Justin Rose Wins First Major

It was setting up to be the perfect day for Phil Mickelson at Merion Golf Club just out of Pennsylvania. It was the first time he held the U.S. Open lead through 54 holes, it was his 43rd birthday, and more importantly for him, it was father’s day. After all, it was Mickelson who flew cross country on the eve of the Open so he was able to be home for his daughter’s eighth grade graduation. The same daughter that was born the day after his first runner up finish in 1999.

The stars were all aligned, but the putts didn’t fall. Once again, Mickelson came up short on Sunday at a U.S. Open as Justin Rose won his first ever major. It was Mickelson’s record sixth second place finish at the event.

After losing the lead early in his round Sunday, Mickelson holed out from 75 yards on the 10th hole for eagle to re-gain the lead back. It was at that moment when it seemed that this year was finally going to be the year for Mickelson to get that elusive U.S. Open championship. His wedge play, which had been strong and steady all week, ended up being his Achilles heel late in the day.

At the par three 13th, Mickelson drilled his wedge over the green and made bogey. Then, with about 121 yards left on the par four 15th, his approach shot to the green came up short. He had a chance to save par with one of his wedges but hit it 25 feet past the hole and had to settle for a bogey. It was that bogey that proved to be the dagger and opened the door for Rose to capture his first major.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

For Rose, the win was more special than it just being his first major. It was the first time in 43 years an Englishman has won our national championship. More importantly, it was a win on Father’s Day and a win for the man that helped teach him the game.

“I was 21 when he passed away and I always think about it as the time together we had was quality not quantity,” Rose told reporters after the win. “… My dad and I were lucky enough to spend a lot of quality time together learning to play the game, after school on the driving range, so I can look back at our life together with a lot of fondness.”

Rose shot even par on the final day to win which turned out to be one of the lowest rounds of the day. As the rest of the field was backing up, Rose stayed patient and it resulted in a U.S. Open championship.

Old Palm resident Charl Schwartzel started the day off just one shot back. Luke Donald (Bears Club) was just two back. Just like the rest of the field though, they fell victim to Merion’s nearly impossible set up. Ernie Els recorded one of the best rounds of the day and it still wasn’t good enough. The Jupiter resident shot a one-under 69 but still had to settle for a fourth place finish.

The stars all aligned on Sunday, and it was Justin Rose who was left holding the trophy. For complete coverage of the U.S. Open visit www.pgatour.com.

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