Highlights & Lowlights Of U.S. Open Sunday

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Any time someone wins a major, it goes down as a highlight in their career. But any time a major is played at a course as tough as the one at Merion Golf Club, loads of lowlights are sure to pop up too.

Here’s a look at some highs and lows from the final day of the 2013 U.S. Open:

Highlights

  • Justin Rose vanquished his drought of 37 majors without a victory. His even-par 70 on Sunday held off Phil Mickelson and Jason Day, and made Rose the first Englishman to win a major since Nick Faldo at the 1996 Masters.
  • Phil Mickelson eagled No. 10, briefly returning the lead to his favor. It appeared as if that was the break to get Phil rolling to his first U.S. Open title, but… (see lowlights below)
  • At No. 17, Shawn Stefani became the first player to sink a hole-in-one at any U.S. Open held at Merion, which was hosting the national championship for the fifth time. That helped the 31-year-old to a final-round 69, much better than the 85 he recorded Saturday.
  • Following a third place at the Masters, Day tied for second place at the U.S. Open. In 2011, Day tied for second at the Masters, and had second all to himself at the U.S. Open. That’s a lot of knocking on a major’s door for a guy who boasts only one career PGA Tour victory.
  • University of California-Berkeley junior Michael Kim earned low amateur honors with his T17 finish (+10) and he did it all with a caddie who works at Merion. The caddie, who was supposed to have the week off, ended up carrying Kim’s bag when the amateur asked him the parking lot on Monday.

    LaRue Temple and Michael Kim

Highlight with a lowlight — Jason Dufner stood at 8-over after three rounds, then moved to just 3-over through 14 holes Sunday. Yet when he left the 15th hole, he was back at 6-over. Just when he moved into contention talk, he put up a triple-bogey. But Dufner was still 3-under for the round, tied for best of the day.

Lowlights

  • Mickelson, on his 43rd birthday, held a share of the lead as he stepped to the first tee Sunday, hoping to avoid a sixth runner-up finish at the U.S. Open. But he gave up his lead with double-bogeys on Nos. 3 and 5, ultimately losing the tournament by two shots.
  • Despite all the emphasis world No. 1 Tiger Woods put on this U.S. Open, aiming to collect his first major in five years, he went out and recorded his highest score to par (+13) at a major when making the cut.
  • The course took its toll on the world’s second-ranked as well. At No. 11 in the final round, Rory McIlroy sent a shot into the same creek twice. Obviously frustrated, he then put all of his weight on the offending club, bending it and rendering it unusable.

  • A strong final round for Steve Stricker could have brought the 46-year-old his first major in 60 appearances, and made him the oldest player to win a U.S. Open. Instead, he caught a case of the shanks and triple-bogeyed the second hole. The eight ranks as his highest score on a hole ever in the U.S. Open.
  • Billy Horschel’s octopus pants had a lot of potential. But when the man in them was 3-over through five holes, they just looked kind of ridiculous. Horschel shared the lead with Mickelson entering Saturday, but shot 6-over-par during the weekend.

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