Kevin Na explains match play rules to Dustin Johnson and he wasn’t happy

You can’t pick up your ball in match play unless your partner has conceded. Kevin Na had to explain this to Dustin Johnson.

Things got a little frosty between Dustin Johnson and Kevin Na during their match last Friday at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play Championship.

Johnson’s birdie putt lipped out at the 11th hole and rather than wait to see if Na conceded him the short tap-in putt, he scooped the ball up and walked off.

Na took time out to explain to Johnson the rules governing match play and he is required to make sure the putt is conceded before picking it up. No matter how short the putt. Check out the video below.

“I know it’s this, but you still have to wait,” Na told Johnson.

Rule 3.2b Concessions

You may concede your opponent’s next stroke, a hole or the match, but a concession is only made when it is clearly communicated.

A concession is final – you cannot withdraw it once made and your opponent cannot decline the concession.

You aren’t allowed to concede a stroke after the stroke has been made which seemed to contradict this situation.

Na had every right to claim the hole for himself if a ball is picked up without a concession.

Nick Piastowski at reported that this situation was deemed ok because Johnson claimed he thought he heard Na give him the putt.

If Johnson had told the rules committee he had not heard Na, and the two had said, “Well, I’m just going to overlook it, I conceded that putt — well then, it would have been disqualification for both competitors,” Young said. 

“Ultimately, it’s what Dustin believed he heard, and of course in golf, we always take players at their word,” Young said. “The rules are based on that people are always acting with honesty and integrity. And that’s just the way we apply the rules.”

After the incident, Na went on to birdie four of the last seven holes to win the match 1up.

The closing birdie included one of his signature walk-ins as the ball dropped into the hole.


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