historic Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, few were wondering if this would be the year an Englishman finally took the top prize. And fewer were cognizant of the fact that a Brit hadn't won the title since Tony Jacklin performed the feat back in 1970.
Justin Rose posted a respectable one over par 71 for round 1, respectable, but still four strokes behind the leader with 15 competitors ahead of him. Actually, Luke Donald, another Brit, who had shot a two under 68 and was tied for second one stroke behind Phil Mickelson would have seemed a better bet to bring the crown back to England.
Rose's second round 69 on the treacherous course brought him back to even par and suddenly he was tied for second place along with Luke Donald and Steve Stricker, one stroke behind Mickelson and Billy Horschel.
His one over 71 for round 3 dropped him a couple slots to a tie for 5th. Still, he was only two strokes behind and in the hunt.
The final round proved to be a test of skill and nerve. Phil Mickelson who had had a share of the lead for the first three rounds started off poorly, three-putting the third and fifth holes for double bogeys. However, he took back the lead with an eagle on the 10th. Justin Rose responded with birdies on the 12th and 13th. A bogey by Mickelson on the 13th gave Rose the lead.
Through 16 holes, Rose had five birdies and five bogeys and a one-shot lead over Mickelson. He managed par on the challenging final two holes, finishing with an even-par 70 for a 281 (+1) overall.
Meanwhile, Mickelson narrowly missed a birdie putt on the 16th that would have tied Rose and failed to birdie either of the final two holes. His +3 overall dropped him into a tie with Jason Day for second place.
For Rose, it was his first major title. He completed the tournament without any double bogeys. On his win, Rose commented "It feels fantastic. I committed myself to the process this week. I committed myself to putting a strategy in place that I hoped would work in five-to-10 years in delivering major championships ... it's a moment where you can look back and think childhood dreams have come true."
Consistency was the secret to Justin Rose's success. Like 2nd place finisher Jason Day, he is sponsored by TaylorMade Golf. Here's a list of the equipment he used to capture the 2013 U.S. Open title:
DRIVER: TaylorMade R1 Driver (9.5 degree) with a Matrix OZIK 6M3 Black Tie shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Tour Fairway Woods HL (16.5 degree) with a Matrix 7M3 Black Tie shaft
IRONS: TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour Irons(3-6), TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB (7-PW) with KBS C-Taper shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade ATV (52, 56 and 60 degree) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: TaylorMade Spider Blade
BALL: Lethal Golf Ball