Date: June 17, 2013

Grant Report – Jason Looks Forward to Another Day

Australia’s Jason Day is convinced he is on the brink of a major breakthrough after finishing in joint second place behind Britain’s Justin Rose at the US Open.

Day shone briefly midway through the final round at Merion Golf Club as hopes lifted that he would join Adam Scott and give his home fans a consecutive Australian Grand Slam victory.

Rose collected his maiden major championship by two shots, leaving Day and American star Phil Mickelson tied for second place.

His win has broken a 43-drought for British players at the US Open. Tony Jacklin was the last to win in 1970. Rose also becomes the first English major titleholder since Nick Faldo won the 1996 Masters.

Day, who continues to finish high up in majors, shot a one over par 71 to join the lead but then slumped on the closing holes, handing over three shots in the final eight.

But his runner-up finish follows his third place at this year’s Masters, won by Scott and he feels he will move alongside his compatriot in the near future.

"As long as I keep knocking on the door I think I’ll win a major here soon," said Day, who was pleased with his composure once again under pressure.

"At the start of the week everyone thought we were going to rip it up but I just knew that somewhere around even par was going to win it, and I just had to stick in there so I was very patient with myself and happy with how I handled myself.

"Now I just got to keep giving myself shots at majors."

Day, 25, has now had five top 10 finishes in 11 majors, including three runner-up spots.

Merion was the shortest major layout in nine years but scores were typically high and no-one in the field managed to birdie the last over the final two rounds.

However Day maintains the course was one of the finest tests of golf and should again host a US Open.

"I think that every club in the bag got a workout this week so I think that it would be sad for it not to come back," Day said.

"You’ve got to understand that, late Sunday of a US Open – and US Open courses are very hard – you can’t do anything but kind of grind it out.

The 32-year-old Rose, who first raised eyebrows when he finished fourth in the British Open as a 17-year-old, took the lead over Mickelson with a birdie at the 16th.

He parred the next but said he knew he had the tournament won when he teed off at the 18th. He remembered Ben Hogan’s famous one-iron shot to that green which gave him the 1950 US Open.

"When I saw my shot lying in the fairway I thought, ‘This is my moment’," Rose said.

"I’ve seen the Hogan photograph a million times and now it was me hitting the shot. I hit a two-iron into the green and it all worked out."

Rose putted to within centimetres of the cup and tapped in for a par, the clubhouse lead and eventually, victory. He later paid tribute to his late father Ken on what was Father’s Day.

"I couldn’t help to look up to the heavens and think that my old dad Ken had something to do with it," he said.

For Mickelson, this was his sixth time as runner-up and the most bitter of all.

"This is tough to swallow after coming so close, this was my best chance out of all of them," Mickelson said.

By Robert Grant.