"We regret the distraction caused" - USGA react to US Open farce at Oakmont

Dustin Johnson was a three-shot winner on Sunday night

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Picture by: Charlie Riedel / AP/Press Association Images

Sunday's back-nine at the US Open should have have one of the highlights of the golfing year.

Despite Dustin Johnson's deserved win, the tournament will be best remembered for the USGA ruling of Johnson on the fifth green, and notifying him on the 12th tee of a potential one-shot penalty. 

The American had to play his final seven holes, without knowing what penalty (if any) he would face. Tournament contenders like Shane Lowry found themselves in a similar position, unsure of Johnson's fate.

On Monday evening, the USGA released a statement, revealing they were right to eventually penalise Johnson the shot, but should have done so in a fairer manner.

"Upon reflection, we regret the distraction caused by our decision to wait until the end of the round to decide on the ruling. It is normal for rulings based on video evidence to await the end of a round, when the matter can be discussed with the player before the score card is returned."

"While our focus on getting the ruling correct was appropriate, we created uncertainty about where players stood on the leader board after we informed Dustin on the 12th tee that his actions on the fifth green might lead to a penalty. This created unnecessary ambiguity for Dustin and the other players."

The Association also confirmed that they will react in a better and more efficient way if a similar scenario happens again in the future. Former US Open champions Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth were among those to criticise what happened at Oakmont.

"In keeping with our commitment to excellence in all aspects of our work on behalf of the game of golf, we pledge to closely examine our procedures in this matter. We will assess our procedures for handling video review, the timing of such, and our communication with players to make sure that when confronted with such a situation again, we will have a better process."

You can read the full statement here.