What was fascinating about the USGA's ruling on Dustin Johnson on Sunday was the reaction on Twitter from the world's best players. They reacted not only as if they thought the USGA was wrong, but as if they have found the USGA wanting in many ways for a long time. This was pent-up anger.

There were two levels on which to be upset with the USGA:

• Small picture: The ruling could have damaged the U.S. Open. The USGA officials on the course approached Johnson on the 12th tee, seven holes after his supposed infraction, and told him the incident would be reviewed and resolved after the round. That's no way to run a tournament.

• Big picture: Golf says it wants to grow, that it wants to develop a more universal appeal. These displays of bureaucratic officiousness send the message that golf is a sport for uptight white-collar automatons. It would have been a bad look even if it had been something closer to the right call.