A Major Breakthrough for DJ
By: Drew Steiner
It was set up like a story for Dustin Johnson, otherwise known by his fellow tour players as “DJ”. A naturally gifted and powerful hitter, but not yet a major champion. Johnson, along with non-major champions like Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, and Matt Kuchar, had many close calls until he finally broke through to win this year’s US Open.
Johnson was given a one stroke penalty when his ball moved on the fifth hole as he was about to attempt a six-foot par putt. This was a tough decision for the United States Golf Association, as they had to look at replays to determine if Johnson caused the ball to move or it had simply adjusted due to gravity.
The penalty is only given if the player grounds his putter and causes the ball to move. “He grounded his club, and under Rule 18–2 and when you read the decision [in the rulebook], it’s very clear,’’ said Mike Davis, the executive director of the USGA. “He grounded his club right next to the ball, and when you see the video it’s very clear.’’ Thankfully, Johnson won by three strokes and the penalty did not affect the championship’s outcome.
Here are Johnson’s thoughts on the situation:
Going into the final round, Shane Lowry, known for his inapropriate language at the 2016 Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, FL held a four-stroke lead at seven-under par. However, after firing a front nine three-over-par 38, it was not looking well for the Irishman. Johnson on the other hand, shot a solid one-under par 34 on the front nine. Out of nowhere, Johnson was right on Lowry’s tail. Johnson was able to keep it together coming down the stretch, while Lowry was not.
Unlike last year’s US Open, when Johnson missed a four-foot putt to force a playoff against the now number two player in the world Jordan Spieth, he finished strong. Putting well all week, Johnson had confidence in his putting and ball striking all week. “This is the best Father’s Day gift ever,” Johnson exclaimed. It sure was a great Father’s Day as the newest champion in the golfing world went home with a wowing $1.8 million.
Final Round Highlights: (Fox Sports)