Player of the week
Justin Rose. He might have crushed the heart of Phil Mickelson (and all those in Lefty’s camp), but Rose deserved to win the 113th US Open because he played the best, kept his golf ball in play, and made enough birdies in the final round (five) to offset the bogeys you knew everybody would be making. Rose, in the opinion of many of his peers, has been the best ball striker in golf the past few years. Now he has the hardware to prove it. Want to see him? He’ll be playing this week at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.
The secret to playing well at any US Open really isn’t a secret at all. Keep it straight so you can avoid the rough, give yourself as many birdie chances as possible, make more than your share of 6-footers for par, and avoid big numbers. Rose was solid across the board, which is why he’s the champion. A rundown on some of the key statistics from Merion, who led each category, and where Rose ranked.
Driving distance: Bubba Watson, 316.1 yards; Rose, 300.1 (15th).
Fairways hit: Hunter Mahan, 49 of 56; Rose, 42 of 56 (tied for second).
Greens in regulation: Mickelson, Paul Casey, 54 of 72; Rose, 50 of 72 (tied for fourth).
Number of putts: Mike Weir, 115; Rose, 120 (tied for 16th).
Birdies: Rose, Jason Day, Luke Donald (15).
A pair of aces
What are the odds that the same person would make not one but two holes-in-one, on the same hole, on the same day? Chris Gilley did it last week, in a 36-hole Southern California PGA event at Indian Wells Golf Resort. Gilley, an assistant professional at Sea Cliff Country Club in Huntington Beach, aced the 17th hole in the morning round, when it played 127 yards. In the afternoon, same hole, this time playing 131 yards, Gilley threw it in the jar again. In a video posted on YouTube, Gilley said, “It was the greatest day of my life on a golf course.” The pair of aces — which doubled Gilley’s career total to four — helped him tie for first in the tournament; he eventually lost in a five-hole playoff, but definitely had the two best shots of the day.
Quote of the week
“I heard ‘Happy Birthday’ probably 30, 40, 50 times. At the end of the day, it was pretty annoying, but I’m sure he appreciated it.”
— Mahan, who was paired with Mickelson for the final round of the US Open on Sunday, Mickelson’s 43d birthday.