Former US Open winners McIlroy and McDowell led Justin Rose tributes
Last Updated: 17/06/13 9:10am
Justin Rose: Praised by McIlroy and McDowell
Former champions Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell led the tributes to England's Justin Rose after he followed in their footsteps by winning his first major title in the US Open.
Rose carded a closing 70 to finish one over par at Merion and condemn Phil Mickelson to his sixth runners-up finish in the event on his 43rd birthday, the left-hander finishing two shots behind alongside Australian Jason Day.
Tony Jacklin was the last Englishman to win the US Open in 1970 - 10 years before Rose was born - while Nick Faldo was the last to win a major in the 1996 US Masters.
But Rose is the third British winner of the US Open in the last four years following McDowell's win at Pebble Beach in 2010 and McIlroy's eight-shot triumph at Congressional 12 months later.
McIlroy, who bent a club in frustration after a quadruple-bogey eight on the 11th on his way to a closing 76, wrote on Twitter: "So happy for @JustinRose99! Couldn't happen to a better lad!"
And McDowell added: "Congratulations to @JustinRose99. Best player in the world the last few years. Major much deserved. #respect."
Rose finished fourth in the Open Championship as a 17-year-old amateur in 1998 before missing 21 straight cuts after turning professional the next day.
He said: "It feels fantastic, absolutely amazing.
"Going forward it gives me a lot of confidence. I don't know if it takes pressure off, but it's a moment where you can look back and think childhood dreams have come true."
The 32-year-old raised his fingers to the sky after tapping in for par on the last in tribute to his father Ken, a massive influence on his career who died from leukaemia in 2002.
"You saw me look to the heavens with it being Father's Day - I was just trying to remember my dad," Rose added. "My coach Sean Foley sent me a text this morning which said 'Go out there and be the man that your dad taught you to be and that your kids can look up to'."