Dustin Johnson wins by four three shots at Oakmont, PGA Tour players rip the USGA over Rule 18-2 controversy, and more on this special U.S. Open edition of The Links …

By GolfTEC Digital

Dustin Johnson: U.S. Open Champion

We can forget Pebble Beach, where he lost a three-stroke lead on Sunday. We can forget Whistling Straits and that inconspicuous bunker. We can forget the 14th at Royal St. George’s, and for that matter, the weekend at St. Andrews. We can also forget about Chambers Bay. None of it matters anymore.

Dustin Johnson (-4) is a major champion and he did so in spectacular, dramatic fashion. DJ trailed 54-hole leader, Shane Lowry (T-2) by four strokes heading into Sunday afternoon before posting a 1-under 69 as Lowry bumbled to a 76, and the field missed a slew of birdie opportunities. Amid controversy, Johnson played the final six holes at even par, striping a high power-fade on the 18th tee before sticking his 6-iron to within four feet for birdie. Dustin’s first major championship is his 10th career victory on the PGA Tour.

TaylorMade M1 Driver
TaylorMade M1 Driver
#WITB – Dustin Johnson

Driver: TaylorMade M1 460cc (10.5 degrees) with an Aldila RIP Alpha 90X Shaft
3-Wood: TaylorMade M1 (17 degrees) with an Aldila RIP Alpha 90X Shaft
Irons: TaylorMade UDI (2) and TaylorMade Preferred MB (3-PW) with True Temper Project X HZRDUS Black 105X and True Temper Dynamic Golf Tour Issue X100 Shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF Satin Chrome (52, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Prototype
Golf Ball: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X #1

Major Mishap: Rule 18-2 Controversy

The story down the stretch on Sunday wasn’t necessarily confined to Johnson’s stellar performance, but focused squarely on the USGA’s botched handling of an apparent rules violation earlier in the round. As DJ was about to address his par putt on the fifth hole after taking two practice strokes, his ball moved slightly backward. Johnson called over an official who deemed that if Johnson hadn’t caused the ball to move, he could putt out the hole without consequence, and that was the end of that. Or so we thought.

Seven holes later on the 12th tee, the USGA approached Dustin to inform him (and later the rest of the field) that they would review the incident and could possibly assess a one-stroke penalty at the end of the round. On Sunday. On the back nine. At the United States Open. 

Rule 18-2 states that if a player, his caddie, or his equipment causes the ball in play to move, then a one-stroke penalty is assessed. The controversial part happens when greens run at 14 on the Stimpmeter, and an uneven blade of grass or even the rumbling of thousands of fans could possibly cause the ball to shift its place. 

Announcers and color commentators were baffled by how the supposed violation was handled, but even as DJ persevered through even more major championship adversity for a win, the rest of his non-contending PGA Tour buddies were absolutely livid.

Awkward Moment of the Week: Sergio’s Bird(ie)

Sergio Garcia (T-5) holed a bunker shot on the par-3 eighth on Sunday for birdie, but that wasn’t the story walking off the green as he saved a small bird and handed it to an unsuspecting USGA official

Rory, Rickie, Spieth among pros upset with USGA over ruling

The rest of the PGA Tour, or rather those who were out of contention, were up in arms over the 18-2 ruling that cost Dustin Johnson a stroke on Sunday afternoon. Twitter was a fun place to be while watching the back nine:U.S. Open 18-2 rule controversy tweets


Kevin Na showed us just how damp it was at Oakmont after the first round was cut short:

Quote of the Week:

“What you did with all that crap that [the USGA] threw at you was pretty good”

– Jack Nicklaus to Dustin Johnson after winning the 116th U.S. Open

Be sure to check back here at the GolfTEC Scramble again next Monday for our latest weekly edition of The Links!


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