Dustin Johnson’s first major win was a long time in the making, and even then the USGA almost managed to overshadow his moment in the spotlight following its controversial decision to dock him a penalty stroke at the end of his round.
The controversy began on the fifth hole when Johnson’s ball moved as he stood over his par putt.
He stepped back and informed USGA official Mark Newell what had happened and that he hadn’t grounded his club. Newell seemed satisfied and Johnson continued with his round.
Then, a few holes later Johnson was approached by Newell and Jeff Hall on the 12th tee and told that he could still be docked a penalty shot after finishing his round.
Johnson, to his credit, played on seemingly unaffected by the decision, but the USGA’s call was derided on social media by his fellow pros including defending US Open champion Jordan Spieth.
Below is just a sample of what was said:
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?
— Jordan Spieth (@JordanSpieth) June 19, 2016
This isn’t right for anyone on that golf course. If it was me I wouldn’t hit another shot until this farce was rectified.
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) June 19, 2016
No way DJ gets a penalty. Use some common sense @usga The greens are running 14 and are sloppier than Mount Everest
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) June 19, 2016
— Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowler) June 19, 2016
— Webb Simpson (@webbsimpson1) June 19, 2016
These are the guys who make our rules? #scary
— Keegan Bradley (@Keegan_Bradley) June 19, 2016
The @USGA are creating an incredibly anti-climatic scenario here during what should be an incredibly dramatic back nine on Sunday. Sort it.
— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) June 19, 2016
— Brandt Snedeker (@BrandtSnedeker) June 19, 2016
What is the USGA up to? Are they trying to say DJ is lying about what happened and now they think he should be hit with penalty. Not funny
— Stuart Appleby (@StuartAppleby) June 19, 2016