ARDMORE, Pa. — Justin Rose became the first Englishman in 43 years to win the U.S. Open, claiming a two-stroke win over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day on Sunday at Merion Golf Club.
It’s Rose’s first major win and fifth PGA Tour win of his career. He was playing in his 37th major.
Rose finished at 1 over for the tournament, as no player matched par at 6,996-yard Merion. He shot an even-par 70 that included five birdies and five bogeys. He was the only player in the final 10 groups to avoid shooting a round over par.
His tee shot at the final hole split the fairway, landing close to the Ben Hogan plaque that recognizes his 1-iron shot during his 1950 win.
When he saw the proximity of the ball to the plaque, Rose said, “I thought this is my moment.”
Mickelson, the 54-hole leader who was celebrating his 43rd birthday Sunday, finished runner-up for a sixth time at the U.S. Open.
“Very heartbreaking,” Mickelson said. “… This is probably the toughest for me.”
The last Englishman to win the U.S. Open was Tony Jacklin in 1970. The win also gives England its first major champ since Nick Faldo at the 1996 Masters.
It’s the second major this year in which a drought has been broken. In April, Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters.
After the Masters, Scott sent Rose a text, writing, “Your time’s coming soon.”
Said Rose: “He’s a wise man.”
Mickelson, in shooting a 4-over 74 to finish at 3 over, suffered two early double bogeys but holed out for eagle at the 10th hole to get back in it. But he suffered a bogey at the par-3 13th, one of the easier holes this week, and another bogey at the 15th. Usually deadly with a wedge in hand, Mickelson acknowledged hitting two poor wedge shots to set up those bogeys.
“Two costly shots,” he said.
Day shot a 1-over 71 but bogeyed the 18th hole. It’s his second runner-up finish at the U.S. Open in the last three years. He’s also been in contention at the Masters in recent years.
“As long as I keep knocking on the door,” Day said, “I think I’ll win a major here soon.”
Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan, and Billy Horchel tied for fourth at 5 over.
The 32-year-old Rose overcame his share of misadventures on a course that challenged all comers despite being the shortest at a major in nine years. He took the sole lead for good because of others’ mistakes at No. 15: Mickelson and Hunter Mahan, playing in the final group, both lost shots on the hole to fall out of a tie for first.
Rose’s last shot was a tap-in for par at the 18th, after his caddie removed the pin with the wicker basket on top, the symbol of Merion that replaces the familiar flag. He had chipped it there from the rough just behind the green, nearly becoming the only player to birdie the finishing hole over the final two rounds of the championship.
The day appeared to set up well for Mickelson to finally win his first U.S. Open. It was his 43rd birthday, it was Father’s Day in the United States, and it was the first time he had held a sole 54-hole lead at the event. He made eagle from the rough at the 10th hole to retake the lead.
He was in a three-way tie with Rose and Mahan when his approach rolled back down the fairway at 15. He chipped well past the hole and two-putted for bogey.
Mahan was the steadiest player on the course, with 13 pars in his first 14 holes, until his tee shot found the rough at 15. He hit into more rough before 3-putting for double bogey.
Luke Donald also started the round just one shot to make up, but he hit a volunteer with a tee shot on No. 3 and on No. 4, took off his left shoe and sock to play his ball next to Cobbs Creek. He shot a 75 and finished tied for eighth.
Charl Schwartzel went briefly under par, then went the other way with a streak of bogeys that led to a 78.
Mickelson was the overnight leader at 1-under, but he was scrambling from the start. His tee shot at the first landed in the rough, but he nearly birdied the hole when his 30-footer lipped out. He was in the sand at No. 2 yet missed a short putt for birdie. He finally paid the price for his waywardness when he put one in a bunker at the par-3 No. 3 and then 3-putted for a 5 that left no one under par for the tournament.
