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Johnson survives controversy to claim US Open

BREAKTHROUGH WIN: Dustin Johnson celebrates after making a birdie on the final hole to seal victory in the US Open at Oakmont.
BREAKTHROUGH WIN: Dustin Johnson celebrates after making a birdie on the final hole to seal victory in the US Open at Oakmont. John Minchillo

GOLF: Dustin Johnson’s history with controversy at golf majors has continued, but this time he survived another dodgy rules call to win the US Open at Oakmont.

Johnson, who took six months out of the game in 2014 amid rumours he had been suspended for testing positive for cocaine, lost the chance to win the USPGA in 2010 after being handed a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a fairway bunker.

This time officials took their time to hand him a one-stroke deduction after his ball moved when he approached a putt on the fifth hole in his final round.

Initially officials said Johnson had not addressed the ball but video footage was later reviewed and he was told that on the 12th, before a shot was taken off him after he had completed his final round.

Luckily for Johnson he had enough shots in hand to win by three shots on four-under, from Shane Lowry, Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy, following his 69.

Fellow professionals were not happy with Johnson’s treatment, with the likes of Rory McIlroy and last year’s US Open winner Jordan Spieth taking to Twitter to vent their anger at the USGA.

“This is ridiculous ... No penalty whatsoever for DJ. Let the guy play without this crap in his head. Amateur hour from @USGA,” McIlroy tweeted, with Spieth adding: “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.”

Johnson’s win got rid of the choker tag he had picked up after his three-putt at the final hole handed last year’s US Open to Spieth.

This time it was Irishman Lowry who fell apart, losing a four-stroke lead at the start of the final round.

World No.1 Jason Day looked like he might threaten at one stage after getting to one-under but a double bogey at the 17th and a bogey on the last cruelled his chances.

“Feels good, feels really good, feels well deserved,” an emotional Johnson said.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities that I didn’t quite get it done, so this one’s definitely really sweet.

“I knew I was swinging well, and I just kept thinking it’s just me and the course.”

The win meant Johnson, 31, became the first man since Tiger Woods in 2007-08 to win the US Open after finishing runner-up the previous year.

Aussies Adam Scott and Marc Leishman finished at six-over par in a tie for 18th place, while Cameron Smith ended up 15-over in a tie for 59th.

Topics:  dustin johnson us open (golf)


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