US Open Golf 2013 Leaderboard: Dissecting Day 4 Results

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US Open Golf 2013 Leaderboard: Dissecting Day 4 Results
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Justin Rose won the 2013 U.S. Open in what was a thrilling final round of action on Sunday at Merion Golf Club.

As Sunday's final round wore on, many contenders played their way down the leaderboard, and we were left with Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Hunter Mahan and Rose as the only contenders left as the final pairing approached the back nine. 

Birdies were awfully hard to come by in the back nine all tournament, but Rose was able to prove that wrong with birdies on holes 12 and 13. While Mickelson, Day and Mahan all started racking up bogeys, Rose remained cool, calm and collected.

Mickelson fought valiantly and nearly won his first U.S. Open, but he came up just short yet again with his record sixth second-place finish.

Let's take a look at the final leaderboard from Merion and the biggest results from a historic Day 4:

 

All Roses for Rose

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Justin Rose's first major was a long time coming. 

He's emerged as one of the world's best golfers in recent years and has been in the running late in many majors. But when he holed a birdie on No. 13 Sunday, fate took over.

While the rest of the golfers struggled down the stretch, Rose seemed to save his best for last and attacked the green on the final few holes. That allowed him to get in great position to par out through 17 and 18, which was all he needed to do to hold off Mickelson.

The South African-born English golfer made history for his country on Sunday, as ESPN's Justin Ray stated:

Rose's victory was a sight to see for anyone who respects hard work and determination in any sport. 

 

Tiger Woods (+13) Continues His Major Struggle

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Tiger Woods realistically played himself out of contention with an awful round of 76 on Saturday, but he didn't help his cause with another poor showing on Sunday. 

He initially looked poised to finish out strong at Merion with a birdie on the first hole, but he quickly showed otherwise with a triple bogey on hole No. 2. That led to shooting a 40 (four-over) on the front nine, only reiterating that this weekend hasn't been ideal for Woods.

Tiger showed glimpses of the skill that made him a 14-time major winner on the back nine, posting two birdies and two bogeys to finish out. But it was his 13-over par score for the tournament that will be remembered from the 2013 U.S. Open.

That score, as ESPN's Justin Ray pointed out, was the worst finish he's ever had at the U.S. Open as a pro: 

Unfortunately for Tiger, his five-year major drought carries on, and he'll take his next aim at changing that at the British Open.

 

Mickelson Comes Up Short Again

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Apparently, Lefty wasn't happy with his record five second-place finishes at the U.S. Open as he picked up a sixth on Sunday.

All sarcasm aside, Mickelson fought down to the wire. It's hard to say that Rose hit as many incredible shots as Lefty through the 72 holes at Merion

He looked as hungry as he's ever been at a tournament, but he came up just short yet again as his speedy third shot on 18 rolled about six inches away from the cup and ensured Rose's first major. 

There's no doubt that Mickelson was one of the biggest stories of this year's U.S. Open, and he showed us that he's still very much a factor in every tournament he tees off in. But that won't make this pill any easier to swallow for him, as he continues coming up just short. 

 

Schwartzel, Stricker, Horschel Miss Big Opportunity

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Heading into the final round, perhaps the biggest sleepers for victory were Charl Schwartzel, Steve Stricker and Billy Horschel. Schwartzel and Stricker were just one shot off the lead at even par, while Horschel was two shots back entering the day.

That didn't last long. Schwartzel folded quickly with five bogeys and a double bogey on his opening nine holes, finishing eight-over par for the round and tournament.

Stricker followed that up with a triple bogey on the second hole, wasting no time in taking his name out of the hat as contenders. The 46-year-old still has never won a major.

Horschel looked like the underdog story of the tournament early on as the co-leader through Friday night. But despite keeping himself within striking distance, he couldn't capitalize and instead finished tied for fifth.

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