The 2013 U.S. Open is over, and after all the smoke cleared — along with one last healthy dose of rain for good measure — it is Justin Rose who gets to bring home the winner’s silver trophy.
Rose was remarkably consistent all week, never shooting a tremendously low score but finding ways to make great shots and sink putts when it mattered the most. On Sunday, Rose made two bogeys in his final five holes, but finished with back-to-back pars on the extremely long par-3 17th and par-4 18th to go into the clubhouse at one over par for the championship.
When Phil Mickelson‘s attempted pitch-in for birdie sailed past the cup, Rose became the first English golfer to win the American championship since Tony Jacklin in 1970.
It was fitting for many in the field that the championship, as usual, would be decided on Father’s Day. That fact wasn’t lost on Rose when he holed out on the 18th green:
“My dad was the inspiration the whole 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.
“I was trying to keep it together, obviously, because I didn’t want to be premature. Phil had two holes to play. But that was my time, the clouds had parted, it was kind of ironic. It was just a beautiful evening. And the way it worked out, I felt like I needed to do that.” (from Steve DiMeglio, USA TODAY)
This may not have been the coronation that many were expecting for Tiger Woods coming into the tournament, and certainly much time will be spent dissecting Mickelson’s untimely collapse to record his sixth second-place finish at the U.S. Open.
However, Justin Rose didn’t just have this tournament fall into his lap. Many questioned whether Merion Golf Club would be long enough to provide a true challenge for the world’s best players. This week, it held more than its own, but Rose earned every bit of the victory.