Johnson falters in afternoon carnage as USGA admit mistakes

Golf News

Saturday at the US Open had it all. Dustin Johnson faltered, Phil Mickelson lost his head, and the USGA's Mike Davis admitted that they got it wrong...

What happened on Saturday at the US Open?

I think the better question would be what didn’t happen? The third round of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills simply had it all: drama, meltdowns, confusion, controversy and plenty of questionable decisions.

Dustin Johnson’s overnight four-shot lead quickly evaporated on what was a brutal day of scoring.

The American played the front-nine in 41, but he managed to steady the ship on the back-nine to post a round of 77 to hold the joint lead heading into the final round.

The playing conditions at Shinnecock gradually got worse throughout the day, with the early starters given a huge advantage. That was particularly the case with Tony Finau and Daniel Berger, with both firing 66’s to enter the final with the lead.

Brooks Koepka played magnificently in the afternoon to post a two-over-par 72 to join the lead, as did Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson who sit at 5th and 6th respectively.

But arguably the story of the day came from a moment of madness from Phil Mickelson. At the 13th green, Mickelson got heavy-handed with his lengthy putt, and when he realised the ball was going to trickle off the front edge of the green, the lefty raced to his ball and took a swipe back towards the hole while the ball was clearly still moving.

Many thought that he had withdrawn from scoring and was simply carrying on as a marker with his playing partner Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston. But it then transpired that he was assessed a two-shot penalty, and signed for a 10 – a sextuple-bogey.

At the end of the day, the USGA’s Mike Davis admitted that they had got it wrong: “We thought it would be a great day. Frankly, we missed it with the wind. The speed of the greens was too much for the wind we had. It was a very tough test, but probably too tough this afternoon.”

And it would be Rickie Fowler that would get punished the most. The American signed for a 14-over-par 84.

Full US Open leaderboard

Talking point

Just what happened with Phil Mickelson? Mark Townsend tried to explain…

And should he have been disqualified? The Fourball discuss…

Zach Johnson said that the USGA had ‘lost’ the golf course:

Best Tweets

Best moments

Read more

Previous article
Next article
Top