The 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont ended up being a fantastic tournament, with Dustin Johnson winning his first career major, but it easily could’ve been marred by a strange rules debacle.
In the final round Sunday, an official informed Johnson on the 12th hole they were reviewing an incident back on the fifth hole in which the USGA believed Johnson made his ball move. Johnson had called in an official on the fifth hole, who ruled there was no penalty, but now — with Johnson leading the tournament by two strokes — the USGA told him they’d decide after the round whether or not to give Johnson a one-stroke penalty.
That Johnson had to play the remainder of his round not knowing where he actually stood in the tournament incensed other tour players, including the game’s biggest stars.
Johnson was deducted one stroke after his round, but luckily it made no difference as he still won by three strokes. To the USGA’s credit, they issued a statement the following day expressing regret over how the whole thing was handled.
How it all went down still irks the players, though, as Spieth had further comments speaking before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week, saying he would have halted play to throw a “fit” if he were Johnson.
“I think that it was unfortunate the way it then played out, and they agree, and they said that. And I think that what Dustin did was extremely special given that circumstance. I would have thrown a fit. I promise you, I would have thrown a fit. I wouldn’t have hit another shot. I would have sat there like this is not the way this goes. Let’s figure this out right now. You can’t have a potential penalty or not. You’ve got to know in that case.”
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?