Jan 4 (Reuters) - Defending champion Dustin Johnson said he did not blame a marshal for his role in incurring a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball at the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Friday.
Johnson pulled his tee shot into a penalty area, the new terminology used for a hazard under changes to golf’s rules implemented at the start of the year, at the par-four fourth during the second round at the Kapalua Plantation course on Maui.
The world number three was directed by a marshal towards a ball in the long tropical grass and a quick glance confirmed it had a logo of the brand he plays.
He then hacked the ball back into play, only to stumble upon his ball a few yards further on, in short rough.
“Obviously it was my fault,” Johnson told reporters.
“There was a ball right there, and it was a TaylorMade.
“I could see the logo on the side so obviously I just assumed it was mine.”
He double-bogeyed the hole, shot 74 and slipped seven strokes behind halfway leader Gary Woodland. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford )