brittany Lang for a great week of golf!"
Thumbs up for a great US OPEN! Proud of myself for the way I played this week. It wasnt ment to happen. Its blowing 35-40mph out there and I had a 5 iron downhill lie in the bunker on 17. It was obviously not my intention to touch the sand but it happened and life will go on. congratulations to Brittany Lang for a great week of golf!! 🏆 I dont want anyone to feel sorry for me, hey I just finished 2nd in the US Open. There will be plenty more opportunities in my career. Thanks everyone for the support!! 😊😊😊
It got somehow got worse for the USGA after the tournament as they actually botched the name of the winner, calling her "Bethany" during the trophy ceremony.