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McIlroy, Spieth speak out against USGA in Dustin Johnson debacle

Dustin Johnson wins the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont

Dutch Fork's Dustin Johnson won his first major, the U.S. Open at the famed Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh, PA.
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Dutch Fork's Dustin Johnson won his first major, the U.S. Open at the famed Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh, PA.

Confusing, agonizing, unnecessary and wrong.

And gauging what was said on Twitter alone, that was just the start of the criticism.

Dustin Johnson made history on Sunday, winning his first-ever major with a 4-under par performance in the final round at the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.

However, many believe he should have been 5-under par.

Fellow professionals Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and countless others, along with fans of Johnson and the game alike, put the USGA on blast for its ruling on the fifth green.

Johnson was charged with a penalty stroke after his round was completed. At the time it happened, officials said there was no infraction.

What made it even worse was that USGA officials informed Johnson on the 12th hole that they might dock him a stroke, planting any concern or doubt in his mind as he tried to focus and finish out the round.

McIlroy took to Twitter to express his displeasure.

“This is ridiculous...No penalty whatsoever for DJ. Let the guy play without this crap in his head. Amateur hour from @USGA,” McIlroy posted on Twitter.

Spieth expressed similar sentiments.

“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?” the 2015 U.S. Open champion tweeted.

Still, Johnson won. By three strokes.

So no harm, no foul, right?

Not according to McIlroy.

“This isn’t right for anyone on that golf course,” McIlroy posted. “If it was me, I wouldn’t hit another shot until this farce was rectified.”

As for Johnson himself, he was happy that the penalty stroke didn’t keep him from winning because he didn’t think he did anything to make the ball move.

Regardless, the newly crowned U.S. Open expressed gratitude that both players and fans came to his defense.

“It’s happened to all of us at one time or another,” Johnson said of he and his friends on tour. “But thank you to all of those who supported me. At the end of the day, it’s up to the USGA to make a final decision, and fortunately it didn’t affect the outcome.”

Spieth struggles in final round

While his friend claimed the title this year, the defending champion could do nothing but watch on Sunday evening.

Spieth finished 9-over par on the tournament and shot 5-over on Sunday, leaving him far off from contention.

It wasn’t an ideal week for the 22-year-old, and it ended without much promise.

“I just got into some putting trouble today and couldn’t quite get it going on the front nine,” Spieth said. “Just go home this week, and then I’ll look forward to the World Golf Championship in Akron to try to gain some momentum for the next couple of majors.”

Sergio still without a major win

One player got the monkey off his back by winning a major on Sunday, and that player was not Sergio Garcia.

The 36-year-old Spaniard has finished at least tied for fourth in all four majors over the course of his career, and tied for fifth at this year’s edition of the U.S. Open.

Garcia was even-par through 72 holes, and was lurking for most of the tournament.

On Sunday, he rattled off three birdies on his front nine to apply some pressure.

Unfortunately for Garcia, he’ll have to wait until The Open Championship at Royal Troon in mid-July for his next shot.

“I definitely think so,” Garcia said when asked if his game is too good not to ever win a major. “I just got to keep putting myself in this situation, and you know, at some point in time, I’m sure that, you know, the coin will fall off on heads instead of tails.”

John McGonigal: 814-231-4630, @jmcgonigal9

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