ARDMORE, Pa. – Justin Rose is the lone survivor at Merion.
During a brutal final round that identified the day’s best ball-striker, Rose blistered a long iron to the back of the 18th green, setting up a tap-in par and a two-stroke victory Sunday over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day at the 113th U.S. Open.
Rose finished at 1-over 281 to become the first Englishman in 43 years to win the year’s second major. In the final round he shot an even-par 70, mixing four birdies with four bogeys.
'It feels fantastic,' Rose said. 'I committed myself to the process this week. I committed myself to putting a strategy in place that I hoped would work in five to 10 years in delivering major championships. ... And it feels absolutely amazing.'
Mickelson (74) began the final round with a one-shot lead as he tried to win the major that has frustrated him most in his Hall of Fame career.
Lefty made two double bogeys in the first five holes Sunday, but he sent a jolt into the Philly crowds with a hole-out eagle on the par-4 10th to briefly take a one-shot lead.
But Mickelson made a few critical errors down the stretch. He airmailed the green on the 121-yard 13th, leading to a bogey, then dropped another shot on 15 when he mis-hit a pitch shot from the front of the green.
On 16, he missed a 10-foot birdie putt that would have moved him into a share of the lead. At the par-4 18th – a hole that hadn’t been birdied by any player all day – Mickelson launched his tee shot into the left rough, and he couldn’t reach the green with his second shot. His 30-yard pitch shot never had a chance, and he missed the par putt, too.
It was another crushing defeat for Mickelson, 43, who already held the record for most runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open. This was his sixth.