Dustin Johnson learned Sunday being in the lead after 54 holes in a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach is not necessarily the place to be. Much like Gil Morgan 18 years ago along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Johnson crumbled Sunday in the final round.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Dustin Johnson learned Sunday being in the lead after 54 holes in a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach is not necessarily the place to be.
So much for the powerful 25-year-old being the new “Prince of Pebble” after winning the past two PGA Tour events at the course. Much like Gil Morgan 18 years ago along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Johnson crumbled Sunday in the final round. Johnson shot an 11-over-par 82, going from 6 under and a three-shot lead after a sizzling 66 Saturday, to 5 over and a tie for eighth.
Johnson’s 82 was the worst final round by a 54-hole U.S. Open leader since Fred McCloud’s 83 in 1911. Johnson is likely to be remembered in the same way as Morgan, who closed with an 81 to help Tom Kite win in 1992.
“Playing so poorly, I still had fun today,” Johnson said. “I enjoyed playing today. You know, (I’ll) get it done next time.”
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Johnson made a triple bogey on No. 2, a double at the third and had bogeys at Nos. 4 and 7.
“I felt sorry for him,” winner Graeme McDowell said. “We’ve all been there and it’s not a lot of fun.”
Moore speaks out
Puyallup’s Ryan Moore, who tied for 33rd place, was critical of USGA officials for their setup of some holes.
“I feel like instead of difficulty, they just go for trickiness, to be honest,” the 27-year-old said.
Moore didn’t like the fast, sloping, raised green on the par-5 14th hole.
“It would take not much to make that green at least halfway reasonable, and they refuse to do it,” Moore said of USGA officials. “I think they go for a spectacle; they want some hole to draw attention and make everybody look stupid, I guess.”
As for the par-3 17th hole Sunday, Moore said, “It’s completely unreasonable, just a horrible golf hole the way they set it up.”
Will Moore continue to play in the U.S. Open?
“Probably, just to torture myself,” he said.
“I get angry, and it makes me hate golf for about two months, and then I’m OK again.”