by Fitzgerald Cecilio
Justin Rose fired an even-par 70 in the final round Sunday to win the U.S. Open, edging veteran Phil Mickelson and Jason Day by two strokes and ending England's 43-year title drought at the tournament.
Rose made five birdies and the same number of bogeys at the 6,996-yard Merion Golf Club but saved par on the final two holes to finish with a four-round total of 281 for his first major title and fifth PGA crown.
With the win, Rose became the first English winner at the US Open since Tony Jacklin won at Hazeltine in 1970.
Since Jacklin's win, the closest England ever got to winning the tournament was in 1988 when Nick Faldo lost to Curtis Strange in a playoff at The Country Club.
Faldo was also the last Englishman to win a major of any kind with his win in 1996 at the Masters. Since then, the English are 0-for-65.
It was another sorry loss for Mickelson, who had a chance to tie or overtake Rose with two holes to play but he just made par on the 17th and bogeyed the 18th to settle for runner-up honors for the sixth time.
Mickelson, the 54-hole leader, suffered two early double bogeys but holed out for eagle at the 10th hole to get back in it. However, he doomed his chances after bogeying the par-3 13th and the 15th.
Day shot a 1-over 71 but bogeyed the 18th hole to finish in a tie with Mickelson while Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan, and Billy Horchel were tied for fourth at 5-over.
Meanwhile, world No. 1 Tiger Woods wasted another shot to add to his 14 majors after shooting a 74 in the final round to finish at 13-over 293, his worst score in relation to par for 72 holes in any major championship he has played as a pro.
Woods' previous worst was 12-over in 2006 when he shot 82 in the second round and missed the cut at Winged Foot. Woods was 14-over in 1996 as an amateur.
"There's always a lesson to be learned in every tournament whether you win or lose," Woods said. "I'll look back at the things I did right and the things I did wrong. I did a lot of things right. Unfortunately I did a few things wrong as well," Woods said.
Woods has now gone five years without winning a major championship, his last coming at the 2008 U.S. Open.
He will get another crack at a major championship next month at Muirfield, site of the Open Championship, where he shot a third-round 81 in 2002.
Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 player in the world, shot a 76 in the final round to finish his week at 14-over.
"Everyone hits bad shots, but mine are just costing me too much at the minute," said McIlroy, who has not been a factor in either of the year's first two majors.