Southampton - Dustin Johnson's bid for a second US Open
title in three years faded on the greens at Shinnecock Hills, where the world
Number One had a ringside seat to good friend Brooks Koepka's victory.
Johnson arrived at Shinnecock fresh from a US PGA Tour
victory in Memphis that propelled him back to the top of the world rankings.
He looked every inch the top golfer in the world as he
established a four-shot lead through 36 holes, his four-under total making him
the only player under par at the halfway stage.
That lead had evaporated by the end of a chaotic third
round, but as part of a four-way tie for the lead going into Sunday, Johnson
still looked like the man to beat.
But the putting problems that emerged on Saturday dogged
Johnson again in the final round.
He three-putted three times on the back nine and failed to
mount a challenge. He finished third, two strokes behind Koepka after an even
Johnson declined to discuss the round, but Koepka was full
of praise for his friend.
"He's going to win another (major), we all know
that," Koepka said. "The attitude, the work ethic, everything that he
brings to it, in my book he will, when he's done, probably go down as one of
the best of all time."
Koepka and Johnson worked out together before each of the
last two rounds, but Koepka said they spoke little during competition for the
"We talked a lot more when we worked out than when we
were on the golf course," Koepka said. "We're both competitive. We
both know we're trying to beat each other and trying to win a golf tournament,
trying to win a major.
"He was busy grinding his tail off and I was busy
grinding mine. But I'm sure there's nobody happier for me than Dustin."