Why Did Dustin Johnson’s Brother Jump In The Water To Retrieve His Ball?

The only thing longer than baseball’s book of unwritten rules is golf’s book of written rules. For example, according to rule 15-2 (emphasis theirs)…

A player may substitute a ball when proceeding under a Rule that permits the player to play, drop or place another ball in completing the play of a hole.The substituted ball becomes the ball in play.
If a player substitutes a ball when not permitted to do so under the Rules, that substituted ball is not a wrong ball; it becomes the ball in play. If the mistake is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6 and the player makes a stroke at a wrongly substituted ball, he loses the hole in match play or incurs a penalty of two strokes in stroke play under the applicable Rule and, in stroke play, must play out the hole with the substituted ball.

Got all of that? Basically, if, say, your ball rolls into water and you retrieve it, you need to find your exact ball at the risk of a two-stroke penalty.

That’s why Dustin Johnson’s brother, Austin, jumped into the water at TPC Sawgrass on Friday to fish out Dustin’s ball. Somehow, it rolled into the water, and because Dustin Johnson understands that fewer strokes are good, he wanted to get it back. So he and Austin (who doubles as his caddy) started looking.

Austin must have seen the ball while it was in the water, because the dude took one for the team and jumped in without taking his shoes off. It took him a second, but he managed to find the ball somewhere in the water and got it back to his brother.

The best part was Dustin managed to make par on this hole even though his brother went on a fishing expedition to get his ball back. At the very least, Dustin owes Austin, like, a steak dinner or something.