Justin Rose has become the first Englishman to win the US open in 43 years and the first Englishman to win a major competition since Nick Faldo in 1996 where he won his third Masters title. What a performance it was for Rose who carded 5 bogeys and 5 birdies to finish level par in the final round and win by two shots ahead of Phil Mickelson and Jason Day on 3 over par. Justin Rose becomes only the second Englishman to win a major championship since the birth of the European tour and moves to the top of the leaderboard in the Race to Dubai.
Tony Jacklin was the last Englishman to win the US open in 1970, 10 years before Rose was even born. There have been many Englishmen to come close to winning a Major Championship ranging from Paul Casey to Ian Poulter but none had the cutting edge to win, until Rose played steady golf to win.
Phil Mickelson was 43 on sunday and things didn’t go according to plan as he saw his outright lead slip away after shooting a final round 74. Mickelson had trouble finding the fairway has the rough at Merion continued to trouble every golfer out there. Merion menaced the pro golfers with its narrow fairways, sloping greens and thick rough that left the winner just one over par in contrast to many US opens in the past where the winner has reached double figures and the birdies were flying in left, right and centre. Merion is a par 70 course just under 7000 yards and was not playing particularly long, until the players ventured onto the tough par 3s which attained distances up to 266 yards which saw players using drivers off the tee. Rose had no trouble with these inconvenient features that engulfed the course.
The world number 3 and US open winner’s speech mentioned his father, ” It wasn’t lost on me that today was Father’s Day. For it to all just work out for me, on such an emotional day, i just couldn’t help but look up to the heavens and think that my old dad Ken had something to do with it.” His emotions ran riot on the final green after a comfortable par which he played without phase. His tee shot ended up sitting comfortably in the middle of the fairway right by the memorable plague which saw Ben Hogan hit a legendary one iron into the 18th green in 1950. After playing his second shot with a four iron he ended up on the fringe of the green after landing just before the hole and rolling through. His third shot of the hole would become his best as he used an unorthodox shot which finished less than an inch to the left of the hole.
Rose was the only player in the top 5 of the world rankings who managed to play well, as Tiger Woods finished on 13 over par, Rory McIlroy on 14 over par and 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott on 15 over. None of which made any sort of move early on in the tournament and throughout.