Golf

Dustin Johnson gets first major title with win at U.S. Open

Dustin Johnson gets first major title with win at U.S. Open

OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) -- All the chaos and confusion couldn't stop Dustin Johnson from proving he had the head to be a U.S. Open champion.

One year after the most devastating of all his close calls in the major, Johnson endured two hours of not knowing the size of his lead while the USGA questioned whether he should be penalized one stroke for his ball moving on the fifth green.

Johnson said it didn't. The USGA said it would wait until after the final round to decide.

America's most powerful golfer took matters into his own hands Sunday at Oakmont with a 10-foot par save on the 16th hole, a tee shot he smashed down the middle of the 18th fairway and an approach to 5 feet for birdie that left no doubt who won the toughest test in golf.

Only after he was guaranteed that silver trophy did the USGA assess him a one-shot penalty, turning his final score into a 1-under 69 for a three-shot victory.

The lingering question was whether this U.S. Open was tougher than it needed to be.

Johnson had a short par putt on the fifth hole, took a few practice strokes and as he placed the putter behind the ball, it moved slightly - backward. Johnson stepped back and called over the rules official, told him it didn't move and he tapped in for par.

The USGA later decided to review it, and the timing was peculiar.

Johnson was in deep rough left of the 10th fairway when he was given relief from a television tower in his line-of-sight to the flag. He was able to move left toward the 11th fairway and drop it in the first cut of rough, and he powered it over the tower and onto the green, setting up a par. It was a huge break - within the rules - the kind that major champions often get.

One hole later, the USGA informed they had questions about the ball moving on No. 5.

"After looking at video, the actions he took could have caused the ball to move," said Jeff Hall, director of rules and open championships for the USGA. "We asked if there was some other reason the ball could have moved. He didn't state a reason."

The USGA wanted him to know that a one-shot penalty was likely so he could play accordingly, but it led to confusion over the back nine - for Johnson and for the players trying to catch him.

Shane Lowry, who began the final round with a four-shot lead that he lost on the front nine, caught him when Johnson made his only bogey on the back nine. Were they tied? Was Johnson one shot behind? No one knew.

Johnson played through it all, thinking only of that silver trophy that got away from him at Chambers Bay last year when he had a 12-foot eagle putt to win and then three-putted for par to lose by one to Jordan Spieth.

Lowry, the first player since Payne Stewart at The Olympic Club in 1998 to lose a four-shot lead in the final round of the U.S. Open, lost his putting touch that had carried him to the lowest 54-hole total at Oakmont. He three-putted from long range on three straight holes, and Johnson was flawless at the end.

Johnson finished at 4-under 276.

He gave three quick fist-pumps when the birdie putt fell on the 18th, hugged his brother, Austin, who caddies for him and scooped up his son Tatum on Father's Day.

Among the first to greet him was Jack Nicklaus, who won his first major at Oakmont in 1962. The gold medal for the winner is named after Nicklaus.

Riding the Metra with five-time major champion Phil Mickelson

Riding the Metra with five-time major champion Phil Mickelson

Five time major champion, Phil Mickelson, was in Chicago on Monday to promote the KPMG Women's PGA championship.

Mickelson took a 45-minute Metra train ride from Millennium Station to Olympia Fields CC, demonstrating how hassle free it is to get to the event.

While on the train, CSN's Pat Boyle interviewed Mickelson. They discussed Phil skipping the US Open, Tiger's dash cam video and how difficult the decision was for Mickelson to part with his longtime caddy, Jim "Bones" Mackay.

Lefty also talked about the revolving door of first time winners at the last 7 majors and what is left on his golf "to do" list.

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

 

The NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships are in full swing as teams have flocked from all across the country to compete at the pristine Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Hill, Ill.

The Championships, hosted by Northern Illinois, span from May 19-31 and include both individual and team competition for the men’s and women’s divisions.

In its first ever appearance at Rich Harvest Farms, the tournament will have no shortage of local talent.

The University of Illinois will be making its 10th straight NCAA tournament appearance led by Nick Hardy out of Northbrook, Ill. The Illini have had semifinal finishes in the last two years respectively, establishing themselves as an NCAA men’s powerhouse and looking to finally make it to the final round this year.

Other local golfers include:

Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights. -- University of Texas

Trent Wallace, Joliet. -- Illinois State University

Other top contenders at the tournament for team play are headlined by USC, Oklahoma State, and Vanderbilt. While for individual play Will Zalatoris out of Wake Forest leads the way, followed by Chandler Phillips out of Texas A&M and Travis Trace out of North Florida.

The men’s portion of the Championships began today at 3 p.m., but have dealt with delays due to inclement weather.

Last week saw women’s play wrap up on May 24 with Arizona State not only defeating local favorite Northwestern for their eighth national title in team play, but also saw Monica Vaughn take home the sixth individual title for the Sun Devils as well.

Men's play continues tomorrow through May 31 and can be seen on the Golf Channel along with the highlighted times below.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 29

Individual National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Quarterfinals, Team Match Play

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Semifinals, Team Match Play

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 31

Team Match Play National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)