The plot surrounding a cheating controversy at the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans National thickened on Monday after post-round tweets from Tour pro Joel Dahmen ignited a firestorm.
Responding to a fan who asked about the Dahmen/Sung Kang pairing letting a group play through them on Sunday while arguing a rules dispute, Dahmen said Kang “cheated” by taking an improper drop from a water hazard on the par-5 10th hole.
Kang cheated. He took a bad drop from a hazard. I argued until I was blue. I lost.
— Joel Dahmen (@Joel_Dahmen) July 2, 2018
Dahmen’s account has subsequently been backed up by multiple witnesses, including Michael Klock, the volunteer who was working the PGA Tour’s ShotLink system on the hole in question on Sunday.
“Kang’s second shot was very far left and at no point ever came close to being inbounds from the initial point of entry 225 yards or so back,” Klock told Golfweek.com on Monday. “Kang was insistent (’95 percent sure’ in his own words) his ball came back and entered the hazard at about 35 yards out. I caught bits and pieces of the exchange, but the rules official did quote ’95 percent sure is not 100 percent sure’ before driving Kang back to look at the line again. Kang then returned and argued some more with Dahmen, to which (Dahmen) replied, ‘If you can sleep at night, then take your drop.’
“From what I gather, the rules official and Joel Dahmen put the ball in Kang’s court and let him decide what he believed the result should be. They then returned where Kang took his drop and got up and down for par.”
He (Kang) sure did cheat. I was running SHOTLink on the green. That ball never came close to entering up where he dropped… Should’ve been 200 yards back. Told your caddie who told the rules official but Kang threw a fit and got his way. He won’t get away w/ that @ The Open.
— Michael Klock (@mklock7) July 2, 2018
Both the PGA Tour and Kang released statements on the matter, essentially closing the book on the incident.
“A PGA Tour Rules Official handled the ruling, interviewing both players, caddies and marshals in the vicinity,” the statement reads. “The official then took Kang back to where he hit his second shot, and Kang confirmed his original belief that his shot had indeed crossed the margin of the hazard. With no clear evidence to prove otherwise, it was determined by the official that Kang could proceed with his fourth shot as intended, following a penalty stroke and subsequent drop. The PGA Tour will have no additional comment on this matter.”
“(Kang) is standing by the ruling that was made by PGA Tour Rules officials on Sunday and will have no further comment, other than he is looking forward to focusing on finishing out the season strong, and he is excited about the opportunity to play in the Open Championship again in a few weeks.”