UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Dustin Johnson had his baby in his arms, a smile of sorts frozen on his face.
There would be plenty of time later to sort through the pain and the what-ifs. Still in shock from the events of a few moments earlier, he walked from the 18th green, holding little Tatum, with fiancee Paulina Gretzky lending a comforting hand on his back.
The U.S. Open would have been his had he made a 12-footer on the final green. An 18-hole playoff with Jordan Spieth would have been scheduled for Monday with a 3-footer coming back.
He missed both, and one of the most dramatic U.S. Opens ended in the worst way imaginable. The cruelest of games had dealt Johnson the cruelest of blows.
Instead of holding the Open trophy on the 18th green, he was looking for a quick exit from the chamber of horrors that was Chambers Bay. Instead of resting up for an 18-hole playoff on Monday, he was heading home wondering how it could have all gone wrong.
He tried to keep it in perspective the only way he knew how.
“I’m proud of the way I played and I’m most proud of my family,” Johnson said outside the locker room. “So I did get to hold up my trophy at the end of the day, which is my son.”