Lowry, a 29-year-old, fun-loving Irishman, returned Sunday to complete his third round, made two late birdies and held a four-shot lead heading into the final round at Oakmont.
Ultimately he shot 76 and tied for second place at 1 under par, three shots behind Johnson. Lowry is the third player in U.S. Open history to lose a 54-hole lead of four or more shots and he’s the first player to do so since Payne Stewart in 1998 at the Olympic Club.
“I play in Dublin tomorrow,” Lowry said. “But after that, I’m going to take a couple of days just to assess what happened.
“There’s lots of positives to take from this week. It’s the toughest test of golf, and this is a true test of golf, and I was right up there for 67 holes. The whole round really. So that’s golf. You win some, you lose some.”
When Lowry made bogey on two of the first five holes his lead was quickly cut in half. Consecutive bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10 erased the entire lead and brought many more players back into the mix. Lowry then bogeyed Nos. 14-16 and his chances were dashed.
“I really feel like I let it go today, and it’s a great disappointment,” Lowry said. “The more I think about it, the more upset I’m getting. It’s one of those that’s going to be hard to take. It’s going to be a tough few days.
“I’m definitely good enough to win one of these. So I’ll get back on the horse in a couple weeks.”