Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2013 Contents A51
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Ever since Greg Norman s memorable
final-round implosion let Nick Faldo
win the Masters in 1996, a generation
of fine English talent has come up short
in golf s four major championships.
With his seven top-three finishes, Lee
Westwood s near misses are a thing of
golfing folklore. Luke Donald has also
been ranked No 1 but never come that
close down the stretch in a major. Ian
Poulter saves his best for the Ryder Cup,
while Paul Casey s star has fallen since
his breakthrough year in 2009.
Finally, after a 17-year wait, England
has a major winner: US Open champion
The English public has long held high hopes for
Rose, ever since he chipped in at the last to finish
fourth at the 1998 British Open at Royal Birkdale as
a skinny 17-year-old amateur. His career has taken
many twists and turns since then but he realized his
vast potential with a one-shot win at Merion on
Rose is England s first US Open champion since
Tony Jacklin in 1970.
"He had that audacious chip in at Birkdale when
he was 17 and then witnessed the difficult time he
had after turning pro and all the struggles that he
had, and to fight through that takes a lot of courage
and what was shown was exactly that," Jacklin said
"He s a good guy and he s good for the game and
he hopefully will open the door for more British
players to give us some of the same."
The modest, mild-mannered Rose is among the
most popular players on the circuit and his victory
has been well-received, in England and beyond.
"Best player in the world the last few years," 2010
US Open champion Graeme McDowell said on Twitter.
"Major much deserved."
Rory McIlroy also tweeted his congratulations,
saying the victory "couldn t happen to a better lad."
"Rose to the Top," was the headline in English
newspaper The Sun. "Rose s Sweet Smell of Success,"
said The Independent.
Most of the English papers ran photos of Rose on
the 18th hole, looking upward and pointing his fingers
to the sky in tribute to his late father Ken, who died
of leukemia in September 2002.
"Father s Day was not lost on me," Rose said. "You
don t have opportunities to really dedicate a win to
someone you love. And today was about him and
being Father s Day."
British golf has rarely had it so good as in the past
couple of years. Donald, Westwood and McIlroy took
turns at No 1 in 2012 while the Irish trio of McIlroy,
McDowell and Darren Clarke have all won majors
Britons have been the bedrock of Europe s Ryder
Cup successes in 2010 and 2012. Rose made birdie
putts on Nos 17 and 18 on the final day of last year s
match at Medinah to clinch a stunning singles win
over Phil Mickelson, one of the catalysts for Europe s
record comeback against the United States.
On that day, Mickelson stood back and applauded
Rose for his courageous play on the greens. Nine
months later, it was the same player who suffered
at the hands of the 32-year-old Englishman, finishing
one shot behind for a sixth second place at a US
Rose s technique, which held up so well at Merion
as he calmly made par on the unforgiving 18th under
intense pressure, has always been a thing of beauty.
It helped him capture big amateur tournaments when
he was 14 and 15. By the time he d won the silver
medal at Royal Birkdale in 1998 for being the high-
est-placed amateur, comparisons were already being
made with Faldo.
Rose turned professional the very next day but
missed 21 cuts in a row. Victories in the Dunhill
Championship and British Masters in 2002 confirmed
his potential but it wasn t until last year that he really
became a force, winning at Doral for his first victory
in a World Golf Championship.
Rose, who was born in Johannesburg and moved
to England with his family when he was 5, was playing
in the final round with Donald, who fell away after
a poor start to place tied for eighth to see yet another
chance at a major slip by. Westwood, who held the
lead on day one at Merion, finished tied for 15th and
may never end his major drought.
The 32-year-old Rose has made that breakthrough,
though. Plenty more could now follow. (AP)
English Rose blooms
...after 17-year wait for major
(Through June 16)
1 Tiger Woods, US, 13.06
2 Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, 9.52
3 Justin Rose, England, 8.19
4 Adam Scott, Australia, 7.35
5 Matt Kuchar, US, 6.69
6 Phil Mickelson, US, 6.17
7 Luke Donald, England, 6.07
8 Brandt Snedeker, US, 5.97
9 Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland, 5.59
10 Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, 5.28
WORLD GOLF RANKING
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