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The Open came back in 1971 and 1981 and wasn’t expected to return again because its yardage was thought to be too short for the modern game and its tiny footprint thought to be too small to contain all the amenities of a modern-day major.
Somehow, they worked it out, even if it meant putting tents in people’s yards, shuttling the players a mile to and from the practice area and drastically cutting back on ticket sales.
USGA executive director Mike Davis said the typical U.S. Open scores showed that "time hasn’t passed Merion by" and that officials would "absolutely" consider coming back.
Rose would, in a heartbeat.
"What I first love about Merion is how one of the local caddies described it: The first six holes are drama, the second six holes are comedy, and the last six holes are tragedy," Rose said. "Like a good play, like a good theatrical play."
Rose’s winning round more or less reflected that very script. Five birdies. Five bogeys. He took the lead for good because of others’ mistakes. He was in a three-way tie with Mickelson and Hunter Mahan before Mickelson bogeyed No. 15 and Mahan double-bogeyed the same hole.
But Rose needed 18 to seal the deal. No one birdied the hole in the final two rounds. The tee shot had to be in the fairway.
The 4-iron approach rolled near the pin and settled precariously against the collar of the green, but he used a 3-wood to bunt the ball to an inch of the cup for par.
He then looked through the patchy clouds and point to the sky, a nod to his late father, Ken, who died of leukemia in September 2002.
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