FERGUSON ON GOLF: Brilliant! Justin Rose wins US Open to bring England a major

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON , AP Golf Writer
  • Updated: June 18, 2013 - 6:51 AM
hide

Justin Rose became the first Englishman to win a major championship since Nick Faldo won the 1996 Masters after Greg Norman's collapse.

Photo: Morry Gash, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

ARDMORE, Pa. — The most recent golden era of golf in England had everything but the one prize that brings credibility.

A major championship.

Lee Westwood and Luke Donald reached No. 1 in the world. Ian Poulter turned into a rock star in the Ryder Cup. There was a strong supporting cast that included Paul Casey. Always lurking, and finally delivering, was Justin Rose.

The only player at Merion who never had worse than a 71 over four demanding days, Rose passed his biggest test Sunday when he split the middle of the 18th fairway with his tee shot and hit a 4-iron that set him up for a par on the toughest hole to win the U.S. Open.

The question no longer is why the English can't win a major. It's who might be next.

"I really hope it does inspire them," Rose said after his two-shot win over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day. "I think it was always going to be a matter of time before one of us broke through. It was just going to be who. And I always hoped it was going to be me to be the first, obviously. But I really hoped that it has broken the spell, and guys can continue to match up some for themselves."

Westwood for the last five years gave England its best hope. A 15-foot birdie putt was all that kept him out of a playoff in the 2008 U.S. Open won by Tiger Woods. He missed another playoff at Turnberry in the 2009 British Open when he three-putted for bogey from long range on the 72nd hole. He had a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Masters in 2010, but couldn't hold off Mickelson.

Donald became the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same season, and he stayed at No. 1 for 56 weeks. That gave him the distinction of being No. 1 going into the most majors — seven — without ever having won.

Poulter was runner-up in the British Open at Royal Birkdale in 2008, though his best play was when he wore Europe's colors in the Ryder Cup.

And then there was Rose.

His win at Merion made him the first Englishman since Tony Jacklin in 1970 at Hazeltine to win America's national championship. And he became the first from England to win any major in 17 years, dating to Nick Faldo's six-shot rally to beat Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters for his third green jacket.

"Tony Jacklin was a pioneer," Rose said, referring to the two-time major champion. "Golf has become a lot more global. There are more international players over here, so to see us players come through and win championships ... Jacklin did it maybe when it was out of the norm. And we certainly grew up dreaming about emulating him."

England, a proud golfing nation, was in danger of being morphed into a much broader group. It was part of Europe, which got three majors from Padraig Harrington of Ireland and one from Martin Kaymer of Germany. The Union Jack has been carried in recent years by Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke. The last British player to win a major was Paul Lawrie at Carnoustie in the 1999 British Open.

England has its own niche in history, and the timing of Rose's win was symbolic.

This is the 100-year anniversary of Francis Ouimet putting American golf on the front of the sports pages when he took down English heavyweights Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at The Country Club. Vardon won seven majors, same as Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer. Also part of that great triumvirate was J.H. Taylor, whose five majors includes one footnote — the only man in major championship history to have the lowest score in all four rounds.

Now, the Cross of St. George can fly proudly.

"Congrats finally an Englishman wins a major," Poulter tweeted late Sunday evening.

That the lot fell to Rose should not have been a surprise.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 14 3rd Qtr 11:05
Seattle 17
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close