This Day In Sports: The U.S. Open blooms for Rose

June 16, 2013, 10 years ago today: Justin Rose becomes the first British golfer to win the U.S. Open in 43 years when he passes Phil Mickelson and takes the title by two strokes. The last champion from Great Britain had been Tony Jacklin in 1970, and the last Brit to win any major had been Nick Faldo at the Masters in 1996. Rose was one-over for the tournament as no one broke par over the 72 holes on the wicked Merion course outside Philadelphia, hosting the Open for the first time since 1981. The average score for each of the four rounds was 74-plus.

Mickelson led after the first round, was tied for the lead after the second, and was the solo leader following the third. In the final round, Mickelson double-bogeyed the third and fifth holes, opening the door for Rose, who took the lead for good on the 13th and held off Lefty from there. Mickelson remained winless in the Open, tying for the runnerup spot with Jason Day and finishing second for a record sixth time as he tried to celebrate his 43rd birthday. Mickelson’s best U.S. Open finish since has been a tie for 28th.

Rose, meanwhile, remained a steady performer on the PGA Tour. He won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was runnerup at the 2017 Masters, and became No. 1 in the world in 2018. That was Rose’s best year overall. He tied for second at the Open Championship (the British Open), and his cumulative score of 12-under par in all four majors that year was the best in golf. Rose won the FedEx Cup and the $10 million that went with it. And he was part of the winning European team at the Ryder Cup.

Rose cooled off after winning the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in 2019. He endured a four-year drought before taking the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February of this year. The 2013 U.S. Open title is still his only victory in a major. Rose turns 43 years old next month.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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