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Players React Strongly to USGA’s Handling of Dustin Johnson Ruling

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters. Picture Supplied by Action Images.

While the U.S. Open came down to a dramatic finish, the USGA is receiving attention for a reason it didn’t expect or hope for.

Dustin Johnson, hoping to finally capture his first major championship, played a solid Sunday round while Shane Lowry struggled in the final pairing while fighting to hang around the lead. However, the conclusion to the event came under unique circumstance due to an incident Johnson had on the fifth green earlier in the round.


After taking several practice strokes, Johnson went to address his par putt. The ball moved backward prior to the putter touching the ground, and he brought a rules official in to discuss what had happened. Johnson adamantly denied causing the ball to move, and he converted the par putt.

But what appeared to be a settled topic came back up again when Johnson was told on the 12th hole that the USGA was reviewing the video to see whether he actually caused the ball to move. It was deemed that a decision would be made after the round where a one-stroke penalty could be assessed, which would be a potentially crushing blow given how close the leaderboard continues to be.

The penalty stroke was assessed, but Johnson made it a moot point by finishing strong and winning the U.S. Open by three strokes.

Given the strange and controversial situation, many of the world’s best players reacted strongly to the USGA’s decision to wait until after the round for a decision to be made:

The USGA confirmed they would review it after the round, while Mike Davis added another statement:

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