Maiden major within sight for Johnson at Oakmont


Dustin Johnson's quest for a maiden major crown could be set to end with the American flying high in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

With 11 top-10 finishes, two of those runner-up placings following last year's heartbreaking collapse at Chambers Bay, majors have proved elusive for Johnson.

But the nine-time PGA Tour champion held a two-stroke lead at five under as Shane Lowry's defensive approach proved his undoing through 11 holes on Sunday, though there was a question mark hovering over Johnson with officials yet to determine a ruling on a possible penalty for causing a ball to move.

Having started the final round with a four-stroke lead, Lowry's advantage quickly evaporated following three bogeys, dropping shots at the second, fifth, ninth and 10th holes, and a penalty when his ball moved in the second round.

Lowry's unwillingness to attack the greens meant he was eventually joined at three under by Sergio Garcia and Scott Piercy, while it opened the door for Johnson, who earned a share of the lead via a successful birdie putt at the ninth before moving clear the very next hole.

Garcia, another man seeking his first major victory, made a huge par save at nine to stay within touching distance of the lead after holing out from the bunker for birdie at the eighth, before birdieing again at the 13th to move into a tie for second.

Hot on the trail is world number one Jason Day, who went eagle-birdie at 12 and 13 to earn a share of sixth position, four shots behind Johnson.