Leaderboard: Justin Rose 71-69-71-70—281 (+1); Phil Mickelson 67-72-70-74—283 (+3); Jason Day 70-74-68-71—283 (+3)
— Rose entered the final round of the 113th U.S. Open trailing Phil Mickelson by two strokes, but a final-round even-par 70 was good enough for his first major championship, defeating Mickelson and Jason Day by two shots.
— Rose’s victory comes in his 222nd PGA Tour start at the age of 32 years, 10 months, 17 days.
— Rose wins in his eighth U.S. Open start, with T5 in his inaugural appearance in 2003 his previous-best finish. In all, he has four made cuts in eight starts (1-2013, T5-2003, T10-2007, T21-2012,).
— Rose wins in his 37th start in a major championship. His best-finishes in the other three majors are T3 (2012 PGA Championship), T4 (1998 British Open), T5 (2007 Masters).
— International players have now won the last four majors (2013 U.S. Open/Justin Rose, 2013 Masters/Adam Scott, 2012 PGA Championship/Rory McIlroy and 2012 British Open/Ernie Els).
— Rose becomes the 29th international winner of the U.S. Open, recording the 34th win by that group.
— Rose becomes the seventh international player to win the U.S. Open in the last 10 years: Retief Goosen (2004), Michael Campbell (2005), Geoff Ogilvy (2006), Angel Cabrera (2007), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013).
— Rose’s best finish in eight previous Tour starts this season was a runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. With the victory, he collects 600 points and moves from No. 30 into the top 10 in the FedExCup standings.
— Records fifth come-from-behind win in as many U.S. Opens hosted by Merion (1934, 1950, 1971, 1981, 2013).
— Rose becomes the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970, with others including Horace Rawlins (1895), Joe Lloyd (1897), Harry Vardon (1900, George Sargent (1909), Edward Ray (1920), James Barnes (1921) and Cyril Walker (1924).
— Rose was one of four players in the field with Tour wins in Pennsylvania. Nick Watney (2011) and Rose (2010) both won the AT&T National at Aronimink GC in Newtown Square, while Ernie Els (1994) and Angel Cabrera (2007) both won the U.S. Open at Oakmont CC.
— Joins other U.S. Open champions at Merion: Olin Dutra (1934), Ben Hogan (1950), Lee Trevino (1971), David Graham (1981).
— The last 19 major championships have been won by 18 different players. Rory McIlroy is the only player with two wins in majors in that span.
— With the win Rose earns a 10-year U.S. Open exemption; five-year exemption to the Masters, British Open, PGA Championship and Players Championship; five-year exemption on the PGA Tour; 600 FedExCup points.
— Mickelson (T2) held at least a share of the lead each of the first three rounds at the U.S. Open, but a final-round 4-over 74 left him two strokes behind Justin Rose.
— Mickelson, a 41-time PGA Tour winner, finishes runner-up for the 29th time of his career (478 career starts) and one week after a T2 finish at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He has multiple runner-up finishes eight different seasons, including a career-high four in 2001.
— Mickelson, who turned 43 on Sunday, was seeking to become the first U.S. Open champion over the age of 40 since Payne Stewart (42) in 1999.
— Mickelson and Paul Casey led the field this week by hitting 54 of 72 greens in regulation.
— Mickelson has six runner-up finishes in 23 U.S. Open appearances (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013) at the U.S. Open, the most by any player. Players with four runner-up finishes: Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus.
— The only player with more runner-up finishes in a single major championship is Jack Nicklaus (7-British Open).
— Mickelson was seeking his fifth major championship (2004, 2006, 2010 Masters; 2005 PGA Championship).
— Mickelson owns eight top-4 finishes at the U.S. Open without a victory.
— Mickelson is now three of five when carrying the lead/co-lead into the final round of a major championship, going on to win the 2004 and 2006 Masters Tournament and the 2005 PGA Championship. He failed to carry the 54-hole lead on to victory at the 2006 and 2013 U.S. Open.
— Dating to the start of 2012, Mickelson is now one of five with at least a share of the 54-hole lead: finishing T2 at the 2012 Northern Trust Open, T2 at the 2012 BMW Championship, winning the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open, finishing third at the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship and finishing T2 at the 2013 U.S. Open.
