England’s Justin Rose fired a closing round of 70 to win the U.S. Open Championship at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania by two shots from Phil Mickelson of the USA and Australia’s Jason Day.

Rose is the first Englishman to win a Major championship since Nick Faldo’s Masters victory in 1996. He’s the first English U.S. Open winner since Tony Jacklin in 1970.

The 32-year-old began the final round two shots behind Phil Mickelson but, on a day when everyone was struggling to find pars, he reached the turn with a one-stroke lead.

Mickelson surged again with a fabulous eagle two at the 10th. The American drove into the rough on the short par-4 but, from 76 yards, he holed his second shot to move, briefly, ahead once more.

Rose responded with birdies at the 12th and 13th, then ground out the closing stretch to stay clear of the pack. He reached the final hole with a one-stroke lead and played two fine shots to run just through the green. He then played a delicate shot with a 3-wood from the fringe that left him a tap-in for par.

Mickelson, who was looking to win the U.S. Open for the first time (having finished runner-up on five previous occasions,) had to hole a pitch at the last to force a playoff. Despite his short game brilliance, he couldn’t do it and the Englishman was champion.

Rose was, understandably, emotional to take his first Major title, particularly so on Father’s Day – 11 years after his dad died.

“What a day,” he said. “I don’t know what to say, I’m thrilled. I just kept telling myself that making bogeys is what everyone is doing… You saw me look to the heavens with it being Father’s Day – I was just trying to remember my dad.”

Jason Day of Australia finished in a tie for second with Mickelson. Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Billy Horschel and Hunter Mahan shared fourth.

England’s Luke Donald had a disappointing closing round of 75 to finish tied eighth. But, having gone out in 42, he battled well to come home in 33 and limit the damage.

USGA U.S. Open
Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Jun 13-16, purse $8,000,000 par 70

1   Justin Rose (Eng)      71   69   71   70   281   $1,440,000
T2   Jason Day (Aus)      70   74   68   71   283   $696,104
T2   Phil Mickelson (USA)   67   72   70   74   283   $696,104
T4   Jason Dufner (USA)   74   71   73   67   285   $291,406
T4   Ernie Els (RSA)      71   72   73   69   285   $291,406
T4   Billy Horschel (USA)   72   67   72   74   285   $291,406
T4   Hunter Mahan (USA)   72   69   69   75   285   $291,406
T8   Luke Donald (Eng)   68   72   71   75   286   $210,006

T8   Steve Stricker (USA)   71   69   70   76   286   $210,006
T10   Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)   69   72   74   72   287   $168,530

T10   Gonzalo Fdz-Castano (Esp) 71 72   72   72   287   $168,530
T10   Rickie Fowler (USA)   70   76   67   74   287   $168,530
T10   Hideki Matsuyama (Jap) 71   75   74   67   287   $168,530

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage