Stuart Appleby understands Johnson's pain

Mon, Aug 16

If Dustin Johnson were a bit more of a golf historian, we could've gotten to watch him in a playoff Sunday evening.

The 26-year old isn't the first person to fall victim to the more than 1,000 bunkers at Whistling Straits. Six years ago the course in Kohler, Wisconsin was home to the PGA Championship and Stuart Appleby committed a similar rules violation in one of the sandy hazards.

"I moved a piece of dead grass and grounded my club because I didn't think it was a bunker," Appleby said.

Sound familiar?

A memo similar to the one that Johnson didn't fully read or comprehend was circulated back in 2004 saying that players were forbidden to ground clubs or remove loose impediments even if balls would up in fans' footprints.

Appleby made both mistakes on hole 16 known as "Endless Bite." He received two-shot penalties for each act which gave him a quadruple bogey-nine on the par-five. It dropped him out of contention and out of the top 10. The difference in tournament prize money was roughly $200,000.

Appleby owned his error saying, "The quad was entirely my fault and it cost me."

Not as much as it cost Johnson though. Not only did he miss out on a shot at his first major victory, but his 5th place finish cost him in the neighborhood of $600K-$1M depending on where he would've ended up in the 3-hole playoff.