On a course renowned for its tough conditions, Englishman Justin Rose last night triumphed to major glory at the US Open, two shots ahead of his main competition, Phil Mickelson, at the Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. Rose's first major win will go down in history given that no Englishman has won the title since Tony Jacklin in 1970, and it has been 17 years since England crowned a major winner which was back in 1996 when Sir Nick Faldo claimed victory at The Masters championship in Augusta.
Rose began his final round two shots behind Mickelson who held the overnight lead; however, he soon caught up with the American after demonstrating some spectacular form, finishing the day on one over par for a score of 70. Mickelson came in tied for second place with Australian Jason Day after both players finished their round on +3. Fellow Englishman Luke Donald had been in contention going into the final day of play, but his form faltered after he accidentally hit a female volunteer with his ball on the third hole. His game failed to successfully recover following the incident and he subsequently ended his round on +6, tied for eighth place with American Steve Stricker.
Historically, the US Open has a tradition of concluding on Father's Day, and so it was touching to see Rose give thanks to his father, Ken, who died in of Leukaemia in 2002.
"What a day, I don't know what to say, I'm thrilled," Rose said following his victory.
"It wasn't lost on me that today is Father's Day. I think a lot of us came from great men and we have the responsibility to them to show them what great men can be.
"For it all to work out for me on such an emotional day, I couldn't help but look up to the heavens and think my old dad Ken had something to do with it."
Rose revealed that he had taken inspiration from Australian Adam Scott who claimed the green jacket at The Masters tournament in April this year: "He told me that my time would come and I'm so pleased he has proved a very wise man!", Rose said. Like Rose, for Scott a major win had been a long time coming and now both players can add a major championship to their career highs.
Commenting further after his win, Rose continued:
"Going forward it gives me a lot of confidence. I don't know if it takes pressure off, but it's a moment where you can look back and think childhood dreams have come true".
Rose is a classic example who proves that nice guys do win sometimes, confirmed by the flood of Twitter messages which came in following his historic victory. Prime Minister David Cameron, along with fellow European players Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, and Graeme McDowell were some of the first to express their congratulations.