Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Johnson Suffers Missed Chance at U.S. Open

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Johnson Suffers Missed Chance at U.S. Open

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. * Dustin Johnson had his baby in his arms, a smile of sorts frozen on his face.

There would be plenty of time later to sort through the pain and the what-ifs. Still in shock from the events of a few moments earlier, he walked from the 18th green, holding little Tatum, with fiancee Paulina Gretzky lending a comforting hand on his back.

The U.S. Open would have been his had he made a 12-footer on the final green.

An 18-hole playoff with Jordan Spieth would have been scheduled for Monday with a 4-footer coming back.

He missed both, and one of the most dramatic U.S. Opens ended in the worst way imaginable for Johnson. The cruelest of games had dealt him the cruelest of blows.

Instead of holding the Open trophy on the 18th green, he was looking for a quick exit from the chamber of horrors that was Chambers Bay. Instead of resting for an 18-hole playoff on Monday, he was heading home wondering how it could have all gone wrong.

He tried to keep it in perspective the only way he knew how.

"I'm proud of the way I played and I'm most proud of my family," Johnson said outside the locker room. "So I did get to hold up my trophy at the end of the day, which is my son."

That a long week at Chambers Bay ended on such a sour note wasn't lost on Johnson. He skipped the trophy ceremony and didn't come into the media center to answer questions, though he did spend some time signing autographs for kids before leaving.

With Spieth making a great birdie of his own to regain the lead on 18, Johnson hit a huge drive down the middle then laced a 5-iron to within 12 feet to set himself up for his first major championship.

Make the putt and he would have exorcised the demons of an Open he threw away at Pebble Beach in 2010. Make it and people would have stopped asking why he took a long break from the PGA Tour to deal with what he vaguely described as personal issues.

But Johnson missed. And ultimately his first major championship was not to be.

"This is why I play the game of golf is to get a chance to win the U. …

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