Sunday was his 43rd birthday and for the first time he had held the outright lead going into the final round. Mickelson’s chances were spoiled when he bogeyed the 13th and 15th holes. He finished with a bogey on the 18th for a 74 and tied for second with Jason Day, who closed with a 71. Day also finished third earlier this year at the Masters. ‘’Heartbreak,’’ Mickelson said. ‘’This is tough to swallow after coming so close. This was my best chance of all of them. I had a golf course I really liked and I felt this was as good an opportunity as you could ask for. It really hurts.’’ Hunter Mahan, who played in the last group with Mickelson, was one shot out of the lead until he three-putted the 15th hole for a double bogey. He then closed with back-to-back bogeys to share fourth with Billy Horschel, Ernie Els and Jason Dufner.
down the middle on the final hole, close to the plaque where Ben Hogan hit his 1-iron approach into the 72nd green in 1950. ‘’When I came over the hill and saw my ball laying in the fairway, I thought, ‘This is my moment.’ It was me hitting from the middle of the fairway,”’ Rose said. Rose’s approach rolled near the red wicker basket pin and settled against the back collar of the green. From there, he hit a putt using a 3-metal that nearly went into the hole. After he tapped in, Rose looked up and pointed to the sky, in tribute to his late father, Ken, who died of leukemia in September 2002. “I couldn’t help but look up at the heavens and think my old dad Ken had something to do with it,” said Rose. The last Englishman to win the U.S. Open was Tony Jacklin at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., in 1970. Rose continued a European dominance in the U.S. Open, as the third winner in four years. The others were Graeme McDowell (2010) and Rory McIlroy (2011) of Northern Ireland. Rose finished at 1-over-par 281, eight strokes higher than David Graham’s winning score in 1981 when the U.S. Open was last held at Merion. The shortest course for a major championship in nearly a decade, Merion held its own. It was the third time in the last four years that no one broke par. Rose waited with his wife, Kate, in the scoring area when Mickelson paced off a last-ditch effort to force a playoff. It was a long shot – the 18th hole didn’t yield a single birdie all weekend. From about 40 yards away, Mickelson’s chip for birdie raced by the cup, securing Rose’s victory. Mickelson, already in the U.S. Open record book with five second-place finishes, added another that will hurt as much as any of them.
Unflappable to the end, Rose nearly holed out for birdie on the final hole using a 3-metal from just off the green.
ONLY THE BEST CAN APPLY Established in 1979, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf has grown from an 18-hole, single-day affair to a 36-hole annual showdown that matches professional golf’s best against each other for a $1.35 million purse, played in front of a television audience in more than 100 countries. The debut of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf concluded with 1978 U.S. Open winner Andy North and 1978 Masters winner Gary Player sharing first place at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. Since then, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf has been contested over many of the world’s finest golf courses in an annual showcase of golfing greats, such as Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. In 1991, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf changed its format to a two-day, 36-hole event. For the seventh consecutive year, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf is being contested in October. This enables the PGA Grand Slam of Golf to attract the four winners of the current season’s major Championships to a fitting conclusion of the season. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf converted from stroke play to match play for two years in 1998, and then back to stroke play in 2000. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is considered by Tour professionals as the “toughest qualifying event in golf.”
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