PINEHURST, N.C. - Every year, the final round of the U.S. Open falls on Father's Day, which always seemed a pleasant confluence. Just not for Justin Rose, whose father died in 2002.
"Watching good friends of mine win the U.S. Open, and the embraces that they have been able to have with their fathers, I always thought, 'Oh, that's something I'll never experience,' '' the defending champion said during his news conference Tuesday. "But me winning the U.S. Open was amazing because I felt really connected to my father in that moment."
"That's what I'm most grateful about for winning the U.S. Open, that connection, the ability it gave me to feel the presence of my dad once more."
World Cup watch
With the World Cup beginning at the same time the Open is going on, many international golfers will be looking for scores and updates wherever they can find them. Rose has pondered the idea of being "a national hero" by bypassing a potential Saturday news conference to watch his beloved England play Italy.
He recalled having held a three-stroke lead at the Travelers Championship entering the final round, but made the mistake of watching England-Germany hours before his tee time. "It was an emotional football match and then I never really calmed down," he said. "I ended up going out and losing the golf tournament."
Hot shot? No sure thing
There is a cautionary tale in the field this week for anyone assuming Jordan Spieth, 20, will win multiple majors because he has started so strongly on the PGA Tour. Like Spieth, David Gossett was a college star at Texas and won the U.S. Amateur.
Like Spieth, he won the John Deere Classic. But Gossett's career stalled, big-time. He appeared in the 2000 U.S. Open, but never made it back until this year, when he had to get through local and sectional qualifying."I haven't played in a PGA Tour event in several years," Gossett said. "I'm just trying to eke my way back out."
He considers himself fortunate that he saved money early in his career, which helps support a wife and three children. "I didn't pay 20 grand to rent a house this week. I keep telling my wife the private plane is in the shop," he said. When he was asked about his financial backers, he said, "Yeah, David Gossett and Company is my sponsor."