More than anything, the final day of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club was a day of survival. Many faltered, but Justin Rose did just enough to come out on top as the champion. He took a one stroke lead into the clubhouse as Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan completed their round. Rose was forced to sit and watch as Mickelson did everything in his power to force a playoff. In the end, however, it wasn’t enough and Rose managed a two shot lead over Mickelson and Jason Day.
Rose was the only player in the field to not play the final round over par. He was even on the day, thanks to five birdies and five bogeys. Birdies on the 14th and 16th holes are what put him in the driver’s seat. Those par breakers are also what put the pressure on the rest of the field, namely the two golfers that tied for second place.
This is the fifth PGA Tour win in Rose’s career and his first major championship. Coming into this week, he was certainly one of the golfers considered to be immensely talented but in need of a major to legitimize themselves. He’s no longer in that group, as he will be forever known as the 2013 U.S. Open Champion.
One of the more heartwarming moments came almost immediately as Rose completed his round. Once he picked up his ball he looked up the sky and the tears were instantly visible. He was overcome with emotion thinking about his father and the impact he had on Justin’s life. “I couldn’t help but to just look up to the heavens and think that my old dad, Ken, had something to do with it,” Rose said in his post-tournament interview. This is the first time in 43 years that an Englishman has won the U.S. Open, making this moment that much more special for Rose.
Congratulations to Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open Champion.