With a 69 in the final round at Oakmont Country Club, on Sunday Dustin Johnson claimed the 2016 re U.S. Open, his first major championship, and forever changed the narrative of his career.
One year after his gut-wrenching three-putt to finish second at Chambers Bay, Johnson rallied back from a four-shot deficit entering the final round to shoot an under-par round, while the rest of the leaders wilted under the pressure and difficulty of Oakmont.
Johnson's win was not without plenty of drama, because nothing can be easy for him at a major. On the fifth green, his ball moved as he was getting ready to putt. At the time, it was deemed not to be a penalty, and he moved on. However, on the 12th tee with a two stroke lead, he was approached by a USGA official who informed him they would be reviewing the tape with him after the round to see if he should incur a stroke penalty.
That decision stunned many and drew heavy criticism from stars of the game like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. It was a moment that could have derailed Johnson's round. He was 2 under for his round at the time and was entering the toughest stretch of holes at Oakmont, when all of a sudden he had to think about whether he might lose a stroke at the end of his round.
He made a bogey on 14 and was briefly tied for the lead with Shane Lowry, the 54-hole leader, but Johnson rallied back with some clutch par saves on 15, 16 and 17 before showing up to the 18th and demolishing the hole that only one other person had birdied on Sunday.
He piped a drive and then hit this approach from the fairway.
Johnson made his birdie putt to put an exclamation point on his round and leave no doubts about the result, no matter the USGA's decision -- which of course was to give him the stroke penalty, despite less than convincing evidence.
Jason Day finished the tournament at 2-over par, tied for eighth.