Graeme McDowell of Nothern Ireland held on to a one shot lead, to become the first European to win the U.S. Open since 1970.
"It's an absolute dream come true. I've dreamed this my entire life," said McDowell after his last hole.
McDowell shot a 3-over 74 on a difficult Sunday at Pebble Beach getting an embrace on the 18th green from his father, who spoke for thousands who watched this unlikely Open unfold along the Pacific coastline.
"You're something, kid," said his father, Kenny McDowell.
Close behind McDowell was Frenchman Gregory Havret who cam into the tournament ranked 391st in the world.
Havret played in the same group with Tiger Woods and didn't let it bother him. He was within one of McDowell with two holes left but couldn't make birdie on the par-5 18th to tie.
Woods made four bogeys on the front nine en route to a 4-over 75. He tied for fourth with Phil Mickelson, the same spot he finished in at the Masters in April.
Dustin Johnson, who won the last two AT&T National Pro-Ams at Pebble Beach, was 7-over par through the first seven holes, which is traditionally the easiest stretch at Pebble Beach. He was conjuring memories of Gil Morgan, who in 1992 at Pebble famously became the first person to reach 10-under par in the history of the U.S. Open, but shot a closing-round 81 to finish 13th.
Johnson's troubles began when he hit his approach shot into an awkward lie in a bunker on No. 2, then had to chip out left-handed. The ball barely squirted out, then Johnson's fourth shot from the deep grass popped up and moved about two feet. He missed a 3-foot putt for double bogey and wound up with a 7.
On No. 3, Johnson pushed his tee shot far to the left. Unable to find his ball after a five-minute search near the 16th green, he had to head back to the tee box to hit again. Seconds later, course workers found his ball, but it was too late, and Johnson made 6.
His disintegration was part of a wild start to the day for the leaders, who are set to reach 18 right around prime time on the East Coast.
Davis Love III tried to get back in the hunt, attacking the first eight holes and making a birdie and eagle to get to 2 over.
But McDowell was showing little signs of fading, making one birdie and only one bogey on the front as he searched for his first major championship. The 30-year-old Irishman became the first European to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin, 40 years ago.
The day yielded the second double-eagle in the history of the U.S. Open, when Shaun Micheel hit a 3-iron from 239 yards into the hole on the par-5 sixth. He joined T.C. Chen in the history books, then promptly went to the 92-yard seventh hole and made double-bogey 5.
The best rounds of the day through the early going belonged to Ben Curtis and Jim Herman, each of whom went out early and shot 3-under 68.