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AUSTIN, Texas – Conceding a putt in match play can be delicate and on Friday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that line was crossed by Dustin Johnson.
Johnson’s birdie putt from 8 feet lipped out to about a foot and instead of waiting for his opponent, Kevin Na, to concede him the par putt, which he would have, the world No. 1 tapped back his ball.
“I know it’s this [holding his hand about a foot apart], but you still have to wait until I say something,” Na was heard telling Johnson.
No penalty was called on Johnson and the two players halved the hole with pars, but the incident might have shaken Johnson, as if that’s possible, who found a water hazard with his second shot on the 12th hole to fall into a tie with Na.
In 2019, a similar scenario occurred when Sergio Garcia backhanded a putt during his quarterfinal match with Matt Kuchar. The Spaniard missed the putt and lost the hole when Kuchar informed him he hadn’t conceded it.
“I apologized. I said, ‘I don’t like the way this was played out.’ He said, ‘You can concede a hole.’ I thought about it and said I don’t like that idea, either,” Kuchar said at the time.