Standing in the middle of Merion’s historic 18th fairway, needing par to win the U.S. Open, Rose couldn’t help himself. He knew the Hogan plaque was nearby. The spot remembers where Ben Hogan hit 1-iron in the 1950 U.S. Open to get into a playoff, which he ultimately won.
“When I walked over the hill and saw my drive sitting perfectly in the middle of the fairway, with the sun coming out, it was kind of almost fitting,” Rose said Sunday. “And I just felt like at that point it was a good iron shot on to the green, two putts, like Hogan did, and possibly win this championship.
“I felt like I did myself justice and probably put enough of a good swing where Ben Hogan might have thought it was a decent shot too.”
Hogan would’ve been proud. Rose hit his approach onto the green but it trickled just off the back. Rose used a hybrid and the ball nearly found the hole, ending 2 inches away. Rose tapped in for par to shoot 70 and won the U.S. Open moments later when Phil Mickelson was unable to make birdie in the group behind.