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An English golfer has won the US Open for the first time in 43 years. Justin Rose emulated Tony Jacklin, prevailing on the tough course at Merion to secure the title by two shots ahead of Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.
It was a day of drama as the lead shifted numerous times over the final day. Mickelson was looking to secure his first US Open after four second place finishes. His day fluctuated between glory and disaster as he regularly drove into rough but managed some outstanding recoveries.
The turning point appeared to come early in the back nine. Rose was tentative on the 11th green and three-putted. Minutes later Mickelson grabbed a magnificent eagle on the tenth. The American seemed destined to claim the trophy. Instead Rose recovered his composure, kept his head, drove steadily and putted well. The only blip came at the 16th where he briefly surrendered the overall lead, only to reclaim it with nerveless play over the last two holes.
"Suddenly it was me with an iron into the fairway and two putts to win the US Open," Rose said, recalling what he felt approaching the final green. "It feels fantastic, absolutely amazing. 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."
His first reaction after finishing his round one over par was to look at the sky, in tribute to his father Ken who died from leukaemia in 2002. Rose didn't know he had won at that stage, but knew he had a great chance. "It wasn't lost on me that today is Fathers' Day," he said. "I couldn't help but look up to the heavens and think that my old dad Ken had something to do with it."