San Francisco, CA – Justin Rose had back-to-back birdies twice in the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, and those two bursts helped him claim his first major championship title.
The Englishman was able to grab the trophy thanks to an impressive statistical week.
Rose shared the championship lead to with 15 birdies. He tied for second in fairways hit, 42 of 56, and shared seventh in greens in regulation, as he hit 50 or 72 greens over the four rounds.
Rose said afterwards that he had put a plan in place to win a major championship over the next five to 10 years. The plan obviously worked quickly and now he has a chance to win multiple majors in that span.
MICKELSON COMES UP SHORT, AGAIN
At the start of the day, there were plenty of statistics to make the case for someone other than Phil Mickelson winning the U.S. Open.
Unfortunately for Mickelson, those statistics were correct.
Among them, and maybe the biggest one, is that Justin Rose became the fifth U.S. Open champion at Merion to come from behind in the final round.
None of the five winners were the 54-hole leaders, and this season on the PGA Tour only 11 of 23 54-hole leaders have gone on to win the event.
Mickelson entered Sunday having won three of the four times he led entering the final round of a major, but with Rose's comeback win, just five of the last 18 major winners have led entering the final round.
In the 113 U.S. Open Championships, the third-round leader won 49 times and there have been only seven wire-to-wire champions.
Maybe the seventh time will be the charm for Mickelson.
KIM EASILY CLAIMS LOW AMATEUR CROWN
Michael Kim won numerous awards this season while starring on the University of California golf team. Maybe his biggest honor came on Sunday.
Kim closed with a 6-over 76, but won the low amateur honors at the U.S. Open by five strokes.
"That feels awesome. I had a difficult ending, but the overall week, it's just an unbelievable experience," Kim said.
Kim was the PAC-12 Player of the Year and won the Jack Nicklaus Award as collegiate Player of the Year. After surviving the tough test at Merion, he was glad he wasn't the only one that thought it was a hard test.
"The rough, I talked to Geoff Ogilvy yesterday who said this is the worst I've seen it at an Open so far. I'm glad that he said that. This rough is pretty long and thick," Kim said of the former U.S. Open champion.
* Shawn Stefani's hole-in-one on Sunday at the 17th was the first ace in the five Opens played at Merion, and was the 43rd known hole-in-one in Open history,
* The top-10 finishers and ties -- Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Billy Horschel, Steve Stricker, Luke Donald, Nicolas Colsaerts, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama -- are exempt into the 2014 U.S. Open.
* For the week at Merion, there were 11 eagles and 977 birdies versus 2,079 bogeys and 373 double bogeys. There were also 78 dreaded others.
* There were 23 rounds in the 60s all week. After five in the first round, there were six in each of the last three rounds.
* The four par-3s combined to measure 862 yards for the final round. That's pretty long considering as the 13th measured 121 yards and the 17th moved up to 213 yards. The par-3s yielded 35 of the 169 birdies made in the final round.
* The 13th was the easiest hole on Sunday as players averaged 2.77 strokes on the par-3. For the championship, the 13th was the easiest hole playing to an average of 2.81 strokes.
* The par-4 fifth was the most difficult hole in the final round as it took players 4.79 shots on average. The par-4 18th, which no one birdied in the third and final rounds, was the most difficult hole for the championship, as it averaged 4.71 shots.
* The 2014 U.S. Open will be contested at Pinehurst No. 2, and will be followed the next week by the U.S. Women's Open.