US Open 2013: Ranking the Biggest Surprises at Merion

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US Open 2013: Ranking the Biggest Surprises at Merion
Eileen Blass-USA TODAY

The 113th U.S. Open was Phil Mickelson's to lose Sunday at Merion Golf Club.

But no matter what mistakes we recall from Lefty's ebb and flow final round, there's no denying that Justin Rose (+1) deservedly won the Open and in doing so, his first major championship.

The 32-year-old Englishman performed with the poise of a veteran beginning with his first tee shot Thursday. Rose never carded anything worse than a bogey at Merion, a feat very few competitors own after trudging through one of the most grueling U.S. Open tracks in recent memory.

Rose is no fluke either.

He owns four top 10s this season on tour and two top 10s in his career at the US Open. This is a player who's been chomping at the bit in majors, grabbing a pair of top 10s last year, first at the Masters (T8) and then at the PGA Championship (T3).

Rose was a favorite to win the U.S. Open—a strong driver of the golf ball and an even better ball-striker—so his victory is by no means as surprising as some of the other storylines from Merion, ranging from the heavy contenders that collapsed to the memorable performances of some unlikely golfers.

Let's take a look!

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