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Rose Grabs First At U.S. Open, Mickelson Misses Again

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An emotional win for Rose overshadows Mickelson’s sixth failed attempt at victory.

Rose Grabs First At U.S. Open, Mickelson Misses Again

What can we say about yesterday in golf; Mickelson was more of the same, Tiger continued his terrible drought, and an emotional win for Rose made this year's U.S. Open somewhat predictable but exciting all at the same.

The biggest highlight of course was Justin Rose being handed the first place trophy and leaving his mark on the competition, being the first Englishman in 43 years to win the U.S. Open. Next is Phil Mickelson once again coming up short, a disappointing birthday present, as this is his sixth second place finish in the event. 

It all came down to Rose's 5-iron on the 17th into the first cut of rough, landing him an easy par. What would come next would be the most important tee shot of his career, a long ball down the 18th landing in the middle of the fairway and just short of the famous Ben Hogan plaque. "When I came over the hill and saw my ball lying in the middle of the fairway," Rose commented at the trophy presentation, "I thought, 'This is my moment.' I've seen that Ben Hogan photograph a million times." From there, he had a tight 4-iron landing near the pin and stopping near the edge of the green. "I felt like I did Hogan justice with the golf shot I hit in there at least," he said. 

Here comes the emotional part. Though a victory for Mickelson with his numerous attempts at winning the U.S. Open would have been a great story ending, I think Rose's was a better one. Rose said he was thinking of his father most of the day, Ken Rose, the man who put a golf club in his hand when he wasn't even a year old. An inspiration for his performance, his father was diagnosed with leukemia just eleven years before he could see his son teary eyed with his finger pointing to the clouds yesterday. The day before the big Open, Justin texted his mother saying "Let's do it for Dad tomorrow." 

Back to the 18th hole. After Rose's approach shot that sat on the cuff of the green, he was left with the pressure of a one-putt for the win. He later told press he wasn't as worried as he had thought. "I felt like I had conducted myself in a way that he [his father] would be proud of, win or lose." As the tension rose [no pun intended] on the 18th, Mickelson fans chanted "Let's go Phil" as he tried a last chance attempt to force a playoff between the two. From forty yards, Mickelson missed a chip shot past the hole and cemented the win for Rose. 

Rose said, "I've holed a put to win a major championship hundreds of thousands of times on the putting green at home." There isn't as much pressure sitting in your backyard as there is with the entire world watching you as you battle your way to victory against a man who's desperately tried, and failed, to win five times. Rose's coach, Sean Foley, texted him before the round yesterday saying "Go our there and be the man your dad taught you how to be, and be the man that your kids can be proud of and look up to." Well if you weren't misty in the eyes yet, there you go. Rose would par the 18th for the win.

Now that we've covered the heartfelt part, let's take a look at how Mickelson once again received the best father's day/birthday present ever: second place. They say the fifth cut is the deepest, or is it the sixth? 

You don't get second place by playing awful. Phil had his moments, specifically his wedge moments, which are world famous. He had some good chips including a birdie on number 2, and an eagle on 10. Colt Knost tweeted this earlier yesterday about a comment he'd made toward Mickelson. 

He might have been a tad bit overconfident. He had his bad chips earning him two bogeys on 13 and 15 (adding to a total of three bogeys for the round along with two double bogeys). He hit a pitching wedge on 13, later saying he should have hit a gap wedge, then used that gap wedge on 15 and came up short of the pin. "Thirteen and 15 were the two bad shots of the day," he commented after the round. Not only was it Father's Day yesterday, it was also Mickelson's 43 birthday. Instead of shooting an even par of 70 to take the win, he shot a 74, earning him once again the silver medal. Mickelson has an impressive history of three Masters wins and one PGA Championship, though it seems like yesterday might have been the best opportunity to add a U.S. Open trophy. 

"This could have been the big -- a really big turnaround for me on how I look at the U.S. Open and the tournament that I'd like to win after having so many good opportunities," he said. "Playing very well here and really loving the golf course, this week was my best opportunity [to win an Open]." 

For Tiger fans, rest easy knowing he matched his worst career score at a major yesterday.

He started the final round ten shots behind, making a birdie on the opening hold but triple bogeying the second. His next tee-shot would roll close to out of bounds behind a tree, leaving him with another triple bogey. He wasn't exactly flush on the greens either. "I struggled with the speed all week," Woods said. "These greens are grainy. It's one of the older bent grasses -- creeping bent. I struggled with the speed, especially right around the hole. Putts were breaking a lot more. I gave it a little more break and then it would hang. That's kind of the way it was this week." His final score of 293 matched his highest for any major. 

Want to see the action live? Let Charged.fm get you PGA Tour tickets this year! 

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