Johnson's victory calms penalty controversy

UNFAZED: Despite a penalty assessed for a ball that moved slightly as Johnson prepared to putt for par, it did not allow his rivals to catch up with the world No. 6.


    Jun 21, 2016

    Johnson's victory calms penalty controversy


    DUSTIN Johnson shook off the spectre of a potential penalty controversy, leaving no room for doubt in his first major victory at the US Open at Oakmont.

    With just one stroke separating Johnson from Shane Lowry atop the leaderboard, the US Golf Association (USGA) informed Johnson he could be assessed a penalty after the round for an infraction on the fifth green.

    Johnson's ball moved slightly as he prepared to putt for par. He spoke with a rules official and it was determined he did not cause the ball to move so no penalty was assessed at the time.

    But with the title chase at its peak, Johnson and his nearest rivals on the course were informed that USGA officials planned to review video of the incident again after his round.

    It was yet another major complication for Johnson, the world No. 6 who has endured a string of near misses in golf's biggest events, including a three-putt at the 72nd hole of last year's US Open that handed the title to Jordan Spieth.

    But he kept his focus, and as Lowry faded with three late bogeys, the entire matter became less pressing.

    Johnson finished with a flourish, calmly draining a nine-foot par putt at 17 and a short birdie putt at the final hole.

    When a penalty was indeed assessed, he still owned a winning margin of three strokes.

    "I didn't think that I did anything to cause the ball to move, but at the end of the day, it didn't affect what happened," Johnson said. "So it doesn't bother me at all."