ARDMORE, Pennsylvania, (Reuters) – England’s Justin Rose clinched his first major title with a nerve-jangling two-shot victory at the 113th U.S. Open yesterday after overhauling 54-hole leader Phil Mickelson in the final round.
Rose closed with a level-par 70 in difficult scoring conditions at Merion Golf Club, posting a one-over total of 281 to become the first Englishman to win the year’s second major since Tony Jacklin at Hazeltine in 1970.
American Mickelson, serenaded with ‘Happy Birthday’ chants from the fans on every hole after turning 43 on Sunday, had to settle for a record sixth runner-up spot at the U.S. Open after carding a 74.
Mickelson, a four-times major champion, had to hole out for birdie from a swale below the green at the par-four last to force a playoff but his shot ran through the back of the green from where he two-putted for bogey.
Australian Jason Day (71) shared second place with Mickelson at three over with Americans Hunter Mahan (75), Jason Dufner (67) and Billy Horschel (74), and twice former champion Ernie Els (69) of South Africa, a further two strokes back in a tie for fourth.