Although its been forty-three years since the United States National Champion was Englishman and seventeen years since a Brit has won a major golf championship, Justin Rose’s two-stroke win at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania is still just as sweet. US fans of Phil Mickelson might call it an aberration but even if it wasn’t for Rose, Jason Day would have been there to raise the flag for Australia. In either case it was consistent play or rather the consistency of non-errors that made the difference Sunday, as challenger after challenger fell prey to the ‘tough but not difficult’ course that was supposed to be scored on early and often, needless to say when the winner shoots a one-over par to win a major tournament that wasn’t the case. In fact some PGA officials are still in the clubhouse wondering when that’s going to happen.
In fact, Merion played so tough that of the top nine finishers (4 players tied for the 10th spot) only two shot sub-par rounds and Rose was even for the day and won by two strokes. Even coming in at a par-70 was no easy feat as Rose’s card was a bit of a roller coaster as during a five hole stretch on the front nine he oscillated from bogey to birdie and again over a four hole stretch on the back nine to end up flat over the nine holes total before another bogey on 16 put the match back in play. However Rose persisted to par the remaining two holes as opposed to Day who bogeyed 18 in an attempt to score red and give himself a chance at a win, and Mickelson show bogeyed three of the final six holes en route to a disastrous +4 to almost drop off the first page all together.
The win represents Rose’s first win of the year (9 events) an immediately boost his ranking to 5th in the world and earnings to close to 4 million Euro for the year. “What a day, I just kept telling myself that bogeys is what everyone was doing," he said. "You just have to finish them. I had two good swings up 18 even though it trickled off the edge, but I was happy to get up and down. "I don't know what to say, I'm thrilled," added Rose, who revealed he took huge encouragement from a text message from Adam Scott, who made his major breakthrough at the Masters. What he can say is that he is the US Open Champion, and the holder of the first major for an Englishman since the Beatles held the top of the charts in the US.