— Mickelson made his 13th start of the season, with top-3 finishes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (1st), U.S. Open (1st), U.S. Open (T2), FedEx St. Jude Classic (T2), World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship (T3), Wells Fargo Championship (3rd).
— Mickelson finishes second for the eighth time in 83 major championship starts. In addition to six at the U.S. Open, he finished second at the 2001 PGA Championship and T2 at the 2011 British Open.
— Day is the only player to post top-10 finishes in the first two major championships of the season, finishing third at the Masters and T2 at the U.S. Open.
— Top-3 finishes for Day in 11 major championship starts: T2-2011 Masters, 2nd-2011 U.S. Open, 3rd-2013 Masters, T2-2013 U.S. Open.
— Woods (T32), the current FedExCup leader and four-time winner in 2013, posted a final-round 3-over to finish 13-over 293 – his highest score in 16 professional starts at the U.S. Open.
— Woods’ worst finishes in 16 professional starts at the U.S. Open: MC (2006), T32 (2013), T21 (2012), T20 (2003).
— Woods entered the 2013 U.S. Open five years since his last major title at the 2008 U.S. Open. With 14 major titles, Woods trails all-time leader Jack Nicklaus’ 18 by four.
— Woods owns 71 stateside Tour wins in 16 different states, but none in Pennsylvania. Overall, he has 78 wins, second only to Sam Snead’s 82.
— Woods is tied with Hale Irwin for fourth all-time with three U.S. Open victories, trailing four-time winners Willie Anderson, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus.
— Woods is making his 18th start at the U.S. Open (16th as a professional), with eight top-10 finishes (T3-1999, W-2000, W-2002, 2-2005, T2-2007, W-2008, T6-2009, T4-2010)
— Number of times the third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win: 49.
— On the PGA Tour in 2013, the third-round leader/co-leader has won 11 times in 23 (72-hole) stroke-play events, most recently Matt Kuchar at the Memorial Tournament.
— Dating to the 2009 Masters (18 majors), the 54-hole leader/co-leader has won just five times: Rory McIlroy (2012 PGA Championship, 2011 U.S. Open), Darren Clarke (2011 British Open), Louis Oosthuizen (2010 British Open) and Angel Cabrera (2009 Masters).
— Luke Donald finished T8 for his first top 10 in 10 U.S. Open starts. Prior to this week, the U.S. Open was the only major that he did not have a top 10. He has three top 10s at the Masters and two each at the PGA Championship and British Open. His best finish in 40 major starts is T3 at the 2005 Masters and 2006 PGA Championship.
— Hunter Mahan finished T4 for his best finish in 30 major championship starts. His previous-best finish was T6 at the 2007 British Open and 2009 U.S. Open. Mahan led the field this week by hitting 49 of 56 fairways.
— Billy Horschel finished T4 in his second start in a major championship, having missed the cut as an amateur at the 2006 U.S. Open. He notches his seventh top-10 finish of the season, moving out of a tie with Keegan Bradley, Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar for most on Tour.
— Ernie Els finished T4 in his 21st U.S. Open start, with wins in 1994 and 1997 among his 10 top-10 finishes. He was seeking to become the seventh player with at least three U.S. Open wins (4 – Willie Anderson, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus; 3 – Hale Irwin, Tiger Woods).
— Jason Dufner and Hideki Matsuyama turned in the rounds of the day at 3-under 67. Dufner finished T4, one year after the same finish at Olympic Club. Matsuyama finished T10 in his debut U.S. Open.
— Rickie Fowler finished T10 for his second major championship top-10 finish (T5 at the 2011 British Open).
— Charl Schwartzel finished 14th in his attempt to join South African U.S. Open winners Gary Player (1965), Ernie Els (1994, 1997) and Retief Goosen (2001, 2004).
