Johnson wins first major at U.S. Open despite penalty
Having watched from afar as his counterparts basked in the glory of major success, Dustin Johnson finally had his time in the spotlight after taking out the U.S. Open by three strokes in testing circumstances.
If the notoriously tricky Oakmont Country Club was not enough to contend with, Johnson - who was three strokes adrift of Shane Lowry at the start of the day - also had a potential penalty weighing on his mind in Pennsylvania on Sunday.
After appearing to cause a ball to move on the fifth hole of his final round, tournament officials refused to make a ruling on any potential penalty until the end of the round.
But while he was eventually penalised a stroke, it proved irrelevant for near-miss man Johnson, who stormed to a three-stroke victory at four under via a final-round 69.
Dustin Johnson is a major winner!-- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 20, 2016
He's won the 2016 U.S. Open Championship. pic.twitter.com/jri1Rm9E6i
With 11 top-10 finishes and two runner-up placings at majors, including last year's heartbreaking collapse at Chambers Bay having three-putted the final hole, Johnson banished his demons, birdieing the difficult 18th hole to add gloss to his landmark victory.
"The shot of his life!"-- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 20, 2016
Mic drop from Dustin Johnson. https://t.co/IjYf5K6Umh
Jim Furyk (66), Scott Piercy (69) and overnight leader Lowry (76) finished tied for second.
Having started the final round with a four-stroke lead, Irishman Lowry's advantage quickly evaporated following three bogeys, dropping shots at the second, fifth, ninth and 10th holes, and a penalty for when his ball moved in the second round.
Lowry's unwillingness to attack the greens opened the door for Johnson, who earned a share of the lead courtesy of a successful birdie putt at the ninth before moving clear the very next hole.
Thru 54 holes: Down by 4-- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 20, 2016
Thru 72 holes: Winner by 3 pic.twitter.com/DPu9uucvhI
And while the finale was topsy-turvy, Johnson only bogeyed one of his last nine holes, as Lowry faltered, highlighted by his run of three consecutive bogeys at 14, 15 and 16.
Sergio Garcia (70) and Branden Grace (71) finished even par, while Kevin Na (69) was a stroke further back.
World number one Jason Day huffed and puffed, producing a spirited rally to give himself a chance for a second major title.
But a double bogey and a bogey from his two remaining holes saw the Australian star card a 71 to drop to two over, alongside Jason Dufner (70), Zach Johnson (71) and Daniel Summerhays (74).
It was a day and ultimately tournament to forget for defending champion Jordan Spieth (75), who finished nine over following four consecutive rounds in the 70s.