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Dustin Johnson keeps calm amid chaos to win US Open

Published 19/06/2016

Ireland's Shane Lowry takes a four-shot lead into the final round of the US Open (AP)
Ireland's Shane Lowry takes a four-shot lead into the final round of the US Open (AP)
Shane Lowry, of Republic of Ireland, hits from the fairway on the 18th hole during the delayed third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Shane Lowry, of Republic of Ireland, waves on the 18th hole during the delayed third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Andrew Landry hits from the fairway on the 15th hole during the delayed third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Dustin Johnson reacts to his putt on the 16th hole during the delayed third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Shane Lowry, of Republic of Ireland, watches his putt on the 16th hole during the delayed third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Lee Westwood, of England, hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the delayed third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Sunday, June 19, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Gregory Bourdy, of France, hits from rough on the third hole during third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Shane Lowry, of Republic of Ireland, hits out of the bunker on the eighth hole during third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Lee Slattery, of England, putts on the first hole during third round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, reacts on the ninth green during the rain delayed second round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Shane Lowry, of Republic of Ireland, reacts after making a birdie on the ninth hole during the rain delayed second round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, reacts after leaving his first bunker shot in the sand on the ninth hole during the rain delayed second round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, hits his second shot out of the bunker on the ninth hole during the rain delayed second round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the rain delayed second round of the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Ireland's Shane Lowry

Dustin Johnson survived a farcical climax to the US Open to win his first major title as Ireland's Shane Lowry let slip a four-shot lead at Oakmont.

Johnson carded a closing 69 to finish four under par, but only after belatedly being given a one-shot penalty following a n incident which left players, officials and spectators unsure of his score with just seven holes to play.

The world number six began the final round four shots behind Lowry, but moved two clear of the field with birdies on the second and ninth coupled with four bogeys in the first 10 holes from Lowry.

However, the 31-year-old was then told on the 12th tee that officials would be reviewing an incident on the fifth hole, bringing back memories of his nightmare finish to the 2010 US PGA when a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole cost him a place in the play-off.

Johnson had seen his ball move fractionally as he lined up a par putt, but called in the referee walking with his group and was initially cleared of any wrongdoing before holing out for par.

The news that Johnson had been informed of the post-round review was widely criticised, with f our-time major winner Rory McIlroy writing on Twitter: "This is ridiculous... No penalty whatsoever for DJ. Let the guy play without this crap in his head. Amateur hour from @USGA."

And defending champion Jordan Spieth added: "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?"

Double US Open champion Curtis Strange, commentating for Fox Sports, added: "What other sport do you wait until the end to make the ruling? This is ridiculous in my opinion."

Johnson was eventually given a one-shot penalty but still finished three shots clear of Lowry - who struggled to a disappointing 76 - Scott Piercy and former champion Jim Furyk.

Sergio Garcia finished a shot further back alongside South Africa's Branden Grace after carding three birdies in succession from the 14th.

Johnson, who three-putted the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay last year to finish a shot behind Jordan Spieth, had got on level terms with a birdie on the ninth and found himself in the outright lead when Lowry bogeyed the same hole after finding sand off the tee.

He then enjoyed an enormous stroke of luck when he pulled his drive on the 10th into thick rough, but was allowed to take a free drop into the first cut due to a television tower being between him and the green.

Lowry's three-putt bogey on the 10th left Johnson two shots clear, but amid the confusion over the possible penalty, Lowry reduced the deficit with a tap-in birdie on the 12th.

Johnson three-putted the 14th to drop back into - for the time being at least - a tie with Lowry, only for the Irishman to do exactly the same in the group behind and then make the same mistake on the 15th and 16th as well.

With Piercy dropping a shot on the 18th, Johnson had a vital three-shot cushion but made absolutely certain thanks to a stunning approach to the 18th and holing from five feet for birdie.

Asked how he coped with the uncertainty of the situation, Johnson said: "I knew I was swinging well and I just kept thinking it's just me and the course. I'm playing against the course. I can't control what anyone else does.

"So I just tried to hit golf shots, tried to hit it on the correct side of the hole and two-putt.

"I hit two great shots on 18. It (his approach) might be one of the best shots I ever hit. So that was very nice to have a short putt like that to get it in the house.

"It feels good. Feels really good. Feels well deserved. I've had a lot of opportunities that I didn't quite get it done. So this one's definitely really sweet."

Johnson was greeted on the 18th green by wife Paulina and son Tatum and added: "It means the world. It's Father's Day. My birthday's in a couple of days (he turns 32 on Wednesday). Couldn't have come at a better time."

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