Dustin Johnson has finally cracked through to win a Major. The American came from four shots behind Irishman Shane Lowry to win the US Open at Oakland Country club, carding a final-round 69 and finishing -4 overall to lay the demons of 12 months ago to rest.
At Chambers Bay last year, Johnson had a calamitous three putt on the 18th hole when a two-putt would have secured him a playoff. For so long the 31-year-old has been touted as supremely talented with one of the longest drives in the game, but his putting has always let him down at crucial moments. But ironically, it was his clutch final round putting on some of the fastest greens in all of golf that cast the monkey off his back.
The win came in farcical fashion, though, because on the 5th green, Johnson called a rules official, after the ball moved only slightly, to check if he would incur a one-shot penalty. Replays suggested his putter did not make contact with the ball. But if that wasn’t controversial enough, he was left in the dark for the rest of his round.
— Michael Shamburger (@mshamburger1) 19 June 2016
On the 12th tee, he was told a decision wouldn’t be made until after the round. As it happened, he did cop a one-stroke penalty retrospectively, but thankfully it didn’t affect the result, except the victory margin reduced from four shots to three. But the USGA will have lots to answer for in the aftermath.
Lemme get this straight.. DJ doesn’t address it. It’s ruled that he didn’t cause it to move. Now you tell him he may have? Now? This a joke?
— Jordan Spieth (@JordanSpieth) 19 June 2016
This is ridiculous… No penalty whatsoever for DJ. Let the guy play without this crap in his head. Amateur hour from @USGA
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) 19 June 2016
“To finally put it all together on a Sunday and get that first major championship is absolutely huge,” Johnson said.
“It’s a huge monkey off my back. Especially with all the near misses I’ve had in a lot of majors in the last few years. This one is definitely going to be special in my heart forever.”
The breakthrough win lifts the American to third in the world rankings, only behind Jason Day and Jordan Spieth. Day eagled 12 and birdied 13 to finish as the best-placed Australian at +2 overall but left his run too late, while Spieth was never in contention. It ends a run of incredible consistency for Spieth, having finished in the top 5 at the previous five Majors.
Three players – Shane Lowry, Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy – all tied for second place, with veteran Furyk having the round’s best score, a 66.