Mexico City - World number one Dustin Johnson, who shook off
a baffling rules controversy to claim a breakthrough major title at the 2016 US
Open, welcomed Wednesday's proposals to simplify and speed up the game.
Golf's global governing bodies, the Royal and Ancient and
the United States Golf Association (USGA), unveiled proposed reforms that would
eliminate many penalties.
That would include the penalty for a ball moving on the
green unless it was "virtually certain" the player caused it to move.
"Obviously some of the rule changes I think are really
good, especially the ball on the putting green," Johnson said Wednesday as
he prepared for the World Golf Championships tournament in Mexico City.
"When you don't feel like you caused it to move and
you're still getting a penalty, that, to me, makes no sense, so I think some of
the rule changes are good.
"Obviously they're trying to simplify, just so there's
not so much confusion."
Johnson ended years of major misery with his
come-from-behind win at Oakmont last June. But he had to endure a perplexing
final few holes after officials informed him at the 12th that he could be
penalized for a potential rules violation on the fifth green, when high
definition video showed his ball moved slightly as he prepared to putt.
USGA officials said the rule at the time stated that it need
only be more likely than not that the player caused the ball to move for a
penalty to be incurred.
The penalty stroke was indeed eventually applied, but didn't
prevent Johnson from winning by three strokes.