Justin Rose wins the U.S. Open
Justin Rose was able to outlast the competition and the brutal layout of Merion as manipulated by the USGA to win the 2013 U.S. Open.
Several players had control of this tournament on Sunday, but as usual at the U.S. Open, that didn’t mean anything until the final stretch of holes. That final stretch by the way was playing tougher than any of the previous twenty U.S. Open’s. Phil Mickelson led the tournament by one shot coming into the round, and was near the top of the leaderboard all day, even after a double bogey-birdie-double bogey stretch from 3-5. His holeout on 10 for eagle got him back to even par, but bogeys on 13 and 15 knocked him back down. Jason Day and Hunter Mahan made runs at it, but Rose’s round of even par, after great approaches on both 17 and 18, gave him his first major championship.
- 1. Justin Rose +1
- T2. Phil Mickelson +3
- T2. Jason Day +3
What The Win Means For Rose
Since he first came on the scene back in 1998 at the Open Championship as a 17-year old amateur, big things have been expected of Justin Rose, and the payoff for him here and now is obvious. No matter what happens now, he’ll be forever known as a major champion, having mastered the USGA’s diabolical layout of one of the world’s most revered golf courses. This has been coming for Rose, who has been one of the best players in the world now for a few years. Of course, many people, Rose included, would find that meaningless until he won that major. Known as one of the best tee-to-green players in the world but with a slightly wonky putter, Rose finally putted well enough to win the big one.
What The Loss Means For Mickelson
Another U.S. Open, and another heartbreak for America’s favourite golfer. He already held the record with the most runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open with five, and now he’s added one more to his mantle. If you ask me right now who I thought played the best four days of golf, it would definitely be Mickelson, but at the U.S. Open, that rarely matters, and he knows it. The putter let him down on Sunday, as he had 36 strokes with the flatstick. What I will say is that any doubt that people had in regards to his ability to still play at a high level should have been alleviated with his performance in the last couple of weeks, but make no mistake, Mickelson lost this tournament at least as much as Rose won it.
Coming into the week, many people predicted a slaughtering of Merion, as the weather was going to make a short course play even softer. Mike Davis and the USGA must have taken major offense to this, as the course was set up to be even more penal than I thought was possible. Look at the pin placements again on Sunday, and you’ll see that most were cut as close as possible to the fringe and rough. Miss the fairway by a yard or by ten yards, and the penalty was the same. Steve Stricker said that he doesn’t mind the challenge once a year, but that definitely wasn’t a consensus opinion, as many of the players and the media thought the course simply played too hard. All I can say to that is that the USGA got what they wanted, as par was protected.
Regardless of what people think of the USGA setup of Merion, there’s no question that the course not only held its own, but it was the star this week. The USGA claimed that it would make roughly $10 million less this year because of the lack of space for patrons, but they were okay with that in return for coming back to Merion. Did this just open the door for other courses to get a future U.S. Open? I don’t think we’ll ever see Pine Valley or Cypress Point get into the rotation, but the success of Merion has allowed for discussions to be had.
- Man, the finish at Merion was tough, especially the 521 yard par-4 18th, which wasn’t birdied by anyone in the last two rounds.
- I did think it got a little unfair at certain points with the yardage, especially at the par-3 3rd which played at 266 yards today. I’m sure other players did as well, but I saw at least Mahan and Donald hit driver into the green, which seems ludicrous at a par-3.
- Still think we will see Donald win a major at some point, and the same goes for Day. Can’t say the same for Hunter Mahan, who desperately needs to improve on his short game, especially at a U.S. Open.
- Also still think that Johnny Miller is the single worst thing about any golf broadcast.
- I’ve always been a big fan of Mickelson, but sometimes the American golf media make it really difficult to stay that way. Watching the Golf Channel prior to the coverage made it seem like he was the only father trying to win this event on Father’s Day.
- Not much to say about Tiger Woods, except that both the putter and short irons looked off again this week, like they did at points last year. For him, he’s now looking toward Muirfield for the Open Championship in a few weeks.
- Cal’s Michael Kim took home low amateur honours with a T-17 finish at 10-over par.
- Great final round of 1-under par for Mike Weir, ending at 12-over par and tied for 28th.