Dustin Johnson banished the ghost of Chambers Bay as he won the US Open in dramatic fashion to claim a first Major Championship at Oakmont Country Club.
The American three-putted the last in Washington last season as the title slipped away in agonising fashion but he made up for it 12 months later with an emphatic victory in Pennsylvania.
There was high drama on the back nine as the prospect of a one-shot penalty loomed over Johnson but in the end it did not matter as he finished four under after a 69, three clear of Ireland’s Shane Lowry and Americans Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy.
Lowry came into the final round with a four-shot lead but Johnson had passed him by the turn before tournament officials informed the 31 year old on the 12th tee that a review would take place after the round to investigate whether Johnson had caused his ball to move on the fifth green.
He bogeyed the 14th but a stunning approach on the last set up a birdie to get him to five under and, although his par on the fifth was changed to a bogey on review, a big enough cushion had been established to secure victory.
“I knew I was swinging well, and I just kept thinking, it’s just me and the course,” he said. “I’m playing against the course. I can’t control what anyone else does.
“So I just tried to hit golf shots, tried to hit it on the correct side of the hole, and two-putt.
Johnson’s victory is his third on The European Tour and could move him up to third in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Lowry had been right in the hunt up until he got to the 14th but he then three-putted three consecutive greens to sign for a 76 and fall back alongside 2003 champion Furyk, who had earlier set the clubhouse target with a 66.
Piercy was also contending right until the closing stages but dropped shots on the 16th and 18th saw him fall out of contention with a 69.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia finished at level par after a 70 which included an excellent chip-in on the eighth but his hopes disappeared with three consecutive bogeys from the 14th.
South Africa’s Branden Grace also ended the week four shots behind Johnson after a 71 which included three bogeys in his last five holes.
World Number One Jason Day had looked on course to make an unlikely late charge as he eagled the 12th and birdied the 13th but a double-bogey – bogey finish saw him finish two over.