Saturday 22 October 2016

Shane Lowry suffers US Open heartbreak as controversial rules incident overshadows final day

Published 20/06/2016 | 01:08

Shane Lowry's bid for a first Major title came up short at the US Open tonight after a disappointing final round.

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Dustin Johnson claimed a four-stroke victory at Oakmont after he overturned the four shot lead Lowry held at the start of the final 18 holes. The Offaly golfer appeared primed to claim a first Major championship after three stellar rounds but he never got going on the final day, posting a +6 round of 76 to let his golden opportunity slip.

By the tenth hole, four bogeys had seen a four stroke lead change to a two shot deficit as Johnson surged up the leaderboard. However, controversy then arose as a rules official told Johnson mid-round that an incident where the American may have grounded his putter, causing the ball to move, would be reviewed after the round to assess for a potential penalty.

That threw both players' rounds into disarray, with neither knowing for sure if the leaderboard would subsequently change at the end of the day. Johnson was ultimately penalised one shot, but it made no difference as he still won by three.

Lowry momentarily got back into contention with a birdie at 12 - his only one of the final round - before bogeys at 14, 15 and 16 put paid to his chances.

Although the back nine provided plenty of drama, the rules incident overshadowed proceedings, with the behaviour of the USGA slated by a host of top players including Rory McIlroy.

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