Justin Rose won the US Open with a score of +1. There were those that said Merion wouldn’t stand up to the world’s best, but it did. If you follow the blog, I had Justin Rose as one of the 10 golfers who could win this week. Rose as a 17 year old finished 4th at the 1998 British Open, and it looked like he would be a golfer that would be challenging Tiger Woods for the next 25 years.
His career stalled when after he turned pro he missed 21 straight cuts. He’s been building towards this for years, and is now ranked in the top 5 world. In many ways Rose’s victory is similar to Adam Scott’s at the Masters. These are two players that had enormous expectations set on them, struggled through some terrible stretches during their career, and now in their early 30s finally are major champions, with the possibility of a few more. Rose played the final round in even par, that’s how you win a US Open.
- Phil Mickleson’s entire career was on full display during the final 18 holes of today’s US Open. Brilliant one hole, disappointing and frustrating on the next. He’s now finished a stunning runner-up 6 times at the US Open, and at age 43 won’t have to wonder how many more chances he’ll have of winning the US Open title he covets. When he holed in from the fairway at 10, you thought he may overcome 2 early double bogeys, but Mickelson blew two short wedge shots at 13 and 15. They cost him the tournament. Rose is a deserving champion, but this tournament will be remembered for Mickelson letting another US Open get away. I still think Mickelson will find a way to win more major before his career is over, but I don’t think a US Open is in the cards.
- Jason Day finished T2. As I told you, the young Australian had a great shot to contend. He’s is going to be a multiple major winner. I’m telling you. Day keeps getting himself into contention in these big events.
- We have to mention Tiger Woods. Woods finished T32, and was barely a blip this week. Basically what we are seeing is simply how difficult it is to win these majors. Woods is the best golfer in the world, but competing in majors is different. He has put so much pressure on himself and there is no intimidation factor anymore. Jack Nicklaus can rest easy, his record is safe. Woods has 2 more majors wins in him.
- Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, and Phil Mickelson proved that the 40 something players can still be very much a factor in the majors. All 3 finished in the top 10. Els won the British Open just last year. It won’t be the last time you’ll see these guys or another 40 something on a major leaderboard.
- Rory Mcilory is not playing well this season, and he didn’t play well this week finishing at T41. He’s only 24, so there’s no cause for concern, but he’s slumping this year.
- Sergio Garcia ended up T45, got heckled and sort of made up with Tiger Woods. In contrast to Rose and Scott who found their major championship mojo in their early 30s this year, Garcia looks further way from one than ever. I once thought Garcia would win 2-4 majors, now? I don’t see him ever winning one.
- The British Open heads to Muirfield next month where Ernie Els won in 2002. We’ll look then at who will be your top contenders.