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Justin Rose holds off heartbroken Phil Mickelson to win US Open

The American has now finished runner-up at the US Open for a sixth time.

Justin Rose points to the heavens in memory of his father.
Justin Rose points to the heavens in memory of his father.
Image: AP Photo/Morry Gash

JUSTIN ROSE HAS ended his long wait for a Major golf title after his closing round of 70 gave him a +1 score, two better than America’s Phil Mickelson.

The home favourite at Merion Golf Course needed to birdie the last hole and went for it with a breakneck chip, eventually bogeying to finish +3.

The Englishman, who defeated Mickelson at the 2012 Ryder Cup Singles on the final day, dedicated the win to his father, Ken Rose, who passed away in 2002 after a lengthy cancer battle. The gesture was fitting as it was Father’s Day.

Mickelson double bogeyed two holes over his opening nine holes but sparked life into the contest with a superb iron approach for eagle at the 10th.

Rose was close to finishing on level par when a putt from the fringes of the 18th green but he had to settle for par and faced a nervous wait as Mickelson threw everything at a chip on the last. Ultimately, his approach flew past the hole and he bogeyed to finish on +3 with Australia’s Jason Day.

He told Sky Sports, “I stayed in my tunnel all the way around… I certainly had moments where I had to dig deep.” Speaking at the trophy presentation, he added:

A lot of us come from great men and we have the responsibility to show our children what great men can be… I had to look to the heavens and think my old Dad, Ken, had something to do with it.”

Rose, with the names of his children Leo and Lottie printed on his golf shoes, paid tribute to fellow proud father Mickelson and revealed that a supportive text from 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott had given him encouragement. He remarked, “Adam said ‘Your time is coming soon. He’s a wise man.”

Mickelson, now a six-time runner-up at the US Open, must feel like his time will never come. He conceded that his overriding emotion after a closing round of 74 was “heartbreak”.

According to AFP, Rose is the first Englishman to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin 43 years ago and the first to win a major since Nick Faldo did so 17 years ago at the Masters.

The best of the Irish challengers was Padraig Harrington, who shot a closing 72 to finish on +11. He tied for 21st. Rory McIlroy finished further back on +14 and Waterford amateur Kevin Phelan, one shot off the lead at one stage of his opening round, was +20 at the close.

Stunning 120-yard eagle chip gives Mickelson US Open hope as Rose blooms

Irish golfer Simon Thornton dedicates triumph to late dad on Father’s Day

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Patrick McCarry

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