— Defending champ Webb Simpson finished T32 in his bid to become the sixth player to win the U.S. Open in back-to-back years: Curtis Strange (1988-89), Ben Hogan (1950-51), Ralph Guldahl (1937-38), Bobby Jones (1929, 1930), John McDermott (1911-12). Willie Anderson is the only player to win three straight Opens (1903-04-05).
— Steve Stricker finished T8 in his 18th start at the U.S. Open. His title hopes took a setback with a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5 second hole – his highest score at a U.S. Open. The 46-year-old Stricker was hoping to supplant Hale Irwin as the oldest U.S. Open winner. Irwin was 45 years and 15 days old and playing on a special exemption when he won his third U.S. Open title in 1990 (1974, 1979)
— Adam Scott finished T45 in his quest to become the first player since Padraig Harrington (2008 British Open and PGA Championship) to win two majors in one year. Five players have won the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open back-to-back in the same season: Tiger Woods (2002), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Arnold Palmer (1960), Ben Hogan (1951, 1953), Craig Wood (1941).
— Hideki Matsuyama (T10) had the best finish by a player making his U.S. Open debut this week. Five players have won the U.S. Open in their first appearance: Horace Rawlins (1895), Fred Herd (1898), Harry Vardon (1900), George Sargent (1909) and Francis Ouimet (1913).
— Shawn Stefani aced the par-3 17th hole on Sunday with a 4-iron from 246 yards, the first hole-in-one at Merion Golf Club during a U.S. Open. It is the 43rd in U.S. Open history, with John Peterson’s ace on No. 13 at Olympic last year the most recent before this week. Stefani’s ace is the 19th on Tour in 2013. With the help of the hole-in-one, Stefani carded a final-round 1-under 69, 16 shots better than his third-round 85.
— Ten past champions of the U.S. Open competed this week: Ernie Els (T4), Rory McIlroy (T41), Tiger Woods (T32), Geoff Ogilvy (T32), Webb Simpson (T32), Graeme McDowell (MC), Angel Cabrera (MC), Jim Furyk (MC), Michael Campbell (MC), Lucas Glover (MC).
— Eleven players have won the U.S. Amateur Championship and U.S. Open during their career, most recently Tiger Woods. There were five players in this week’s field who have won the U.S. Amateur: Phil Mickelson (T2), Matt Kuchar (T28), Tiger Woods (T32), Steven Fox (MC) and Ryan Moore (MC).
— U.S. Junior Amateur champions: Hunter Mahan (T4), Tiger Woods (T32), Jordan Spieth (MC).
— U.S. Amateur Public Links champions: Brandt Snedeker (T17), Tim Clark (MC), Ryan Moore (MC).
— The U.S. Open has been won by an amateur eight times (five players): Francis Ouimet (1913), Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr. (1916), Robert T. Jones Jr. (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930), John Goodman (1933).
— Gavin Hall (MC), 18, was the youngest player in the field.
— Four amateurs made the cut at the 2013 U.S. Open: Michael Kim, Cheng-Tsung Pan, Michael Weaver and Kevin Phelan. Four amateurs also made the cut at the U.S. Open in 1976, 1996 and most recently 2004 (Spencer Levin, Casey Wittenberg, Bill Haas, Chez Reavie).
— The last time more than four amateurs made the cut at the U.S. Open was in 1971, at Merion, when five players advanced to the weekend: Jim Simons, Lanny Wadkins, Ben Crenshaw, Danny Yates, Jim Masserio.
— Eight PGA Tour rookies competed this week: David Lingmerth (T17), Scott Langley (T41), Alistair Presnell (T67), Shawn Stefani (T59), Morgan Hoffman (MC), Andrew Svoboda (MC), Luke Guthrie (MC), Russell Henley (MC).
— Five players lead the Tour with six top-10 finishes this season. Here’s how they finished this week: Billy Horschel (T4), Brandt Snedeker (T17), Matt Kuchar (T28), Bill Haas (MC), Keegan Bradley (MC).